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Dyson retires from KOB-TV

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In the wake of a recent “contentious moment” with KOB-TV anchor Tom Joles, veteran reporter Stuart Dyson, on Friday confirmed that he has retired from the station where he first landed in 1982.

DYSON: His retirement signals "the end of an era"

DYSON: His retirement signals “the end of an era”

“I committed an act of insubordination that was flagrant, blatant and nothing new – and it upset some people in the newsroom,” Dyson acknowledged. “Tom quite rightfully called me on it, and I responded in a negative way and used profane language. It was my intemperate behavior, my intemperate language and my insubordination that led to this. I take full responsibility for it and I feel pretty good about it.”

Joles and Dyson got into a newsroom kerfuffle last year that required management to call for a weeklong “cool-down period.”

Dyson was planning to retire in February but agreed to stay until June after a newsroom colleague became ill. He leaves about six weeks early, but noted, “I’m 64, so it’s not really early retirement.”

“I always thought Stuart was one of the best storytellers in the market, without a doubt,” said Mike Burgess, vice president and general manger of KOB-TV. “He’s a character and reminds me of those classic news reporters depicted in old movies like ‘The Front Page,’ where they’re a little rumpled, kind of crusty, talk like real people and always tell a good story.”

Dyson “understood New Mexico politics as well as any reporter in the market,” Burgess said. His retirement signals “the end of an era.”

Dennis Domrzalski, an editor and writer at alternative newspaper ABQ Free Press, and a longtime friend of Dyson’s, called him “one of a kind” and “what news reporters should be.” Dyson, he said, “breaks the rules, is not overly sensitive and speaks his mind.”

Dyson grew up in Ruston and Baton Rouge, La. He came to Albuquerque in 1970 to attend the University of New Mexico, but mostly “chased girls and played guitar.”

He dropped out after a couple of years to take a “real” job selling beer at Dukes baseball stadium. There he honed his gift for gab, which prepared him for working in the media – first in the news departments at local radio stations, and then at KOB-TV in 1982, where he was hired by legendary anchor Dick Knipfing.

“To this day, when I bump into Dick, I ask him how he sleeps at night knowing that he gave me my start in TV?”

Dyson said he will settle into retirement with his wife, Colleen, a registered nurse, and fill his hours “learning how to yodel, playing my guitar with friends, collecting Social Security and watching my 401(k) evaporate.”

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