Now we know why Mark Hayes so willingly stepped away from his gig at “Good Day Atlanta” on Fox 5 earlier this month: he has a new gig in Dallas as a morning anchor for the NBC affiliate, KXAS-TV. He will start in May, anchoring from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m.
“When a viewer turns on the news in the morning, Mark is the kind of person they want to see,” said Susan Tully, NBC 5 Vice President of News, in a press release. “He has a warm delivery and makes the early wake-up just a little more enjoyable. Mark had a deeply loyal following in Atlanta because of his personable approach to giving viewers their first news of the day.”
Tully declined to be interviewed.
Hayes, who was at “Good Day Atlanta” for ten years, hasn’t returned a phone call or text yet. He did emote in the press release using all sorts of big adjectives:
Their extraordinary vision and passion for journalistic excellence was what attracted me to this opportunity and I can’t wait to be part of such an outstanding news organization, rich with history and tradition, and dedicated to covering North Texas news. It is an honor and privilege to join NBC 5.”
According to Ed Bark, who has covered Dallas TV for more than a quarter century, Fox4 in Dallas is No. 1 and the NBC affiliate is a solid No. 2. I sent him an email and this is his response:
It’s a very competitive and close early morning race, with NBC5 trying to hold off the ABC affiliate, WFAA-TV, while also trying to catch front-running Fox4.
NBC5 still has an early morning overhaul in progress, and will still be adding a new featured meteorologist. So I don’t think it’s a bad movie for Hayes. And I’m sure he’ll be getting a fairly substantial promotional campaign in times when NBC5 seems to be serious about upgrading its product.
Brett Martin, the former Road Warrior at Fox 5, called this “a good move. He ran his course at Fox 5. But he’s a huge Giants fan. He’s going to have to adjust to life in the big D [with the Cowboys.]”
In case you missed Hayes’ goodbye on April 6 from “Good Day Atlanta,” here it is:
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk