In a business built on swift career moves over a quarter century in one spot is more than a little stable! On the other hand, if this were a major crime, I’d be out on probation by now!
For me, it all started in high school, back in a small farming community in the Midwest (OK, I grew up in Flushing, Queens – but who would admit to that). Back then, the New York City Board of Education ran its own radio station, producing among other things, radio shows for use in the classroom. I became a radio actor, one of the many, now worthless skills acquired over the years.
By the time I was in college (Emerson College, where I had a double major, taking up both time and space) I still hadn’t figured out how to keep away from radio and got my first real paying on-the-air job at WSAR in Fall River, MA (“Ahoy there matey, it’s 14-80″).
After a career in radio featuring enough jobs in enough cities to qualify for a U-Haul Gold Card, I decided to try my luck in television. I had started shaving a few times a week. To me, that said TV.
It was off to Western New York as the host of PM Magazine/Buffalo. The show was great, but there were downsides. As it turned out, Buffalo is in a sun-free zone from sometime in late October until May. And then, there’s that snow thing. PM Magazine was an on-location show, and driving… or rather sliding… from location-to-location quickly lost its luster.
I desperately wanted to work inside a warm building. Luckily, there was a weekend weather job opening up, so I went to the news director to apply for the job and sheepishly added, “I don’t know anything about the weather.” Thankfully, that wasn’t one of the requirements and a new career was born.
So many people who do what I do grew up loving the weather and followed their dream. It wasn’t until I started following the weather that I realized how fascinating it was. And, I quickly realized that someone “doing the weather” should actually know something about the weather.
I bought every book I could find. I read and studied. I hung out with meteorologists. I don’t know if you realize how wild and exciting they are? You never see the true meteorologist until he is relaxed and lets his pocket protector down.
Math and science had been my strong subjects in school and so I quickly took to meteorology, especially as high powered computers and intricate numerical modeling improved the accuracy of forecasting. The more I learned, the more I realized how deeply I was drawn to the science behind it all.
In May 1984, thanks to the manager at a competing station who wanted me out of the market (it’s possible my own bosses felt that way too… but that’s another tale for another day), I was on my way to Connecticut and WTNH.
In over two decades here, I’ve done everything from forecasting hurricanes (Gloria and Bob) to flying through them (twice). I’ve also flown an F/A-18 with the Blue Angels, experienced Mt. Washington in mid-January with 100+ mph winds and sailed under Long Island Sound in a Groton based submarine.
I’ve been honored with 7 Emmys, SPJ and AP Awards, “Best of” awards from Connecticut Magazine and the New Haven Advocate, and dozens of awards from community organizations across the state. Theodore Roosevelt’s concept of the “bully pulpit” has greatly affected me and so I’ve devoted many hours to charity, including long standing commitments to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, March of Dimes, Friends of Yale/New Haven Children’s Hospital, Gateway Community College Foundation and many others.
It is scary to have adults, with their children in tow, walk up to me and tell me how I visited their middle school class. I’m not old enough for that.
A plum tree, planted twelve years ago, produced fruit for the first time this year. I’m that kind of outdoorsman. My spare time is spent adding to the 60,000+ photos I’ve taken on my Canon DSLRs, at computers I’ve built, working on web and multimedia applications, providing tech support for friends and family, and muttering curse words in the general direction of Bill Gates’ house.
My wife Helaine and I live in Hamden, CT. After graduating college our daughter Stefanie moved to Southern California where she collects shoes and works in television production.