Little Rock, Ark., anchor and meteorologist Tom Brannon is returning to television.
After leaving THV11 in 2017, Brannon is headed back to the station as chief meteorologist, replacing Ed Buckner, who announced he’s extending his medical leave from the station indefinitely due to complications from Tourette’s syndrome.
“While Ed’s departure from his role as chief has been heartbreaking for so many of the station’s longtime viewers and THV11 staff, we wish him only good health in the coming year,” president and general manager Marty Schack said. “As one can imagine, finding a replacement may not have been an easy task, but I am delighted to welcome Tom back to the station where he has helped guide Arkansans through severe weather, provided smart forecasting, entertained us and contributed greatly in his community endeavors.”
Brannon had been a longtime fixture of THV11 and its morning show. He was on the station’s weekday programming for 20 years, making him the longest-running morning anchor in Little Rock, the station said. As chief, he will appear weeknights on the channel and will also lead the station’s weather team.
“Tom was one of the first people I worked with at THV11 13 years ago,” said news director Shayla Teater. “His dedication to keeping Arkansas safe was clear and helped shaped me as a journalist.”
Buckner, who had been chief meteorologist at the station for two decades, first took medical leave from the station in February. He is working on taking care of his health. “I’m doing OK and working hard to heal, but having tics for 45 years has a way of wearing out your body, and I am still not 100%,” Buckner said in a Facebook post.
Brannon and Buckner often worked together on the weather desk.
“I wish Ed nothing but the best,” Brannon said. “He will always be ‘Arkansas’ Weatherman.’ I wish him speedy healing and I hope he’ll stop by to play guitar in the garden, cover severe weather or just catch up and visit.”