Dale Hansen, the opinionated sports anchor for WFAA/Channel 8, will be with the station through at least 2018 — but you’ll be seeing less of him.
Hansen, who currently does the 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, will switch to doing just the 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, although he will continue to appear on specials included the Sunday night “Sports Special.”
“For the longest time, I’ve been the hardest-working man in show business,” Hansen quipped during Monday’s 10 p.m. newscast. “And now I’m not going to be next year. ... I was going to retire, but I then realized I didn’t want to spend more time with my family.”
“I have spent half of my life at WFAA,” Hansen, 69, said in a WFAA release announcing that the station has extended his contract through 2018. “My biggest challenge may be whether I can live to see the end of this new contract.” Hansen has been with the station since 1983, and had a DFW gig at KDFW/Channel 4 before that, according to his station bio. (Update: The Star-Telegram’s Bud Kennedy dug up this clip of longtime KDFW anchor Clarice Tinsley talking about Hansen — in 1982.)
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“I have waited more than 40 years to have Johnny Carson’s schedule,” Hansen said.
Hansen has drawn a lot of attention for his “Unplugged” segments, during which he has opined on a number of hot topics, including racism (in sports and in his own past), how he was molested as a child and athletes taking a knee during the national anthem. (The latter appeared in the Star-Telegram, which has a content-sharing agreement with WFAA.)
Hansen’s commentaries have led to an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and to a recent New York Times profile.
Those “Unplugged” segments, which have really taken off with the rise of social media, will continue.
“The intersection between sports and society has never been more relevant, and for the past few years that has occupied a significant portion of my nightly reports,” Hansen says in the release. “I look forward to more.”
Hansen has twice been named Associated Press Sportscaster of the Year, and three times as Texas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
He has also won a George Foster Peabody Award and a duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for the station’s coverage of the pay-for-play scandal at Southern Methodist University during the 1980s.