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News 8 promo, circa 1998: "If ever there was a time, it is now"

An urgent drumbeat sets the all-business tone. A male narrator with a drill sergeant's voice trades matter-of-fact pronouncements with a breathier female counterpart.

It's 1998, and Dallas-based WFAA-TV has never been more serious about the higher calling of "News 8 Now."

He says: "Closer to the community. Closer to the issues affecting you."

She says: "The coverage that enhances your intelligence and never insults it."

Both agree: "If ever there was a time, it is now."

A dozen WFAA8 anchors and reporters can be glimpsed in this evocative, shoulder-to-the-wheel selling tool. Four are still with the station -- anchors John McCaa and Gloria Campos and investigative reporters Byron Harris and Brett Shipp, who looks almost impossibly boyish.

The rest are no longer in the picture, although weatherman Troy Dungan still drops in at Christmastime while otherwise doing foundation repair commercials that regularly pop up on his old station.

Otherwise anchor Chip Moody is deceased and Tracy Rowlett, Nann Goplerud, Anna Martinez, Robert Riggs, Mary Stewart and Sonya Van Sickle are all long gone from WFAA8.

By the way, there's no room for sports in this one-minute spot. Fun 'n' games are out of step in a cold-sober environment where news marches to a martial beat. It remains an effective clarion call, positioning WFAA8 as your one-stop shop for everything that really matters in life. No miracle wrinkle cures or faddish diet stories, let alone the Dallas Cowboys, dared intrude on the solemn task taken on by "News 8 Now."

But that was then. Take a look: