Thanks for the Memories!

I want to thank all of you who took time to bring back fond memories for me, of some of the silliness I did when I was on TV. Some of those gags were from 20, 30, or more years ago. And many of them were things I had completely forgotten about. I admire you for your memory. I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast. No…wait. I do remember. It was an apple.

There actually was a method to my madness. Believe it or not, I worked hard at weather forecasting, even in the summer when it was mostly scattered T-storms and hot temps. I took that part of my job very seriously. But I knew that if I didn’t provide a little “entertainment” you might not hang around (through the commercial) for the forecast that I had worked hard to prepare. And, besides, what’s wrong with providing a little chuckle along with a weather presentation? I didn’t do a gag every night. Just enough to keep you guessing, “What nonsense is he going to do tonight?”

The recent death of my buddy Bruce Erion (I really loved the guy) made me take a look at our local TV stations. I hadn’t paid any attention to them for a long time. And what I saw was revealing. I don’t see any dominant reason for choosing one station over the others. They’re all pretty much the same. This is not sour grapes because I have no right to be critical and I’m trying not to be. But it all seems “mechanical” to me. There is nothing that stands out – the weather presenters seem robotic, and there’s not much to distinguish one from the others. Nobody seems to be having any “fun.” Chris Holcomb is the only one who allows some of his personality to show through (and we all know who taught him that, don’t we?).

And I guess that is the thing. There are no personalities anymore. No “standouts.” Maybe management requires that of their weather people. Because if someone becomes really popular with the viewers, it makes them more valuable – and that means it’s going to cost more to keep them. I’ve seen some YouTube stuff of weather people trying to be funny, even outrageous. That never works. It just makes them look phony – like the nonprofessionals they are.

Those are my thoughts on the subject for whatever they’re worth, if anything. But I truly believe that if you can’t have fun at whatever your job is, you should get another job.

About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on Amazon.com, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on http://johnbeckmanbooks.com and available from Amazon.com. . .
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