Brad Watson ends stellar career with WFAA-TV

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on April 12, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 12 at 10:46 PM

DALLAS -- Friday was a difficult day At WFAA-TV, the day we said farewell to not only one of the best TV journalists in North Texas - but we believe, in the nation.

Brad Watson, anchor, reporter, political observer, is leaving us after 34 years to begin a career in corporate communications at Luminant, based in Dallas.

Friday at 11 a.m., Brad Watson entered a Channel 8 News set for the last time. It was for the last taping of Sunday's "Inside Texas Politics." The last day of a 34-year career at a station, which back in 1979, had a rising reputation.

"I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when Marty Haag hired me in late 1978," Watson said. “It was Dallas-Fort Worth, it was WFAA. But there were very high standards."

And since that time, Watson has been a huge reason standards have stayed that way -- a career defined by professionalism and integrity.

Among the stories that stand out in Watson’s career at WFAA-TV: Delta 191 in 1985.

"This was a signal event that when there was a crisis in our community, we will stand and we will perform,” Watson said. “And we did.”

And he continued to perform as well on stories he will never forget. He went through some of his more memorable pieces.

“October of 1987, Jessica, little toddler, went down the well in Midland,” Watson said. “1988, Delta 1141 went down at D/FW International Airport on August 31st of 1988. The raid on and burning of the Branch Davidian Compound in 1993. And April, 1995, the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.”

But Watson may be best remembered for his tense interview of President Barack Obama in 2011.

"There was a flash of Presidential temperament at the end because, I think, he was maybe expecting something less than that,” Watson said.

But viewers came to expect the best of Brad -- mainly because he rarely gave less.

And even as he says goodbye to TV news, he's reluctant to let go of his credo.

"Never forgetting that we serve our viewers and the public and we do this for a reason,” Watson said. “They depend on us."

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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