Mark Hayes, who co-anchored morning newscast NBC 5 Today with Deborah Ferguson, has left KXAS/Channel 5, local-TV blogger Ed Bark reports on his Uncle Barky’s Bytes site.
NBC 5 confirmed to Bark that Hayes is gone and that the station is looking for a replacement. Hayes told Bark via email that he and the station had “mutually decided to part ways.”
Hayes and Ferguson were featured in DFW.com’s “Wakeup Callers” package about morning news crews in August 2012. Hayes, an energetic and jovial former football player, had only been with the station a few months at the time, having come to NBC 5 from a Fox station in Atlanta to make his DFW on-air debut in May 2012. Both said they felt immediate chemistry with each other.
“ I think a lot of [my energy] comes from playing off Deborah,” Hayes said at the time. “Seeing her passion, seeing her energy. A lot of mornings, you have to amp up your energy to keep up with her, and you want to be right there with her.”
Ferguson has been one of the most steady presences at KXAS. She’s been at the station since 1991, and has anchored NBC 5 Today for about 12 years. The show has seen a lot of turnover since 2008, some of it from internal moves -- Scott Friedman, the co-anchor who preceded Hayes, left to head NBC 5’s investigative team -- and some of it from departures, including traffic reporter Tammy Dombeck ( now with KTVT/Channel 11) and meteorologist Rebecca Miller, who went on to work for KDAF/Channel 33 before also leaving that station in late 2012.
This is the second departure for NBC 5 in 2014: Reporter Omar Villafranca left to become the Dallas-based correspondent for CBS News’ Newspath, Bark reported Jan. 4. And NBC 5 isn’t the only station with exits in a year that’s a little more than a week old; longtime Channel 33 anchor Amanda Salinas is leaving to join Good Day Austin, Bark reported this week.
A former Dallas Morning News TV critic, Bark has been a tireless TV blogger since he left the newspaper in fall 2006. Every year, he runs a December roll call of local-TV exits. If this keeps up, he’s going to have a very long list this year.