CHANNEL 13 WHAM METEROLOGIST GLENN JOHNSON LEAVES AFTER 36 YEARS
Chief meteorologist Glenn Johnson has been “let go” by Channel 13 WHAM news, after a 36-year career with the station. According to Johnson’s social media post, his position as chief meteorologist has been eliminated,
He wrote on his post, “”I wish I could say this is easy, but after 36 years it is not,” he wrote. “I can truly say it has been a wonderful ride, a joy and a challenge to forecast the unique weather of western New York.”
Johnson started with the station in 1985 as an intern while still a student at Brockport, and later became the weekend meteorologist before landing the chief meteorologist job.
Johnson has a wife and two grown sons, and now, a grandson, whom he hopes to be spending more time with.
Johnson’s last day with the television station will be May 27.
Filed Under: FEATURES, Life and Style, NewsSours: https://geneseesun.com/channel-13-wham-meterologist-glenn-johnson-leaves-after-36-years/
13WHAM Chief Meteorologist Glenn Johnson speaks out on being laid off and on what's next
Glenn Johnson never planned to become a broadcast journalist.
Like many others, the New York native wanted to become a professional baseball player for the New York Yankees. Once he realized that wasn't a viable career path, he explored other options. Ultimately, his mother suggested he consider meteorology.
"It was always a hobby for me, but I never thought it would become my career," he said. "I certainly never thought I'd end up on television."
Johnson, who was raised on Long Island, last week announced that after 36 years as a meteorologist for WHAM-TV (Channel 13), his job was eliminated to due "workforce reductions." In the following days, he received numerous messages from across the country — from viewers, fellow meteorologists "and people I haven't heard from in 10 to 20 years."
Johnson said he learned in early March that he was losing his job. While he was one of several people laid off, he was the only on-air employee, making his departure far more public.
"It's been a challenging few weeks," Johnson said. "As unhappy as I am about the whole thing, I am not ready to retire."
Meanwhile, he said he is happy about the pending arrival of his second grandchild, due in early June, while also grieving the loss of his 17-year-old dog and end of his tenure at Rochester's ABC affiliate.
"I'm the perfect candidate for a country song," he joked. "I lost my job, I lost my dog." All the while, Johnson is looking ahead to determine what's next.
His final day on the air is Thursday, and final day at the station is Friday.
Johnson started at the news station as an intern while still a full-time student at The College at Brockport in 1985, before becoming a part-time meteorologist for WHAM-TV several months later.
After four years as a weekend meteorologist for the station, Johnson moved to weekday mornings. He became the station's chief meteorologist in 2001 when Bill Peterson, Johnson's mentor, retired from the post.
"Meteorology is a science that is shoehorned into broadcasting," Johnson said, adding that his daily goal was to tell the "weather story" within his allotted time in a manner that impacted viewers.
"Everybody's making decisions based on the forecast, whether it is what coat to put on a child heading out the door or what route a trucking company should follow based on predicted lake effect snow," he said.
He recalled how technology has changed during his career, milestone weather moments including the Rochester ice storm in 1991 and blizzard of 1993, as well as regular visits to students in kindergarten through 12th grade across the county to "share my passion of weather."
For eight years, he also taught a college course on weather and climate at Monroe Community College. For about a decade, he wrote a weather column published in the Democrat and Chronicle.
"I have a skill set I hope to use elsewhere," Johnson said. "I am not moving on to another job and I am not retiring."
Johnson, a Fairport resident, and his wife Eileen have two adult sons, a grandson and are expecting a granddaughter. He said he plans to spend more time with his expanding family.
And he's not sure what's next — other than a trip to North Carolina to meet his new granddaughter and visit his two-year-old grandson next month.
"I can't say enough good things about the folks I work with," he said, specifically citing WHAM-TV meteorologists Marty Snyder, Mark McLean and Scott Hetsko. "We're a team ... You're only as good as the people you surround yourself with. They all made my job a little bit easier, but now their jobs will become a bit harder."
McLean, who worked with Johnson for the last 21 years, said that he will miss working with Johnson, a man he described as "a consummate professional" and could not recall a time when Johnson ever lost his cool.
"He knew how to get the challenging forecasts out to the public without scaring the heck out of them," said McLean. "Trust me, he created plenty of good laughs too through the years, especially in those rare times when the entire weather team was in the office at the same time."
Hetsko, a meteorologist in Rochester for more than two decades, joined WHAM-TV's weather team nearly five years ago, one year after his 2015 heart transplant.
He called Johnson "a professional through and through."
"The philosophy of our weather department is to 'inform NOT alarm' and Glenn always led that way," Hetsko said. "I’ve enjoyed my past five years with him and I sure didn’t want it to end this way. There’s an old saying, 'You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.' That’s Glenn for us at 13 WHAM and the community at large."
Contact Victoria Freile at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @vfreile and Instagram @vfreile. This coverage is only possible with support from our readers.
For the TV station that signed on as WHAM-TV, see WROC-TV.
ABC/CW affiliate in Rochester, New York
Television station in New York, United States
WHAM-TV, virtual channel 13 (VHFdigital channel 9), is an dual ABC/CW-affiliatedtelevision stationlicensed to Rochester, New York, United States. The station is owned by Deerfield Media; the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns Fox affiliate WUHF (channel 31), operates WHAM-TV under a shared services agreement (SSA). Both stations share studios on West Henrietta Road (NY 15) in Henrietta (with a Rochester mailing address), while WHAM-TV's transmitter is located on Pinnacle Hill on the border between Rochester and Brighton.
The station signed on at 4 p.m. on September 15, 1962 as WOKR (for "We're OKRochester"). It has always been an ABC affiliate, and is the only commercial station in the area that has never changed its affiliation. It originally operated from studios located on South Clinton Avenue in Rochester.
The station's original local owner, Channel 13 of Rochester, Inc., was composed of the Flower City Television Corporation, the Rochester Educational Television Association, the Genesee Valley Television Company, Star TV, Inc., Community Broadcasting, Inc., Heritage Radio and Television Broadcasting Company, Main Broadcasting Company, Federal Broadcasting Systems, Citizens Television Corporation, Rochester Broadcasting, Inc., and Rochester Telecasters, Inc., all of whom were equal shareholders until March 1970, when Flower City bought out its partners. Flower City sold the station to Post Corporation, a media conglomerate based in the Fox Cities region of Wisconsin in 1977. George N. Gillett Jr. purchased the Post Corporation stations in 1984 transferring it into Gillett Holdings, Inc. Hughes Broadcasting Partners (Paul Hughes and Veronis, Suhler & Associates) purchased the station in 1991. Hughes then sold WOKR to Guy Gannett Communications in 1995.
Guy Gannett sold its stations to the Sinclair Broadcast Group in 1998; as Sinclair already owned WUHF, it then spun off WOKR to the Ackerley Group, with the acquisition closing in April 1999. The station came under common ownership with WHAM radio (1180 AM) in June 2002 after the Ackerley Group merged with Clear Channel Communications, WHAM radio's owner. Speculation immediately started about whether WOKR would take on the WHAM-TV calls, which had been used on what is now WROC-TV from 1949 until 1956. On January 10, 2005 at 1:42 in the morning, channel 13 signed off-the-air for the last time as WOKR and returned to the air at 4:59 that same day as WHAM-TV. The WOKR call letters then moved to sister station WUCL in Remsen, New York (now Air 1 affiliate WAWR; in 2015, when the Remsen station dropped the calls, a radio station in Rochester picked up the WOKR calls and returned them to the market, swapping them with Canandaigua sister station WRSB in 2017).
For many years, WOKR was one of three Rochester area stations offered on cable in the Ottawa–Gatineau and Eastern Ontario regions. The Rochester area stations were replaced with Detroit channels in September 2003 when the microwave relay system that provided these signals was discontinued. Until January 2009, WHAM-TV was also the ABC affiliate carried in several Central Ontario communities such as Belleville, Cobourg, and Lindsay. Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW-TV replaced WHAM-TV in these communities.
On November 16, 2006, Clear Channel announced its intention to sell off all of its television stations after the company was bought by private equity firms. On April 20, 2007, the company entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Newport Television, a broadcasting holding company established by the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. The sale separated WHAM-TV from WHAM radio (which remains owned by Clear Channel, now iHeartMedia); however, the WHAM-TV call sign has been retained, and the two stations have continued a news partnership.
WHAM-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 59, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 13.
On July 19, 2012, Newport Television announced the sale of 22 of its 27 stations to the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Cox Media Group. While most of WHAM-TV's New York State sisters were sold to Nexstar, a buyer for WHAM-TV was not announced until December 3, when Newport sold its non-license assets to Sinclair. The license was sold to Deerfield Media for $54 million. Sinclair cannot acquire the WHAM-TV license because of its continued ownership of WUHF (though it holds an option to do so); Nexstar could not purchase WHAM-TV because it already owned CBS affiliate WROC-TV. Rochester has only five full-power stations—not enough to legally permit a duopoly. WHAM-TV is also the only ABC affiliate owned by Newport Television that wasn't sold to Nexstar. With the announced sales in November of two additional stations to Nexstar and KMTR in Eugene, Oregon to Fisher Communications (which was later sold itself to Sinclair in May 2013), WHAM-TV was the last Newport Television station without a buyer. On January 30, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted approval of the transaction, and it was consummated two days later.
On December 31, 2013, WUHF terminated its eight-year SSA with WROC-TV, and the station was re-located to WHAM-TV's studios. On January 1, 2014, WUHF introduced two WHAM-TV-produced newscasts, Good Day Rochester and a 10 p.m. newscast, which were both previously seen on its CW-affiliated subchannel WHAM-DT2.
On July 28, 2021, the FCC issued a Forfeiture Order against Deerfield Media stemming from a lawsuit involving WHAM-TV. The lawsuit, filed by AT&T, alleged that Deerfield Media failed to negotiate for retransmission consent in good faith for WHAM-TV and other Sinclair-managed stations. Deerfield was ordered to pay a fine of $512,228 per station named in the lawsuit, including WHAM-TV.
WHAM-DT2, branded as CW Rochester (formerly CW WHAM), is the CW-affiliated second digital subchannel of WHAM-TV, broadcasting in high definition on virtual and VHF channel 13.2.
The station began as a cable-only WB affiliate in 1996 on Time Warner Cable channel 26. The station was created by Lynette Baker, Time Warner Cable's local programming manager, as an entertainment programming replacement for the independent channel WGRC channel 9, which was in the process of being relaunched as 24-hour news channel R News. Baker approached The WB to launch a cable only affiliate as all the broadcast licenses in the Rochester market were allocated. The network distribution staff headed by Ken Werner and Hal Protter agreed to the cable license. In December 2000, the station became a joint venture of Time Warner Cable and The WB, named Rochester Television Ventures, LLC; it used the fictional call sign "WRWB-TV". The venture kept Lynette Baker as the Director of Operations and hired Tish Robinson as general manager and Steve Arvan as general sales manager.
Rochester Television Ventures choose Jay Advertising Inc. as marketing and advertising agency of record for the channel in November 2000. At that time, the channel was expected to go live in January 2001. Tish Robinson was the channel's initial general manager. WRWB re-launched in December on channel 26, only to be moved to channel 16 in late December 2000.
Robinson planned for the channel to launch its own news programming in 2001, but revenue was below expectations, forcing its postponement until 2003. After the September 11 attacks, the channel replaced an airing of the martial arts movieMortal Kombat with the family comedy Dennis the Menace. In May 2003, the channel began carrying Rochester KnighthawksNational Lacrosse League games.
In mid-2004, Rochester Television Ventures added marketing and communications services to improve the channel's revenues and to fill the void of the loss of smaller advertising agencies. By this time, the cable channel had scrapped plans for newscasts and carried The Daily Buzz morning news show with local weather updates from TWC's R News.
On January 24, 2006, the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that they would shut down and merge their UPN and WB networks to create a new network called The CW. WRWB's CW affiliation was officially announced in early March. On November 13, 2006, WHAM-TV purchased WRWB-TV from Time Warner Cable. It renamed the service "CW WHAM" and began to simulcast on a new second digital subchannel of WHAM to offer over-the-air viewers access to CW programming. CW WHAM moved its operations and four of its staff from the downtown Rochester into WHAM-TV's facilities in Henrietta.
WHAM-TV has led the news ratings in Rochester for most of the last four decades. The station's lead anchorman, Don Alhart, has been at the station since 1966. As of 2007, portions of WHAM-TV's programming (including its weekday noon newscast) is streamed live on its website. On January 15, 2007, the station expanded its weekday morning show to include two hours (7 to 9 a.m.) on WHAM-DT2. On September 13, 2010, WHAM-TV became the first station in Rochester to broadcast newscasts in high definition. The station debuted an updated logo featuring the "circle 13" design (derivative of the circle 7 logo) similar to fellow ABC affiliate WTVG in Toledo, Ohio. The shows on WHAM-DT2 were included in the upgrade and currently can be seen in HD over-the-air or on Spectrum channels 16 and 1212.
On January 1, 2011, WHAM-DT2 began airing a half-hour prime time newscast every night at 10 as 13WHAM News on Rochester's CW. This at the time competed with Fox affiliate WUHF that has a nightly 45 minute broadcast produced by WROC-TV. As a result of changing operational partners from WROC-TV to WHAM-TV, WUHF begin having its nightly prime newscast and a new weekday morning show produced by this ABC outlet. Essentially, the same two shows currently airing every night at 10 and weekday mornings at 7 moved from WHAM-DT2 to WUHF. These changes took take effect January 1, 2014. On WUHF, the prime time broadcast became 13WHAM News at 10 on Fox Rochester and its weekday morning program is now known as Good Day Rochester. The slots on CW Rochester were filled by syndicated sitcoms and paid programming. In September 2014, 13WHAM News This Morning (5:00-7:00) has since been renamed Good Day Rochester and WUHF now simulcasts the last half hour (6:30 a.m.) of the program.
WHAM-TV meteorologists also provide weather updates for WUTV in Buffalo.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
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- ^Newport Sells 22 Stations For $1 Billion, TVNewsCheck, July 19, 2012.
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- ^"Forfeiture Order"(PDF). Federal Communications Commission. 2021-07-28. Retrieved 2021-09-08.
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- ^Jacob, Smriti (January 4, 2002). "Economy forces station to slow expansion plans". Rochester Business Journal. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- ^Jacob, Smriti (September 21, 2001). "Ad industry shifts to reflect nation's serious tone". Rochester Business Journal. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- ^Jacob, Smriti (May 2, 2003). "Knighthawks game to air on WRWB". Rochester Business Journal. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- ^Jacob, Smriti (May 21, 2004). "WRWB to start offering new marketing services". Rochester Business Journal. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- ^"Dueling Networks Expand Station Lineups". TVNewsCheck.com. March 8, 2006. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- ^Gauthier, Andrew (December 28, 2010). "Rochester Duopoly WHAM Plans to Launch 10 p.m. Newscast on Digital Subchannel, CW-Affiliate". Ad Week. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- ^"WHAM buys local channel". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York. November 14, 2006. p. 46. Retrieved January 4, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- ^13WHAM readies for HD news, Democrat and Chronicle, 2010-07-11, retrieved 2010-07-16
- ^Miller, Mark K. (December 28, 2010). "WHAM To Launch News On CW Subchannel". TVNewsCheck.com. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
- ^WROC out, 13WHAM in on Fox.Democrat & Chronicle, 7 October 2013, Retrieved 8 October 2013
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We are honored to induct into our Hall of Fame two of Rochester’s most distinguished journalists. Doug Emblidge and Ginny Ryan have brought news to thousands of Rochester homes for a combined 66 years; have served as the co-anchors of 13WHAM News at 5:00 for more than two decades.
In addition to co-anchoring with Emblidge, Ryan serves as the anchor of 13WHAM News at 10 on FOX Rochester, and co-anchors 13WHAM News at 11:00 with NYSBA Hall of Fame member Don Alhart. Emblidge is also one of the anchors of Good Day Rochester on 13WHAM ABC and FOX Rochester.
After graduating Syracuse University, Emblidge joined WOKR-TV in 1983 to anchor a program called NewsScope. From 1986 to 1989, Doug anchored weeknight sportscasts. In 1989, he returned to news to anchor the station’s new 5 PM newscast. In 2000, Doug took on additional duties as anchor of 13WHAM News This Morning, which became Good Day Rochester.
Ryan, a Rochester native, graduated from Buffalo State College. Two days after graduation, her career began as a reporter at WENY-TV in Elmira, New York. She was hired as a reporter by 13WHAM ABC in 1987. She anchored the morning and noon newscasts before doing the five, ten and eleven o’clock news.
Doug and Ginny are firmly embedded in their communities and work to give back on a constant basis. Emblidge serves on the board at Pluta Cancer Center. Ryan serves on the board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester.
The Board of Directors of the New York State Broadcasters Association is proud to announce its Hall of Fame Class of 2018. The class of 2018 will be inducted at the New York Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon during the NAB SHOW New York. The luncheon will take place at 12 noon on Thursday October 18th at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. Click HERE to register to attend the Luncheon.
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