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Machinations On Mungo's Move


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It's been five years since Carolyn Mungo first appeared on TV screens across Houston. With the stature of a pit bull, and an eye twinkling for a fight, she walked into the KHOU newsroom a hardened news veteran. Mungo came to Houston from Boston, and in the Bayou City television she is something of an anomaly. It's not often that people are praised for simply doing their job, but that's precisely what Mungo did. She didn't try to be a Marvin Zindler-esque showboat farce. She isn't one of a dozen bottle blondes who spend more time at the hair dresser than reading the New York Times. She isn't part of the Houston TV boy's club, made up of men who hope the audience doesn't catch on to their receding hairlines or lack of journalistic ability. Mungo came to town and did her job.

So, why should we care?

Mostly, because her impending departure from Channel 11 leaves broadcast journalism in Houston a poorer place. There are desperately few talented radio and TV reporters in Houston (though cubicle neighbor Nancy Holland comes to mind), and when one decides not to be in front of the camera anymore, we're left with a greater percentage of bottle blondes and slicked-back receding hairlines. Without her, Houston is another step closer to epitomizing the unfavorable view most Americans have of broadcast media. And nothing irritates Houstonians more than being a stereotype.

The good news is that she's not going far. Mungo will take over as Managing Editor at KRIV Fox 26. If she's allowed to do her thing, we should see more real news our of the Fox outlet, and I, for one, find that reason enough to switch.

The spirit of Texas has left the building.

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