KBTX at 60: View from the Top

The family of KBTX has had just a few leaders over these 60 years serving the Brazos Valley.

While their personalities and management styles may differ, their mission and message has remained consistent.

"I started with KBTX in 1991," said Mike Wright, general manager since 2003. And what's changed in those 25-plus years?

"Not a thing," Wright said with a laugh.

"There haven't been that many people that have had the privilege to lead this TV station," said Wright. "And it's a leadership position, not management."

"It was a people's job," said Ulman McMullen, station manager from 1986 until retirement at 1991. "We had so much fun in the early days. It was not very serious."

"I started at KBTX in 1988," said Lori Bruffett, current KBTX station manager. "KBTX was the only station that I had growing up. It's very different because I went from being just one of the people that's on the other side of the closed door to having to manage all the ins and outs."

A big station may have more people, but they don't have better people," said the late Harry Gillam in an interview in 1985. Gillam was the first KBTX general manager, serving in the position until 1986.

"We always say we like to hire who people are and not what they are," Wright said.

"Television stations bring together such a variety of experiences," said McMullen. "You have journalists in the news department. You have engineering, the technical department. You have the production people who operate the cameras and so on. You have sales people... It is a tremendous array of categories."

"I think to have a relationship with the community you serve, you have to listen as hard as you tell," said Wright.

"Dedication to the progress of the area," Gillam in 1985. "We try to serve all the needs that we can."

"It's a culture that we build," said Bruffett.

"KBTX was always—I know it's rather trite to say it—but it was always about family," said McMullen.

McMullen says he does miss his time at KBTX. "I know it's not just me," he said. "Anybody that's in it, it stays in the blood."

"I always tell everyone that I hope the toughest day of your life is the day that you finally decide that you need to leave KBTX," said Wright.

"Don't know that I have one single personal accomplishment," Gillam said in 1985. "The personal accomplishment has to have been, I guess, has been to see it. Where do we go from here? Really who knows. We're going to try to keep doing our best."