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Revisiting the now impossible dream of a D-FW weathercaster being praised by his station for not being alarmist

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Imagine a local TV weatherman being promoted and praised by his station for using restraint rather than joining in the reindeer games of predicting a snowstorm.

Right. It seems impossible. In today’s environment, that same forecaster would be sharply reprimanded the next morning for prompting viewers to look elsewhere for their weather Armageddon fix. News director to temperature taker: “Don’t worry about getting it right, dummy. Strip down to your shirtsleeves and sound the alarm just like everyone else. Shit, even my wife turned the channel. Why? Because she was bored! Try this again and you’re going to be doing the weather in Waxahachie. From a #%$&* street corner!!!”

This brings us to a 1979 promo for former KDFW-TV (now known as Fox4) meteorologist Gary Bazner. On the night of Feb. 5th -- during the 10 p.m. newscast and in a ratings “sweeps” period no less -- he actually had the temerity to cold-shoulder the chances of a North Texas snowstorm. A resultant 30-second spot began like this: “We hate to say we told you so, but we think Channel 4’s Gary Bazner deserves a pat on the back.”

Why? Because he “stood alone” while “everyone else in town was predicting an overnight snowstorm.” As evidence, the promo showed a newspaper clipping with the headline, “A Flaky Forecast” of one to three inches of snow. That didn’t happen.

In contrast, “Gary knew we were in for some lousy weather. But his facts didn’t agree with the forecast others were passing on to the public. It’s nice to be right, especially when it’s something as important as the weather.”

Bazner died in 1996 of a heart attack. He was just 49.

Here’s the long-ago spot on his behalf, which now seems more dated than a Christmas season fruitcake factory.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net