Laughter is the best medicine, unless you have a bevy of beauties from Cypress Garden's ski team cheering you on to a speedy recovery!

It was downhill between WFLA and Arch after that. Executives at Channel 8 were troubled by Archs obsession with the sport of skydiving. After the accident they considered Deal's hobby as way too dangerous for someone who was their main anchor. Deal got back to work on the air within two months of his accident, but not soon enough for those in power at the station. There was tension with station management, largely due to the insurance coverage dispute. Deal states that everyone in the newsroom received him warmly on his return.

In 1976 Deal moved over to WLCY (now WTSP), Channel 10, at the time an ABC affiliate. Deal remained there as news director and sole on-air anchor on both evening newscasts for two years.

Arch in his favorite place...falling!

Since then, Deal's body healed to the point he could skydive professionally, become media marketing director for Miller Brewing Company, and broadcast airborne traffic reports with Nancy Alexander for WRBQs highly-rated Q-Zoo. He also appeared in radio and television commercials for automobile dealers and real estate agencies. Both the radio station and Miller Brewing Company agreed to allow him to juggle his time to do other work as long as it didnt interfere with his contractual responsibilities.

Meanwhile, Deal started a company, The Voice of Business, to produce and install audio messages for business customers telephones on hold and has landed some very big-name clients. He also began teaching mass communications classes and hosting a bi-weekly radio program at Hillsborough Community College. In 1991, Deal became a father again, this time to a girl that he continues to adore and raise in Tampa.

Deal retired from broadcasting in the early 90s but continued to skydive every weekend until August 10, 2002 when once again his reserve parachute failed to slow a fall during a session at the Zephyrhills, Florida Skydive Center. In contrast to his 1975 injuries, Deal was lucky this this time: he only broke both of his legs.

Arch Deal returned to teaching at Hillsborough Community College

The 70-year-old living news and skydive action figure returned to teaching after a month in rehabilitation. Deal is using a walker to help him adjust to the use of steel rods placed in his legs.

Arch Deal summarized his more than three decades of news anchoring and traffic reporting this way: I wouldnt have traded my career in broadcasting for anything in the world and it was especially nice because I was in Tampa. I think the viewers on the west coast of Florida are the most wonderful and caring people. Tampa has always been a great big, little bitty town and I hope it stays that way.

People welcomed me into their living rooms and their automobiles for so many years to see and hear me do what I loved doing the most. I always considered myself to have a tremendous responsibility to the people I served and for that opportunity I will always be grateful.

Arch Deal in a skydiving tribute to 9/11

Arch at the 2003 WTVT/WFLA reunion with Ray Blush
and Roy Leep

Want to Email Arch Deal? Click Here:

Arch has written an expanded version of his encounter with John F. Kennedy during the President's visit to Tampa in November of 1963. To read his account, CLICK HERE