San Antonio’s top TV news stories so far from 2023

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From left to right: KENS anchor Sarah Forgany, former KABB anchor Ernie Zuniga, and former KABB morning host Esteban Soliz. 

From left to right: KENS anchor Sarah Forgany, former KABB anchor Ernie Zuniga, and former KABB morning host Esteban Soliz. 

Courtesy photos KABB, KENS

Here’s a look at some of top TV news stories so far in 2023. 

Mario Orellana 

Mario Orellana 

Courtesy of Mario Orellana

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KSAT’s Mario Orellana

The San Antonio native and John Marshall High School graduate joined the station in 1996 as an unpaid intern, working his way through the ranks as news editor, news producer, senior producer, executive producer, and assistant news director.

“I’m very blessed to say I grew up at KSAT,” Orellana said of the promotion in January. “There’s a legacy here; there’s a lot of work to do. It’s immediate. It’s overwhelming at times. And I know that this newsroom is up for it which in turn makes me up for it.”

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KSAT 12's sports director Greg Simmons to be inducted into SAISD Athletic Hall of Fame

KSAT 12’s sports director Greg Simmons to be inducted into SAISD Athletic Hall of Fame

Courtesy, KSAT 12

KSAT’s Greg Simmons 

Longtime sports director Greg Simmons was arrested on January 27 on charges of driving while intoxicated. He submitted his resignation a few days later on January 30, ending a more than 40-year tenure at the ABC affiliate. 

Police reported that Simmons was pulled over by a Bexar County Sheriff’s deputy as he was on his way home from The Green Lantern Bar on Stone Oak Parkway. He was reportedly seen driving his vehicle at 20 miles per hour down Evans Road, and failed the field sobriety tests administered by the deputy. Simmons reportedly refused a breathalyzer, failed to recite the alphabet correctly, and handed the officer his credit card instead of his driver license. 

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“For the past 42 years, I have had the honor of working with the best in the business while sharing my passion for sports and our community with all of you,” Simmons said in the statement. “I have resigned from my role as sports director at KSAT 12. I am grateful for the opportunity this brings to focus on my health and wellness, and what the future will bring.”

Esteban Solis, co-host on KABB-TV's 'Daytime at Nine,' as viewers see him on the morning lifestyle hour.
Esteban Solis, co-host on KABB-TV’s ‘Daytime at Nine,’ as viewers see him on the morning lifestyle hour.

Courtesy

KABB’s  Esteban Solis

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Police say Solis, who began working at the station in 2013, rear-ended a vehicle around midnight near Loop 1604 and Culebra Road. 

KENS5 anchor Sarah Forgany is expecting her first child, a baby girl in May 2021.

KENS5 anchor Sarah Forgany is expecting her first child, a baby girl in May 2021.

Courtesy

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KENS’ Sarah Forgany 

Longtime KENS 5 anchor Sarah Forgany worried viewers for much of the year amid a months-long absence and series of hospitalizations that began in March. Forgany shared on March 11 that she had been hospitalized in Venice, Italy, during a vacation and had to be flown home to be admitted to a local hospital. She was released later that month.

“I had sudden heart failure, no warning signs, my lungs filled up with fluid which let me to be ventilated for several days. Honestly that first night I said my goodbyes. I felt my time was up,” Forgany said during the July 26 broadcast. “But God was not done with me yet. I’m so grateful for the medical teams’ quick response and incredible work to get me back on track. I’m grateful for my husband and mom for being by my side. Two sisters for taking care of my baby girl. And my management team here at KENS 5 and my colleagues for being so supportive, picking up all the extra work. I really, really, really appreciate it you guys. I’m grateful to be sitting next to you all and being able to actually give you this update myself.”

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KSAT 12 announces former weekend and noon sports anchor Larry Ramirez will be the station's new sports director.

KSAT 12 announces former weekend and noon sports anchor Larry Ramirez will be the station’s new sports director.

Courtesy KSAT 12

KSAT’s Larry Ramirez 

Longtime weekend and noon sports anchor Larry Ramirez was promoted to be KSAT’s sports director on April 11. He first joined the San Antonio ABC affiliate in 2004, bringing with him experience as both an assistant sports director and sports director at two different stations in Michigan. 

Ramirez was officially appointed to the position more than two months after Simmons’ January 31 resignation. 

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FOX affiliate KABB-TV began a new morning show on January 2, 2005 called Fox News First hosted by Ernie Zuniga and Kimberly Crawford. Zuniga, Crawford rehearse on Friday Dec. 30, 2005. Helen L. Montoya/Staff

FOX affiliate KABB-TV began a new morning show on January 2, 2005 called Fox News First hosted by Ernie Zuniga and Kimberly Crawford. Zuniga, Crawford rehearse on Friday Dec. 30, 2005. Helen L. Montoya/Staff

HELEN L. MONTOYA/SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

KABB’s Ernie Zuniga 

After 22 years (6,350 days to be exact) with KABB on the morning desk, Ernie Zuniga said farewell to San Antonio viewers on May 23. Zuniga said he was considering “the next chapter,” but ultimately made the “painfully difficult” decision to sign off from the Fox affiliate. He did not disclose his plans for the future. 

“I’ve been doing this since I was 16 years old. It’s who I am,” Zuniga said during his last time on air. “So whatever my next chapter will be and where I end up — I will find a camera.” 

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Johnathan Solarte

Johnathan Solarte

Telemundo

Univision’s Johnathan Solarte

Solarte reportedly told police that “he was trying to defend himself and that he was struggling with Ricardo [Cardona] at the time he was shot.” The former sports anchor told police that Cardona had barged into his home and began to threaten him.” 

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