Tom Hanson

KDLT News Anchor

Tom is South Dakota’s most experienced television news anchor.
In September of 2014 Tom was awarded the coveted Tom Brokaw Award, named after the longtime NBC News Anchor.
In 2013 The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented Tom with the prestigious Silver Circle EMMY award.

Tom started his career right here at KDLT as a studio cameraman, master control operator and field photographer for news and commercial production.
His on air career began when he anchored sports for the station on Friday nights. He was 19 years old and attending Dakota Wesleyan University at the time. A few months later he was filling in on the anchor desk for news. “I was lucky to have some people believe in me at a young age.”

After college at Black Hills State University in Spearfish he landed in Rapid City as the morning anchor at KEVN-TV. But it wasn’t long before Tom was looking to move up. ”I got my first promotion by telling the General Manager I would save him money by anchoring the news and delivering the weather at the map. It worked!” At age 25 he was named main co-anchor and later Executive Producer at KEVN.

He was then hired by KOTA-TV and Radio as the weekday co-anchor. “I had a wonderful experience working in radio for the first time with some great people at family owned station.”

An opportunity in Colorado Springs took Tom to Colorado where he was the weekday co-anchor at KRDO-TV. Tom was later named Managing Editor. Along with delivering nightly newscasts he oversaw the day to day operation of the newsroom and assisted with the hiring of reporters, photographers and other staff. The legendary talent scout Don Fitzpatrick named him to his list of young news anchors who are “up and comers” as he used to say.

4 years later Tom moved to Salt Lake City, Utah for an anchor/reporter position at FOX O&O KSTU-TV. His reporting for the station would take him from Washington DC to Los Angeles to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

After a year of freelancing for CNN and FOX, and a change of pace as the Regional Marketing Manager for a major hotel chain, his first station beckoned him to his home state.

Tom is a native of Mitchell and is married to Carmen (Winter) who grew up in nearby Parkston. In the summer you will often find them on their boat at Lewis & Clark Lake in Yankton. In the winter they like to entertain in their home movie theater. Tom earned his black belt in Taekwondo and green belt in Judo.

Tom’s most memorable stories include climbing Mount Rushmore, flying in two different fighter jets (FA-18 & T-38), watching the U.S. Senate in action, a close call during a forest fire and being in Washington DC when the plane hit the Pentagon on 9/11 and delivering live reports back to South Dakota.

He attended the Poynter Institute for journalism in St. Petersburg, FL and is a past fellow of both the Carter Center in Atlanta and the National Press Foundation in Washington, DC. Over the years he has collected numerous awards from the Associated Press, United Press International and state broadcast associations in Colorado and Utah. Tom was named “Reporter of the Year” by the South Dakota Peace Officers Association, and he was named an honorary member of the South Dakota National Guard. He was also singled out for his reporting on education issues on several occasions.

Tom Volunteers his time in the community. He’s taught 4th grade Junior Achievement classes for 13 years at Christian Center Elementary. For the last 12 years he’s been cooking up something delicious for the annual Gourmet Guys fundraiser for Active Generations. He has also been involved with the Salvation Army Angel Tree, The American Diabetes Association, The American Thyroid Association and the Boy Scouts of America.

According to Tom, “there is no doubt social media has changed the news business. Today it’s not so much about telling people something is happening because chances are they’ve already learned that on Twitter or Facebook. Now it’s telling viewers what it means. I believe that’s where life experience is becoming more important than ever for news operations”.

You can email news or story ideas to Tom at t_hanson@kdlt.com

Follow Tom on Twitter or go to his Facebook page.