Shelley Kofler

Managing Editor/Senior Reporter

Shelley Kofler is managing editor/senior reporter for KERA News. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who has served as KERA news director and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV. Her expertise on legislative policy issues includes school finance, foster care and transportation; and her stories on the overmedication of foster children captured the attention of state officials who strengthened laws for the use of psychotropic drugs.

Shelley also covered government issues for North Texas NBC affiliate KXAS-TV and worked with KERA on numerous public affairs projects including nationally broadcast programs. She has reported on statewide elections and presidential primaries since the late 1980s. She also founded and operated her own communications firm, Kofler Communications, in Dallas and Austin. She served as a communications strategist and media trainer for various companies, agencies and public officials.

Shelley and the KERA news team have received numerous journalism awards for their public radio and television work. In addition to all-staff honors she has been individually singled out with a first place Edward R. Murrow award for a series of reports on the Trinity toll road decision; first place honors for political reporting from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the Houston Press Club’s Lone Star competition; a first place award for covering water issues and the battle over building the Marvin Nichols dam; and a first place Lone Star award for hosting a call-in show about employment entitled, “Getting Back to Work.”

As news director, Shelley organized and participated in KERA’s coverage of the 2010 Texas gubernatorial race. She moderated the statewide-televised primary debate among Republicans: Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and candidate Debra Medina. The debate aired in every TV and radio market in Texas.

Shelley joined the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas board in 2011. She’s a native “Hoosier” from Indiana but has lived in Texas for more than two decades. She’s happiest when she can slip on her hiking boots and explore a new trail.

Ways To Connect


Today KERA, The Dallas Morning News and KXAS-TV (NBC 5) begin a series of coordinated reports we’re calling Five Days in October. Each day we’ll look at where the leading candidates for governor stand on certain issues. We begin with education, and answers to a question about student test scores that was tweeted during KERA’s televised gubernatorial debate last week.

Craig Watkins/Facebook

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins says he’s considering whether to prosecute the Liberian man who brought the Ebola virus to Dallas.

UT Southwestern Medical Center

A leading epidemiologist with UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas told KERA that North Texas should expect more than the one case of Ebola already diagnosed.  


A statewide poll says Republican Greg Abbott went into Tuesday night’s governor’s debate at KERA leading Democrat Wendy Davis by nine points.

That’s less of a lead than internal Abbott campaign polls recently showed, but a difficult gap for Davis to makeup with just five weeks until the November 4 election. 

Laura Buckman / Bob Daemmrich / The Texas Tribune

A new controversy has flared up as the candidates for governor prepare for their last televised debate on Tuesday at KERA. It involves the Texas Enterprise Fund which was designed to award financial incentives to companies that create jobs.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera and Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

The leading candidates for governor presented their visions for improving public education to one of the toughest audiences in the state -- several thousand school administrators meeting in Dallas.

Mark Graham/Cooper Neil / The Texas Tribune

Democrat Wendy Davis appealed to women voters Tuesday by highlighting differences between herself and Republican opponent Greg Abbott on the issue that launched her race for governor- abortion.

Davis, who’s pro-choice, is challenging Abbott’s history of opposing abortion in cases where a woman becomes pregnant because of rape or incest.

Mark Graham/Cooper Neil / The Texas Tribune

The candidates for governor are back on the campaign trail after mixing it up in their first debate Friday night. On Saturday Democrat Wendy Davis sat for an hour-long interview in Austin. Republican Greg Abbott stayed in the Rio Grande Valley, hoping to attract Latino votes.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Tonight, the eyes of the Texas will be on the Rio Grande Valley when gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott meet in Edinburg for their first televised debate. 

Ivan Pierre Aguirre / Texas Tribune

The Democrat challenging Republican John Cornyn for his U.S. Senate seat knows he has an uphill battle against a better funded, established candidate. So why is David Alameel running?