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Ricardo Baca is the Caller-Times media critic. He can be reached via email at bacar@caller.com.

Wednesday, January 17, 2001

Nicole Perez, late of KZTV, moves to KRIS

Reporter left Channel 10 in dispute over refusal to air tape of jail struggle

Nicole Perez, who resigned from local CBS-affiliate KZTV in November after her managers opted not to air a jail surveillance tape, is now producing the 6 p.m. newscast at NBC affiliate KRIS.
   "I wanted to work with an entire staff that was dedicated to news, and I also wanted good morale," Perez said.
   A six-year employee at KZTV, Perez quit when the station decided not to air a tape showing an inmate struggling with Nueces County jail guards.
   The station initially obtained the tape through a Public Information Act request, but was forced to return it to prosecutor.
   They said the tape was evidence in the coming trial against two former jail guards.
   KZTV went to court over the issue and a judge ordered the tape be returned to the station.
   After the tape was returned, KZTV news director and anchorman Walter Furley decided not to air the tape, saying it could prevent the guards from having an impartial jury.
   Perez resigned the next day.
   In her new position at KRIS, Perez is responsible for looking over scripts and pacing the news to fit its 30-minute slot.
   The ratings race between KRIS, which currently has the No. 1 rated 10 p.m news, and KIII, which reigns in other newscasts, is foreign to Perez.
   Coming from KZTV, Perez was used to being the distant third.
   "I wanted to improve the ratings (at KZTV)," said Perez, "but it wasn't something I could do by myself. This is an environment where the whole staff works together toward a common purpose."
  
  

 



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