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Chris Hansen

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This article is about the TV journalist. For other people named Chris Hansen, see Chris Hansen (disambiguation).
Chris Hansen
Born Christopher Edward Hansen
(1959-03-26) March 26, 1959 (age 56)
Lansing, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Television personality
News reporter
Years active 1981–present
Spouse(s) Mary Joan Hansen

Christopher Edward "Chris" Hansen (born March 26, 1959) is an American television journalist. He is known for his work on Dateline NBC, in particular the former segment To Catch a Predator, which revolved around catching potential Internet sex predators using a sting operation.


Hansen attended Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.[1][2] He became a reporter for Lansing NBC affiliate WILX in 1981 during his senior year at Michigan State University.[3][4] He then reported for WFLA in Tampa, various radio stations and newspapers in Michigan, WXYZ in Detroit, and WDIV as an investigative reporter and anchor from 1988.[3] In May 1993, Hansen joined NBC News as a correspondent for the news magazine Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric.[3] He left the network in 2013.[5]

Dateline NBC

Hansen's notable work for Dateline includes coverage of the Columbine massacre, the Oklahoma City terrorist attack, the Unabomber and the TWA Flight 800 disaster; as well as investigative reports on Indian child slave labor and on counterfeit prescription drug sales in China. Hansen was responsible for most of Dateline's coverage of the September 11 attacks, as well as stories on terrorist groups and the operations of Al-Qaeda. He exposed how a group linked to Osama Bin Laden had tried to buy missiles and nuclear weapons components, and he also worked on an exclusive report detailing an attempted 1994 terrorist attack in France. His series on the lack of security at airports resulted in the Federal Aviation Administration opening an investigation and ultimately revising its policies.[3]

To Catch a Predator

Main article: To Catch a Predator

In conjunction with the website Perverted-Justice, Hansen hosted a series of Dateline NBC reports under the title To Catch a Predator. Volunteers from Perverted-Justice impersonated underage people (usually 13-15) in chat rooms online and agreed to meet with adults for sex.[6][7] The meeting places were "sting houses", where camera crews from NBC, and in later episodes local police, awaited the potential sexual predator.[8]

Capitalizing on the success of Hansen and his Predator investigations, Dateline NBC created three Tuesday night spin-offs of its original concept; Hansen hosted To Catch a Con Man and To Catch an I.D. Thief.[3] In March 2007, Hansen's book, To Catch a Predator: Protecting Your Kids from Online Enemies Already in Your Home, was released in the American market.

Killer Instinct

In February of 2015, Hansen announced that he would be the host of a new show on Investigation Discovery to be titled Killer Instinct. The show will premiere its ten episode initial run sometime in 2015.[9] No Initial airdate has been set.


Hansen has appeared on such television programs as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Adam Carolla Show, Today, Scarborough Country, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Rise Guys Morning Show, The Don and Mike Show, The Opie and Anthony Radio Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Glenn Beck Program, and Diggnation.

On January 9, 2007, Hansen appeared on the BET news series, American Gangster. The special, which was hosted by actor Ving Rhames, focused on Detroit drug lords, the Chambers Brothers gang. Hansen gave insight into the lives of the brothers based on the reporting he had done on them in the 1980s and 1990s as a reporter for ABC affiliate WXYZ (Channel 7) and NBC affiliate WDIV (Channel 4). On January 13, 2008 he attended the NBC Golden Globes Winners Special which was poorly attended by the nominees due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.[10]

Hansen Vs. Predator

Hansen is scheduled to release a new independent television show called Hansen Vs Predator, which is a spin-off of his original show To Catch a Predator, set to air April 15th on prime time television.


Hansen has received seven Emmy Awards, four Edward R. Murrow Awards, three Clarion awards, the Overseas Press Club award, an IRE, the National Press Club award, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Award; as well as awards for excellence from the Associated Press and United Press International.[11]

Personal life

Hansen was born in Lansing, Michigan and grew up in the northern Detroit suburbs of West Bloomfield and Birmingham. In an interview with the Lansing City Pulse, Hansen said that watching the FBI and police investigate the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa when he was fourteen inspired him to want to become a journalist.[4] He graduated from Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications.[3][4]

He is married to Mary Joan Hansen; the couple has two sons. The family resides in Connecticut.[3]

From 2010 through 2012, Hansen had an adulterous affair with another journalist, Kristyn Caddell, which led to his departure from NBC.[12]


  1. ^ "Chris Hansen". Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  2. ^ Hansen, Chris (April 20, 2010). "America Now: City of Heartbreak and Hope". MSNBC. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Chris Hansen: Correspondent, "Dateline NBC"". NBC News. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c McNamara, Neal (April 15, 2009). "News maker Chris Hansen". Lansing City Pulse. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Chris Hansen, ‘Dateline’s’ ‘To Catch a Predator’ investigative reporter, leaving NBC". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 
  6. ^ Hansen, Chris (October 26, 2006). "They're still showing up". MSNBC. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  7. ^ Hansen, Chris (October 4, 2011). "Prominent men caught in Petaluma sting". MSNBC. Retrieved September 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ Salkin, Allen (December 13, 2006). "Web Site Hunts Pedophiles, and TV Goes Along". The New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  9. ^ Buckland, Jason (February 15, 2015). "Chris Hansen Wants a Comeback". Time (magazine). Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  10. ^ Willow, Molly. (January 14, 2008) The Columbus Dispatch Recitation of honorees so lame it hurt, Section: Features — Life & Arts; Page 1D
  11. ^ "Chris Hansen: Correspondent, "Dateline NBC"". MSNBC. Retrieved 2012-10-08. 
  12. ^ "Adultering 'To Catch a Predator' host Chris Hansen dropped by NBC after 20 years". London: MailOnline. August 5, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 

Further reading

External links