After 44 years in broadcasting, meteorologist Tom Skilling – a Windy City icon and a viewer favorite nationwide thanks to his more than three decades at superstation WGN – says not only is retirement of no interest right now, he’s still having a blast reporting Chicago’s weather.
“I tell young people that if they had to drop into a profession at a particular time in history, the last fifty years in meteorology has been the era in which to be there, and it continues to be to this day,” Skilling tells TVSpy.
“When I started, we had no real-time satellite imagery, we had no Doppler radar, computer models had not happened.”
Technology has changed, but Skilling’s on-air appeal has not. His passion for his job is apparent to viewers, who’ve made him a weather superstar. We caught up with Skilling at Thursday night’s gala opening of the Museum of Broadcast Communication, which he helped make happen.
“I’ve been so lucky,” Skilling says. “I think the first three-quarters of my career I thought they were going to fire me every day I came into work. Honestly. I’d look at tapes and I was so critical of myself.”
“I’ve always been fascinated by the weather. I’m fascinated by its effect on people’s lives. It affects the way we feel, our moods, the way businesses proceed – it affects every facet of our lives. And to be a little piece of that, have a little role in communicating that information to people, is an awful lot of fun.”
(Photo: Alissa Krinsky)