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Through the looking glass to "The Spirit of Texas on 8"

@unclebarkycom on Twitter

Now owned from afar by TEGNA (a scrambling of Gannett’s letters after it split its television and print properties), WFAA-TV (Channel 8) for decades billed itself as “The Spirit of Texas” station under homegrown Belo stewardship.

This 1985 promo spotlights some of the featured news personalities from 30 years ago. Only one of them remains with the station. (Hint: he’s the highly opinionated guy shown nuzzling a horse long before flaunting his utter boredom with soccer.)

Otherwise look for the likes of Tracy Rowlett, Midge Hill, Phyllis Watson, Troy Dungan, John Criswell and David Margulies. It’s all done to the homey “Spirit of Texas” theme music back before Belo sold all its TV properties and KDFW, KXAS and KTVT respectively became beholden to their Fox, NBC and CBS owners.

Yeah, it wasn’t really all that simple back then. And anchors and star reporters were and have never been as impossibly happy together as their stations depict them. Still, the “old days” had more than just nostalgia going for them. D-FW stations pretty much charted their own courses without having to run hires, fires and image campaigns up the ladder to out-of-state corporate masters.

Take a look at this throwback spot. You can feel the difference.

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