henry copeland: 1/3 of Dianne Clatto's NYT obituary is devoted to parsing whether she was first pllqt.it/UyKD5H #overkill

Was Dianne White Clatto first!?!

Establishing whether Ms. Clatto was actually the nation’s first full-time black weathercaster is problematic. “I have checked with numerous sources, and they all agree: She was the first black female weathercaster on television in the United States,” said Bob Butler, a reporter with KCBS Radio in San Francisco and the president of the National Association of Black Journalists. Advertisement Continue reading the main story Advertisement Continue reading the main story Advertisement Continue reading the main story An article in the Sept. 4, 1963, issue of Variety headlined “St. Louis’s KSD-TV Sepia Weather Gal” said she would be “the first of her race to be booked as regular on-the-air talent in some years at a local commercial TV station here.” Jet magazine unequivocally credits Trudy Haynes, a New York native, as the nation’s first black weathercaster and television reporter. She joined WXYZ in Detroit in September 1963. But Ms. Haynes said in an interview that if Ms. Clatto began in 1962, then she would have indeed been the first. The reference guide “Contemporary Black Biography” describes June Bacon-Bercey as the first black female television meteorologist in the country, in Buffalo in 1970. (That was the same year that John Amos began playing Gordy Howard, the black weatherman on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”) “Weather on the Air: A History of Broadcast Meteorology,” by Robert Henson, says only that Steve Baskerville became the first black weathercaster on network television, for the “CBS Morning News,” in 1984. And in 1996, Mr. Roker began working as the regular weekday weather anchor on the “Today” show. Ms. Clatto was unquestionably a hometown pioneer who, she told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “felt the weight of the world on my shoulders” as a role model during her early years of broadcasting.
- www.nytimes.com