Friday night at 10:30, when Gloria Campos signs off of her final WFAA Channel 8 broadcast, it will be one more reminder that the era of familial intimacy with local TV news is a casualty of the digital age.
The Dallas Morning News says that approaching her 60th birthday, she confirms that her 30-year run at WFAA is ending on her own timetable. “Anybody who knows me knows that that’s the truth,” she says. “My last contract was 18 months and part of that deal was to work part time. When they suggested the 10 p.m. newscast, I said, ‘Great.’ I’m very proud that our 10 p.m. is the only first-place newscast at Channel 8. I am leaving a winner.”
It’s a remarkable arc for the South Texas native who was 29 when she was hired by WFAA, then the national gold standard for network-affiliate news operations. Campos thought it would be a short stop “to learn a little something and move on.”
“Remember, in those days, Channel 8 took a lot of heat for all the white males on the air. I don’t think anybody would’ve given me a snowball’s chance in hell of being a top anchor in this market. I didn’t get the impression there was a future for me here. But life is what happens when you’re making other plans.”
Campos’ final contract expired at the end of February.
“But we were in the Olympics and I was not going to say goodbye while everybody was watching skating,” she says. WFAA wanted her to stay until the end of March. “John McCaa was going to be away and I wanted him to be here. He’s my partner.”
A self-professed politics junkie, she was able to exit after covering Tuesday’s elections. “That’s the only way I would’ve ever done it,” she says. “I love politics.”
But the grind of TV news and the accompanying public persona are parts of the job she says she is ready to let go of.
“I am 59 1/2 years old and I have done all I want or care to do in television news,” she says. “I want to take a break. They say ‘Never say never,’ but I am pretty certain I will never anchor or be on another newscast.”