Veteran WFAA reporter Byron Harris has distinguished himself many times in many ways. It was nearly three decades ago that his intelligent brand of news reporting began to establish a new standard in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Today, Harris’ work continues to raise the jump bar against which other broadcast journalists measure their work.
Shortly after joining WFAA, Harris was honored with of one of the station’s seven duPont-Columbia Awards for his investigative work. He was later awarded a second duPont for his investigation, “Other People’s Money,” an uncompromising series of reports that broke the stinging news of the savings and loan scandal to the world.
A University of Michigan graduate, Harris was hired by WFAA along with a group that included reporter Doug Fox, a 2002 Colorado Heartland Chapter Silver Circle inductee himself. Harris and Fox, both from a station in Oklahoma City, comprised part of the core of an extraordinary reporting staff that would come to redefine television news in Dallas-Fort Worth. Led by news director Marty Haag, WFAA quickly began to set new standards for coverage and commitment to local news.
While Byron, or “Barney” as his co-workers affectionately refer to him, watched WFAA colleagues including ABC News correspondents Dennis Troute and Bob Brown, CNN’s Paula Zahn, CBS’ Scott Pelley, Verne Lundquist, Andrea Joyce and others, move on to network newsrooms, he continued to call WFAA home. In 1995, Byron’s investigation into the dangerously antiquated Soviet space program so impressed network executives that they devoted an entire ABC News Nightline program to his story. It was the first time reporting from a local affiliate had been featured in such a high profile fashion on the network’s signature program.
Byron’s travels have taken him all over the globe and influenced his life in dramatic fashion. The grueling weeks he spent with U.S. Marines on the front lines of the Iraq war produced compelling stories, live satellite updates and online columns on the war that were an important source of information and comfort for families at home. Making an impact is one of the true hallmarks of Byron Harris’ career in journalism. He is both a mentor to younger reporters, and a steadfast source of information for the north Texas community he has served for nearly 30 years.