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

Frank Vassen / Flickr

This weekend’s Dallas Safari Club convention will feature a flock of exhibitors, a herd of stuffed animals -- and an auction that’s kicked up international controversy.

In our Friday Conversation, executive director Ben Carter talks about how the club hopes to raise as much as $1 million to protect the rare black rhino by auctioning off the right to hunt one. But club members have been receiving death threats, and the FBI is investigating.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

How did Obamacare affect North Texans in 2013? It depends on whom you ask.


David Timothy’s known as the SoupMan. Every day the charity he started a decade ago out of an old van serves hundreds of meals to the homeless. He’s normally set up just south of Fair Park. But this Christmas Eve – as he’s done for the last nine years. – he’s putting on a Christmas Gala at the downtown Dallas Omni.

He stopped by our studio for a Friday Conversation.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science opened its doors in downtown Dallas a year ago. Since that day, 1.3 million people have wandered among the dinosaurs, wobbled on the earthquake simulator and put their hands through a tornado. And at the end of this month, the museum’s CEO, Nicole Small is moving on to a new job, as president of the Lyda Hill Foundation. She stopped by our studio for a Friday conversation, which aired Dec. 6.

Focus Features

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Whether to buy Dallas Buyers Club, JFK and the Secret Service, a swarm of earthquakes, vicious Bears and more.

Steve Fisch / Stanford

This week’s Nobel Prizes had a distinct twang. Three North Texas universities had small roles in the project that won the physics medal – and the winner of the Nobel for Medicine spent 25 years at UT Southwestern in Dallas. Dr. Thomas Südhof took a break in his whirlwind week for our Friday Conversation.


We’re deep into Nobel Prize season, and a brain researcher with North Texas roots is celebrating.

Dr. Thomas C. Südhof is one of three scientists who shared the Nobel for Physiology or Medicine on Monday. The Stanford professor did his prize-winning research — on “synaptic transmission,” or how brain cells communicate with chemical signals — during his 25 years at UT Southwestern in Dallas.

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.


The national American Graduate public media initiative gets its own day Saturday — you can watch a live broadcast here or on your TV’s KERA World 13.2 channel from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time. The seven-hour broadcast will feature notables ranging from Colin Powell to Brian Williams to Christine Ha, a star chef from Houston who’s also blind.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

A little more than a year ago, at the Democratic National Convention, a new voice arrived on the national stage. That voice belonged to Julián Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, who got the coveted prime-time convention slot that once served as a launching pad for Barack Obama and before that, Bill Clinton. Castro was re-elected in May, but his national profile has stayed high, thanks to campaign-style trips across the country. And he’s the first guest in the new KERA series “The Friday Conversation.” During a visit to the Federal Reserve in Dallas this week, he sat down with KERA’s vice president of news, Rick Holter.

CBS News via UStream

Update, 12:03 p.m: Sen. Ted Cruz has ended a marathon Senate speech opposing President Barack Obama's health care law after talking for 21 hours, 19 minutes.
The Texas Republican and tea party conservative stopped speaking at 11 a.m. Dallas time Wednesday, sitting down to yield the floor, The Associated Press is reporting. The Texas freshman began talking Tuesday afternoon, seeking to urge defunding of the 3-year-old health system overhaul. Fellow conservatives helped by making occasional remarks.

Thanksgiving never tasted like this. A newly concocted delicacy called Fried Thanksgiving Dinner won "most creative" honors today at the State Fair of Texas' annual fried food-off. And in a shocking upset, Fried Nutella was shut out of the winners' circle.

Signs of a stroke require attention as soon as possible. Doctors are using videoconferencing with laptop cameras and a robotic device to save crucial time. Dr. Dion Graybeal, medical director of Baylor's stroke program, talks with KERA's Sam Baker about the latest developments.

Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff have been named co-anchors and managing editors of public TV's nightly news show. PBS is touting this as the first time two women have anchored a network newscast. The reorganization comes as the network is planning to launch "PBS NewsHour Weekend" in September.

Euless Trinity High mourns the loss of two former players from the tight-knit Tongan community in a New Mexico wreck. More than 1,000 people attended a memorial service for the young men -- one a Texas A&M Aggie, the other at the University of Utah.

NPR / YouTube

Update, 5:30 p.m.: Scott Simon just talked to All Things Considered's Audie Cornish about his mother's last few days of life and why he decided to tweet about them. Warning: When Nat King Cole's Unforgettable starts playing, no eye will be dry.

Our original post: "The heavens over Chicago have opened and Patricia Lyons Simon Newman has stepped onstage."

That's a tweet from Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, at 7:17 p.m. yesterday, characterizing the final moments of his larger-than-life mother. And it was the culmination of the heart-wrenching, heart-filling six-day journey that he shared with his 1.2 million Twitter followers.

The express lanes on Interstate 30 between Arlington and Dallas closed today. It will take two years to rebuild them as "managed toll lanes."

Art&Seek contributor Audra Schroeder chronicles the wacky life of Tachowa Covington -- a sword-wielding, rollerblading "superhero" who spent eight years in an abandoned California water tank, until the superstar artist Banksy turned his home into a work of art. Strap in: It's a wild ride.

Bobby Abtahi

Update, 7:45 a.m. Tuesday: Twelve minor injuries were reported when the front landing gear on the Southwest jet collapsed, the Dallas Morning News reports. The paper said six passengers and six crew members were taken to a hospital near LaGuardia Airport.

Harvest Public Media

In the last 30 years, the average age of the American farmer has gone from 50 to 57 -- and a quarter are older than 65. That's causing dramatic changes in the agriculture business. Grant Gerlock of Harvest Public Media digs into the issue in this documentary, Changing Lands, Changing Hands. He focuses on the upper Midwest, but farmers across in North Texas are feeling the same pressures.

The Texas Giant is closed while staffers at the Arlington amusement park investigate the incident.

Residue has been found at the base outside El Paso after an unidentified retired airman reported that nuclear material was buried there in the 1950s. “This was all news to us,” said Major Joseph Buccino, a spokesman for Fort Bliss. “We did not know what this storage site was used for.”

A stunning new exhibit of war photography that was born at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston spurred this heartfelt essay by Kainaz Amaria on NPR's blog The Picture Show. "For me it's about the impact of war as it relates on a very basic human everyday life," says New York-based photographer Nina Berman, who took the photo below, of a Marine sergeant wounded in Iraq and his bride.

We've heard plenty about thieves plundering abandoned buildings for copper in blighted urban areas. (Remember HBO's "The Wire"?) These days, though, the focus is on rural areas. And Texas is No. 2 in the country in the number of metal theft claims reported to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. Harvest Public Media looks into the farm-country phenomenon.

The Texas Senate spent another late night debating some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the nation. But this time, things turned out as expected.

Senators voted 19-11 to send the bill to Gov. Rick Perry for a signature. The Texas Tribune reports that thousands of protesters outside the Capitol erupted after the decision. But inside the chamber there was none of the raucous yelling and chanting that ran the clock out on the bill two and a half weeks ago.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update, Saturday 11 a.m.: Pro-abortion-rights protesters say they don't believe the DPS statement about feces and urine, and the Texas Tribune couldn't find a single DPS officer who reported confiscating bodily fluids.


A daylong symposium this November will delve into how the assassination of John F. Kennedy changed the course of a city.

The Nov. 2 event, "Understanding Tragedy: The Impact of the JFK Assassination on Dallas," will feature a series of panel discussions headlined by U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, law professor Stephen Carter, journalists Jim Lehrer and Lee Cullum, and others.

The Plano native will join 10,000 in noncompetitive Midwestern ride. “I’m well aware my presence is not an easy topic, and so I encourage people if they want to give a high five, great,” he says. “If you want to shoot me the bird, that’s okay, too.”

The Texas House of Representatives takes up a bill today that would give the state some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country. The gallery is packed, and the House is in session. Watch here (courtesy of our friends at the Texas Tribune.)

Matt Stiles / NPR

NPR and KERA spent Independence Week drilling deep into the Lone Star state, and the demographic revolution that's reshaping it, with the series Texas 2020.

But a story this big can't be contained to just one week, as data editor Matt Stiles proves today with an insightful blog post, Texas' Looming Hispanic Shift Explained, In Two Charts.