Barry Hanson was not always “The East Texas Angler”; he was once a heartthrob disc jockey whose baby blues captivated the ladies. Just ask around town and you’re sure to find a few who still recall his voice mixing with the music of Elvis and the Beatles.
In 1967, he left radio to explore the uncharted frontier of television news with KLTV. And like most TV pioneers he had to learn every aspect of broadcasting to keep pace with the evolving medium.
“It was an exciting time, watching the big stations and wanting to do what they did. We were unique because we were between Dallas and Shreveport, that made people expect more,” said Barry.
Those expectations pushed KLTV to become innovative, despite having a smaller budget and staff. Back then KLTV didn’t have cameras that could go on location to make commercials, so everything was done live in the studio. If fact, KLTV had only one camera, so the cameraman had to be lightning fast.
“When it was time to run commercials, we’d play one off of film while the cameraman pushed the camera across the studio to set up for the commercial. Then we’d come to a live shot of a person reading a script and cut back to film. Then back across the studio he went to get a new shot of the news anchor, back and forth,” he recalls.
So much has changed in TV since 1967 when Barry started. There has been a whirlwind transition from film to tapes, from black and white to color and not to mention all new programming.
“Back then there was no sex or violence. The FCC was very strict and you could lose your job for any type of cursing. Now the morals have changed and people have become desensitized to all of it,” said Barry.
However, Barry praises KLTV for always being tasteful, for being sensitive of families and victims of crimes.
“KLTV has employees who work really hard to make Channel 7 look good in the community and make sure the audience is served.”
Barry Hanson is one of those hard workers who has dedicated himself to East Texas. This cameraman, director, producer, editor, host and all around good guy still has the rhythm-- and killer blue eyes.
To visit Barry Hanson's "East Texas Angler" page, click here.
Phedra Johnson, reporting.