Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bob Ryan Leaves WRC Channel 4

See Mediarology for the latest developments.

Feb. 27 Update: Video of Bob Ryan's goodbye broadcast from YouTube:

Midnight Friday Update: Bob Ryan made an emotional "final weekend forecast" and farewell to his audience and colleagues Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler around 12:20 Saturday morning at the end of the Olympics-delayed local news broadcast.

Although he made no mention of future plans, reported on Thursday that Ryan's speculated move to Channel 7 (WJLA) may be delayed by a contract non-compete clause. Such restrictions can potentially run as long as 6 months.

Original post:
The dcrtv blog reports that veteran weatherman Bob Ryan will be leaving NBC affiliate WRC-TV (Channel 4) on Friday after 31 years at the station. Ryan's departure, announced as a retirement, leaves open the possibility of his joining forces with long-time weatherman Doug Hill at ABC's WJLA, Channel 7, although no deal has been announced. Ryan, the dean of Washington TV meteorologists, has always been a class act since the Climate Capitalist first viewed his weathercast on WCVB-TV shortly after Ryan began his career in Boston.

Here is Ryan's bio from the undoubtedly soon-to-be defunct web page of NBC-4:
Bob Ryan has been News4’s Chief Meteorologist since 1980 making him the longest-serving weathercaster in Washington. His weather reports air weekdays on News4 at 5, 6 and 11 and on And, listeners to NPR affiliate WAMU-FM can hear Ryan’s forecasts afternoons during All Things Considered.

Ryan’s career began in Cambridge, Mass. where he was involved in cloud physics research with Arthur D. Little, Inc. A side job as a broadcast meteorologist turned into a fulltime job as principal meteorologist for Boston’s WCVB-TV. In 1978, Ryan became the first meteorologist to regularly appear on NBC’s Today show.

As Chief Meteorologist, Ryan has initiated and supported many unique programs at NBC4. For 25 years, his annual Almanac provided weather and environmental information while raising more than $500,000 for local children’s charities. He also created the 4WINDS (Weather Interactive Demonstration Schoolnet) Network that placed more than 400 interactive weather stations in area schools. In 2006, that system was upgraded and expanded to become Weather Plus Neighborhood Network. Hundreds of thousands of kids who grow up in the Washington area enjoy a hands-on introduction to meteorology from these systems.

Ryan was also co-investigator for a project that brought NASA and NBC4 together to lead one of the first television weather sites on the Internet, WeatherNet4. Today, NBC4’s strong web weather presence takes the shape of, a website and a cable channel which provides round-the-clock forecasts and weather information.
Ryan is also actively involved professionally in his science. In 1996, he was elected president of the American Meteorological Society; he is the only broadcaster to have led this prestigious organization. Ryan has also served the AMS as Chair of the Committee of Broadcast Meteorology, Commissioner of Professional Affairs and member of the Council of the Society. He has also served on the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate for the National Academy of Science two committees of the National Research Council, and the Advisory Committee of the Geoscience Directorate of the National Science Foundation. Ryan’s expertise has been called upon repeatedly to testify before various committees of Congress

During his career, Ryan has received numerous awards, including regional Emmys for Weathercasting and the Ted Yates Emmy for outstanding service to the community. His alma mater, the University of Albany, presented him with a "Distinguished Alumni" award, and the AMS gave him The Charles Franklin Brooks Award for his outstanding service.

Despite these awards and his distinguished career, Ryan is proudest of his role as husband and father. He and his family reside in Northern Virginia.
From dcrtv's mailbag, here is a copy of the email distributed this afternoon at WRC:
Bob Ryan has been an important fixture in our newsroom for 31 years. He has covered everything from tornadoes to hurricanes and of course the occasional blizzard. Millions of area residents have come to depend on his forecast. After much discussion with him, Bob has decided it is time for a change. So Friday will be his last day at NBC4. We can't thank him enough for his dedication and passion. He will certainly be missed. Bob asked me to share the following note with you: "Even for a snow loving meteorologist this has been some winter. And for this snow loving and every other kind of weather loving meteorologist this has been some ride. It’s also been more fun than one person should have over 30 years in the same job with some of the same friends and colleagues for 20-30 years. But this winter’s snows are now pausing and so will I. Yogi Berra said, 'When you come to a fork in the road take it.' I’m going to take that great philosopher’s advice. This fork leads to more time with my wonderful wife Olga, who has had to deal with more storm related power outages and unshoveled walks alone than any spouse should ever have to put up with. I have had the wonderful fortune to work for and with many of the most dedicated people I know, who care deeply about what we do and why we do it. I may not have the opportunity after Friday to sit next to Doreen, Vance, Wendy, Jim or have the fun of interacting with my long time colleagues Tom, Veronica and Chuck and so many of you. But I will always have great affection for everyone here and you will be in my thoughts as you have been part of my professional life. If anyone asks, tell them let’s meet upstairs at Guapo’s when the snow melts, after this winter we all need a beverage and I know I still owe Collins another Jameson"


Anonymous said...

We will miss Bob Ryan: We have watched him since he began on NBC. We wish Bob the best of luck in the future. Bob You will be missed dearly. Great job. Thank You . Kathy - Fairfax

S.P. Gass said...

Thanks for posting... I remember watching Bob Ryan as a kid. Would've been nice for NBC to put together a compilation of old clips through the years...

Anonymous said...

Bob is the man... when Bob left NBC4 so did I, after 31 years of supporting them I am gone... Hello WJLA7.

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