Lifetime Achievement Award

Dale Hansen, WFAA-TV – TEGNA

Dale Hansen

Dale Hansen is nothing less than a Texas institution. His contributions to sports broadcasting simply cannot be overstated. His excellence in reporting and straight-shooting commentaries have made indelible marks on our industry and our nation’s civic discourse.”  – Dave Lougee, president and CEO, TEGNA

Dale Hansen is a true Texas one-of-a-kind, an award-winning veteran sports anchor at WFAA (the ABC affiliate in North Texas).

For over three decades on the air at the station, Hansen’s impacted DFW’s sports scene, in many ways, as much or more than the celebrated athletes, high profile coaches and colorful team owners he’s covered.

His Sunday night wrap up show, Dale Hansen’s Sports Special, has helped transform local sports coverage in the market. In particular, Hansen shined a bright light on area high schools filling a significant void and providing a distinctive platform for many of the boys and girls he’s covered throughout the years.

His ongoing Scholar Athlete program has introduced “a good kid,” as he says in the segments, each week to a market always hungry for positive young role models.

Hansen has also been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in journalism. For his contribution to the station’s searing investigation of the SMU football “pay for play” scandal in the 1980’s, Hansen was honored with the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for Distinguished Journalism, as well as the duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, broadcast’s equivalent of print journalism’s famed Pulitzer Prize.

As a result of the station’s investigate reporting, the NCAA prohibited SMU from fielding a football program for a season, handing it the so-called “death penalty,” the most severe punishment ever imposed on an Division I program.

Hansen’s career began as a radio disc jockey and operations manager in small town Newton, Iowa. This was followed by a job as a sports reporter at KMTV in Omaha, where he hosted the University of Nebraska football’s Tom Osborne Show for two years.

His first position in Dallas was with KDFW, then the market’s CBS station, before joining WFAA in 1983, where he has worked ever since.

Over the years Hansen’s been active on local radio stations, supplied 11 years of broadcast booth color for the Dallas Cowboys during their 1990’s Super Bowl years.

He has also delivered a steady stream of social media messages that are the envy of his peers. Hansen’s razor sharp “Unplugged” segments are must-see TV for North Texas viewers, as well as followers on the web.

For example, in 2014 his commentary about University of Missouri defensive standout Michael Sam’s decision to publicly announce that he was gay struck a chord and was the toast of the Internet as Hansen was lauded for his candor, compassion and honesty.

He takes great pride that he was honored at the annual LGBT “Black Tie” event in Dallas in 2014 for the editorial, which also landed him a guest slot on Ellen DeGeneres’ popular syndicated talk show.

Hansen’s long list of professional honors includes twice named AP Sportscaster of the Year; three times as Texas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association; Best Sportscaster by UPI and the Dallas Press Club; and Television Personality of the Year by American Women in Radio and Television.

He has received 21 local Emmy Awards, and was inducted into the Lone Star Emmy Chapter’s prestigious Silver Circle in 2009.

Early in his career, Hansen has also worked radio jobs at KNIA (Knoxville, Iowa), KCLD (St. Cloud, Minnesota) and KOIL (Omaha).

He says he takes great pride in overcoming the fact that he never attended college.

Hansen is a military veteran. He joined the United States Navy in 1966 at age 17, receiving an honorable discharge in 1969.

“Dale Hansen’s voice has always transcended sports, but in recent years his voice has transcended north Texas. He repeatedly finds the words to make our audience – and on many occasions our nation – think, feel, and engage on some of the most important issues of our time.  All of us at WFAA are incredibly proud of him for receiving this very special, and well-deserved, award.” – Brad Ramsey, WFAA President and General Manager



RTDNF Lifetime Achievement Award

Updated on 2019-01-24T15:47:26+00:00, by firstawards.