KH: How come you don’t pronounce your
last name correctly, ‘Kotch,’ like Mayor
Koch of New York?
TK: He was wrong, and I once told
him so when I interviewed him at the
Democratic convention. My grandmother
was Hungarian and she pronounced it
‘Kalk’ with a rolling K. My dad found it
much easier to pronounce it ‘Cook,’ and
that’s the right way to say it. Google it.
Hoffman, a fixture in West
University, writes for CultureMap.
com, where you can find his
columns between appearances in
KH: How many co-anchors have you
gone through in the morning?
KH: When hosts on Good Morning
America and the Today show leave for
different jobs, they invariably say that
morning show hours burned them out.
How have you managed to stay somewhat
sane with your schedule?
TK: Who says I’m sane? People ask what
I do and I say with some candor, ‘I put on
makeup and read out loud.’ It’s a great
gig, but the hours can burn you out. I’m
a big believer in exercise. I work out and
run three miles almost every day. But
for most of those years, I was running
six miles a day. I love what I do, so that
drives me as well.
KH: You’ve worked with some colorful
characters at Channel 13 over the years.
Who was the absolute kookiest coworker?
TK: Marvin Zindler probably wins for
most eccentric. But he really was a
wonderful guy who cared about helping
people. He just did it with flare, a lot of
flare. Don Nelson wins hands down for
the funniest, most creative person I’ve
ever worked with. His wit was lightning
quick, his mind was always coming up
with something, and you had to practice
mental calisthenics to keep up with him.
Once, when we were interviewing Mike
Ditka about Viagra or drugs for ED, Ditka
said there was a warning on them, that if
something lasted longer than four hours,
you should call your doctor. Don, without
missing a beat said, ‘I’d call everybody.’
We all laughed so hard, we had to throw
it to a break. And it’s the only time in my
career that I almost couldn’t go on with
the newscast because we kept laughing.
KH: How come you never left for a
different job in a different city with better
TK: In 1984, a fledgling outfit called
CNN called me about being the Dallas
bureau chief. But the pay was about the
same as I was making, our assistant news
director didn’t think CNN would last,
and I just loved Houston, so I stayed. I
also had offers later on to be an anchor in
Cleveland, Austin, and one other market,
but nothing seemed right or as good as
KH: When was the last time you didn’t
have a mustache?
TK: I think it was 1980, though over the
years I’ve shaved it off a few times when
I had two weeks off. My kids said, daddy,
grow it back.
KH: Have you ever anchored the news
wearing shorts behind the desk?
TK: Yes, twice, filling in on the weekends
before we had to stand up in front of
various screens and move around the
studio. But for almost 20 years, I never
wore socks during the morning newscast.
I never really liked wearing socks as
a kid and so one day early on, I just
started doing the morning news without
them, seeing how long I could go before
someone said something or noticed.
Then, around 2008, we got a new set
with a down-the-line shot where you
could see our feet, and my ‘sans socks’
days were done.
when my house
flooded, I forgot
to get socks from
our house before
we moved into
noticed I wasn’t
and said so on
Twitter, and many
sent me socks or
dropped them off
at the station. Love
KH: Have you ever
presented a story
knowing it was
incorrect or fake
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