With the recent influx of the “kiddie corps” to the local TV news reporting, weather and sports scenes, it is indeed refreshing to see an experienced reporter join KVUE’s news team. It’s a homecoming of sorts for Heather Kovar, a native of Caldwell, near Bryan-College Station, and a 1996 broadcast journalism/psychology graduate of Southern Methodist University.
While many of the young hires come from markets much smaller than Austin, Kovar has worked most recently in two of the world’s biggest markets: New York City and London. From 2003-2011, Kovar co-anchored the morning newscast at News 12 Connecticut, one of a chain of Cablevision stations covering New York and its suburbs. She lived in Manhattan and reverse-commuted to the studios in Norwalk, CT.
“Austin is a great place," Kovar says. “All my friends told me Austin is where everyone wants to go. I’ve watched it grow and the people are amazing. The KVUE people have been great.”
In 2011, she won an Emmy when one of her programs took the “best morning newscast” award. She also won an Emmy in 2006-07 for commentary, an Edward R. Murrow award for feature reporting and a Connecticut AP reporting award.
In London, Kovar freelanced as a correspondent for CBS Newspath, filing stories for CBS affiliates around the U.S. Last spring, she left the London job to spend time with her parents in Caldwell, fully expecting to return to New York. Then, the KVUE reporting position came open. She says with Caldwell High School friends living in Austin, she decided to move here.
“Austin is a great place," Kovar says. “All my friends told me Austin is where everyone wants to go. I’ve watched it grow and the people are amazing. The KVUE people have been great.” For KVUE, Kovar will report on the Sunday evening shift, then day side, Monday through Thursday.
Kovar began her broadcast career as an intern at KXAS-TV, Fort Worth. After graduation, she worked in Dallas radio and cable TV operations before moving to upstate New York, where she anchored and reported in Elmira and Utica.
In 2001-2002, Kovar moved to the New York City area where she anchored news/talk programs for RNN-TV, a Kingston, NY independent station. She was there during the 9/11 attacks, when she says she and her colleagues were on the air continuously for two weeks. She then reported business news for Reuters TV before moving to the News 12 morning anchor position.
Kovar brings another talent to Austin, one which we probably won’t see for a while. She took a standup comedy class in 2005, and then performed occasionally in small clubs around New York City when her early morning anchor duties permitted. “Comedy writing actually helps with news writing, especially learning to write short,” Kovar said.
“I have no plans for stand-up in Austin; I need to focus on my new job. Later, maybe.”