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Dale Hansen’s Final Broadcast Set For Thursday Night

“The Dallas sports observer has been twice honored as Sportscaster of the Year by the Associated Press.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: WFAA

Texas sports coverage takes a hit today as Dale Hansen signs off for the final time at WFAA-TV in Dallas. Hansen is saying goodbye on the air during the 10 p.m. newscast.

Hansen started his Dallas-stint at KDFW before moving over to WFAA in 1983. He burst onto the national scene in 1988 through his reporting on the SMU recruiting scandal that landed the program with the death penalty. Hansen won a Peabody Award for his journalism surrounding the subject.

“For more than 38 years Dale Hansen has informed and entertained our audience like no other, and we are forever grateful for his dedication to our team and to the North Texas community,” WFAA President and General Manager Brad Ramsey said when Hansen announced his retirement in May. “From major breaking sports news to powerful investigations to standing up for human rights, Dale forged an unprecedented path and became so much more than a sports anchor. There will simply never be another Dale Hansen.” 

The TV man has also dabbled with the radio mic during his time in Texas. Dale Hansen most recently hosted The Hour of Hansen during weeknights from 6 to 7 p.m. on KESN 103.3 FM. Before his time at KESN, Hansen hosted a weekly hour-long show every Monday on The Ticket in Dallas. He also hosted a football show every Friday during the NFL season.

The Dallas sports observer has been twice honored as Sportscaster of the Year by the Associated Press. He was also named a recipient of the 2019 Radio Television Digital News Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Hansen earned a new audience in the social media era. His commentaries on everything from sports to social justice were widely circulated on Facebook and Twitter with many calling him a champion for learning and evolving and using his platform for good.

Plenty across the media industry took time out to celebrate Dale Hansen and his career accomplishments.

Sports TV News

Al Michaels: Condensed Prep Time For Thursday Night Football ‘A Downside’

“It’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us.”

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There were bound to be unexpected hiccups and unintended consequences as Al Michaels moved to Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime Video.

He told The Boston Globe Thursday that one of the downsides of the week’s schedule is less prep time with the teams playing in the game.

“When we go to see the teams, it’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us,” Michaels said. “And all the time I’ve been doing this, I’ve built some great relationships with coaches and players and GMs and owners and you name it, and I don’t get that much time to spend with them anymore. That’s a downside part of it for me. Some of the best stories you get come from those relationships.”

Michaels has raised eyebrows this season while not being shy about his disdain for some poor matchups early in the schedule. However, he now understands that there are quality games as the season approaches its close.

“The schedule was a little leaky with the Carolina-Atlanta game and a couple of other games that we’ve had, but now we’re positioned for a nice run down the stretch,” said Michaels.

The 78-year-old was also asked how he remains energetic and passionate for the job he’s held for so long.

The games are exciting. I love sports. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s no script. And unscripted television is the greatest.”

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Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

Jordan Bondurant

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YES Network

The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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