People
9:51 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Legendary Kansas City Radio Man Dan Verbeck To Retire

Dan Verbeck (right) with KCUR news director, Frank Morris.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Veteran Kansas City radio newsman, Dan Verbeck announced his retirement Monday. Verbeck has been a reporter in the Kansas City region for 40 years. Since 2008, Verbeck has served as a general assignment reporter at KCUR.

Previously, Verbeck worked at KMBZ 980 AM for 23 years, where he was well known for his signature signoff: "Cruiser 980 ... clear."

"I have always admired Dan as a hard-boiled radio newsman who has a poetic and empathetic approach to the people in his stories," said KCUR News Director, Frank Morris.

Verbeck is a native of Chicago, where he began his career as a reporter and photographer for newspapers in the Chicago suburbs. He made the switch from print to radio during the two years he served in the U.S. Army.

Since 1974, Verbeck has covered major stories in the Kansas City region and across the nation. He covered the walkway collapse at the Hyatt Regency hotel, the Joplin tornado and the natural-gas explosion at JJ's Restaurant. In 2005, he was asked to step in to help New Orleans station, WWL, with coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

"Dan is a first responder. He didn't call to ask if he should go cover the Joplin tornado; he called to say he was on his way," said Morris. "He arrived hauling a bag of Monster energy drinks, but without his toothbrush or high blood-pressure medicine, and worked almost nonstop for two days. That's Dan Verbeck."

Verbeck says he plans to "do anything he wants" during retirement, including spend time with his wife and five children, read American history and travel. He will retire in March.