Saturday, September 24, 2011

The mysterious departure of Rhonda Lee

In what I believe is a first, I have been alerted to a change in Austin's news media by checking out the searches that led people to my blog.  Today people have been visiting my blog looking for information on KXAN weekend morning meteorologist Rhonda Lee (mentioned on my blog when she joined KXAN about a year and three months ago).  Apparently, according to her Facebook page, she has been gone for a few weeks now.

KXAN's webpage was not a great help in this area, except that their news team page has already been scrubbed of any mention of Ms. Lee.  (Her blog on KXAN's site is still intact as of this writing, though.)

The biggest help is that of Ms. Lee's LinkedIn page, which indicates that Ms. Lee is now working for News 12 Networks, a conglomeration of regional news channels in the New York City area (similar to Austin's YNN), which would explain why she is no longer at KXAN.  Strangely, though, that page says that she has been working there since 2009 (and yet correctly shows KXAN as a past employer); this blogger indicates that she left News 12 to come to KXAN last year.  Ms. Lee simply states on the aforementioned Facebook page that she is "taking a little break right now".  Curiouser and curiouser...

In any case, this seems like a rather abrupt departure by Ms. Lee.  I certainly could not find anything on KXAN's page to show any sort of goodbye for her, as rival station KVUE has done for people such as Meghan Danahey and Olga Campos (about whom I did not write because of timeliness concerns at the time).  In any case, best wishes to Ms. Lee, wherever she is.

Update Dec 2012:  I no longer really write about local news personalities (see here for why), but as I still get hits on this post by people looking for Ms. Lee:  she apparently ended up at KTBS-TV in Shreveport, but she was fired by the station this month, apparently for responding to racist comments (directed at her) on the station's Facebook pageThis page has a video interview Ms. Lee did this week about her situation.

And again, best wishes to Ms. Lee, wherever she ends up this time.