News anchor and reporter Brad Drazen, a West Hartford resident, will leave NBC Connecticut as of June 8, 2017.
By Ronni Newton
Brad Drazen confirmed Wednesday that after 17 years with the station, his last day at NBC Connecticut will be Thursday.
Drazen, an award-winning journalist who has gained the respect of viewers throughout the state, said that although he still has another day left at the station, his last day on the air was actually Tuesday.
His existing contract ends this weekend, but Drazen said he will be taking his one remaining vacation day on Friday.
While many may be surprised at Drazen’s departure after so many years at the same station, he said it’s something he has been thinking about for the past several months.
“We just didn’t agree on the terms of another contract,” Drazen said in a phone interview Wednesday regarding his discussions with station management.
“When it started to become clear to me that there were some obstacles, I started thinking about what life would be like without being at NBC Connecticut,” Drazen said. He had always planned to be at the station for the foreseeable future, he said.
Drazen, a native of Binghamton, NY, has a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from UCLA. He joined NBC Connecticut and moved to West Hartford in January 2000 after a two-year stint with the CBS affiliate in Traverse City, MI – where he said it snowed seven months of the year.
Drazen’s wife, Lauren, is a Glastonbury native, so coming to the Hartford market was like coming home.
He was hired as part of the station’s expansion to a 5 p.m. newscast, and over the years also worked as a morning reporter, weekend morning anchor, and for seven years was the weekday morning anchor.
In January 2014, Drazen switched to anchor the 5 p.m. newscast, and he has also been part of NBC Connecticut’s investigative team since 2014.
“I have no regrets. It’s been really great and I have been treated well and given the opportunity to do every role possible,” Drazen said.
Those opportunities, he said, included covering politics as well as life-changing stories like Sandy Hook and the Hartford Distributors shooting, and a recent award-winning series on the crumbling foundations of homes in eastern Connecticut.
“I have really great feelings about the company, about what I’ve done.”
As for what’s next, Drazen would not provide details but said, “I’m in a good place, and really excited about what the future holds. There’s going to be a new chapter very soon, and I’m excited about it, very optimistic.”
He did confirm that he is not leaving West Hartford – where his wife is a popular Chinese teacher at Hall High School and two of his three teenaged children attend school. Drazen’s oldest son just completed his freshman year at Dartmouth.
Drazen said he has 11 more years worth of college tuitions ahead, so being unemployed for any length of time is not in the plans.
Like what you see here? Click here to subscribe to We-Ha’s newsletter so you’ll always be in the know about what’s happening in West Hartford!