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Dateline’s Chris Hanson to leave NBC News

NBC News personality Chris Hansen, best known for his various television exposes on suspected child predators, is parting ways with the network.

An an actor playing Chris Hansen interviews a man dressed as "Predator" in a scene from a spoof of the Dateline NBC series.
An an actor playing Chris Hansen interviews a man dressed as “Predator” in a scene from a spoof of the Dateline NBC series.

TV Guide reported Thursday that Hansen’s 20 year career with NBC News will be ending when his contract is up. The entertainment publication confirmed the news with an NBC spokeswoman one day later.

“Chris has been a valued member of the team and we thank him for his many contributions to Dateline and NBC News over the last 20 years,” NBC said in a statement to TV Guide.

Hansen joined NBC News in 1993 and worked on various general assignment stories, including many following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. In 2004, he shifted to NBC’s magazine program Dateline, where he is best known for his “To Catch A Predator” series that involved exposing suspected child predators who allegedly engage in sexual conversations with decoys posing as minors.

The “Predator” series drew viewers for the network, but NBC News decided to pull back in 2007 following criticism by other news organizations and at least one lawsuit after a suspected child predator killed himself when he was approached by police and a NBC photographer.

Though NBC has not produced any new “Predator” episodes for Dateline in some years, repeats of the show continue to be aired on sister-channel MSNBC over the weekend.

There is no word on where Hansen’s next move will be.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).