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Legendary News Host Passes Away At 97


On Monday, NBC 5 announced the passing of their esteemed entertainment correspondent and TV host, Bobbie Wygant. The longtime reporter died on Sunday at the age of 97.

Wygant was a renowned television journalist, best known for her work as an entertainment reporter in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She gained prominence as the first person to ever appear on television in Dallas, Texas when she began her career in 1948 at WBAP-TV (now KXAS-TV).

Wygant has been synonymous with television in Texas from its earliest days. She became part of the team in September 1948, a mere two weeks prior to its inaugural broadcast. In her own words, “They poured me in with the foundation.”

Throughout her career, Wygant interviewed countless celebrities and covered a wide range of entertainment news, including film premieres, award shows, and celebrity interviews. She was highly respected in the industry for her professionalism, longevity, and contributions to television journalism.

“I was always in love with Texas. When I was a little kid I guess, movies and things, I just always knew that someday I would go to Texas,” said Wygant.

In the initial stages of Channel 5, Wygant, along with everyone else on the early staff, contributed by taking on various roles. Initially working behind the scenes, she eventually moved on to host live game shows and commercials. She also produced and hosted the live talk show “Dateline.”

Reflecting on her pioneering role, Wygant stated, “I was the first woman to host a general interest television talk show. Before that, women had to do the housekeeping things and the cooking and so forth.” She added, emphasizing her multifaceted role, “The staff was ‘moi!’ I produced it. I did my own research.”

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NBC 5 DFW wrote:

In November 1963, Wygant was on the air with her popular midday show when news of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy came into the newsroom, interrupting her program several times. A few months later, during their debut tour of the US, she interviewed the Beatles.

After Dateline ended, Wygant transitioned into an arts and entertainment reporter for the station. She soon became known for the way she connected with celebrities, authors, and other newsmakers who stopped by Fort Worth to be interviewed by her…

Over the years Bobbie interviewed and befriended numerous Hollywood stars and became known for her celebrity interviews with everyone from Bob Hope to Bradley Cooper. A collection of some of her interviews can be watched here.

Throughout her career, Bobbie was honored with several recognitions and awards, including being inducted into the Gold Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences marking her 50 years of contributions to television broadcasting and she was honored with a Gracie Award, an award that honors the achievement and programming of and by women. The award is named after Gracie Allen, wife of George Burns, whom she interviewed many times.

Years after she technically retired from her seven decades at NBC 5, Wygant continued to contribute as a freelance arts and entertainment reporter, remaining camera-ready. She often took part in milestone birthdays for the TV station when NBC 5 turned 50, 65, and 75. In 2016, we helped her celebrate her 90th.

Well into her 80s and 90s, it was not uncommon to find Wygant at the NBC 5 studios sharing stories with friends, both old and new. She was forever captivating and a force, even in retirement.

Arrangements for the funeral are currently being made.

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