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Dinges: Longtime Austin traffic reporter Joe Taylor switches stations

Gary Dinges
gdinges@statesman.com
Traffic reporter Joe Taylor can now be heard on Spirit 105.9.

Joe Taylor is back doing what he loves, helping Central Texans steer clear of traffic jams.

Taylor, who previously delivered traffic updates on Time Warner Cable News and several local radio stations owned by Entercom, can now be heard on Spirit 105.9.

His reports air on the contemporary Christian-formatted station between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and again between 3:45 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“Spirit 105.9 is a completely different direction for my traffic coverage,” Taylor said. “I’ve produced traffic on music stations before, but never in this specific genre. What I like about it is the focus on local content, local voices. I approached (general manager) Tim McCoy because I think Spirit fits with my emphasis on local traffic reporting, something which goes beyond pulling up an app or looking at Google.”

Taylor says he’s kept busy in recent months working with Number Nine Productions, his company that manages and produces a number of sports radio and television broadcasts.

“I’ve missed helping Austinites navigate the roads,” he said. “I’ve posted on social media from time to time about large accidents or big traffic stories, but there’s nothing like waking up with this city every day. I know what I do helps.”

New role for reporter

KVUE’s Tina Shively has traded early mornings for the late-night shift.

Shively, who joined the city’s ABC affiliate about three years ago and had primarily served as a reporter on “Daybreak” and “Midday,” started a new job this month as the station’s social media specialist.

What exactly does that entail? KVUE executive news director Frank Volpicella explains: “She’ll cover breaking news from our newsroom Watch Desk during the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts and contribute to our social media platforms when she’s not on the air.”

It’s similar to the role 4:30 a.m. anchor Cori Coffin plays on the 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. editions of “Daybreak,” Shively said.

“We’re excited about it,” she said. “It’s something new and different. No one else in the market is doing this on the prime time newscasts. Our station is leading the way.”

During a typical newscast, look for Shively to pop up a couple times, depending on what’s going on. One minute, she might be sharing details on a breaking story. The next, she’ll be telling evening anchors Quita Culpepper, Terri Gruca and Tyler Sieswerda what’s trending on Twitter.

“When you tune in, you’ll get to know what’s going on right now and how it’s going to impact you,” Shively said. “It’s going to be energetic, immediate, unscripted, off the cuff.”

Shively says leaving her morning colleagues – Coffin, meteorologist Albert Ramon and anchors Yvonne Nava and Bryan Mays – was hard, but she’s also looking forward to what’s next.

“I’m going to miss my ‘Daybreak’ crew,” she said. “We’re a really strong family. But I’ve been reporting 10 years now and this is where our industry is headed. I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Read my blog at tvradio.blog.austin360.com or follow @gdinges on Twitter to get the latest updates on local radio and TV stations.