Reunion towers: former WFAA8 news stars Rowlett, Johnson, Dungan on TV together for first time since 1985
10/25/12 11:36 AM
Iola Johnson, Tracy Rowlett at recent kickoff event for Texas Daily. Photo: Ed Bark
By ED BARK
Together again on TV for the first time in more than 27 years -- Tracy, Iola and Troy.
Their scheduled venue is the Tuesday, Oct. 30th 8 a.m. edition of KTXD-TV's (Ch. 47) The Texas Daily, where former WFAA8 news stars Tracy Rowlett, Iola Johnson and Troy Dungan are scheduled to be that day's featured attractions.
Along with sports anchor Verne Lundquist, they were a ratings juggernaut for WFAA8 from 1975 into the early/mid-1980s.
Lundquist, still a major presence with CBS Sports, was the first to leave in 1982. Johnson departed WFAA8 on Feb. 28, 1985 after becoming D-FW's first African-American news anchor a decade earlier. Rowlett began anchoring for rival CBS11 in early 2000. And Dungan retired as WFAA8's chief weathercaster in July of 2007.
Rowlett and Johnson re-teamed to co-anchor CBS11's 4 p.m. local newscasts from 2000 to 2002. But Tuesday will mark the first time since early 1985 that Dungan will make it an on-camera threesome.
'Iola and I have remained close friends through the years," Rowlett said in an email reply. "She was perhaps the most popular anchor ever in the D-FW market and possessed a God-given talent that is rarely seen.
"Troy is one of my closest friends, and I have always seen him as a broadcaster's broadcaster, a delight both in front of and behind the camera. Iola, Troy and I share many memories and pulled together through both the glad times and the sad times."
Rowlett said he hoped to "be able to skype Verne in on a future broadcast so the four of us can be reunited."
As previously posted, The Texas Daily, which launched on Oct. 1st, uses a rotating group of former D-FW news personalities to comment on various issues of the day. The one-hour program, now repeated at 6 p.m. weekdays, is hosted by former WFAA8 anchor-reporter Jeff Brady. Its target audience is baby-boomer viewers aged 50 and older. Most advertisers pay a premium for supposedly more "impressionable" 18-to-49-year-olds. But KTXD is hoping to profit from aiming its programming at what the station believes is a grossly under-served pool of avid TV watchers.
Below is a publicity shot of (left to right) Rowlett, Lundquist, Dungan and Johnson during their WFAA8 heyday.