March 31, 2009
KHOU-TV Sports Director Giff Nielsen Retires from Channel 11 After 25 Years
HOUSTON - KHOU-TV Sports Director Giff Nielsen announced today that he is retiring from television after 25 years on the air. Nielsen will deliver his last sportscast on Channel 11 during 11 News at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31.
"Giff's contributions to Houston are larger than life," said Susan McEldoon, KHOU-TV President and General Manager. "KHOU is fortunate to have had a man of Giff's character lead our sports coverage for all these years."
Channel 11 will celebrate 25 years of the "Giffer" with a collection of career highlights that will air during 11 News at 6 and 10 p.m. on March 30 and 31. Channel 11's khou.com will launch a special page, "Farewell to Giff Nielsen" www.khou.com/giff. The page will feature a photo gallery, an interactive timeline, community and career accomplishments and more. There will also be a section for viewers to leave comments and bid farewell to Giff.
Giff Nielsen joined the 11 News team in May 1984, but the road to Houston and the KHOU studio started in Utah.
Nielsen, a Utah native, attended Brigham Young University on a football and basketball scholarship. As quarterback for the BYU Cougars, Giff was named an All-American in 1976 by the Football Writers Association of America and was chosen by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as one of the top five scholar athletes in 1977.
Nielsen graduated from BYU in 1977 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and was drafted by the Houston Oilers the following year. He played quarterback for the team for six years before retiring and making his move to the news desk.
During the past quarter century with KHOU, Giff has covered all of the major sporting events involving Houston teams, including the Rockets two NBA Championships, the Astros World Series appearance in 2005 and seven straight NFL playoff appearances for the then Houston Oilers. Many NFL fans grew up with Giff providing game analysis on the Houston Oilers Radio Network.
Among his many accolades, Giff has been inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame, the Utah Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame. In 2003, he received the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, which recognizes student-athletes on their 25th anniversary as college graduates.
Equally as impressive as his athletic and professional accomplishments is Giff's commitment to the community. Over the years, Giff has helped raise money for countless charities and organizations. Among those endeavors is an annual golf tournament benefiting local children's charities that has raised more than $5 million since its inception in 1986. The 23rd Annual Giff Nielsen The Redstone Companies Day of Golf for Kids will be held this year on April 6 and will benefit the YMCA of Greater Houston, the First Tee program and WON Heart Foundation, an organization created by Giff and his wife Wendy in 2006.
Giff and Wendy reside in Southwest Houston. They have six married children and nine grandchildren.
KHOU-TV/DT is a part of Belo Corp. (BLC), one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, with 2008 annual revenue of $733 million. The Company owns and operates 20 television stations (nine in the top 25 markets) and their associated Web sites. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and MyNetwork TV, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 highly-attractive markets. Nearly all Belo stations rank first or second in their local market. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Paul Fry, vice president/Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, at 214-977-6835.