Another Change in Weather At Channel 19
Just got back from vacation to learn two things:
--Nobody posted any comments on my blog the past week, so I will do them ASAP. Thanks to all who commented on "The Simpsons Movie," the posts will be up very soon.
--Channel 19 is looking for its third chief meteorologist in 10 months. Paul Horton has accepted a job as morning and new weatherman for KPHO-TV, the CBS station in Phoenix (Channel 5). He will leave WXIX-TV on Sept. 30, two weeks after Valerie Abati goes to Pittsburgh on Sept. 14. And Pat Barry had triple-bypass surgery 10 days ago, and he's unavailable to fill in for a while.
Horton says it was a tough decision to leave the station which promoted him to chief meteorologist in January, after Rich Apuzzo was fired in October. But the Oregon native said wanted to get West, closer to his family. His parents have a winter home in Palm Springs. He wasn't looking for a job, he says. His former news director in Spokane invited him out over the July 4th holiday, saying that KPHO-TV wanted his personality for the morning show. He says he turned them down twice before accepting the job. Ch. 19 bosses didn't know he was considering leaving until last week, when he told them he wanted out of his contract. The three-year deal he signed in January allows him to buy out the remaining contract, which he's doing with help from the Phoenix station, he says.
Horton, 36, says he "felt terrible" to tell Ch. 19 bosses that he wanted to buy out his contract and move on. "They were pretty upset, and for good reason," he says. "It was a really tough decision. They promoted me, and they believed in me . I love it here, but after I talked to my family and friends, I decided I'd be crazy not to do this. You don't know when another position out West might open up again."
News Director Steve Ackermann said in a staff note Friday: "We were disappointed when Paul came to us about this, and we are sure our Fox 19 viewers will be disappointed to hear that Paul is leaving at the end of September."