Dan Hanger is an anchor for the Duluth FOX affiliate who is so active on social media, the local paper wrote a story about him.
The KQDS anchor lets his viewers see the man behind the TV news curtain by posting everything from pictures of his dog in a wig to updates about his challenge of drinking a gallon of water a day on his facebook and twitter accounts.
“I want to be real from beginning to end,” Hanger told the Duluth News Tribune. “I think people appreciate the transparency … You have to be 100 percent in TV news. If you don’t share your daily life, you aren’t going to connect with your audience, and they aren’t going to follow you.”
Hanger has reached the facebook limit of friends and has over 1,400 followers on twitter. He calls his followers “Critters.”
Hanger had a Facebook confession for his Critters the other day: Sometimes he gets so busy scrolling through Facebook and chatting with viewers that he’s late for work. (But he tends to stay late, he added.)
But in a lot of ways, he treats Facebook like the playground extension of his job.
This is where he has earned the trust of viewers and the subjects of his stories, he said. It’s where he can be found before bed, when he wakes in the morning and sometimes during commercial breaks. It’s where some of his stories are born and some of his stories are shared. It’s where he posts selfies with co-anchor Diane Alexander and leads viewers on virtual behind-the-scenes tours created during breaks.
Hanger’s got the support of Fox 21 news director Dan Clouse, who is pushing for a social media-forward new organization.
“People don’t just watch, they want to engage with you,” Clouse said. “Dan has been a champion of staying ahead of the curve in social media. He’s developed good contacts. People are familiar with him. He can interact with the police chief or the mayor or other people. A lot of people know him.”
Clouse said Hanger has a wide leeway to be natural and engaging. Still, finding the right balance of being a public figure with a personal life has required a few closed-door meetings between the anchor and his boss.
“My famous line is ‘Dan, there’s a line. You can get close, but you don’t want to cross it,’” Clouse said.