As I get ready to celebrate my 25th anniversary at WFSB this summer, I’ve decided to make a big change. Later this spring, I will sign off from the 11 o’clock news, so I can instead be home at night with Kara and the kids for family dinners, helping with homework, coaching, and some of the other special moments I’ve been missing out on. “Dad, do you have to work nights?” is a question I’ve been getting for a long time! I was assigned to anchor the late newscast with Denise D’Ascenzo in 1994, and with the exception of a few years on the morning news, I’ve been a night owl for my entire career here. When the legendary Al Terzi wanted more family time in 1999, I was honored to take over his chair.
With the 11 o’clock newscast number one in the Nielsen ratings, now is the perfect time to end a very good run. From anchoring the news from ground zero in 2001 to the Pope’s funeral at the Vatican in 2004, I’m very proud of what we accomplished on the final newscast of the day, including trying some new things. About ten years ago, we came up with the idea of promoting the 11PM news on Facebook, becoming one of the first stations in the country to do that, and that practice is now an industry norm.
A viewer recently came up to me and said “Dennis, I go to bed with you every night!” To the viewers who stayed up with me and came to depend on me every night for their news, a heartfelt thank you for your support over the years, your e-mails, Facebook comments, tweets, and yes, even letters. You’ll still see me on the 5 o’clock and 6 o’clock news and Face the State for years to come. I’m signing a long term contract with the station thanks to my general manager Klarn DePalma, who started at WFSB back when I did, and my news director Dana Neves, who has been my colleague and friend since the mid-90s. Here they are when Denise and I surprised Dana with a cake in December for her tenth anniversary as news director.
I made the announcement on Facebook. Here’s a link to that: https://www.facebook.com/WFSB3/videos/10155168380554197/