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Jody Dean (born 1959) is an American journalist and author and a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.
Early life and education
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Dean's career in broadcasting began in junior high school, in 1973 on WBAP-TV's "Museum of Horrors". After graduating from Ft. Worth's Paschal High School as a highly recruited football player, Dean took a shift at Abilene Christian University's campus radio station. Dean eventually left college for his first job, at KPAR Granbury. A few months later he was hired at 1360 KXOL, and has worked in Dallas-Ft. Worth ever since.
In 1980, Dean moved to 1190 KLIF – and in 1981 took on a 3-hour Tuesday overnight shift at Dallas' legendary KVIL. Dean was eventually promoted to evenings, but his ratings were disastrous. In 1987 he was taken off the air in lieu of a behind-the-scenes job as Morning Show producer, a move that resulted in seven years of tutelage under the direct oversight of National Broadcast Association Hall of Famer Ron Chapman – who remains Dean's close friend and mentor.
In 1991, Dean became executive producer for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network, and in 1994, moved to KRLD to host a mid-day talk show. Again, his ratings as a solo ahost were disappointing – and in a last-ditch change was reassigned as co-anchor of the KRLD Morning News in 1999. That led to a collaboration with co-anchor Jack Hines that lasted for another six years – which included coverage of pivotal events such as the Oklahoma City bombing, the Fort Worth Tornado and 9/11.
In 1995, Dean was named cohost of KTVT's "Positively Texas!" – and afternoon talk and variety show. After initial success the show began languishing in the ratings, and Dean was approached about possibly switching to news. Dean began hosting the noon and 5 o'clock news with Rene Syler on (by then) CBS-11 – followed by co-hosting duties with Maria Arita on The CBS-11 News at 4.
By 2005, Ron Chapman was at KLUV and, seeking a successor, he turned to Dean – who became KLUV Morning Show Host upon Chapman's retirement that year. Jody Dean and the Morning Team is now entering its seventh year of existence, and is also televised each weekday morning from 7 till 9 on KTXA-TV.
Until January 2013, the KLUV Morning Show was co-hosted by [news reporter] Kathy Jones, [traffic reporter] Jonathan Hayes, Rebekah Black, and [producer] Bernie "Mac" Moreland. The show is currently co-hosted by Rebekah Black and David Rancken.
Dean was the original deejay, emcee and rodeo announcer at Billy Bob's Texas, and most recently served as the main public address announcer for Dallas Cowboys home games at Cowboys Stadium. Dean has also served as public address announcer for the AT&T Cotton Bowl since 2009. During his award-winning career Dean has worked with, interviewed, or performed with thousands of public figures, actors, musicians, authors, artists, and comics.
Dean's personal life has been tumultuous. Married four times, he has three children – two of whom are grown. An adoptee, Dean reunited with his birth-family in 2002 and maintains a close relationship with them. Raised in the Church of Christ, Dean is a published author ("Finding God in the Evening News") and a frequent motivational and inspirational speaker. A professed Christian, Dean experienced a spiritual reawakening in 2002 – but openly continues to wrestle with personal choices, as chronicled in a 2003 article authored by Elise Pierce for D Magazine.
In 2011, Dean appeared as a peripheral cast member on a cable reality show entitled "Most Eligible Dallas". His final football game at what is now AT&T Stadium was Super Bowl XLV, allowing his voice to be heard before an international audience during the pregame ceremonies.
- Jody Dean, (2004), Finding God in the Evening News: A Broadcast Journalist Looks Beyond The Headlines, Renell, ISBN 0-8007-5972-9