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Book Signing Puts Focus on Legendary Austin Broadcast Journalist

After a 60-year career in television news, communications consulting, and public affairs, Neal Spelce has a treasure trove of stories he’s put into an entertaining memoir, With the Bark Off, A Journalist’s Memories of LBJ and a Life in the News Media. Spelce discussed the book and signed copies at an event sponsored by the AHCA and the Austin Club on Tuesday, Sept. 13.

Spelce is well-known to longtime Austinites who remember his many years of news reporting for KTBC radio and TV, but his reach extended far beyond Austin. During his career, he interviewed or interacted with U.S. presidents Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush, and to a lesser extent, with Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. He also served as a senior advisor to U.S. Sen. John McCain, traveling with the senator’s 2008 presidential campaign. He also was a communications consultant to two Texas governors, Ann Richards and John Connally, and to New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. Spelce’s memoir, With the Bark Off, includes many untold stories of these leaders, with heavy emphasis on his long, sometimes humorous, association with LBJ.


The Sept. 13 book signing event was something of a family affair as Spelce was interviewed by his daughter, Cile Spelce Elley, making the event a professional reunion of sorts. Together, the two hold the distinction of being the only father-daughter television news anchor team.


Learn more about Neal Spelce and his memoir, With the Bark Off, by visiting his website.


AHCA President Kent Collins introduces Neal Spelce at the Sept. 13 book signing at the Austin Club.
AHCA President Kent Collins introduces Neal Spelce at the Sept. 13 book signing at the Austin Club.

AHCA Acting Past President Charles Peveto and Neai Spelce at the Sept. 13 Austin Club book signing.
AHCA Acting Past President Charles Peveto and Neai Spelce at the Sept. 13 Austin Club book signing.