After 34 years in TV news you can stick a fork in WFAA Reporter Brad Watson.
The longtime anchor, reporter and political observer at WFAA-TV (Channel 8), ended his 34-year career at the station Friday. He will work in corporate communications for Dallas-based Luminant.
“I thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” Watson recalled of being hired to work at WFAA in 1978. “It was Dallas-Fort Worth. It was WFAA. But there were very high standards.”
Among the stories that Watson said stand out in his career was the crash of Delta Flight 191 in 1985. The plane went down during a thunderstorm on approach to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, killing 137 people.
“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.”
Other memorable stories he reported were the grueling effort in 1987 to rescue baby Jessica McClure from a well in Midland; the 1988 crash at D/FW of Delta Flight 1141, in which 14 people died; the deadly 1993 siege at the Branch Davidian compound outside Waco; and the 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.
But Watson may be best remembered for his tense interview of President Barack Obama in 2011. The session ended with the president, clearly irked, chiding Watson: “Let me finish my answers next time we do an interview, all right?”
“There was a flash of presidential temperament at the end because, I think, he was maybe expecting something less than that,” Watson said.