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Out and about: the year's departures in D-FW television news

Some were downsized out of their jobs and others just got dropped. Many also left under their own power, choosing new career paths during what turned out to be a very bad year for practitioners of television news.

As 2008 mercifully draws to a close, we give you this collection of the year's on-camera departures. Stations are listed in numerical order, beginning with Fox4 and ending with "The 33." Former or soon-to-be-former D-FW television newsies are listed alphabetically in each station's grouping. This may turn out to be the longest list ever. It certainly seems that way.


Paul Adrian (investigative reporter) -- Left in May to spend a year at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government with an eye toward returning to Texas and re-establishing himself as an independent state government reporter based in Austin. Joined the station in 2001.

Rebecca Aguilar (general assignment reporter) -- Officially dropped in March after being on paid suspension since mid-October of the previous year. Taking computer classes in Dallas and occasionally freelancing for D-FW Web sites, including election night videocasts for Latina Lista. Legal action still pending against Fox4, where she worked for 14 years.

Todd Carruth (traffic reporter) -- Left in May after four years to help form a multimedia department for an Irving-based company. Technically was an employee of Metro Traffic.

Jeff Crilley (general assignment reporter) -- Left in March to start his own company, Real News PR. Joined the station in fall 1992.

John Hammarley (medical reporter) -- Terminated in August after suspension for undisclosed reasons. Spent 12 years at the station. Now working with Dallas-based Susan G. Komen For the Cure as senior media advisor/news bureau chief.

Jason Overstreet (general assignment reporter) -- Left in May after six years to take executive position with Arlington, TX-based United States Bowling Congress.

Scott Sayres (general assignment reporter) -- Left in June to take position in Dallas office of Weber Shandwick public relations firm. Joined the station in December 2002.

Maria Sotolongo (weathercaster/entertainment reporter) -- Left in April to spend more time with her baby daughter after joining the station in fall 2003.


James Aydelott (meteorologist) -- Will be leaving station at the end of this year to become the featured forecaster at KOKI-TV (Fox23) in Tulsa. Joined NBC5 in June 2005.

Derek Castillo (sports reporter/anchor) -- Left in August to spend more time with his family after joining the station in July 2001.

Rebecca Miller (early morning meteorologist) -- Contract not renewed in March after 17 years at the station. Currently freelancing as weathercaster at "The 33" while continuing to pursue a possible career with the Homeland Security agency.


Mike Castellucci ("Why Guy" reporter) -- Left in July after joining the station in spring 2003. Now reporting for KUSI-TV in San Diego.

Meghan Danahey (meteorologist) -- Worked weekends on Daybreak since 2007 before leaving in May to become weekday morning weathercaster for KVUE-TV in Austin.

Justin Farmer -- (Daybreak co-anchor) -- Left in August after three years to join WSB-TV in Atlanta as a featured evening anchor. Had been a lame duck anchor in D-FW since telling management in January of his pending deal with WSB.

Bob Greene (general assignment reporter) -- Left in May to pursue a law degree after joining the station in June 2006.

Brad Hawkins (anchor/reporter) -- Will be leaving after a Christmas Eve newscast to take public relations position with Dallas-based Southwest Airlines. Joined the station in January 2000 and has been co-anchoring Daybreak since August.

Erin Hawksworth (sports reporter) -- Left in early 2008 after two years and joined Boston's Fox affiliate, WFXT-TV, in April as a general assignment reporter.

Macie Jepson (anchor/reporter) -- Dropped in August during downsizing by station's owner, Belo Corp. Joined station in 2000 and primarily was known for anchoring 5 p.m. weekday newscasts.

Brenda Teele (co-host, Good Morning Texas) -- Will be leaving the show and the station after the Christmas Eve broadcast to devote more time to the Dallas-based Jackson Law Firm, headed by her husband. Joined WFAA8 in February 2006 after previous stints at CBS11 and NBC5.


Maria Arita (anchor/reporter) -- Dropped in March as part of CBS corporate-mandated downsizing after joining station in December 2003. Now runs a Frisco-based film company.

Kimberly Ball (general assignment reporter) -- Resigned in March after several years at CBS11.

Julie Bologna (early morning meteorologist) -- Left in July after four years to rejoin WPXI-TV in her hometown of Pittsburgh as the featured 5 and 10 p.m. weekday forecaster.

Clif Caldwell (general assignment reporter) -- Contract not renewed in January after joining the station in September 2001 from NBC5.

Chuck Fisher (sports reporter) -- Dropped in March as part of corporate-mandated downsizing after joining TXA21 in September 2006.

Mark Johnson (general assignment reporter) -- Left in September after six years to join Shale.TV, which never materialized. See entry below on Tracy Rowlett.

Kaushal Patel (anchor/reporter) -- Dropped in March as part of corporate-mandated downsizing. Joined TXA21 in summer of 2006 and also worked for CBS11. Now with CNN International.

Stella Payne -- (general assignment reporter) -- Dropped in January after freelancing since 2005.

Brooke Richie (general assignment reporter) -- Left in August after three-and-a-half years to join her husband as he started a new career in Denver.

Robert Riggs (investigative reporter) -- Dropped in March as part of corporate-mandated downsizing after joining the station in October 2002. Previously had a long career at WFAA8.

Tracy Rowlett (anchor/reporter) -- Left in July after almost 10 years at the station to become anchor of Shale.TV, a planned Web site devoted to the development of the North Texas Barnett Shale and "other natural gas plays in the United States." But its bankroller, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, later abandoned Shale.TV, leaving Rowlett without a news anchoring position for the first time since he began a storied career at WFAA8 in the mid-1970s.

Kenneth Taylor (anchor/reporter) -- Contract not renewed in July after two years of anchoring predominantly for TXA21.

"The 33"

Fred Barnhill (meteorologist) -- Left in October after joining the station in 1999.

Terri Chappell (anchor/reporter) -- Dropped in December after 10 years at the station, where she helped launch the 9 p.m. newscast.

Victoria Snee (entertainment/lifestyles reporter) -- Left in July after nine-and-a-half years to devote more time to morning radio show at KDMX (Mix 102.9 FM). Wife of former Fox4 reporter Jeff Crilley.