Al Roker Remembers the Time Cleveland Didn’t Rock

By Chris Ariens 

After this morning’s Today show, the team of Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker stuck around to tape a promo with anchors Lynna Lai, John Anderson and Hollie Giangreco of Cleveland’s NBC affiliate WKYC. For Roker, it was a homecoming. He was a weatherman at WKYC for 5 years between 1978 and 1983.

“My first day at WKYC the city of Cleveland declared bankruptcy under Dennis Kucinich. They were fairly dark days,” Roker told TVSpy during an interview in the Today show workspace in the East 4th Street entertainment district, where NBC News and MSNBC, as well as the Washington Post, Bloomberg and others have set up studios to cover the Republican National Convention. “The thing that struck me was the people were always upbeat about their city. And this week, everybody keeps saying ‘welcome home,’ ‘welcome back.’ I’ve seen this progression and incredible spirit in the building back up of this city.”

The WKYC taping followed Roker’s visit to the station yesterday (see below). Roker, who worked in local TV markets including Syracuse, Washington, D.C. and New York says “A network is only as good as the stations it’s on.”


“I wear my time in local television as a badge of honor,” he says.