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Dawson signs for three more years at KMBC Channel 9

March 5, 2003

For Len Dawson, the "R" word never really came into consideration.

"Retire? What else would I do?" Dawson said by phone Thursday.

So, with his three-year contract with Channel 9 coming up for renewal next month, Dawson gladly signed a three-year extension this week to continue to be the sports anchor at the station.

"My health is good, and I still love the job," he said. "At my age, I'm just grateful they still think I can do the work. And let me tell you, it is a great place to work."

Might Dawson, 67, have had other motivations for coming back, such as keeping up those mortgage payments for his megabucks mansion on Ward Parkway?

"Oh, yes. You got that right," he said, laughing.

Dawson is beginning his 18th straight year at Channel 9, though he worked for the station in the 1960s and 1970s, too. Only Frank Boal has a longer consecutive streak for sports anchors in Kansas City as he enters his 21st straight year at Channel 4.

Jack Harry worked 27 straight years at Channel 5 before accepting a buyout there two years ago. Harry recently returned to local television as the sports anchor at Channel 41.

"Channel 9 has an amazing streak of being No. 1 in this city in terms of ratings," Dawson noted. "And I think one of the reasons is we have such a familiarity factor with our anchors and reporters. Maybe that's why we're No. 1: The other guys keep switching people."