Former anchor shines as TV producer, professor
By DEVIKA KOPPIKAR
Burnout, long hours and irregular shifts caused Sandra Gin to leave her job as a news anchor in 2002. But Gin, a former anchor for KHOU Channel 11, did not abandon her love for broadcast media.
Instead, she transitioned to behind-the-scenes production work and teaching broadcast journalism at Houston Community College (Central and Southwest Stafford Campus) and the University of Houston.
On Friday, June 25, Gin, originally from California, will find out if she has been selected as a Daytime Emmy winner for the canceled legal television program, Cristina's Court. She's already received two Emmys as a producer of the program in 2008 and 2009.
I am never surprised whenever Sandra is nominated or wins an Emmy," said Gin's former co-anchor, Jerome Gray, now an anchor at Houston's KPRC Local 2. Emmy loves Sandra because she pours so much love and creativity into her work. She is constantly creating memorable TV moments."
As a 30-year veteran of television news, Gin received several local Emmys for her work in front of the camera. But these awards mostly recognized her on a regional level, she said, while her current nomination and recent Emmys are national recognition.
When Gin left her on-camera job, her vision was to produce shows on a grander scale," with off-camera work, she said. I had worked on a national news magazine, The Crusaders, before I arrived in Houston and got a taste of producing consumer advocacy stories that had made a difference in people's lives."
Her desires met with opportunities, as she launched two nationally-syndicated shows, Judge Alex, from 2005-07 and Cristina's Court, from 2007-09, which were produced at the local FOX affiliate, KRIV, Channel 26. Here, she stayed behind the camera, but used her passion for telling in-depth stories of the little guy.
(Working behind the scenes) is like being a casting director. While working on Cristina's Court, we gathered great cases that were animated and had in-depth content," Gin said. She and her team often searched for legal cases that other shows overlooked, but were still compelling. The two shows that captured the Emmys involved a neighborhood dispute over a pit bull dog that was killed and a hate crime incident that occurred in Woodforest.
Because she comes from a news background, she recognizes the core of a story and pursues it until all the blanks are filled," said Peter Brennan, executive producer's Cristina's Court. There are many stories that sound great on the surface, but when you scratch that surface, you see a truth that others don't, so you keep scratching until you see it all. That is journalism, and that is Sandra. She is a true storyteller."
Sandra has an incredible ability to make people feel comfortable and open up about what's going on," Gray said.
Therefore, she is able to create very compelling stories that make viewers want to watch. She also is a top-notch producer. Sandra is good at making sure pictures and sound truly create an experience when you watch her reports."
But in February 2009, Cristina's Court was canceled for the 2009-10 season, due to low ratings and reduced advertising revenues. Nevertheless, Gin has been nominated for a third Daytime Emmy as a producer of Cristina's Court for a segment produced in 2009.
Whether she wins the Emmy or not, Gin said, It recognizes this need to help the little guy and, like good journalism, right a few wrongs along the way."
Gin continues to involve herself in the broadcast field in another way: teaching and motivating aspiring journalists.
As an adjunct professor of broadcast writing at HCC, she focuses on changing the habits of a generation who writes in tech" language, rather than proper English, she said.
Many students, who may soon be journalists, write using poor punctuation and grammar," she said. But I am trying to create a mini-revolution, one revolution at a time by providing students with the multi-media skills they will need to make it in journalism."
Gin lives with her husband, Tom Tynan, in the Champion Forest area, near FM 1960.
Her special hobby is designing jewelry line, http:
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