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The slow reveal -- extended weather forecasts used to be hand-activated, one by one

Weather's the star player in today's local TV news firmament. Even the threat of a drizzle tends to be top-of-the-newscast material. And CBS11 lately is trying to out-Delkus WFAA8's Pete Delkus with a promotion that underscores Larry Mowry's proclivity to go coat-less whenever the weather kicks itself up a notch.

Maybe they could heighten the suspense, though, by returning to those hand-activated extended forecasts of yesteryear. Weathermen used to proceed one day at a time, making viewers wait a few seconds for each reveal. Now the whole deal is slapped up on screens electronically, giving viewers instant gratification.

The below video is excerpted from a December 1979 forecast by WFAA8 weekend weathercaster Steve Newman, who worked at the station from 1978-'80 and still resides in the North Texas viewing area. It includes a little opening and closing banter with former anchor John Criswell. But the manually activated "5 Day Outlook" is the star player here. There's even an audible clunk at the end after Newman has finished rolling down his shade.

Imagine the fun to be had if WFAA8 went back to those days -- maybe for just a week during a ratings "sweeps" period. The station's madcap duo of Delkus and sports anchor Dale Hansen could be like Vanna and Pat back when she had to manually execute her nightly consonant and vowel movements.

For that matter, any station could promote a "Throwback Week in which news sets return to their stark, spare surroundings while stories are presented on film instead of videotape. Vintage hairstyles could make a comeback, too. Pasted on mutton chop sideburns for the men and piled on hair for the women.

Hey, I think maybe I'm on to something here. OK, probably not. Here's the clip. And it's too bad that Criswell couldn't have greeted his weathercasting partner with "Hello Newman!" Alas, this was all pre-Seinfeld.