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The 'Open'-Minded Dan Hicks
When he graduated, he took a first job at a local radio station for $5 an hour and eventually ended up doing studio sports work at CNN in Atlanta. That's where he first met his wife, then-CNN broadcaster Hannah Storm, and where NBC found him in 1992. The network hired him to do studio work and the occasional NFL game.
Hicks called his first U.S. Open at Shinnecock in 1992, working from a tower out on the storied Long Island course, and golf has always been one of his great sports passions. He's also been known to do killer impersonations of Tom Brokaw and Bob Costas, among many others -- including a wicked Richard Nixon way back when on his telephone answering machine. He usually plays it straight on the air, even more so at an event such as the U.S. Open, though he tries not to indulge in hushed reverence.
"It is the national championship, so there is a little more reverence than our usual tournaments," Hicks said. "But it is still a sport, so let's have a little fun with it when it's appropriate. I think people appreciate that, too."
Thursday through June 18 on ESPN and NBC
The Read on Hicks
· Born: June 2, 1962, in Tucson
· Education: BA, journalism, University of Arizona (1984)
· Career Highlights: Lead golf announcer for NBC Sports since 2000; joined NBC in 1992. Previously worked for CNN and news affiliates in Tucson.
· Family: Married to "Early Show" co-host Hannah Storm since 1994. Three young daughters: Hannah Beth, Ellery and Riley. He's generally home during the week while Storm is working in New York. But she's home when school lets out and on the weekends when he's often traveling -- as many as 20 weekends a year on golf when NBC's schedule expands in the 2007 season.