Former WFAA8 giants Tracy Rowlett, Troy Dungan will re-emerge for one-night retirement profiles on rival CBS11 during upcoming February "sweeps"
02/01/11 12:40 AM
By ED BARK
CBS11 is planning an unusual bit of ratings "sweeps" gamesmanship on its 10 p.m. newscasts this month by featuring two former mainstays of arch rival WFAA8.
Anchor Tracy Rowlett and weathercaster Troy Dungan, longtime members of WFAA8's juggernaut 10 p.m. news team, will be profiled in their retirement years by CBS11 anchor Karen Borta.
Dungan, who retired as WFAA8's full-time forecaster on July 18, 2007, said that CBS11 tentatively has scheduled his piece on Feb. 17th, with Rowlett's set for the following night.
Rowlett retired from CBS11 on July 11, 2008 after eight-and-a-half years at the station. He previously spent 25 years at WFAA8 before making what still ranks as the biggest anchor station shift in D-FW history.
"I really know very little about 11's plans for these pieces," Rowlett said, confirming that Borta recently had interviewed him at his lake house near Mount Vernon, Texas. "Troy seems to know more than I do about air dates."
The Dallas Observer's "Unfair Park" blog reported Monday that Dungan would make a "one-time only" appearance on CBS11 this month, but had no further details on what the station planned to do with him. No mention was made of Rowlett. CBS11 director of communications Lori Conrad told the Observer that Dungan would pop up "tentatively, the week of February 14th," but declined to specify further.
CBS11 and WFAA8 have been in air tight races for 10 p.m. ratings supremacy, with WFAA8 inching past CBS11 in the November sweeps after CBS11 beat WFAA8 by a hair in the May sweeps. The four-week February ratings period begins on Thursday, with both stations again likely to be fighting down to the wire.
Rowlett was air-brushed out of WFAA8's history after jumping to CBS11. The station's extensive lobby pictorial is without any images of the anchor who teamed with Iola Johnson in the 1970s to lead WFAA8 to ratings dominance during the reign of Peabody Award-winning news director Marty Haag.
Dungan's bow ties and participation in WFAA8's annual Santa's Helpers toy drives were also staples of his 31-year career at the station. His commercials for home improvement companies continue to air on stations throughout the market.