11aveD evaD snitalutargnoC. That's congratulations Dave Devall spelled backwards, which, after all, is how Devall used to write his weather forcasts.
The CTV News icon is hanging up his chalk tonight after an incredible 48 year run, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as tops in his trade.
Devall's friendly, familiar baritone, often heard under station IDs throughout the CTV affiliate chain, is such a part of the network brand it is hard to imagine it might be silenced.
Perhaps it won't. Eight years after Tom Gibney retired as a CFTO news anchor, the silver-haired smoothie still pops up now and then behind the suppertime anchor desk, filling in for Ken Shaw. CTV hangs on to their familiar faces almost to a fault, although hard to argue with that strategy when you look at the numbers. Wednesday night, CTV Evening News at 6 drew a whopping 1,304,000 viewers, a large chunk of that from Toronto.
CTV's stick with 'em policy stands in sharp contrast with other networks, who disappear and are never heard from again. CHCH whacked long time anchors Dan Mclean and Connie Smith without so much as a here's your hat, what's your hurry a few months ago. Hell, entire daypart newscasts have disappeared at Global. Fewer local newscasts are probably in the forecast as revenue challenged Canadian networks petition the CRTC to ease CanCon restrictions.
So expect Devall to come in out of the weather and sub for Tom Brown the odd time or two in the future, at least until he and the station can celebrate a 50 year anniversary in 2011. Devall wasn't a day one guy, but did start at brand new CFTO a few months after the doors opened. Continuity right back to the Kennedy administration. That's a Boomer bonanza.
Tributes have been pouring in from both sides of the border. Devall even got a shout out from Regis & Kelly for 48 years in the weather reporting business. Scarborough has even temporarily renamed the road leading into the station, Channel Nine Court, Dave Devall Way (although they didn't spell the name backwards).
Fitting then that it is raining hard today in Toronto. The Weather Gods must be angry.
Look for Devall to get a new set of clubs (or at least a new umbrella) tonight on CTV News at 6.