Punching His Ticket

Two years ago, when Dale Hansen renegotiated his contract at KTCK-AM (1310, The Ticket), he was shocked by the offer. "In all honesty," Hansen says now, "it was way too high." Hansen, the longtime WFAA-Channel 8 sports anchor with the giant ego and the big brain, took a portion of his weekly salary and sprinkled it amongst producers, engineers and every key grip and gaffer down the line. After a successful run during which his hour-long show on Mondays and Fridays showed a ratings spike, Hansen went in to sign a new extension this spring. Uh-oh. This time there was no raise. And, in Hansen's eyes, no respect. His loyalty, it seemed, was being exploited. "They said I could sign the contract, and we'd tear it up and start over when the new owners took over," Hansen says, "but that's not the way to do business."

That episode, combined with his not being a featured star on the station's Dallas Cowboys coverage next fall, pushed Hansen over the edge and out the door. First reported here last week, Hansen has left The Ticket and is headed for rival ESPN, which sits at 103.3 on the FM dial. He'll start with cameos on Randy Galloway's afternoon show and by the fall have his own show; there are even talks of having a studio built in his Waxahachie home to circumvent the long commute to Arlington and allow him to expound on his recent trick of doing the sports from his bed. (Yikes.) I'm predicting the gap between the sports-yap stations just narrowed a bit. And that Hansen won't be so generous with any future salary overspills. --Richie Whitt

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