WJXT anchors’ vintage holiday greetings

Watch 3 classic promotional spots from 1980s; read the story behind ‘Snow Dreams’

Back in the day, Channel 4′s contracted with Jerry Smith Film & Television Co. to produce elaborate annual holiday greetings featuring our news team. They were instant classics.

These mini-movies even had names. Click above to watch Home for the Holidays, Snow Dreams and Christmas with Family -- dating from the mid-80s.

Tom Wills, the only anchor from 40 years ago still on the anchor desk, remembers Snow Dreams was a top-secret mission -- even most people at Channel 4 didn’t know about the project until it was done.

“The station flew all four of us, along with Jerry and his film crew, to a resort in Colorado that Jerry’s production company had taken over,” Wills said. “We basically played in the snow for two solid days. Jerry shot miles of film for those few seconds. Of course, we all had the times of our lives.”

Snow Dreams was so popular that viewers called the station for the next several Decembers asking when it was going to air.

Trips to the Rockies with a film crew to play in the snow to make 60 seconds of television haven’t made it in the budget recently, but our anchors still appear in promotional spots each year wishing our viewers and readers best wishes for Christmas, Hanukkah or whatever you celebrate this time of year. The budget may be smaller but our greetings are just as sincere.

And thanks to our friends and former colleagues Deborah Gianoulis, George Winterling and Sam Kouvaris for some great memories.

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