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Ch. 8: "First with live news coverage capabilities"

Leeza Gibbons, former co-host of WFAA8's long defunct PM Magazine, turns 52 today.

She can be glimpsed, with short-shorted colleague Bill Ratliff, in this full-blown (scroll down) 1980 station presentation for advertisers. It runs for nearly seven-and-a-half minutes, but you won't find a better look at the way it was when local stations went to war each fall with grand pronouncements and big, pre-cable budgets. Among the sights and sounds:

***An announcer proclaiming of PM: "What a team! What a staff! What a program!" (Note: it aired at 6:30 p.m. weekdays and was celebrating its second anniversary.)

***A gaggle of writhing, twirling, high-kicking, black-clad Ch. 8 dancers weaving their way through the station's lobby and into the control room.

***Sports reporter George Riba and former news anchor Iola Johnson shaking and clapping to the tune of "We're one big family, in perfect harmony."

***Weatherman Troy Dungan, swaggering in an impossibly loud shirt through White Rock Lake park.

***Shots at the competition, with video of Ch. 4 anchors Chip Moody and Clarice Tinsley, and Ch. 5's Jane Jayroe and Dave Layman dismissed by a country twanger who sings, "Sometimes the newer something seems to be, the quicker it seems to grow old."

***Sports anchor Verne Lundquist hugging a beaming Tracy Rowlett in the newsroom; Iola Johnson having an equally great time proclaiming the station No. 1 through an open window.

***A paunchy John Criswell swatting a tennis ball.

***Legendary assignments editor Bert Shipp, father of investigative reporter Brett, playfully sticking his tongue out.

I've covered 'em all. So hokey as it might seem, this video made me kinda misty. Enjoy the show, and see who you recognize. And happy birthday, Leeza.