GOOD NEWS: Doppler Dave visits with TV weather pioneer Dan True
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - TV weather has always been important at NewsChannel 10, and one of the reasons people tune in for the news, but it was a really big deal in the early days of television.
Local weather legend Dan True pioneered weathercasts at our station starting in the 1950′s and absolutely dominated the airwaves.
He was so popular that ratings for his weather segment will probably never be challenged.
I had the honor of sitting down with Dan for a visit this week, reminiscing about this time at NewsChannel 10.
Dan shared his philosophy of why he had such a connection with people.
“I think it’s that I didn’t talk down to them,” said Dan. “If I thought it was going to be, going to be bad. I was raised in journalism. I didn’t beat around the bush.”
Viewers loved Dan’s flamboyant delivery with assorted props tailored to the weather, like papers flying around the set for a windy forecast, and they loved his interacting with animals that were also often brought on set.
Dan was much more than a showman.
With a background in both journalism and aviation, he brought industry changing innovation to television.
Being a crop duster pilot at heart, he implemented the use of an airplane for weather and news coverage and even used an air strip that was cleared next to our station.
Dan was also a military pilot and used that experience and insight to be one of the first ever to envision and then utilize radar for television weather.
“I agreed to go to KFDA, that did it,” said Dan. “Can you imagine doing weather without radar? We had the first radar at a television station. I knew where to get one. That’s what put KFDA on the map.”
We relived many moments and he shared some fascinating memories of his time at NewsChannel 10. I feel privileged to have worked with him on the team for a couple years.
He turns 97 this year and even shared his secret for living a long life.
“I don’t smoke, don’t chew or go with girls that do!”
Dan closed our time together with some thoughts as to why our viewers depend on weather people like us.
“People have to know,” said Dan. “People need to know.”
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