Tuesday, July 22, 2008

KDKA TV Weather Staff Changes

Last Friday, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette first reported that KDKA TV had fired meteorologist Valerie Abati and hired freelance, veteran meteorologist Dennis Bowman to replace her. I check my blog stats from time to time with Statcounter, and I was amazed to see the number of page loads on my blog was well over 100 last Friday and yesterday, Monday. My normal daily page load is somewhere between 25 and 35. The most visited post on those 100 plus page load days was a post from last October when KDKA first hired Abati. I did not realize how much Pittsburghers were interested in who presents the local TV weather forecast. The article in the Post Gazette does not state a specific reason why Abati was fired, but it does mention that viewers were critical of her coverage of thunderstorms on the 11:00PM June 29 newscast. Also, some viewers on a local TV chat board complained about her voice. Pittsburgh is a tough media market for TV personalities. When KDKA TV announced the hiring of Abati in October, I always wondered why they did not hire Dennis Bowman instead. Bowman has a lot of experience, is well respected, and his voice is clear and crisp.

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