Former WROC ‘King of Local Weather’ Dies at 83

By Kevin Eck 

Bob Mills was a weatherman when meteorology came in a distant second to entertainment.

Mills worked at WROC in Rochester, N.Y. from 1954 until 1974. He later went on to own a travel agency and an ad agency. He’s also a published author.

The Democrat & Chronicle reports Mills died Thursday at his home in Georgia from complications from a degenerative neurological disorder.


“I started out not knowing a thing about the weather,” Mills said. “I tried to take a dull, uninteresting thing and make it interesting and I succeeded. We weren’t trying to make a comedy spectacle out of the weather show, just interesting.”

Mr. Mills once did his weather segment in a gorilla suit. He wore sunglasses fitted with tiny windshield wipers. He spiced up a show by nailing a co-worker in a box on Halloween but couldn’t get him out.

He was punched unconscious on live TV while pretend-sparring with local boxing champion Carmen Basilio.

Weather broadcasters today tend to be trained meteorologists, anxious to explain El Niños, mesoscale cyclones and lake-effect snow. Mr. Mills, though, was of an earlier generation.