Growing up, Brad Watson was a fixture on my parent's TV set. WFAA was their news station and, therefore, my own, and Watson was always a reassuring presence, a firmly authoritative yet avuncular counterpoint to the inane chatter that tends to dominate local news.
But, as he confirmed in the Tweet above, his 34-year run with the station has come to an end. He's off to work for Luminant as director of communications.
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His WFAA bio lists some of the highlights of his career: the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, the 2000 presidential election and Florida recount; the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia, coverage of which he co-anchored live for eight hours; George W. Bush's re-election campaign; Hurricane Katrina. The list goes on. He's also one of a small handful of truly top-notch political reporters in local media, print or broadcast.
It's hard to watch Watson go PR dark side, particularly to work for a company that operates so many coal plants, but after more than three decades, one can't begrudge him the move.
"If you're fair and accurate and respectful you'll do all right," Watson told the Morning News. "I also carry into this the personal longtime knowledge of what news people need. I think it's important to confront issues and deal with all sides of that."
True enough. The man's an institution.