It’s not so long ago that local TV news in Southern California had a small-town, “let’s put on a show” quality lacking in today’s over-polished and neutered broadcasts. People who grew up when I did fondly recall KABC’s weatherman Dr. George Fishbeck – the nerdy meteorologist (yes, he really was a scientist – not a model, actor, or comedian). The polar opposite of today’s StormWatch 2008 SuperMega Doppler 7000 HD, Dr. George never used cue cards or a teleprompter, was awkward and bookish on camera, but always charmed us with his sincere passion and honest demeanor. Occasionally (OK, frequently) he’d wander off-topic and need to be guided back on course by anchors Jerry Dunphy and Christine Lund. He was everybody’s favorite science teacher, the kind of character you’d simultaneously laugh at and defend against mocking.
Dr. George retired in 1997 and won an Emmy Governor’s Award in 2003 for his contribution to broadcasting.
Take a look at this video from 1980 – the low-tech presentation is stunning by today’s standards: