He Gone. Hassel Beaming Off To the Mothership

Farewell, Chris Hassel. (photo from @poundHassel )

Farewell, Chris Hassel. (photo from @poundHassel )

Say goodbye to Cooter Ray. And Gary Dolphin. And Mad Fran. Plus the guy from HR and whatever other character Chris Hassel dreamed up in his 5.5 years at WHO-HD.

He’s now on his way to “The Show.” The pride of Muscatine is headed to Bristol, CT and ESPN News’ “Highlight Express.”

I’ve known Chris since his days at St. Ambrose University in Davenport. He was a student who also anchored the Sunday night sports on the Fox 18 KLJB broadcasts. He was still in college and was anchoring on professional station. During his senior year as a Bee, he cleaned up at the Iowa Broadcast News Association awards banquet in Clear Lake.

Chris won almost every category in student TV and radio plus professional TV and radio. He was also calling games for WOC-AM in Davenport in addition to working in the news and sports departments.

Then-News Director Mark Minnick told the crowd, news directors specifically, to hire this guy.

Mark was right.

Chris landed at 1801 Grand and made an impression immediately. His humor was boundary pushing. His editing, precise. But it may be some of the  segments on SoundOff that will be his legacy.

This is still one of my favorites. Chris and Andy pair up for pure genius in this Stivers Ford behind the scenes segment. http://youtu.be/Nt6NSBml-wo

He even took a shot at Marty Tirrell, the Mouth of the Midwest.

Chris Hassel tees off at the Legacy Golf Course. (DM Register photo).

Chris Hassel tees off at the Legacy Golf Course. (DM Register photo).

But it was the “Little Lick, Lotta Bite” that may have put him in the most hot water.

His Hazzle Dazzle production on Todd Lickliter’s ruffled a few feathers. Lickliter was the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Iowa.

Chris will tell you most of the things he’s done are from the brain of Keith Murphy, sports director at WHO-HD.

Before Chris, it was Andy Fales who turned Murph’s ideas into reality. The trio was incredibly talented in so many areas. Sports almost seemed their secondary specialty.

Here is the Little Lick clip.

Chris is a known night owl and those odd ESPN hours will likely suit him just fine.

One former professor told me recently no student came more prepared for their assignment than Mr. Hassel. I think that’s holding true again as he makes this move.

And now he’s just been named 2012 Iowa Sportscaster of the Year. That’s a nice parting gift.

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1 Comment

Filed under Iowa, media, WHO-TV

One response to “He Gone. Hassel Beaming Off To the Mothership

  1. Mark Minnick

    I was taken aback by the talent he had when he first started working with us at WOC News while he was in college. I really didn’t have to show him what to do, just refine it. He’s one of five ‘crazy’ talented college kids I had working for me in 40 plus years of news broadcasting.

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