Tag Archives: KRLD

Happy Birthday Barbara Jean Austin!


I can’t resist. Today is the birthday of one of my favorite people. Some of you in the DFW Metroplex media market know her as Barbara Austin. Some of you in the New Orleans media market know her as BJ Austin. Some of you just know her as the eternally optimistic child-like small person with the red hair and maniacal laugh who asks very tough interview questions of her prey. Whoever that happens to be at the time.

BJ, who is currently working at KERA, after a long association with KRLD in Dallas, and I have known each other for 30 years. Ugh. That’s almost embarrassing to admit.

She is not only one of the most delightful people on the planet, she is one hell of a good reporter.

And she is a fantastic waitress on roller skates. Which is no doubt a side result of having been a professional dancer for many years in New York.

Another lifetime. New Orleans. My second entrepreneurial adventure. Restaurant in the Quarter. BJ was working at WGSO, the all-news station in New Orleans, reporting on the antics of the Mayor Morial administration while serving up food and drink at night to hungry tourists. And yes, one night she wore roller skates.

Then there was the night she and another employee of mine, Larry Hart, put on a performance of “The Gin Game” for our regular customers.

You get the picture. She’s one of my most creative and intelligent friends. And she is one of the best reporters anywhere. Not only that, but somehow in the midst of all this — she and husband Jack raised a most creative and intelligent son, who I was honored to hear play at the Meyerson a few years back with his award-winning high school band.

Happy Birthday Ms. Austin. The world would be a much better place if more adults were like you.