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updated: 5/12/2011 4:41 PM

WMAQ sports anchor Hawks dies in Atlanta

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  • Daryl Hawks

    Daryl Hawks

Associated Press

A TV sports anchor from Chicago was found dead in his hotel room Thursday morning in Atlanta, where he was staying while covering the Chicago Bulls-Atlanta Hawks NBA playoff series.

Daryl Hawks, 38, of WMAQ-TV was taken to Emory University Hospital Midtown, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

"We have no reason to believe foul play was involved at this time," Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said Thursday afternoon.

Hawks had been staying in the Omni Hotel at CNN Center, which is next to Philips Arena where the Bulls and Hawks play Game 6 Thursday night, police said.

Hotel employees found him in his room at about 9:30 a.m. after he missed a wake-up call, WMAQ reported.

In Chicago, colleagues at WMAQ were stunned by Hawks' death, said Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news.

Hawks had worked at the station since 2008. The former Marine was a three-time Emmy winner.

"Daryl was a great member of our sports team, and was so excited about covering the Bulls during this playoff run," Whittaker said.

Hawks grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo and played semi-pro football in Lockport, N.Y., the Chicago Tribune reported.

Before joining WMAQ, he worked at television stations in the California Bay Area; Raleigh, N.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Palm Springs, Calif.