Gerardo “Jerry” Vazquez, vice president of news for Telemundo Houston (KTMD), has died after a battle with cancer. He was 54.
Telemundo Houston anchor Crystal Ayala (pictured with Vazquez) posted the news about Vazquez’s death on her Facebook page saying it was a “A difficult and sad day. Jerry, my boss, left this world last night after battling cancer.”
“He was the one who saw in me, as in so many of my colleagues, a special light, so I don’t hesitate to further push my career at Telemundo Houston,” she wrote. “I’m lucky to have earned his trust and had the blessing to work by his side, to learn from him… and growing up with him for almost eight years.”
Vazquez joined KTMD in 2014 after working at ABC owned station KTRK from 2001 to 2014 as an executive producer.
“Jerry was terrific Journalist, terrific manager and a great friend,” former KTRK vice president of news Dave Strickland told Houston media blogger Mike McGuff. “My heart goes out to his family. I can’t believe he’s gone. He will be missed.”
McGuff also said that Vazquez once told him that Hispanic TV had always been “under served and not taken seriously” by civic leaders.
“This has changed since when I first worked for Telemundo in the early 90’s. We had to wait for soundbites in Spanish until after the English station got everything they needed,” he said. “Today the press conferences are held in English and Spanish Giving us us the same opportunity to run them live.”
“Beyond being an amazing mentor, he was a great overall guy with a funny sense of humor that could always make the toughest newsroom situation a little better,” McGuff wrote. “Jerry was always a big supporter of my Alzheimer’s disease advocacy work. He certainly will be missed.”