Dan first came to Alaska “sight unseen,” hired by KTUU as a Reporter in 2003. Dan laughingly says former News Director/Anchor John Tracy took a chance on him in much the same fashion, “sight unseen.”
Prior to his move to Alaska, Dan was a Reporter in the Lower-48 – working in Florida, Pennsylvania and Minnesota and even a stint in his home state of New York. He thought Alaska would be a great, new adventure.
After a “long and magnificent” drive up the Al-Can, Dan arrived at KTUU’s door wearing a really stupid-looking Moose hat -- and a silly grin. “I thought I was an Alaskan,” Dan admits, and “I think I almost gave John (Tracy) a heart attack! Well, at the very least, I made him wonder for just a moment about whether he’d been crazy for ever hiring me.”
Dan says he’s since covered some of the best assignments in his life: a flight over an erupting volcano, living for 3 days in a village above the Arctic Circle with the Gwich'in people, a winter flight to the North Slope in to see the one of the most “amazing oil fields” in North American history -- Prudhoe Bay – “in all of its harsh beauty,” as Dan describes it.
After three years of living a long distance from his family, Dan felt compelled to move back to the Lower 48 to take a job as a freelance writer at the NBC-owned and operated station in Philadelphia. When stories of Alaska were national news, Dan was the Philadelphia-based reporter assigned. After all, he was the local “Alaskan," he rationalized.
In 2011, Dan decided being a “local Alaskan” in a place like Philadelphia did not compare to being “an Alaskan in a place like Anchorage.” So, he picked up the phone and called then-News Director Steve Mac Donald. The rest, as they say, is history…
Dan is back in Alaska and happy to be reporting for KTUU once again. And for those of you who are wondering, this time he showed up without the Al-Can moose hat, thankfully!
Dan says one of the greatest things about KTUU is its “old-fashioned values.” Dan loves to point out the picture of “the late, great Edward R. Murrow,” proudly hanging in Steve Mac Donald’s office. Murrow, of course, was the legendary newsman who profoundly shaped broadcast journalism.
Murrow was dedication to gutsy journalism, but always with a sense of humanity at the core. Like many of us at Channel 2 News, Dan is a big fan of Murrow’s journalistic and ethical standards and believes, “Murrow was not afraid to present a hypothesis to viewers, and then back-up that hypothesis with the unrelenting facts to prove it.”
“I have worked in perhaps a dozen newsrooms in my career,” says Dan, ”Not one of them had a picture of Murrow hanging in it, and I think that picture in our newsroom speaks volumes of what Channel 2 News strives to be: an old-fashioned news organization that seeks to serve its viewers.“
“Heaven knows we fall short in that quest often enough -- at least I do,” Dan admits, “but I do work in a place that seeks to walk in the footsteps of the very best -- and where people hold Murrow's values in their hearts.”
“I guess that's a big part of the reason why I'm back at KTUU and Alaska…” Dan hypothesizes, “That, and of course… the lovely winters!”