WFAA-TV anchor John McCaa says he will retire in March after more than 42 years in the television news business.
McCaa currently co-anchors the station’s nightly newscasts with Cynthia Izaguirre. He began anchoring full time in 1992. McCaa also hosts special local programming and presents his “Uncut” commentaries on WFAA.
The veteran journalist says leaving the television news business isn’t easy. But when management “graciously asked him” to stay, he “politely declined.”
“It’s not easy to step away from a business in which you’ve worked two-thirds of your life, and loved even longer,” McCaa said in a statement. “However, I’ve always accepted it as true that God gave me the opportunities I’ve had in this field — and no one could keep them from me — but that when God decided it was time for me to quit, there would be nothing I could do to successfully continue in this profession.”
McCaa joined the Dallas-Fort Worth ABC affiliate as a reporter in 1984 after working in similar role at Omaha’s WOWT for over seven years. His first assignment was in WFAA’s Fort Worth bureau before transferring to the Dallas newsroom in 1988 where he has worked ever since. McCaa began anchoring various WFAA broadcasts the same year, while serving as a newsroom manager.
In a post on WFAA’s website, McCaa recalls several stories — good and bad — he’s covered in his decades-long career: witnessing a tragic fire in Arlington that left four children dead, “nearly breaking down on the air” after a heartwarming story of a couple’s love for their son with special needs and seeing Texans step into help a Tarrant County volunteer get back on her own feet.
“There was also the time photojournalist Tim Auman captured the story of a Tarrant County Meals on Wheels volunteer, who was living in worse conditions than the people to whom she delivered meals, and delivering them via a barely driveable automobile,” McCaa said. “The next day I found out contractors who saw that story showed up at her home to make repairs, fix her car and give her money.
“What a blessing to breathe the same air as those kinds of Texans.”
In retirement, McCaa says he hopes to sit at home together with his wife, Nora, “reading, writing and listening to much more music (and for me, playing a little music).” Their current plan is to move to San Antonio or the border area to be closer to in-laws. McCaa and his wife have an adult son, Collin.
McCaa said he also hopes to do community work and teach at the university level. He’s a graduate of Creighton University. He earned a master’s degree in politics from the University of Dallas in 2002, and a Ph.D. in Humanities-History of Ideas from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2015.
“It took seven hard, hard years to get that Ph.D., I might as well put it to good use.”
Note: John McCaa will be guest-hosting KERA's Think starting Aug. 20.