H. Martin Haag Jr.

Former Belo Corp. exec

H. Martin (Marty) Haag Jr., former senior VP of Belo Corp.’s television group and an exec with the company for 27 years before his retirement in 2000, died Saturday Jan. 10 in Texas of a stroke.He was 69.

Haag received a special Peabody Award in 2001 for his many contributions to journalism and the broadcast industry.

Since his retirement, Haag had worked as a consultant and was a visiting professional in the journalism division at Southern Methodist U., where he taught several courses.

Haag held the position of senior veep of news from 1989-2000, guiding the development of Belo TV news services for 18 newsrooms. He joined Belo in 1973 as executive news director of ABC affil WFAA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth and supervised all phases of the station’s news operations for 16 years.

Haag played a key role in transforming WFAA from a small local news org in 1973 into an acclaimed operation that won five Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia U. Awards, more than any other major-market TV station during his tenure. Station also won a Peabody in 1988.

Before joining Belo, Haag held prominent broadcast positions throughout the country, including national assignment editor of NBC in New York, executive news director of WKYC-TV in Cleveland, executive news director of KTTV in Los Angeles and assistant news director of WCBS-TV in New York.

Haag earned a bachelor of journalism degree from the U. of Missouri and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia. His professional career began during his college years as a radio newsman with KBIA, Columbia, Mo., and sports editor of the Columbia Missourian.

Haag served as director of the Texas-Oklahoma region of the Radio-Television News Directors Assn. and prexy of the Dallas chapter of Society of Professional Journalists-Sigma Delta Chi and was on the board of directors of Associated Press Broadcasters.

He was honored with numerous industry and civic awards, including being named Journalist of the Year in 1978 by the Dallas SPJ chapter.

The Dallas Press Club awarded him its most prestigious honor, the J.B. Marryat Memorial Award, in 1981, the first time a TV journalist was chosen as the recipient. In March 2000, Haag received the First Amendment Service Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Foundation.

Haag is survived by his wife, Susan, and three sons.

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