H. Martin "Marty" Haag, Jr.
(1934—2004) was the news director at the perennially dominant ABC
, in Dallas
from 1973 to 1989. During those 16 years, WFAA won 5 duPont-Columbia University Awards, more than any other television station during that time, and a Peabody Award in 1988. Haag is considered one of the greatest local news directors.
Haag earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Missouri
in Columbia, Missouri
, after going to Texas Christian University
for one year. His college roommate at TCU was Jim Lehrer
. He earned a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University
He began his journalism career in print as an education reporter and editor for The Dallas Morning News
during the late 1950s. He then moved to radio as news director at WBAP
before finding his true niche in television. Haag served first as national assignment editor and overnight manager at NBC News, then worked at CBS News before joining a then ratings-impaired WFAA in 1973.
Marty Haag and WFAA reached national prominence most notably from their coverage of the Delta Air Lines Flight 191
crash at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport
in 1985. CNN
carried WFAA's live feed for the entire day.
Under the guidance of Haag at WFAA, many reporters went on to the networks. Those include Scott Pelley
, Paula Zahn
, Verne Lundquist
, Bill Macatee, Andrea Joyce, Peter van Sant, Russ Mitchell