Before New Jersey had “Snooki” and “The Situation” or Tony Soprano it had Lloyd Lindsay Young, with Channel 9’s studio in Secaucus.
Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, Young wasn’t just a weather forecaster at WWOR/Channel 9, he was a pop culture phenomenon. (see below)
If you saw Lloyd once, belting his signature intro “Hellooooo” and a yell of “Science!” before showing the radar, you would not forget the moment.
“I like to have fun with the weather. It wasn’t serious,” Lloyd says. “Weather offered levity in a newscast because a lot of the news is depressing by nature.”
At the height of his popularity in the late 1980s, you could find Young in a Beastie Boys music video, cameo appearances in several films, including the acclaimed Working Girl, or taking the stage to introduce George Carlin on an HBO special in 1988.
“I was at a Mets game, he was a baseball fan,” Young says. “I ran into him in the stands. He asked me [to do the honors]. I thought he was kidding. That was a thrill.” (click the link)
Fittingly, Carlin’s show was titled What Am I Doing in New Jersey?
Another exciting perk of his popularity, Young did the weather report from Bill Cosby’s apartment.
“His butler ended up serving me tea while I did the weather on a cold, winter night.”
As for his famed opening, Young says it was created by accident.
“One night in Idaho Falls, my first television job, I just blurted it out.” Young says. “I was curious if anybody up in Wyoming was watching, so I yelled, ‘Hello, Jackson, Wyoming.’”
After getting a lot of favorable reaction from viewers, Young thought that he “might have something here.” The boisterous Young tried it again the next night using a different town—and the rest is history.
Today, Young is the morning and afternoon drive weatherman at KGO Radio in San Francisco. He maintains the same style on radio that made him famous on TV, including his over-the-top “Hello,” unless the weather gets too serious for that personality.
“The weather out here is 90 percent of the time very nice.”
FishbowlNY spoke to Lloyd as Hurricane Irene had its sights on New York.
“I miss that. But I’m a West Coast guy,” Lloyd says. “I’m thrilled to out here. This is my home.
Originally from Los Angeles, Lloyd worked at KGO-TV in the early 1980s.
He followed that with the big time—New York City in 1983, and apprehension if his shtick would play here.
“At first I was very nervous, going to the number one market,” Young recalls. “I had a lot of fun there.”
By the time 1990 rolled around, changes at Channel 9 led to Young’s son, George Lindsay Young being named the weekend weatherman. He says it was enjoyable—for the most part.
“What it did do was date me a little bit,” Young jokes.
In October 1995, WWOR decided to pull the plug from the Young experience—both father and son were let go. (The younger Young, now in San Diego, left the business.)
“I knew eight months prior to my termination that Will Wright, who happened to be the news director at the time, told my agent he was not going to renew my contract,” Young recalls. “I worked as a sort of a lame duck for eight months.”
That waiting period allowed Young and his agent to put out feelers for work in New York.
Unfortunately, no one bit for his on-air antics.
“I would have liked to have stayed if another TV station would have hired me,” Lloyd admits. “But no one was interested, apparently.”
His feelings about his time in New York are conflicted.
“There’s a lot I liked, and some things I didn’t like,” Young says. “…Well, frankly, as you get older you get a little tired of winter. By the time March would roll around I’d be so sick of ice and snow, my wife would take off for the Caribbean.
“They would send me out on the New Jersey Turnpike in blizzards, I mean God, I’d go out 20 below wind chill factor.”
He does stay in contact with several former Channel 9 colleagues, including anchor Sara Lee Kessler, now a WEMP 101.9 reporter.
Once the job market officially dried up for Young in New York and knowing he couldn’t afford to remain in the tri-state area, he chose to reestablish his strong California ties. Young and his wife moved to Sacramento where he did TV work, and she had family.
Shortly thereafter, Lloyd was hired by KGO in January 1996. He had already been doing fill-in radio shifts from New York. (In 2009, Young took over mornings as well.)
Keeping his KGO afternoon shift intact, once the Sacramento gig ended Young was headed south to Bakersfield.
But he would return to Sacramento for the worst reason.
Sadly, Young’s wife Barbara was dying of lung cancer, and he brought her home to family. She would lose her battle in November 2009.
That led to Young moving in with his younger daughter Nancy in the Bay Area. She’s an account executive for the Fox affiliate in Oakland.
His older daughter, Marlene is a Speech and English teacher at a junior college in the Denver area.
Young, who doesn’t have a meteorology degree or certification, combined his Broadcasting degree with his love of weather.
“I knew that I had to do something … to have a chance to make big-time broadcasting because I didn’t have that degree,” Young admits. “I wasn’t a serious meteorologist. But on the other hand, I know a lot about the weather also because I’m obsessed with it.”
Young, 69, understands that his TV career is done.
“I’m too old. No one will hire me.” Young admits. “It’s all going to young people these days. If you’re over 60, you don’t have a chance. I’m not saying that out of bitterness, it’s just factual.”