WOAI/KABB Anchor Esteban Solis, co-hosts lifestyle show on the station, he also served time in prison.
His past includes an arrest for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon as well as a conviction for DWI — both in Bexar County. His story will air at 9 a.m. on KABB and 10 a.m. on WOAI.
Why make these revelations on television? He said they’ll serve as a prelude to his new segment “Changing Lives.” The monthly pieces will highlight others who have come back from difficult beginnings.
He said he hopes his own dramatic turnaround will serve as an inspiration to people. “If I’m to tell someone else’s story,” Solis said, “I felt I should say what happened to me — that I know first-hand that you can change your life.”
When Solis, 32, was a young man of 20, he was at a party at a friend’s house and a fight broke out. So, he tried to help.”I saw my friend was in a jam. I did what any friend would do,” he says. “Unfortunately the consequences that came next came with it.” The charge — aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — netted him five years probation.
Weapon? In an interview with the San Antonio Express-News. Solis said the fight involved a group of guys, and “I think a pool cue was involved — whether it was used or not, I don’t know.”
As the story relates, Solis’ legal troubles weren’t over. He was married with a couple of kids — and four years into his probation — when, while out with his wife, he got pulled over by police.
Solis was arrested for driving while intoxicated and taken to Bexar County Jail. His probation was revoked. That, plus the DWI conviction, brought him prison time. He was sentenced to five years.
“I totally messed up. And you know what — I own it, the worst mistake I ever made in my life. “That one put a lot of lives on hold,” adds Solis. “I knew then it was time … to man up.” He ended up serving nearly four years, then was released on parole.
The worst part was not being able to be with his family. “When I saw my daughter again, she didn’t know who I was.”
It also was tough to get hired “with that stripe on my back.” He did odd jobs, yard work, “whatever it took to get by.” Everything had been put in perspective by his prison experience, he said; he was happy to be home with his family.
Later, Solis, a native of San Antonio and an alumnus of Robert E. Lee High School, discovered he excelled in sales.
About a year ago, he met with WOAI general manager John Seabers with a business pitch for “Living,” and was introduced to a whole new career: on-air television.
“He (Seabers) cracked the door for me, gave me that one little chance that no one would give me.”
Seabers said it was a big win for WOAI/KABB as well. “I was looking for a male presence on our lifestyle shows. I knew they needed to evolve a bit, needed a little freshness to them,” Seabers told the Express-News.
“We didn’t hire Esteban because he has a background — more like we hired him despite of it. He presented a set of skills we were looking for and we chose the best person to fit in this new role that we created.”