B+C Station Awards: Houston GM Tony Canales Shares Managerial Magic With Second Station

Tony Canales of KTMD Houston and KASA Albquerque
Tony Canales, GM of the Year in Markets 1-25 (Image credit: NBCUniversal Local)

For Tony Canales, it’s been a hectic year and a rewarding one as well. Canales is president and general manager of KTMD Houston, known as Telemundo Houston. In October 2021, B+C's General Manager of the Year in markets 1-25 was asked to also oversee KASA Albuquerque, which NBCUniversal Local had just acquired. He quickly set out rebranding KASA, now known as Telemundo Nuevo Mexico, and launching local news

Forming a partnership with KOB Albuquerque, Telemundo Nuevo Mexico debuted local news two weeks after the acquisition closed, with 5 and 10 p.m. newscasts running on same-day delay. Three months later, they were live. 

“He got newscasts up and running there in no time,” said Valari Staab, chairman, NBCUniversal Local.

On September 26, Telemundo Houston debuted Noticias Telemundo Texas, at 5-7 a.m. and serving five Telemundo stations; and Noticiero Telemundo Houston a las 10:30 p.m. That same day, Telemundo Nuevo Mexico added an hour of weekday news at 4 p.m., a partnership with Telemundo El Paso. Canales calls it a regional newscast.

 KTMD nearly doubled its weekly news output that day. KASA now has around 20 newsroom staffers. 

“I’m invigorated by an opportunity to start something from scratch,” Canales said. 

Canales is enjoying how the two stations, a well-entrenched one and a startup, deploy different sides of his brain and different sets of muscles. “Never is one day the same,” Canales said. 

KTMD news director Gerardo Vazquez lost his battle with cancer October 29 at age 54, and staffers were devastated. Staab mentioned the effort Canales put in to keep morale up and keep employees focused.  

Staab called Canales a logical choice to oversee Albuquerque. “Tony is a really good person,” she said. “That’s always a good first step in a good general manager.”

KTMD won Lone Star Emmys for Overall Excellence and for News Excellence in November, beating out every other Texas station. Canales is quick to share praise with his station colleagues. “I’m most proud of the way the team has rallied around the different opportunities,” he said. ▪️

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.