KBTX General Manager, Mike Wright
Few stories we aired or posted - or talked about on this segment got more response than the Samantha Ketchum story, the Aggie who hoped to become the first female yell leader - an admirable aspiration. Ketchum was caught by UPD taking a bait bike, a bicycle outfitted with a tracking device. KBTX was attacked on our own website, on our Facebook page and various other social media outlets.
We never said she was guilty, we only reported the arrest - as we always do. So - during that time, I did made a comment that I did not believe she was guilty. It was my opinion, SURELY this couldn't have happened. UPD made note of my comment. It wasn't intended to say they weren't doing their job. It was a shared disbelief that I really didn't think this could happen.
With apologies to the University Police, friends of KBTX, we did a follow-up story when she went to trial - as we were asked to do by family members and those outraged we would even air the story.
Gotta love anonymous posters, but I had this one coming.
Someone named "wrong" copied what I used on this segment. This is exactly what was said - by me - I own it:
"'While I don't choose day to day news content, I know I'm ultimately responsible for all content. My personal opinion? Not necessarily that of KBTX - I believe these charges will be dropped. I do not have all the facts, at least at the level of u-p-d, but from what we know - I, too, believe she will be found innocent. Not mine to decide. We support law enforcement, but beyond that, we support justice - and we'll stay on top of this story.'
"Mike - you sure were right on this one buddy," "wrong" added.
"I bet when this goes to trial we won't hear about that. You are only trying to ruin a young person's life with this story. Let's see if you have guts to report when she is found innocent."
We did follow-up, and it is deferred adjudication, one year probation. As we have seen with Johnny Manziel and decisions of 20-year olds, sometimes they leave a lot to question. As the Aggie faithful continue to support Johnny as we all experience this adventure together, we can hope Samantha will be shown the same amount of grace.
Every once in a while we get e-mails I call "not my goat," complaints on things on television that have nothing to do with KBTX.
"Way to go, guys. Right at the climax of the show Crossing Lines on Sunday night, you break in to a Previously Recorded Aggie
Show 10 MINUTES EARLY - causing everyone to miss the end of the show! What the heck?!"
Jennifer - while we have issues from time to time, that's not our station! And before you blame the people with offices here, it is likely the people who cut the show off were at the facilities in Waco where their network programming originates.
KBTX had our own issues recently when we lost power at the Carlos tower. Anywhere from 8-15% of our audience receive KBTX and CW-8 off antenna, many who are Direct customers who don't get KBTX in HD - fully a DirecTV decision - which means when we lose power there, we lose the signal to those homes.
R-R wrote in:
"Do you think that if you don't mention dropping off the air in the middle of a show that we won't notice? What happened last night? No mention was made on the news this morning, and I find nothing on your website."
We appreciate that suggestion and often do offer scrolling crawls on-line and post a comment on Facebook. We'll do better at that in the future.
We always value your opinion, we learn from all of it, and thank you for your comments to KBTX News 3.