Having been raised and educated in nearby Hickory, Deals first TV job was at Charlottes WSOC-TV as a news reporter and 'Today Show' cut-in anchor. 

Vacationing WTVT General Manager Eugene Dodson saw some of his WSOC reports and immediately gave him a call.  Dodson asked the rising news star to come to Tampa and join his stations rapidly expanding news department, and to fill a space recently vacated by 11p.m. anchor Wayne Fariss.  

Gene Dodson (left) brought Arch Deal to Tampa.  Crawford Rice was News Director and anchor of the 6p.m. Channel 13 news

Dodson actually wanted me to come to Tampa as soon as possible and paid all my expenses to do so, Arch remembers.  It was something like early spring, 1958I flew down and met news director Crawford Rice, who took me to dinner and began the courtship.  Since normally the news director would do the hiring of all news staff, I foresaw a problem in that the general manager of the station had sort of pushed me on Crawford.  That made me uncomfortable but, nevertheless, as head of the news department he was always gracious.

Deal was offered $12,000 per year, which he says seemed pretty good to him at the time, and all the Florida sunshine he could handle to work as weekend anchor and as reporter for the balance of his workweek.  "I was sold, states Deal.  In less than a week, Deal made his decision to uproot his wife and two children to come to Tampa.  He later had three additional children, all born in Tampa.

Once settled in Tampa, Deal took a good look at Channel 13 and the competition, and knew he'd made the right decision.  I was particularly impressed that a local TV station had devoted itself so passionately to delivering news, weather and sports with the fervor that Channel 13 had.  Other stations werent putting nearly the money and energy into creating the great local news and other programming that I saw happening at WTVT."