Rick Holter | KERA News

Rick Holter

Vice President of News

Rick Holter is KERA's vice president of news. He oversees news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News has won 39 awards so far this year, including the station's first-ever national Edward R. Murrow Award for a video in its series One Crisis Away: Rebuilding A Life. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.

Rick returned to Dallas in 2012 after six years at NPR, where he edited the shows Weekend All Things Considered and Day to Day, and supervised the Digital News operation. Before that, Rick spent 15 years at The Dallas Morning News, after editing stints at what was then the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) in Florida and the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.

In addition to the Peabody, he’s collected honors including USC-Getty Arts Journalism Fellowships in 2005 and 2011, a National Headliners Award (2010), a NLGJA Award (2009) and numerous newspaper design awards. He also edited and designed a Pulitzer Prize-winning feature series (1992). A graduate of the University of Maryland, he grew up on a dairy farm in Middletown, Md.

Ways to Connect

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

This weekend in Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will induct a North Texas legend. Stevie Ray Vaughan and his band Double Trouble – Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon, and Reese Wynans – are headed for the Rock Hall 25 years after Vaughan died in a helicopter crash.


As downtown Dallas sparks back to life, the city faces a crucial question: Tear down old buildings or save and rehab them? A task force on preservation was created after several historic buildings were demolished last fall without much warning. Katherine Seale chairs the city’s Landmark Commission and is also the head of that task force

For this week’s Friday Conversation, she talked about the task force’s new recommendations for the city. 

Coltera / Flickr

Note: This interview contains some graphic descriptions that may be uncomfortable. 

In 1908, a ceremonial arch lit up downtown Dallas at the corner of Main and Akard streets. It was built by the Elks Club, with a gaudy sign that proclaimed “Welcome Visitors.” It became an iconic symbol of an ambitious city. 

By 1910, it became a different kind of symbol when a mob hung the body of a black man named Allen Brooks from the arch.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

The Dallas Cowboys' signing of Greg Hardy, suspended last year after a domestic violence conviction, fed a national conversation about domestic abuse. And one of the strongest voices came from a TV newsroom just down the street from KERA -- sportscaster Dale Hansen.

Lara Solt / KERA Special Contributor

For the last month, the KERA series One Crisis Away: Inside a Neighborhood has illuminated the lives of folks on the financial edge in Jubilee Park.

As KERA’s Courtney Collins reported, Jubilee has seen change for the good, but there are still plenty of problems in the East Dallas neighborhood: it’s tough to find fresh food, bank accounts and decent-paying jobs.

City of Wichita Falls

Parts of North Texas received a half-foot of rain over the last three weeks – so it might seem a little odd to talk about drought. Still, the historic dry spell persists. 

Esteban Monclova / The Texas Tribune

The slide in oil prices has been good news for drivers, but it’s sent the Texas oil business into a ditch. James Osborne has been digging into the implications of the bust. He’s the energy writer for the Dallas Morning News, and he joins KERA’s vice president of news Rick Holter for this week’s Friday Conversation. 

Eric Aasen / KERA News

A North Texas doctor helped spark an international discussion this week -- about peanut allergies. 

Leanne Winkler / KEDT

A letter from the Texas Medical Association came across the desks of KERA this week with a pretty startling headline: “The Next Disneyland Could Be Plano.” It’s a reference to the measles outbreak that’s spread to 18 states and the nation’s capital.

Rick Holter / KERA News

The Dallas Citizens Council is a group of the most powerful business leaders in town that in many ways shaped the modern city. It also became a lightning rod of criticism for people who felt powerless – for decades, this was an all-white, all-male club that epitomized the establishment.

Department of Homeland Security / Twitter/@DHSgov

Ana Zamora, a 21-year-old Dallas college student and part-time hotel receptionist, got an unexpected seat on a national stage this week. First Lady Michelle Obama invited her to her husband’s State of the Union speech in Washington, D.C. Zamora is a “dreamer." She was brought to this country from Mexico as a toddler and she’s set to graduate from Northwood University’s Cedar Hill campus this spring.

Dallas County Community College District

President Obama unveiled a plan last week to make two years of community college free. The student has to be in school and keep a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher. That’s big news for students, of course, and it could have a huge impact on the colleges themselves.

Susan Hawk campaign / Facebook

In 13 days, Dallas County gets a new district attorney. Susan Hawk will be the first woman in the job, and she won it last month from the first African-American D.A., Craig Watkins. She’s also the only Dallas Republican to win countywide this election year. She sat down to talk about some of her plans as the next district attorney.

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

This week, the city of Plano did a little myth-busting. After a contentious debate, the Plano City Council approved a measure to extend discrimination protections to people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The city’s mayor, Harry LaRosiliere, has spent his year and a half in office busting other myths, too. He talked with KERA this week.


The month after an election is generally thought to be a political ‘quiet time.’ This year, the past few weeks in North Texas has been pretty noisy. First, Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price announced her re-election bid on KERA, and this week, the mayor of Dallas said he’ll run again. Gromer Jeffers with The Dallas Morning News sat down to talk about local politics in this week’s Friday Conversation.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

If anyone still thinks the sports world is just about the scoreboard, they haven't been watching too closely.

Correspondent Tom Goldman chronicles the sports world for NPR.

TWU Housing / Twitter

Texas Woman’s University just inaugurated its first new chancellor and president in 14 years -- Carine Feyten. For this week’s Friday Conversation, she talks with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, about her career journey and her plans at TWU.

Fort Worth Library / Flickr

The 2014 elections are over. But in an interview with KERA, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price dropped a little news of her own about next year's election: She plans on running for another term.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Cole Edmonson has spent the last month facing the biggest challenge of his career. He’s chief nursing officer at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, which means he oversees 1,300 nurses. One of them, Nina Pham, was declared Ebola-free and released today from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. The other, Amber Vinson, has tested negative for the virus but is still being treated in Atlanta.

Edmonson sat down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, for this week’s Friday Conversation.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

Bullet trains fire up regularly between cities in Europe. In Japan, the state-of-the-art Shinkansen trains can reach 200 miles per hour. Robert Eckels, president of Texas Central Railway, is determined to bring that same bullet train to Texas. His goal: a 90-minute commute from Dallas to Houston. 

Adelina Sun / KERA News

The private space business is booming, and Texas is a primary launch pad. For this week’s Friday Conversation, KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, sits down with Ed Lu – a longtime astronaut who now has his own space company.

National Geographic Society

Gary Knell’s career as a CEO started on Sesame Street, wound through NPR, and now has landed at the National Geographic Society. He’s in town today to speak at a North Texas Commission luncheon in Irving.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that a million veterans and their dependents have enrolled in college in the last four years. That means a very different college experience for students, professors and administrators.

Rob Rennaker has seen all of those perspectives – he’s a Marine who went back to school after serving in Kuwait, Yugoslavia and Liberia, and he now heads the bioengineering department at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Adelina Sun / KERA News

D Magazine is marking its 40th anniversary with a diverse list of personalities that suggest a new currency of power in the city. A special issue and exhibit at Klyde Warren Park feature portraits of these individuals -- GLBT activists, immigrants, and, yes, moguls among them -- by photographer Elizabeth Lavin. For this week's Friday Conversation, D editor Tim Rogers met KERA's Rick Holter at the park. 

Dallas Police Department

It’s been almost two weeks since a police officer shot an unarmed man in Ferguson, Mo., and only in the last few days has the suburban St. Louis town started to calm down. In today's Friday Conversation, Dallas Police Chief David Brown talks about how he's managed to avoid that kind of unrest and whether law enforcement has become too militarized.

Tanya Habjouqa

Tanya Habjouqa sees things differently than the rest of us. She’s a photographer who was born in Jordan, raised in North Texas and now lives in the Middle East. Her images have appeared everywhere from the New York Times to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and she won a World Press photo award this year.

City of Plano

Tonight's top local stories from the KERA newsroom: The Democrat running for lieutenant governor wants to give all Texas kids two years of free community college; her Republican opponent says, “We feel she has chosen to spend more money to achieve less." Urban life is becoming a fact of life in the suburbs. And the plight of the high school principal.


A.C. Gonzalez is six months into his job as Dallas' city manager, and Tuesday, he’ll present his first official budget to the city council. It includes a $5 million cut in police funding -- meaning 35 fewer officers -- and more money for libraries and animal services. Gonzalez sat down with KERA a day before his big reveal.

Krystina Martinez / KERA News

It’s a rough time to be a commuter in North Texas. The massive Horseshoe project is rerouting downtown Dallas highways, 635’s a mess, 820 and other freeways under construction in the midcities are swamped. So what’s the answer? Urban planner Patrick Kennedy argues we should be tearing down highways – or at least one stretch of I-345 in downtown Dallas.

Texas Monthly

Two decades ago, a North Texas kid named Brian Sweany walked into the offices of Texas Monthly magazine as an intern. In the August issue that’s just hit newsstands, that kid is listed for the first time as editor-in-chief. Sweany chats with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter, for this week’s Friday Conversation.