Published on Monday, 12 September 2011 12:49
WMAQ-TV sent out a press release late this morning announcing two new additions to the NBC 5 Weather Team, along with the subtraction of one. Joining the station this month will be two new faces to the Chicago viewing audience: Cheryl Scott and Alicia Roman, while exiting next month will be Ginger Zee.
Before this month is over, Cheryl Scott will work as WMAQ-TV's weekend meteorologist, while Alicia Roman will become the weekday meteorologist for the newly launched NBC5 News at Noon.
Cheryl Scott comes to Chicago's NBC station from WBIR-TV, Knoxville, TN's NBC affiliate. She has been the weekend & fill-in meteorologist, Thursday & Friday Noon newscast meteorologist, as well as weekday feature reporter for almost the last two years. Scott joined WBIR-TV in December 2009. Prior to her time in Knoxville, she spent two years reporting on weather at WSEE-TV/WICU-TV in Erie, PA.
Scott is a native of Atco, NJ. She graduated from Brown University in Providence, RI in 2007 with a Bachelor's Degree in Geological Sciences. Most recently, in 2010, Cheryl Scott received her Meteorology Certification from Mississippi State's Distance Learning Program.
In addition to having a passion for being a meteorologist, Cheryl Scott is into fitness, especially running. She was part of her high school and college Track & Field teams, becoming an all-time, top ten record holder in four different T&F events for Brown University. Unfortunately for Chicago Bears fans, her favorite football team is the Philadelphia Eagles.
Cheryl Scott, along with her beagle Lola, will be moving to Chicago this week. She starts with WMAQ-TV next week.
Alicia Roman comes to Chicago's NBC station from WISH-TV, Indianapolis, IN's CBS affiliate. She has been a weekend meteorologist with WISH-TV since September 2008, doing weather on newscasts on WISH-TV's channel 8 and sister-station WNDY-TV channel 23. Prior to her three years in Indianapolis, Alicia Roman worked as a weather forecaster on WIS-TV Columbia, SC and WHIZ-TV in Zanesville, OH.
Roman, 30, comes from a small town a little north of Pittsburgh in Western Pennsylvania. She graduated Penn State University in 2003 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She followed that up by attending and graduating from the Broadcast Meteorology program at Mississippi State University. Roman is a member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the National Weather Associated (NWA). She was awarded the AMS Seal of Approval in September 2009.
Alicia Roman will remain with WISH-TV through the rest of this week, doing her last weather forecast for Indianapolis on Sunday, September 18th, before moving three and a half hours north to downtown Chicago. She begins at WMAQ-TV the last week of this month.
Frank Whittaker, WMAQ-TVs Station Manager and Vice President of News said in this morning's statement: "The additions of Cheryl and Alicia will allow us to expand our coverage during breaking weather situations and focus even more on preparing and informing our viewers." Larry Wert, President Central and Western Region, NBC Owned Television Stations and President/General Manager of WMAQ-TV added: "We are committed to providing our viewers across all platforms the most comprehensive weather coverage in Chicago."
As it stands now, by the final week of September, WMAQ-TV will have a whopping six meteorologists on staff: Chief Meteorologist Brant Miller, veteran Andy Avalos, part-timer Pete Sack, weekender Ginger Zee, and the two new hires, Cheryl Scott and Alicia Roman. That changes less than two weeks later, though, as WMAQ-TV has now confirmed the long-standing rumors that Ginger Zee is indeed leaving the station in early October. There is no official word, but trusted sources told Time Out Chicago's Robert Feder in mid-August
that Ginger Zee has been hired to fill a "Good Morning America" meteorologist vacancy starting in November.
CRM has been informed that Zee will start as the weather anchor on the weekend edition of ABC-TV's "Good Morning America." She will also become the principal weekday morning fill-in, with an eye on possible moving to that role full-time in the future. No firm date has been set, but it appears that she will begin on GMA on November 5th. Ginger Zee, along with her black Labrador retriever, Otis, will be moving from Wrigleyville to New York City next month.
The "GMA" weather anchor position will not be her first time on national television. Since February 2010, Ginger Zee has been doing fill-in work for NBC-TV's "Today" show -- a role that helped her gain the "GMA" position. She also has done fill-in work on NBC-TV's "Early Today," as well as on MSNBC's "First Look, Way Too Early" and "Morning Joe." Additionally, she has been appearing on the Discovery Channel's "Stormchasers" with her close friend Reed Timmer this year.
There is no comment yet from Ginger Zee regarding her future, although she did say on both of her Facebook accounts today: "I've had a lot of folks ask about my future employment... Unfortunately, I don't yet have an official announcement yet. What I can tell you is that I will be on the air at WMAQ through October 9. Great things to come..."
Zee, 30, has been with WMAQ-TV since September 2006. Prior to her time in Chicago, she worked at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, MI (and on WLAV-FM at the same time) and WEYI-TV in Flint/Clio, MI. Among the places she interned was with WGN-TV, learning from Chicago's favorite meteorologist Tom Skilling. Zee is an AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and earned Midwest Emmy Awards for Best Weathercast in 2007 and 2008. She also has been an Adjunct Professor at her alma mater, Valparaiso University, where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Meteorology.
Ginger Zee, who was born in LA, but raised on a farm outside of Grand Rapids, MI, says that she was given the first name of Ginger because of a bad 60's sitcom. Her father moved to the United States from the Netherlands and didn't speak much English. He was a fan of of the classic show "Gilligan's Island" and named his daughter after the movie star character of "Ginger." Supposedly, the man from Amsterdam was able to learn English language better from watching the show. (He never tried to make a radio from coconuts, though.)