Remember Chris Hansen from the NBC investigative series To Catch a Predator? You know, that show that centered around sting operations set up by Hansen and law enforcement officials with the goal of catching sex predators? The show became quite popular and quickly turned Hansen into a cultural icon, leading to memes and pop culture references regarding Hansen as the show’s host.
In fact, if you’re an avid Boondocks fan, then you may remember when creator Aaron McGruder even made a jab at Hansen with the now infamous episode, “A Date with the Booty Warrior.” For those who have never seen the episode, it looks a little something like this:
Hansen was definitely a big name in news journalism at the time. In addition to his work on To Catch A Predator, Hansen was also a well-known host on NBC’s Dateline. With such prestigious positions at a big time network, the news anchor and television host had to have made some pretty decent paychecks during his time at NBC. So how much is he worth today?
Chris Hansen’s early life and career
Born Sept. 13, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois, Christopher Edward Hansen was inspired to become a journalist at the age of 14 after following the FBI investigation into the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. By the time he graduated from Michigan State University, he had already taken a job as a reporter for the Lansing-based NBC affiliate during his senior year. After college, Hansen worked as a reporter in various cities throughout the Michigan area. By 1988, he became an investigative reporter and anchor for the NBC affiliate in Detroit and by 1993, he officially joined NBC News as a correspondent.
His first gig as an NBC correspondent was for the short-lived news program Now with Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric. At about the same time, he also accepted a new position as an anchor for NBC’s Dateline specials, where he discovered more in-depth, high-profile stories involving disastrous nationwide events including the Columbine Shooting, the Oklahoma City Bombing, the Unabomber, and the TWA Flight 800 disaster.
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Being on that side of the journalistic spectrum, Hansen also began to develop his career as an investigative journalist. He began taking deep dives into topics like Indian child labor and counterfeit drug sales in China. He also played a heavy role in journalism during NBC’s coverage of the September 11th attacks, Osama bin Laden’s activities, the Air France flight 8969 hijacking, and the inefficiency in security measures in American airports.
In 2004, Hansen began hosting the series To Catch a Predator, which essentially served as a sting operation for predatory adults looking to have sexual encounters with children. Usually the adults were lured to previously agreed-upon meeting places for these encounters that were filled with camera crews and police officers. Once trapped in the room, Hansen would approach and interrogate the suspects before law enforcement casually walked in to apprehend the would-be predators.
The show ran from 2004 to 2007 and became so popular that it even developed a few spin offs, including To Catch A Con Man and To Catch An I.D. Thief. However, the branding suffered a major blow when Hansen was eventually fired from NBC after compromising photos of him and a mistress surfaced online. After leaving NBC, Hansen went on to host Killer Instinct, a show on Investigation Discovery that chronicled homicide cases. Unfortunately, the show only consisted of 10 episodes.
In 2016, he joined the syndicated news program Crime Watch Daily as the host of its second season. During his time on the show, he also introduced Hansen vs. Predator, a revival of To Catch a Predator. The show ended its run in June 2018 after three seasons. Currently, Hansen has a YouTube channel⏤Have A Seat With Chris Hansen⏤with weekly podcasts that tackle different topics and interviews with special guests. Outside of that, he really doesn’t have anything else going on.
What is Chris Hansen’s net worth?
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Hansen is currently only worth $1.5 million, which is the exact same amount that struggling celebrity parents Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott are worth combined. Knowing that Hansen was once a rising star on one of the biggest television networks in the world, this is actually quite sad.
There’s a lesson in all this to you aspiring TV journalists out there: don’t think for one minute that once you’ve snagged a cushy job at a major network, you’re safe. You can still lose everything if you’re not careful, and those same networks have no problem cutting ties with you if you become a liability. Do yourself a favor and don’t become one.