Harold Hayes joined KDKA-TV in August of 1979 as a general assignment reporter and during 37 years before his retirement, covered everything from military operations in the Middle East to landmark local court cases. He covered the Democratic National Convention from 1980 through 1992 and interviewed then-President Bill Clinton at the White House shortly after Clinton took office in 1993.
His overseas coverage included Operation Desert Shield in Saudi Arabia in 1990, Kuwait’s memorial to the local lives lost during Operation Desert Storm in 1993, and the funeral of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 2005.
Locally, Harold covered many local court cases over nearly four decades and followed up on stories that still have impact on the community. For example, he covered the 1981 court-ordered desegregation that resulted in the merger of the Woodland Hills School District. Twenty years later, he found one of the students he interviewed then — who had become a parent of a graduate that year, and interviewed them both. After his retirement from KDKA-TV, he wrote a retrospective on the issue for the online publication Public Source.
Harold grew up originally in McKeesport where his father pastored Bethlehem Baptist Church. After his father’s death, his family moved to Pittsburgh where he graduated from South Hills High School in 1971 and the University of Pittsburgh (CAS ’75) with a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Communications. After graduation from Pitt, Harold worked as a research assistant in the “Reading is Fundamental” program, sponsored by the Urban League of Pittsburgh. In 1976, he became a staff announcer for WSIV Radio in Pekin, Illinois. The following year he took the position of weekend anchor/producer/reporter at WRAU-TV in Peoria, Illinois and worked there until accepting the position at KDKA-TV. He retired in April 2016.
Harold is on the board of Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting, which operates NPR affiliate WESA and WYEP radio stations, and is on the board of the Mt. Ararat Community Activity Center. He serves on the Producer Database Project of the National Association of Black Journalists, which attempts to diversify media management and has been involved with a number of community organizations including the NEED scholarship program, the Bethlehem Baptist Church scholarship program named after his late father, WQED-TV and the Allegheny Union Baptist Association.
Harold married his wife Denise in 1984. His older daughter is in Human Resources at General Mills and his younger daughter is an an academic counselor in the School of Education at Penn State and a freelance photographer.