Melanie Torre - Reporter
With burnt orange in her veins, Melanie is thrilled to be back in Longhorn country.
Melanie Torre joined the KEYE-TV News team in September of 2014. Before reporting for KEYE, Melanie reported, produced and anchored for KLTV 7 in Tyler, Texas. In Tyler, Melanie specialized in investigative, court and crime reporting. In 2014, the Lonestar Emmy Association awarded Melanie with the EMMA Award for Investigative Reporting.
Melanie is no stranger to Central Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in broadcast journalism. While at UT, Melanie served as the news director for Texas Student Television, the universitys student-run TV station. Under her leadership, TSTV was awarded Best College Newscast in Texas and Oklahoma by the Society of Professional Journalists.
Melanie is no stranger to KEYE-TV, either. In 2010, Melanie became the stations first on-air intern. For six months, she pitched, wrote, shot and edited her own stories for their 4 p.m. show, "Austin Live."
Melanie loves spicy food, traveling, Texas football and Texas country music. She also likes to meet new people and hear their stories. If you ever see her around, don't hesitate to introduce yourself. If you have a story you'd like Melanie to tell, email her at email@example.com
Connect with Melanie:
Walt Maciborski - Anchor
Walt Maciborski is no stranger to Austin.
Walt returns to the Capitol City to co-anchor with his friend, Judy Maggio. While in Austin in the 90s, Walt was on the front lines of big national stories -- covering the devastating F-5 tornado that hit Jarrell, the massive Texas A&M bonfire collapse and the Oklahoma City Bombing.
Walt covered then Governor George W. Bush and his run for the White House. He also had exclusive one on one interviews with Michael Dell and created a weekly tech segment in Austin called Click Here.
Walts reporting earned him the Edward R. Murrow Award and several EMMY awards. But, the one award he is most proud of is the Barbara Jordan Award for his reports on Texans with disabilities.
Walt joins KEYE TV from FOX 59 News in Indianapolis where he anchored the 5pm news and provided live coverage of Indiana Task Force 1 helping the victims of Superstorm Sandy and the Indianapolis 500. He also worked in Dallas, Tampa and Atlanta. While in Atlanta he spent a month in Sydney, Australia covering the Olympics for NBC in 2000.
Walt grew up in Southern California and graduated from the University of Southern California with a double major in broadcast journalism and political science.
Walt began his journalism career in 1989 and served as a desk assistant and part-time assistant producer with ABC News and worked on stories for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings in Los Angeles, London and Washington, D.C. One of his highlights at ABC News was working with Peter Jennings in London on several stories.
Walt (whose last name is pronounced MAC-eh-bor-skee) met his wife Kim in Austin on a blind date and they got married in Austin. Their first child was born in Austin, their middle son loves Austin because his Mimi and Pops are here and their third son is named Austin. So Austin is home.
In his free time you can find Walt at church, on the golf course, playing tennis or enjoying time with his family on Lake Travis.
Hema Mullur - Anchor
Hema is thrilled to be back in her home state of Texas!
Raised in Plano, Hema attended the University of Texas at Austin where she majored in Plan II Honors and Broadcast Journalism. Her career has taken her to Midland/Odessa, El Paso, and most recently Denver, CO. An Emmy award-winning reporter, Hema is looking forward to telling stories that impact the lives of Central Texans. Hema is a vegetarian and a foodie " two things many people dont see going hand-in-hand. You wont be surprised to see her out trying new restaurants in town, taking walks with her dog, or reading a good book. Shes a proud supporter of public libraries everywhere!
Bob Ballou - Sports Director
Bob Ballou joined KEYE TV as Sports Director in August 2007.
Answer to your first question: Yes. Bob Ballou is his real name. He has to show his driver's license as proof all the time.
Bob arrives in Austin from San Antonio where he worked at the CBS affiliate. Prior to that, he worked in Columbia, Missouri.
Bob attended the University of Missouri and proudly graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism.
However, he is originally from Dallas and his roots run deep in Texas sports. His parents attended the University of Texas and raised him with Longhorn ties (literally - they bought him burnt orange ties; figuratively - they passed on their trait of bleeding burnt orange).
Don't be fooled though - his mom is NOT "Cat Ballou". She's better looking.
Ballou won the 2010 Texas Associated Press Award for Best Sportscast. He won the same award in 2006. He is extremely excited about getting involved in church, charity and of course the sports world surrounding Austin. Bob enjoys playing and watching any and all sports - though his golf game could really use some work.
Chikage Windler - Chief Meteorologist
Chief Meteorologist Chikage (pronounced Chick-ha-gay) Windler joined the KEYE TV News Team in March of 2013, bringing 15 years of severe weather experience.
Chikage has major market and network television experience, appearing as a guest meteorologist on ABC's "Good Morning America" and "ABC World News."
But Chikage is no stranger to Texas. She spent two years in Dallas at Texas Cable News forecasting for all of Texas on their 24 hour statewide cable network. Chikage has also worked in Indianapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Boston, Washington, DC, and Norfolk, Virginia.
Chikage says she was inspired to pursue a career in meteorology because she grew up in the heart of tornado alley. She went to elementary school in Moore, Oklahoma, hit by some of the strongest tornadoes ever recorded. Her parents' neighborhood was in the track of the May 2013 EF-5.
Before television, Chikage chased tornadoes as part of the VORTEX-95 project at the National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Meteorology and a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Oklahoma.
Chikage is an AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and holds the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association Seals of Approval. She is an Emmy-Award winner for her weathercasting and has several Emmy nominations for her work in studio and out in the field.
Chikage is thrilled to call Austin home. You might even say it is destiny. She has a 6 year old daughter named ... AUSTEN! Chikage and her husband Jamie welcomed little sister Zailey into the world in 2012.
The most popular question Chikage answers is about her name. No, it's not a stage name! She is half Japanese and her name means "thousands of views or vistas."
Chikage loves visiting schools and taking part in events throughout the community. Email her if you'd like to schedule an appearance: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Saldaña - Anchor
Chris Saldaña is a two time Emmy award winning journalist. Born and raised a Military Brat, he is from the small border town of Del Rio. Chris studied in Brisbane, Australia, and Salamanca, Spain, before graduating from The University of Texas at San Antonio.
Spending time with his niece and nephew, Isabella Rebecca and Mark Enrique who live in New York, is a priority for him. A huge sports fan, Chris enjoys working out, meeting people, and playing softball.
Before We are Austin, Chris was in Las Vegas for the last ten years working at the local CBS affiliate. He enjoys giving back to his community, and has been active with the Latin Chamber of Commerce, The Human Rights Campaign(HRC), The Gay & Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada, to name a few.
A social media freak, you can always find him on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Feel free to follow him:
Hunter Ellis - Anchor
Hunter Ellis has enjoyed a long and adventurous journey on his way to Austin.
An award winning television host, Hunter has worked on both the national and local stage for years. Hosting everything from adventure travel and technology series for the History Channel to evening magazine and entertainment specials for KCBS, KCAL, and KTLA in Los Angeles, Hunter takes a hands-on approach to his stories and immerses himself into the situation to give his audience true perspective. He has shared many heart-stopping adventures with viewers in order to highlight the fun and exciting elements that today's world has to offer.
He has skydived solo with the Army's Golden Knights, flown with both the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, rappelled into tombs on a 1,500-foot limestone cliff in Northern Peru, dived on pirate shipwrecks off the coast of England, run 150 miles across the Sahara Desert and tracked mountain gorillas in the impenetrable jungles of Uganda. But it's not just the adrenaline rush that motivates him. Hunter brings great versatility to his projects through his inquisitive nature and passion for exploration. Having traveled to more than 40 different countries around the world, he enjoys meeting and interacting with people from all walks of life. He believes that by sharing the stories of others, we learn more about ourselves.
Travel has been a part of Hunter's life since an early age. A third generation Navy fighter pilot, he grew up moving around the country, following the smell of jet fuel and aircraft carriers. Hunter actually learned to fly here in Texas, and enjoyed many days of cloud surfing during his training in Corpus Christi and Kingsville.
That is when he first fell in love with Austin as it provided a much-needed escape from the rigors of flight school. After a couple of years, he was sure he had seen his last August in Texas and returned to the cool Pacific breezes of California. During his ten-year Naval Career, Hunter amassed more than 2,000 hours in the F/A-18, TA-4J, T-2C, and T-34C. He completed two Middle East deployments in support of Operations Southern Watch and Desert Strike and accumulated 433 carrier landings, more than 100 at night. In addition, he was a qualified F/A-18C Flight Demonstrations Pilot and Landing Signals Officer. After completion of his service, Hunter, a cast-away on Survivor Marquesas, became a pilot for FedEx. He was with FedEx for five years before dedicating his full-time to his television career.
While on a ski trip in the Sierras, Hunter met his wife, a Los Angeles-based interior designer, who ironically hailed from the Texas Hill Country. After the birth of their first child, Hunter realized another August in Texas might be in his future. They relocated to Austin to be closer to family and have enjoyed exploring a city that has so much to offer. However, Hunter is a graduate of the University of Southern California, and is constantly reminded of the 2006 Rose Bowl by all of the commemorative t-shirts.
Chances are you will see Hunter around town, either with KEYE or with his family, as he continues to explore new places and meet new people who have interesting stories to tell.
Deeda Payton - Anchor
Deeda Payton dusted off her cowboy boots and moved back to Texas to join the KEYE TV Morning News Team in January 2013. Being an Austinite not only means living in the greatest city in the world, but for Deeda it also means being closer to family.
Deeda came to the ATX by way of OKC where she anchored and reported for KOKH FOX 25 in the heart of Oklahoma. During her time in the Sooner State, she braved blizzard conditions, chased deadly tornadoes and covered wildfires that caused entire towns to evacuate. Deeda was also recognized by the Associated Press for her Investigative Reporting. The story started with a dumpster dive and ended with an investigation into an attorney by the Oklahoma Bar Association.
Fortunately, Deeda was also given the opportunity to balance these often emotionally challenging stories with lighter interviews. Deeda has sat down with such pop culture icons as Fabio Lanzoni (who picked her up...literally!), Jared Fogle "the Subway Guy" and Chris Kattan. When American Idol held auditions in OKC, Deeda got to interview judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson along with host Ryan Seacrest.
Deeda (a self-proclaimed chatterbox) knew she wanted to be a reporter from a very young age when she realized she could get paid to talk to people. Her first job in TV news landed her in Denison (about one hour north of Dallas). She was hired by KTEN TV as a one-man band reporter shooting, writing and editing her own stories. Deeda also anchored, produced and even shot high school football.
Deeda graduated from the University of Miami at Coral Gables, FL with a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism and Theatre Arts. While attending college, she anchored UMTV's weekly newscast Newsvision. Deeda also interned at WFOR/CBS4 in Miami, worked with ESPN for Monday Night Football and Gameday at the Orange Bowl. The Arkansas native from Jonesboro even jumped across the pond for her studies attending the University of London's Queen Mary University.
When she's not in the newsroom, you can find Deeda with her husband walking their Cocker Spaniel, taking what she calls the "Queso Challenge" or exploring the local places that Keep Austin Weird.
Allison Miller - Meteorologist/Anchor
Join Emmy award winning, Meteorologist Allison Miller, on the KEYE-TV Morning News weekdays from 4:30am-7am and again 9-10am co-hosting the new lifestyle show: We Are Austin!
Before coming to Austin, Allison worked in her home town of Phoenix, Arizona at KNXV ABC15, as a multi-media meteorologist and journalist. She received her B.S. in Atmospheric Science from Arizona State University and is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association.
When Allison is not at the station, you can find her outside enjoying Mother Nature, rain or shine. She has also grown up dancing since the age of 2 learning and performing many styles. There's a good chance you'll see her out country line or salsa dancing or teaching at Pure Austin.
Allison grew up wanting to become a pilot like her father in the Air Force. She would like to complete her training to get her private pilot's license. Also, she's somewhat of a science nerd and you may catch her reading her favorite magazine, Popular Science.
Allison loves to connect with our viewers. If you have questions, comments, or story ideas, don't hesitate to reach out.
Erica Brennes - Anchor
Erica has been proud to call Austin home since 1996.
It was that summer that she and her mother packed up and moved to Austin from Houston so her mom could go to grad school at UT.
"Austin made me who I am today."
Erica says going to Austin High School, in the heart of the city, was a true picture of what life was really like. She was an Austin High School Red Jacket, and started shadowing local news anchors and reporters her sophomore year of high school.
"I was always curious so journalism sounded like a perfect fit, and it is!"
Erica attended Texas State University and majored in Electronic Media. During her senior year, she had an internship at KEYE TV and says that sealed the deal.
From Texas State she headed north to Wichita Falls, where she was a one-man-band reporter at the CBS affiliate. From Wichita Falls, she moved to Waco and was the weekend anchor at the NBC affiliate in Waco for three years.
In 2009 she left the broadcast industry and worked as an executive producer at a production company here in Austin.
But in March 2012, Erica was excited to get back on the air. She is the traffic reporter on the new KEYE TV Morning News. She'll help navigate you around Central Texas and get you where you need to go.
"I've driven up and down I-35 way too many times, and I remember when you could get from downtown to 183 on MoPac in under 10 minutes! My. How our city changed!"
In her free time you may find Erica at Hobby Lobby picking up something for her latest do-it-yourself project, at the gym or lint rolling her house! She has two cats, Fat Max and Little Skittle.
Fred Cantu - Reporter
Fred Cantu, aka Uncle Fred, tied with KEYE TV's Judy Maggio for Best TV Anchor in the 2012 Austin Chronicle annual readers' poll, adding to his Best TV Anchor honors from 2003-2006.
Fred has been a fixture on the Austin airwaves since 1980 and marks more than 40 years in the broadcast business. He has been recognized by his peers with a nomination to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame and a first place award from the Texas Associated Press for his TV news feature reporting.
Fred is a Valley boy, born and raised in Brownsville. He's also a UT graduate and a notorious gadget head. His hobbies include DIY projects, home electronics, foreign television, travel, pop music and show tunes.
Fred is a family man. If he isn't at work, he's at home with his wife of 37 years or he's on the computer with his 12,000+ social media friends, fans and followers.
Bettie Cross - Anchor
Bettie Cross was born and raised in Texas and loves living in Austin. She says she made a mistake many years ago when she left Texas for an anchoring job in Des Moines, Iowa. She and her husband could not wait to get back. They learned during those three years how important it is to be near family and friends and how much they love everything about Texas.
Bettie holds a degree in political science from the University of Texas at San Antonio. In college, she thought she wanted to specialize in political reporting, but later realized she was even more interested in covering crime, trials and consumer news.
Bettie has spent 20 years covering news in Texas and has had the privilege of covering many stories that had a big impact on the state. One that stands out to her is covering the 51-day Branch Davidian standoff near Waco from start to finish. She also enjoyed the challenge of covering the Pope's visit to San Antonio and both of Kenneth McDuff's capital murder trials. She was selected "Texas AP Reporter of the Year" in 1995 and has won several Associated Press awards for breaking news coverage.
Bettie's son, Tanner, has to be the most photographed child in Texas. She can take an entire roll of film of him eating dinner! Okay, it may not be THAT bad, but she averages taking a roll of film a week. Bettie also loves to scrapbook those photos. She gets together with friends once a month for "Midnight Madness," when they talk, eat and work on their scrapbooks from 6pm to midnight at a local scrapbook store. Bettie says she knows it sounds crazy, but swears it's a blast!
Ericka Miller - Anchor/Reporter
Growing up, Ericka Miller traveled the country showing Quarter Horses and spent a lot of time in Texas. Now she's back in the Lone Star State anchoring the news every Saturday and Sunday night.
Ericka grew up on a horse farm in northern Iowa. After graduation, she headed south -- way south -- to sunny Miami, Florida. At the University of Miami, Ericka majored in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. She was a member of the Delta, Delta, Delta Sorority, worked for the campus TV station and rowed on the women's crew team.
After four years at "The U", Ericka found her first job at KAAL-TV in Rochester, Minnesota. For the next six years, she climbed the ladder from reporter to main anchor. There she covered major stories like the collapse of the 35W bridge in Minneapolis and the Republican National Convention. She also had a chance to travel to California with a group of local educators to see recruits in all stages of training with United States Marine Corps. Ericka's series of special reports earned her an Emmy nomination as well as top honors from the Minnesota Associated Press.
In 2011, Ericka took over the Weekend Anchor position in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. During her two years at WXII-12, Ericka says her most interesting story was covering the John Edwards campaign finance trial. For weeks on end, she spent eight hours a day in court with news media from across the country.
When Ericka isn't bringing you the news, she loves spending time with family, especially her twin nephews Jake and Ben! She loves to run, cook, read, and watch sports (especially the Miami Hurricanes!) She's excited to get out and explore Austin and all her new home has to offer!
Jordan Steele - Anchor/Reporter
Jordan Steele is proud to call Austin home. He brings an energetic spark to KEYE TV along with several years of forecasting experience.
Jordan comes to us from the Pacific Northwest where he took on the challenge of micro-casting major snow storms, floods, Pacific coastal wind storms and even the Tsunami from 2011. Jordan was actually praised by the mayor of Florence, Ore. for helping divert the public from the coastal communities to shelters before the wave hit Oregon. After just one year in Oregon, he was awarded the Best Weathercast category by the Associated Press. Although he loved what Oregon had to offer, he knew he needed to dive into some severe weather. That's what Texas is all about, right? You can catch Jordan Steele every Saturday and Sunday on our weekend newscasts right here at KEYE TV.
Want to get to know Jordan on a personal level? Heres something neat: In 2006, he was called up on the Price Is Right with Bob Barker. He played a grocery game and won a trip to Portugal. Once you get to know Jordan youll understand why he did it. Hes all about life experiences. If you can think of it, hes probably done it. Jordan is a big enthusiast about getting people outside. That's one of the main reasons he moved here -- the outdoor life. Hes beginning to explore the newest water sport to hit Lake Travis " Flyboarding. He has done everything from backpacking and camping, to snowboarding, surfing, fishing and even the extreme sports; sky-diving, bungee jumping, etc. Jordan loves connecting with our viewers and with the community.
Find him on Twitter, Facebook or just shoot him an e-mail.
Adam Winkler - Anchor/Reporter
Adam Winkler's TV career has gone South, and he's perfectly fine with it.
After spending three years with KWTX, the top-rated station in Waco, Adam headed 100 miles down Interstate 35 to join the KEYE-TV sports team in June of 2010. However, this isn't the first time he has called the Austin area home. Adam received his Communication Studies degree from Southwestern University in Georgetown. While at SU, he played baseball for legendary head coach Jim Mallon. Adam helped the Pirates reach the conference title game four straight years, including 2002, when Southwestern defeated Trinity to win the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship.
After graduating from Southwestern, Adam started his career at KNOE in Monroe, Louisiana. From 2004 to 2007 he covered Louisiana Tech, UL-Monroe, Grambling, LSU and the Saints before making his way back to the Lone Star State.
During his time in Waco, Adam traveled to Madison Square Garden for Baylor's historic trip to the 2009 Men's NIT Final Four. He also covered the 2010 NCAA Women's Final Four, the first regular season game in Cowboys Stadium, multiple Big 12 tournaments, and was courtside in College Station for the five overtime game between Baylor and Texas A&M in 2008.
Since arriving in Austin, Adam has been to Berea, Ohio to cover Colt McCoy's rookie training camp with the Cleveland Browns, Lincoln, Nebraska for the Longhorns' final Big 12 football game against the Huskers, Houston for the 2011 Men's NCAA Final Four, Pasadena, California for UT's first game at the Rose Bowl since playing in the 2009 BCS national championship, New Orleans for events surrounding Super Bowl XLVII and Surprise, Arizona for Texas Rangers spring training. However, his memorable assignments are not limited to sports. Adam reported LIVE from West, Texas on the morning of April 18th following the town's deadly fertilizer plant explosion.
Adam is a two-time Emmy nominee. In 2013, he was one of only three journalists recognized by the Lone Star EMMY chapter in the category of On Camera Talent: Sports Reporter. His feature Sidelines & Bloodlines: The Hoffman Family Football Story was nominated for a 2010 Lone Star EMMY Award.
In 2014, Adam was the recipient of the prestigious Barbara Jordan Media Award. Each year the Texas Governors Committee on People with Disabilities recognizes journalists who produce material that accurately and positively reports on individuals with disabilities, using People First language and respectful depictions. Adam won the award for his story on Francisca Mardones, a world-class wheelchair tennis player, who trains in Austin. Winkler's story was the only TV feature to win the Barbara Jordan Media Award in 2014.
The Texas Associated Press Broadcasters has honored Adam six times. He won award for Best Sports Story in 2013 and 2009, and also received First Place honors in the category of Best Sportscast for his work as co-host of Sports Friday in '09. In 2008, Adam won a 2nd Place award in Best Sportscast and received an Honorable Mention in Best Sports Story. He added another Honorable Mention in the Best Sports Story category in 2012. In all, Winkler has been honored with eight Associated Press Broadcasters awards in Texas and Louisiana.
Adam is the proud father of a Dorkie (a mix of Dachshund and Yorkie) named Oscar. When he's not busy trying to convince Oscar that the squirrel always wins, Adam enjoys Houston Astros baseball, a competitive game of shuffleboard or a mulligan-filled round of golf.
Wendolyne Rivera - Anchor
Wendolyne Rivera is among the first generation of graduates from the Vidal M. Trevio Academy of Communications and Fine Arts, a unique Texas High School in Laredo gearing toward academic achievement and the arts.
Wendolyne then completed her studies in Communication at Texas A&M International University and Laredo Community College.
After 14 years of experience in the Spanish language media, Wendolyne has excelled as a news anchor, producer and investigative reporter. She has worked in the television news media in Laredo, Corpus Christi and now Austin.
In 2007, Wendolyne was awarded a Lone Star Emmy Award for six months of investigative journalism regarding the treatment of both undocumented immigrants and legal residents aliens at detention centers in Laredo, Texas. Her reporting exposed the need to make policy changes at the federal level in order to assure basic human rights for those detained at immigrants detention facilities.
Wendolyne had covered mayor events such as the historic Mexican elections of 2000, U.S. elections of 2008 and Hurricane Claudette in 2003. Since 1999 she has reported on the issues that affect the US-Mexico Border, such as the advantages and drawbacks in Texas of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), border security, the militarization of the Texas-Mexico Border and how authorities along the border of Texas had responded towards the violence in Mexico. She had investigated and uncovered government corruption that had resulted in some public official not getting re-elected at the local government level. Also, she had great success reporting on topics like education and human interest stories.
Wendolyne believes that being a journalist is a great responsibility, one which she takes with humility and with the strong commitment to be the voice of the people. Therefore she welcomes the opportunity to work in the Hispanic community in Austin.
Wendolyne was born in Mexico and her family emigrated to Texas when she was 14 years old.
Connect with Wendolyne:
Daniel Morales - Anchor
Before graduating with a double degree in journalism and radio and television production from the University of Houston in mid-1999, Daniel Morales was already working as a reporter for The Galveston County Daily News, Texas oldest newspaper. Shortly after, Daniel completed an internship at Telemundo Houston, where he sought to learn all aspects of television production, such as photography, editing and broadcast news writing and reporting, eventually taking on a range of positions such as news writer and assignments editor.
In 2000, he was promoted to the position of forecaster and in June 2001, he was the only Spanish-language broadcaster to remain on-air during Allison, the worst tropical storm in the history of the U. S. He then decided to expand his knowledge in the field of meteorology through Mississippi State Universitys Broadcast Meteorology Program and upon graduation, he became the first meteorologist ever in Spanish-language television in the Houston TV market.
Subsequently, he worked as a reporter, video journalist and anchor, garnering many awards, including half-a-dozen Emmys and a national Promax for a public affairs campaign.
During more than a decade as a broadcaster, Daniel has covered stories big and small; from the plight of undocumented immigrants to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, from the historic 2008 presidential election to the 2012 London Olympics, from the Great Recession and the foreclosure crisis to the realized hopes of the Dreamers. He has also traveled all over the state, producing dozens of stories on tourist spots. This is how he fell in love with the Hill Country, an area he got to know very well from the seat of his motorcycle. His love of wine and BBQ also helped.
In addition, Daniel is an avid backpacker and an accomplished still photographer, whose work has been showcased at the State Fair of Texas.
He is a native of Chile, from where he moved to the U. S. in 1993.
Lydia Pantazes - Reporter
Named one of the 20 most Inspirational Latinos on the central coast of California by Latino Today Magazine, Lydia Pantazes is excited to call Austin her new home.
"I'm so grateful to be in Austin and everyone here has made me feel at home."
She joined the KEYE-TV and Telemundo Austin Team in June 2011 reporting in both English and Spanish.
Lydia grew up in National City, California and graduated from UC Santa Barbara with bachelor's degrees in both English and Spanish Literature.
Lydia began her career in Santa Barbara as a Spanish radio news reporter and appeared on "Inside Santa Barbara" and its Spanish counterpart "Nuestra Cuidad". After more than a year, she moved back to San Diego where she worked as a writer for KUSI-TV. In 2001, she started working as a news reporter for KCOY-TV and KKFX FOX 11 covering the Central Coast of California.
Lydia is very involved in organizations that help people with developmental disabilities. It's a cause that's close to her heart because her sister has Down Syndrome. She has been a volunteer with Special Olympics since she was a child and served on the board for VTC enterprises, an organization in California that provides various services to people with disabilities. Among her proudest accomplishments are helping the organization raise 3.9 million dollars to build a new facility.
In 2001, Lydia was the first local television reporter to earn the Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau and California State Farm Bureau "Media Person of the Year" award. In 2003, Lydia won a Radio and TV News Association for her spot news coverage of a shark attack in Avila Beach, and in 2009 won an RTNA award for her best News Special for a half hour cooking segment she produced and hosted featuring various restaurants. She also won an Associated Press Radio & Television News Association award for her feature reporting in 2002 and is also an Emmy award nominee.
Adam Bennett - Reporter
Adam joined the KEYE TV news team in March 2012 as a morning reporter.
As an University of Texas alum, returning to Austin is a dream come true. Adam graduated in May 2009 with a degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Spanish.
He then spent more than two and a half years at KAMR/KCIT, the NBC/Fox affiliate in Amarillo. He was originally hired as a reporter but was quickly promoted to weekend anchor/producer after eight months, while continuing to report three days a week. He covered a wide variety of stories, including several of the Panhandle's 2011 wildfires, the historic drought that same year and the aftermath of both.
Adam was born and raised in Dallas and always had media in his blood, as his dad has worked in radio for more than 40 years and his mom worked in TV for a decade. Needless to say, he spent countless hours in studios and stations while growing up.
Adam loves live music, being outside, working out, reading, films, documentaries, and UT sports, making Austin a perfect fit! He's also trying to become fluent in Spanish. He's thrilled about the opportunity to meet viewers, tell the community's stories and get involved.
Please don't hesitate to contact him if you ever have a story idea, and if you see him out and about, come say hi!
Cassie Gallo - Reporter
Proud to be a sixth generation Austinite, Cassie is thrilled to be back in her hometown.
Cassies passion is sports, and for the last two years she has been a sports anchor and reporter. Now you will see her everywhere around town on double-duty covering both sports and news. On top of dual role, Cassie is a multi-media journalist. She shoots video, edits and writes all her stories.
Cassie has come full circle back to KEYE TV where her career started as sports intern in 2010. She landed her first broadcasting job in Abilene as a sports reporter, and her next move was as a weekend sports anchor covering her alma mater.
Even though she grew up Burnt Orange, after high school Cassie packed her bags and headed west to attend Texas Tech University. While in Lubbock, Cassie was a cheerleader for the Red Raiders.
When shes not watching or playing sports, she spends most of her time outdoors. Cassie loves to fish with her older brother, snowboard, scuba dive and hang out at the lake.
If you have a story idea call, tweet or e-mail Cassie. Shell be happy to hear about it.
Adam Racusin - Reporter
A Los Angeles transplant, Adam is proud to call Austin his home.
Prior to moving to Austin, Adam broke stories on crime, government waste and politics in Omaha, Neb. He was a reporter and fill-in anchor there for two years.
The California native has also worked in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Billings, Mont.
His reports have taken him across the country and allowed him to tour Neverland Ranch, show the devastation after the Joplin tornado, cover the Olympic Swim Trials, College World Series, NCAA Tournament, and chase Tornadoes and Blizzards.
Before finding his passion in news, Adam worked as a programming assistant at the world famous "KROQ" radio station in Los Angeles and as a phone screener on the nationally syndicated radio show, "Loveline." There Adam was able to cover red carpet events at the MTV Movie Awards and the Grammys.
Adam graduated from Cal State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.
In his spare time you can find Adam roaming around Texas with his camera, attending a concert or hanging out with his cats, Seven and Dexter.
Have a story idea, feel free to shoot it his way. Adam's always looking for the next tip!
Alex Boyer - Reporter
Alex Boyer joined KEYE TV in December 2012 as an investigative reporter and fill-in anchor. Alex is a seasoned journalist, having worked in the communication's industry for more than a decade.
Alex comes to the Lone Star state from Fort Myers, FL, where he worked as the senior reporter and weekend anchor for WBBH/WZVN. Alex initially moved to Southwest Florida to be closer to his parents who had recently retired there from Miami.
Alex began his broadcasting career in Springfield, MA, where he worked as a Hispanic affairs reporter for WGGB News 40.
It wasn't long before Alex was lured away to a much larger news market -- hired as a reporter for the NBC-owned and operated station (WVIT) in Hartford, CT. During his two years in Connecticut, Alex covered the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and the fatal club fire in Rhode Island. Not to mention numerous snow storms!
In 2004 Alex returned home to Miami where he worked as a reporter and weekend morning anchor for the ABC affiliate -- WPLG Local10. During his first year back in Miami, Alex lived through " and covered " Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma.
Alex was named one of Miami best-dressed reporters by The Miami Herald and also became the Miami-based entertainment correspondent for the LATV network.
Alex earned dual bachelor's degree in Telecommunication News and Sociology from the University of Florida. He also has a degree in Media Law from Yale University.
When not working a story, Alex enjoys yoga, pilates, movies and spending time with friends and his dog named Xander.
If you have a story idea you'd like Alex to look into, feel free to contact him on Facebook, Twitter, via email or call 512-490-2174.
Melanie Lofton - Reporter
Melanie Lofton, or "Mel" as she prefers, fulfilled a career goal when she landed at KEYE TV in April 2013. She says she fell in love with Austin after years of learning about the city through a home and garden channel. Now she's very proud to call Austin home.
She joined our team after working more than a decade in West Virginia, Georgia and Virginia. She's done just about everything from reporting and producing to anchoring and managing the newsroom. She even anchored a sports broadcast! Throughout her career she covered major events like the Virginia Tech shooting and a mid-aid collision between a plane and medical helicopter. She even went to Israel to get a firsthand look at the ongoing conflict.
Mel's diverse background however isn't only limited to stories she's covered. She is originally from the Los Angeles area, but claims her first words were "Go Cowboys." She graduated from West Virginia University in 2003 with a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and a minor in Spanish.
Mel believes in accountability and delivering the stories that matter to you. She welcomes you to send her any tips or story ideas. She also likes to cook so you can send her recipes too.
Ashley Roberts - Reporter
Ashley has lived in the Lone Star State for nearly 15 years and loves Texas.
Her desire to become a journalist goes back to her childhood when she would carry around her Yak Bak and TalkBoy recorders (remember those?!) interviewing everyone who crossed her path. She joins the KEYE morning news team as a reporter and multimedia journalist for the station's progressive mobile traffic department. She is passionate about tackling Austin's terrible traffic and wants to make Austin's morning commute smoother for everyone!
Ashley kicked off her career in the Dallas-Fort Worth area after graduating from the University of North Texas in 2008. She comes to KEYE from CW33 (KDAF) where Ashley both reported for the newscasts and hosted/produced the station's community and lifestyle show, DFW Close Up. She's covered everything from zebra mussels invading local lakes to Will Smith visiting Dallas for the premiere of "Seven Pounds". Prior to that, Ashley hustled to gain the necessary skills to jump into a #5 news market: balancing out three gigs where she was an anchor and reporter for Denton Television, News Without the Blues, and Irving Community Television Network.
You can catch her cruising around in our Timesaver Traffic Tracker every weekday from 5 to 7 a.m. looking for any trouble spots before you head out the door for your morning commute. Ashley is married with two little boys, and is very excited to explore everything Austin has to offer.
Make sure to say "HOWDY" if you see her out and about! Contact her if you have any traffic story ideas, or problem areas you would like her and our Timesaver Traffic Tracker to check out.
Kiana Rios - Reporter
Kiana Rios joined Telemundo Austin in October 2013.
Kiana studied communication and languages at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. It was there where she began her experience in television for two years. Kiana took the roles of technical director, producer, reporter and meteorologist.
Kiana began his professional career at Telemundo 20 in Midland. As part of its work, Kiana hosted events and worked as announcer on the radio. As a journalist Kiana believes this is a role that should be taken with a lot of responsibility and respect. Her commitment and satisfaction is to serve its Hispanic community.
Kiana was born in the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico.
Connect with Kiana:
Kristine Frazao - Reporter
Kristine Frazao is an Emmy award winning journalist, with more than a decade of on-air experience. As the National Correspondent for Sinclair Broadcast Group, Kristine
reports on the top political stories of the day along with investigative reports on government waste, fraud and abuse.
Prior to joining the Sinclair news team, Kristine was the White House Correspondent for RT America. She covered the 2010 and 2012 elections both on the road and in Washington, and anchored nightly newscasts on RT for three years as well. Also during her time at RT, she reported extensively on the impact of hydraulic fracturing or fracking in Pennsylvania, as well as the tragic rate of teen suicide on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Kristine was born and raised in San Diego, CA, where she also worked for four years as a general assignment reporter, working for the Fox affiliate (XETV) as well as the NBC affiliate (KNSD) where she received an Emmy for coverage of the Wildfires of 2007.
She got her on-air start working in beautiful Savannah, GA at WJCL/WTGS, where she worked as the political reporter, covering City Council and County Commission. She also traveled to Gulfport, Mississippi to cover the damage and devastation from Hurricane Katrina.
Kristine loves living in the Washington, DC. area and covering politics. She spends her free time traveling, reading and going on adventures with her black lab , Chomsky.
Connect with Kristine:
Sheila Gray - Special Correspondent
Special Correspondent Sheila Gray reports on issues affecting women and families in Sinclair Broadcast Groups Family 411 reports.
Sheila is a native of Columbus, Ohio and studied at the prestigious Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
She began her career in Charleston, West Virginia, eventually being named the 6 & 11 p.m. anchor at WSAZ-TV. She was recognized by the West Virginia Associated Press for her reporting.
Sheilas next stop was Cincinnati, Ohio, where she co-hosted the Fox 19 Morning News.
She is happy that her alarm is no longer sounding at 2:30 a.m. and is looking forward to this new chapter in her career, and a new broadcasting family with Sinclair.
Sheila and her husband Ric are the parents of four children, Kasey, Kari, Katie, and Kari.
Connect with Sheila:
Kai Jackson - Special Correspondent
Kai Jackson is a veteran journalist with more than 27 years of experience covering local, national and international news as well as stories for affiliate and network television news. He's currently a national correspondent for Sinclair Broadcast Group. Previously he was an anchor and reporter for 20 years at WJZ-TV in Baltimore. He's covered some of the biggest stories of our day including the September 11th attack on America.
Jackson is the co-founder of a film company called DocYourmentary dedicated to telling unusual and untold stories of people and history.
He's a member of several professional organizations including;
The Society of Professional Journalists
The National Association of Black Journalists
The International Documentary Association
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
Kai received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from South Carolina State College. He received a Masters Degree in Film from American University. Kai is an avid gardener and reader and practices Shotokan Karate. He and his wife live in Maryland with their two daughters.