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Show History

Willard Scott does WRC-TV weather

Before moving to the Today Show, Willard honed his weather skills on WRC-TV. It was a short commute: the TV studios were just upstairs from the Joy Boys' radio studio. Around 10 PM, Willard would gently escort visitors out of the Joy Boys studio as he prepared for the TV news at 11. Willard also did weather during the 5:30-6 PM newscasts. In 1979, the Washington Post called him "the most recognizable figure in local television." Here are some photos from those days on the WRC-TV set. (Click on any picture for a larger view.)

From left: Bud Kates (sports), Jim Vance, Glenn Rinker, and Willard Scott. Jim and Glenn co-anchored the newscast. Jim Vance still worked at WRC-TV some 30 years later.

Here are two more photos of that same news team.

Neil Boggs (left), Willard Scott, and Glenn Rinker made up another news anchor team on WRC-TV. The Boggs/Rinker show was solidly #1 in the ratings.

From former WRC engineer Mike Berry: I often worked on the 11PM show... I remember running the studio cameras. They were TK-41s & were very big and heavy. I weighed less than 100 lbs. at the time. When the director called for a camera move, often my shoes would just slip on the floor and the camera would stay put.

Here's still another grouping: Willard, Jim Vance, Glenn Rinker, and Dave Sheehan with sports. This wide shot gives you a look at the sparse decor in a typical TV studio. (It also answers the age-old question... yes, TV anchors do wear pants.)

Also notice the large screen in the background. This was called a Vismo... a machine using transparencies like an overhead projector. There were two of them so the operator could disolve between pictures. That meant that the operator had to assemble the pictures in order on the two machines. If there was a change in the lineup of the show, it was a great challenge for the Vizmo operator. I believe the usual operator was Howie Klein who was really good at it.

Celebrating birthdays! Willard wears an especially wild wig for the occasion. From left: Sam Dress, Willard, Glenn, Dave Sheehan, and Fred Thomas. The cake reads: News flash from the News Center: It's Glenn's Birthday!

And now it's Willard's turn. His cake is more elaborate, and reads: Willard's Weather Book
Temperature - Abnormal
Humidity - All Wet
Wind - Plenty
Pressure - All Gas
Outlook for Tomorrow - Many Best Wishes!
Happy Birthday Willard!

And finally, Glenn and Willard break bread together one more time. There were occasional post-show meals at the Pancake House in Bethesda... corner of Bradley & Wisconsin... now gone.

All photos provided by Glenn's daughter, Amy Rinker. You can read more about Glenn Rinker on this web site.

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