Eric Aasen | KERA News

Eric Aasen

Managing Editor

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard.

Eric joined KERA in 2013 after 11 years as a reporter at The Dallas Morning News. His subjects ranged from the fiery demise of Big Tex (the iconic State Fair of Texas cowboy), to a friendly goose who helped children cross a busy street to school. He’s won numerous awards, including honors from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors for his feature writing and breaking news reporting.

A Minnesota native, Eric has wanted to be a journalist since he was in the third grade. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from DePauw University in Indiana, where he earned a political science degree and served as editor-in-chief of The DePauw student newspaper.

Eric and his wife, who’s also a journalist, have a daughter and son.

Ways to Connect

Fort Worth Zoo

Meet the newest resident of the Fort Worth Zoo – Sasha, a female jaguar cub.

She was born July 16, although zoo officials just announced her arrival last week. She weighed in at 2 pounds and began bonding with her mommy – Xochi.

Xochi is rather protective. After giving birth, she cared for Sasha in a private area that mimics natural jaguar behavior in the wild, zoo officials said.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Starting today, KERA 90.1 FM launches a twice-a-day local news segment called “KERA Newsroom.” The 10-minute segments air weekdays at 8:20 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. You can listen live online – or you can click below for this morning’s edition. Today's edition includes a report on how two doctors in one office have differing opinions on keeping online medical records.

Arkansas Times

An Arkansas newspaper reporter is in stable condition at an El Paso hospital after rescuers airlifted her from Texas' Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Cathy Frye, a reporter with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, had been lost for five nights.

Joel Ward/JRandalWard42 / Twitter

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A professional hockey player gets stuck in a Dallas bathroom, artists gather for “A Gathering” tonight at the Winspear, more on JFK’s trip to Dallas – the 1960 visit, and more.


Are you ready for more local news?

Starting today, KERA 90.1 FM launches a twice-a-day local news segment called “KERA Newsroom.” The 10-minute segments air weekdays at 8:20 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. The station’s news website,, also has gotten a makeover.

Expect news from across North Texas, with a focus on key topics: education, including the Class of 17 series; Breakthroughs, featuring health, science and technology advances; arts from the Art&Seek staff; and politics.

Dallas VideoFest/'Expanded Cinema'

Tonight at 8, the Omni Dallas Hotel in downtown becomes perhaps the world’s largest movie screen.

For the second year, 12 video artists and animators take over the facade to put on a show. A soundtrack will be simulcast on KXT 91.7 FMThe best viewing spot is from Hickory House Barbecue on 600 S. Industrial Blvd. It’s part of “Expanded Cinema,” which helps kick off the 26th Dallas VideoFest.

KERA’s Anne Bothwell spoke with curator Mona Kasra about how she put it all together.

National Weather Service

Is sweater weather around the corner?

Expect a cooldown overnight across North Texas. On Saturday, temperatures could be up to 20 degrees cooler. Temperatures could fall into the 50s in parts of Dallas-Fort Worth during the early morning hours. (Best bet for that is in Denton County and to the counties west and north of Denton, the National Weather Service reports.)


Five stories that have North Texas talking: An underground bunker underneath a Dallas home, Wendy Davis tells us what we already know, Friday night lights dance across the downtown Omni Hotel, and more.

Jerod Foster / Texas Tribune

Here’s the 411 on the likely general-election matchup for governor in 2014. In one corner: Wendy Davis, the Democratic state senator who announced her bid Thursday in the Fort Worth suburb of Haltom City. In the other: Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general who’s the front-runner for the Republican nomination, if he can get past former state GOP chairman Tom Pauken.

Dane Walters / KERA News

Update, 5:26 p.m.: In front of hundreds of boisterous supporters, Wendy Davis, the state senator and Fort Worth Democrat, announced that she’s running for Texas governor.

"All of you deserve to have your voices heard because our future is brightest when it’s lit by everyone’s star," Davis said. "And that’s why today I am proud to announce my candidacy to be the 48th governor of this great state."

Davis spoke for about 15 minutes at the Wiley G. Thomas Coliseum in Haltom City, where she received her high school diploma more than 30 years ago.

BJ Austin / KERA News

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is in federal court in Dallas, telling jurors about calls and emails he sent to the CEO of an Internet firm shortly before he sold all his shares in the company. Cuban’s lawyers say there was no privileged information in the conversation.

Update, 3:15 p.m. Thursday: KERA's BJ Austin has this report on today's testimony:

The Securities and Exchange Commission says Cuban used confidential information from a phone call with the CEO of about plans to sell more public shares of the company.

Prosecutors say that Cuban immediately sold his 600,000 shares to avoid losing $750,000. The additional stock sale would have diluted Cuban’s existing stock value and reduced his 6 percent ownership in the company. 

LinkedIn profile

A University of Texas at Dallas graduate is accused of operating a vast black market bazaar that brokered more than $1 billion in transactions for illegal drugs and services, according to court papers released Wednesday.

A criminal complaint in New York accused Ross William Ulbricht of being the mastermind and charged him with narcotics trafficking, computer hacking and money laundering. A separate indictment in Maryland accused him in a failed murder-for-hire scheme.

Ulbricht, 29, apparently split his time between Austin and San Francisco.


Five stories that have North Texas talking: Austin’s creative class gives the city a big boost, today’s a big day for Wendy Davis, Lyle Lovett to be honored next month in Fort Worth, and more.


Some residents of Paris, Texas, have been fighting to secede. They say the Lamar County city owes them water and sewer lines that were promised when their part of town was annexed 14 years ago. But resolution may be at hand in the town about two hours northeast of Dallas, NPR reported earlier this week.

Jerome Weeks / KERA News

Two years ago, hundreds of performers came together to produce the biggest one-night-only collaboration among North Texas artists. They created an AIDS benefit at the Winspear Opera House called "A Gathering." Now they’re working on a second one that takes place on Monday. 

Texas Tribune

A new statewide poll released Wednesday shows Republican Greg Abbott with an eight-point lead over Democrat Wendy Davis in the Texas governor’s race.

The poll, conducted by the Texas Lyceum, shows Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, leading with 29 percent. Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat, has 21 percent.

But most registered voters don’t know who will get their vote – 50 percent are undecided.

Dallas Independent School District

Every Dallas ISD student will be able to eat breakfast and lunch for free, the district announced Tuesday.

Nearly 90 percent of students in Dallas public schools qualified for free and reduced-priced meals last year, and district officials say about that many could be eligible this year. Processing that many meal applications costs money, so the district is changing the program by offering free breakfast and lunch to all of its students.


Five stories that have North Texas talking: Sasquatch is real? Yes, Sasquatch is real, free meals for all DISD kids, quit your job via a viral video, and more.

American Airlines

The state of Texas has dropped its opposition to the American Airlines-U.S. Airways merger.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says he’s reached an agreement that will keep American’s headquarters in North Texas and maintain DFW as a “large hub airport.” American will also maintain daily service to more than 20 airports across Texas, many serving rural parts of the state.


Five stories that have North Texas talking: Big shooting ranges to open in North Richland Hills and Frisco, let the government shutdown begin, America's best bathroom is in Texas, and more:


We couldn’t let the month of September pass without making note of this…

This month marks the 39th anniversary that British comedy made its U.S. debut – and it happened right here at KERA.

American Airlines

American Airlines says it will hire 1,500 pilots over the next five years. That's in addition to recalling all of the airline's pilots who have been furloughed, The Associated Press is reporting.

Irving ISD

Irving ISD students got a surprise in their lunches on Friday – mango.

The Irving ISD Food and Nutritional Services department launched a new campaign that encourages students to try a new fruit or vegetable for free.

informedmindstravel / Flickr

The Prada Marfa building brouhaha continues to simmer.

The artists who created the shack-sized structure have fired back, saying it’s art, not advertising.

williacw / Flickr

If the federal government shuts down, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will shut down, too.

The library, located on the Southern Methodist University campus, has posted a short note on its website. The library says that in the event of a shutdown, it won’t be able to sell tickets, update its website, produce blog items or post Facebook notes.

All National Archives and Records Administration facilities will be closed and all National Archives activities will be canceled.

Dallas ISD trustees will probably hand down a combination of punishments to Superintendent Mike Miles, who was found in an investigation to have violated district policy and his contract, The Dallas Morning News is reporting. Trustees meet this evening. The News reports that a majority of trustees are leaning toward three disciplinary actions -- reprimand, putting him on a performance improvement plan or a forfeiture of a clause in his contract that allows for a one-year extension if he receives a "proficient" performance evaluation.

Wendy Davis campaign / KERA News

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Looks like Wendy Davis will run, creationists are helping choose Texas biology textbooks, look at Dallas from high above, and more:

Texas Monthly visited Buc-ee's in New Braunfels, known for its superior bathrooms. “People will hold it so they can go here,” said 21-year-old Texas State University student Scott Sommerlatte, one of the five maintenance “associates” in red shirts and khaki pants who man the restroom 24/7.

Eric Aasen / KERA News

While most of the attention today is on the new Big Tex, his home at Big Tex Circle has received significant upgrades. The State Fair of Texas spent about $600,000 on foundation improvements to support the new guy, as well as on beautification at Big Tex Circle.

BJ Austin / KERA News

Eric Aasen, KERA’s new digital news editor, spent five years covering the State Fair for The Dallas Morning News – and, for the past year, he had exclusive access to Big Tex’s reconstruction. His series of stories about the process started in the Morning News today and will run through the weekend.

Our definitive Big Texpert has rounded up a few key facts about the towering cowboy: