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The wit behind the weatherman

With meteorologist Don Paul retiring three months after reporter Rich Newberg, it certainly looks like an end of an era at Channel 4.

But as veteran anchor Jacquie Walker notes, there is one significant difference about the mementoes the two retiring TV veterans have saved over their lengthy careers.

“Rich saved every interview and story he has ever done,” said Walker. “He had movers come three times to the station to take the boxes of belongings to a rented storage space.”

“Don has scraps of paper, bent photographs and a couple of videotapes in the trunk of his car,” she added. “That’s all there is.”

One of the videotapes is a three-quarter inch reel that shows Paul working with the late Channel 4 anchor Bob Koop at a station in Tampa, Fla.

That video will be used in a three-part series that Walker is putting together on Paul’s 29 years at the station and 32 years in the market. It will air Monday through Wednesday, Paul’s final day.

Walker has been on the set with Paul throughout his stay and they have become very close through the years. One of her favorite memories is how often Paul spiced up his forecasts with pop culture references.

“Longtime viewers know that on any given night, he might have a challenge on how to reference (singer) Jerry Vale and Jerry Seinfeld in the seven-day outlook,” said Walker.

That challenge illustrates a few of Paul’s biggest loves.

“He loves music, comedy and weather,” said Walker.

She said he doesn’t walk out in the newsroom and tell jokes, but he constantly sends humorous YouTube links to staffers.

“The last one was about Buddy Hackett,” said Walker. “He is a funny man. I haven’t thought about him in 30 years.”

Coincidentally, that was just about the time the Don Paul era started at Channel 4.

– Alan Pergament