Norm Hitzges retiring: When is the sports radio icon’s last day?

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Hitzgers spent 48 years as a sports commentator in Dallas. He hosted the country’s first sports-focused morning radio show at KLIF and joined The Ticket in 2000.

DALLAS – Legendary Dallas sports radio host Norm Hitzges has hung up on his microphone nearly five years into his prestigious Texas Radio Hall of Fame career.

He made the announcement shortly after 10:35 a.m. Thursday on his “Norm & D Invasion” show, which he co-hosts with Donovan Lewis. Sportsradio 1310-AM/97.6-FM Tickets Every weekday from 10am to noon.

He will continue to co-host for just over a week during his time slot. His last day on air is Friday, June 23.

When he turns off the mic that day, it will mark the end of a storied career. Hitzgers was a North Texas sports commentator for 48 years.

Hitzges, 78, started broadcasting at 570-AM KLIF in 1986 as the host of the country’s first sports-themed morning radio show. In 2000, he left KLIF to join The Ticket, where he has been at Noon. Since then, he has worked as a presenter on the highest-rated and award-winning sports radio station.

Known for his seasoned perspective and gracious presentation, mainstays in Hitzges’ on-air arsenal include his annual fantasy Kentucky Derby call and his “naming game” to preview the annual NFL draft. Hitzes was also an early adopter of fantasy sports and sports betting, now mainstream concepts and longtime regular features on his programming.

Outside of radio, Hitzges has held numerous other positions in sports media in North Texas and beyond over the years. He was at one point a color commentator for ESPN’s baseball broadcast and was a live telecaster for the Dallas Sidekicks indoor soccer team.

It’s worth noting that Hitzges also frequently leverages his philanthropic platform, having long supported the efforts of Texans on his show! Can Academy organizes education and life-skills training for at-risk youth and hosts his annual 18-hour marathon “Norm-A-Thon,” broadcast every holiday season, for Austin Street, a homeless shelter in Dallas. Center raised millions of dollars.

Despite his August 2020 broadcast announcing that he had been diagnosed with a very curable form of bladder cancer, he made clear in his retirement revelation Thursday morning that his decision to quit his job was not a health-related one .

Hitzges also added that he still plans to appear regularly on The Ticket as an anchor in the coming months and years. He also said he hopes to continue hosting the station’s annual NFL and NBA draft coverage.

Still, his departure from full-time studio work doesn’t mean much to the Dallas broadcasting world.

“It ended the career of the greatest talk show in the history of our city and one of the greatest talk shows in the country,” Ticket morning show co-anchor George Dunham said on the radio shortly after the Hitzges reveal.

Hitzges’ retirement is the latest newsworthy event in a tumultuous few years for sports talk radio in Dallas.

In 2020, Mike Rhyner, Hitzges’ Texas Radio Hall of Famer and colleague who helped create The Ticket, announced his retirement, only to return from retirement two years later to join the ranks of upstart rival station 97.1-FM The Freak – a station whose own host list is packed with former Ticket luminaries.

There is currently no replacement for Hitzges’ hosting duties on The Ticket.

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