After 35 years, “First Light” host and Westwood One News anchor Dirk Van will retire from the network July 30, according to an announcement from Westwood One.
Van spent 26 years as host of the early weekday morning “First Light,” and he also hosts “The Week in Review” news program and has anchored morning drive newscasts
Van traded a career in physical anthropology for broadcast journalism in 1978 when he became news director of WGCH(AM), Greenwich, Conn. He then became a reporter for WCBS(AM) in New York and was later named news director of WHN(AM), which was acquired by Westwood One. Van has been honored with awards, including the International Radio Festival’s “Personality of the Year” and an Edward R Murrow award.
Westwood One News afternoon drive anchor Evan Haning will succeed him as host of “First Light” and as the morning drive anchor for Westwood One News as of Aug. 11. Haning has been on the air in Washington, for more than 30 years at WRC(AM), WTOP(FM), and more recently, he anchored afternoon drive for CBS’s WNEW(FM). Haning also previously was the regular guest host for “First Light.”
“Radio is all about people, and I’ve had the great fortune to work with the best in the business, following in the footsteps of my father, Lyle Van — a radio legend at NBC and WOR — and others greats like Lou Adler, Nick Verbitsky, Tom O’Brien, Ron Nessen, and Bart Tessler,” said Van. “Hosting our morning magazine, ‘First Light,’ has been an amazing experience and has allowed me to work with talented broadcasters for more than a quarter century. Talking to listeners on a daily basis has kept me grounded, and hopefully provided a window into what America is thinking.”