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New word-mashing "We Are WFAA" image promo gives the station a uniquely over the top shout out

@unclebarkycom on Twitter
It’s not quite Yoda talk. As in, “Hard to find, independent local TV criticism can be.”

But Dallas-based TEGNA8’s brassy new “We Are WFAA” image spot finds a few ways to mash up the language, courtesy of a very big-voiced narrator who makes James Earl Jones seem like a funeral director. “COURAGE GATHERERS,” he booms. “RESOLVE STEELERS. RISK TAKERS AND UP SHAKERS.”

All of these attributes (and many more) are affixed in big bold letters to a parade of TEGNA8 news personalities in the station’s sax-backed, “urban”-centric one-minute promo. Anchor dean John McCaa is pictured as the Resolve Steeler while head weathercaster Pete Delkus gets to be the Up Shaker.

It’s without a doubt an attention-getter, which is much of the battle. The campaign also is light years removed from the station’s gone but not entirely forgotten “Spirit of Texas” mantra, which stayed in place for decades until new owner TEGNA sent homespun packing.

“We are not here for small talk or small steps,” the “We Are WFAA” promo booms at the start. “We exist because people depend on us. And what they need from us is for us to become our best selves everyday.”

Closeups of McCaa, Cynthia “Izzy’ Izaguirre and Daybreak anchor Ron Corning are shown in the opening seconds before his early morning colleague, Alexa Conomos, is shown happily waving.

(Some viewers might wonder if Conomos is waving hello -- or goodbye. Way back in January of this year, Conomos informed station management that she’d be leaving to spend more time with her family and enjoy a more “normal” lifestyle. Conomos agreed to stay on until her replacement was named, which presumably would be by the end of the May “sweeps” ratings period. But the latest word is that Conomos has been persuaded to stay with Daybreak all the way until the end of this year. In the annals of long goodbyes, that’s a D-FW television record that might be harder to break than Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.)

But we tarry. Back to the “We Are WFAA” spot, which reaches a crescendo of sorts when the narrator lets loose with a big chuckle before exclaiming “Laugh Makers!” The accompanying video is of sports anchor Dale Hansen cutting loose with former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk.

The station’s anchors and reporters also are variously depicted as “HOPE SELLERS. CHEER SPREADERS. CON BUSTERS. POWER SHIFTERS. SCALE BALANCERS,” etc.

“We do all this because we can’t not do it,” viewers are told in closing. “And if we’re working for all alike, we must be brave. EVERYDAY.”

The final shot is of McCaa and Izaguirre walking toward another day’s news battleground.

TEGNA’s corporate brain trust has made this much clear: They’re determined to significantly it not radically change their owned stations’ approaches to how news is presented and marketed. The “We Are WFAA” campaign, which is grandiose while also being wholly unlike any other in D-FW, is further proof that TEGNA really means this.

Whether you’re turned off or tuned in is yet to be seen. But for the purpose of these spaces, it can be a damned lot of fun to write about, even if station management might well say in turn, “To hell Uncle Barky can go.”

Here’s the full one-minute spot:

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