Legendary broadcaster Norm Hitzges reflects on 50-year career

NBC Universal, Inc.

Legendary DFW broadcaster Norm Hitzges is retiring.

A pioneer in sports talk radio, he’ll sign off from KTCK 1310 The Ticket on Friday.

“I’m going to miss the people,” Hitzges told NBC 5. “You become addicted to this job and you want to get up every day and go there. Something fuels you, the comradery, the laughter. It’s different every day.”

With his trademark enthusiasm, Hitzges has analyzed the highs and lows of DFW sports for 48 years.

The Texas Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster launched the first all-sports morning drive talk show on KLIF in the 1980s before joining The Ticket in 2000.

“I think The Ticket was very happy that I arrived because they could do all sort of shtick and pocking fun and the battle of who has the better ‘Fake Norm’ on the air. I love all of that. I consider that an honor,” Hitzges said.

At 78 years old, much has changed since Hitzges started on-air.

“It use to be when you were coming on the air you were telling people about the game they probably hadn’t seen. Now when you come on the air everybody’s already seen the game and analyzed the game that you’re going to talk about and you’ve got to try and find some more insight,” Hitzges said.

He ranks covering the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl runs in the 1990s as the most fun.

“This town still runs on Cowboys gasoline and the people love it when they’re doing well,” Hitzges said.

Other memorable moments among many include interviews with Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry and broadcaster Howard Cosell.

In addition to the career honors, he’s most proud of his charity work. His annual Norm-a-thons have raised $9 million for Austin Street Center to help the homeless.

“We don’t think of the word ‘dignity' with homeless people and that’s what Austin Street tried to give back – their dignity,” Hitzges said.

Hitzges has been open about past health battles including bladder cancer, but insists it is not the reason he’s retiring.

He wants more time to travel the world with his wife Mary. The pair plan to launch a podcast in September.

“I’m going to devour sports. The only thing I won’t be able to do is talk about it anymore, but I will be able to do a lot of other things.”

And he'll still be imparting wisdom to those who will listen.

“Work hard even when you’re just starting out the one thing you can promise someone is ‘I can work hard’ and I hope that’s the basis of what’s happened here. I hope that the audience says that’s a guy who worked hard."

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