Updated On: Feb 04 2014 07:48:50 PM CST
KVIA-TV general manager Kevin Lovell didn't follow an established track to achieve his position. Born and raised in the small Texas Panhandle town of Dalhart, Lovell left the flat Panhandle plains for the piney woods of East Texas to attend Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX.
He played on his college golf team, and upon graduation set out on a hoped for sports broadcasting career. Lovell landed his first job with KVII-TV in Amarillo, not as a sportscaster, but as an overnight photographer and morning news anchor.
Within the next three years, Lovell was the 6 & 10 pm news co-anchor, but could not pass up the opportunity to do weekend sports at sister station, KVIA-TV in El Paso. Starting in 1980, he devoted seven years to covering the high school and college sports scene in El Paso and Las Cruces.
With a family to support, and a need to move forward, Lovell returned to his "news" roots by moving to the weekend assignment desk at KVIA while reporting news on weekdays. He left KVIA for a year to try his hand as an account executive at an El Paso advertising agency.
Television was still in his blood, however, and Lovell returned to the KVIA newsroom while completing a Master's Degree in Communication at UTEP in 1990.The following year, Lovell left El Paso for a news reporter position at KENS-TV in San Antonio. He returned to the border in 1993 to assume an assistant news director position at KTSM-TV in El Paso.
In 1995, Lovell came back "home" to KVIA as the station's news director. In 1999, NPG president David Bradley surprised Lovell by making him the station's general manager. He became the first general manager of a major El Paso TV station whose background was primarily news oriented.
Lovell considers his greatest strength finding, attracting and keeping talented and hard-working managers and employees. He's always willing to get his hands dirty, and is notorious for being a penny-pincher, except "when it comes to fighting for salary and benefits for good people."
Lovell's wife Marika is a native of Czechoslovakia. A chance meeting while he backpacked across Europe in 1977 has led to two high achieving daughters. Brigitte is a dental school graduate and director of Keeler Center for Headache & Orofacial Pain. Sabine is a general surgery resident at Emory University in Atlanta.
Lovell has twice competed at the national 3.5 USTA league tennis championship. Lovell trained and ran his first marathon on his 50th birthday. He intended it to be his last but decided to run another to attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Mission accomplished: Lovell ran his third marathon in six months by completing the 2005 Boston marathon in a time of just over three and a half hours. His marathon days now apparently behind him, Lovell still runs shorter road races, competes in triathlons and enjoys wilderness hiking and camping.
He's climbed to the top of Mt. Whitney and several other Western state high points and hiked the Grand Canyon from rim-to-rim.
Lovell has served as the Mountain Time Zone representative on the ABC Affiliate Board of Governors. He was also the board's liaison from the Board to the ABC News division. He served five years on the Texas Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors.