Rice, UH Officials Made Embargo Agreement With Chronicle On KTRU Story So They Could Have "A Quiet Weekend"

UH, Rice tried to keep the lid on
UH, Rice tried to keep the lid on

As we noted back in August, the Houston Chronicle's initial reporting on Rice's controversial sale of KTRU to UH was glowingly positive, at least in part because of a deal where the paper agreed to hold the information until the schools wanted it released.

Texas Watchdog has released a second batch of KTRU-related e-mails they've gotten via open records requests, and a few of them offer some background on the embargo deal.

Our favorite quote: "[F]or Rice and UH, preserving our relationship with [Chron reporter Jeannie Kever] is in both of our best interests," UH exec Karen Clarke wrote to a Rice official. "On Friday, we talked about our hopes of having a quiet weekend, and if we were successful in getting Jeannie to agree to embargo the story until the morning of the Board meeting, that would be ideal."

The e-mails showed some scrambling when our Chris Gray began pestering them for details on the sale. "The Houston Press called a second time today when they found the board agenda online and asked me to comment," Rice spokesman BJ Almond informed colleagues. "I don't plan to call Chris back until tomorrow."

Thanks, BJ.

Linda Thrane of UH Rice noted Gray's calls and wrote "Things remain fairly quiet, with the exception" of Gray's calls.

She suggests keeping the lid on internally as much as possible until the board meeting to approve the deal. "That way we don't risk the KTRU folks going into full roar, and triggering a press frenzy, ahead of your regents' action."


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