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Dennis anyone? Veteran sports reporter Steve Dennis looking for work after being counted out by CBS11


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Steve Dennis’ 16-year tenure with CBS11’s sports staff has abruptly ended with the station’s decision not to renew his contract.

“They just up and took my ball away from me and told me to go home,” Dennis, 53, said Saturday in an email reply to unclebarky.com.

Dennis had been gearing up for another season of covering the Dallas Cowboys when he found himself unemployed. He has long been a vocal fixture on that beat, often firing blunt questions at players, coaches and owner Jerry Jones.

“I am not absolutely positive about this, but I’m pretty sure Jerry won’t start a new Cowboys season without me, so I have two months to get a new gig!” Dennis said.

His ouster was first reported by Dallas Morning News sports media columnist Barry Horn, who quoted CBS11 (and sister station TXA21) president and general manager Gary Schneider as saying “there was no issue with his performance.”

Schneider also told Horn that the two stations, primarily TXA21, would be cutting back on sports programming. TXA21 currently airs The Fan on weeknights from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and also carries Friday night Texas Rangers baseball games. CBS11/TXA21 has two relatively new sports staff hires in Guy Rawlings and Jane Slater, who currently hosts The Fan after an earlier stint as a freelance news reporter for the stations.

Possible local landing spots for Dennis include Fox Sports Southwest or one of the market’s three sports talk radio stations.

“I don’t know. It’s only been a week and it feels kind of cold out here!” Dennis said. “I hope my future lies somewhere. I need another 8-10 solid years to support my golf habit! Plus, play isn’t nearly as fun without the work to go with it.”

D-FW’s major television news providers aren’t nearly as bullish on sports as they used to be. Weather has supplanted scores and standings as the biggest came in town, although the Cowboys are still considered a top priority.

The disparity is the greatest at NBC5, which has six full-time meteorologists and three full-time sports anchors/reporters. Dennis’ departure means that none of the four major combatants -- Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8, CBS11 -- has more on-air sports staffers than weathercasters.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net