Self Described ’49-Year-Old Round Woman’ Kelly Bates Back On-Air

By Kevin Eck 

Kelly Bates has joined New Bedford, Mass.-Providence, R.I. ABC station WLNE as its weekend weather forecaster.

“We are thrilled to have Kelly join the WLNE family—and are looking forward to bringing her familiar face back into the homes of Southern New Englanders,” said station gm Alex Wolf.

You may remember Bates from her departure from Providence NBC station WJAR in September 2021. At the time, she posted an emotional tik-tok saying “Today my career ended.”


Bates had worked at WJAR for 17 years until she was forced out. “As a 49-year-old round woman, it’s safe to say my television career is done,” she wrote on Twitter at the time.

It seems like WLNE disagreed with Bates.

“Southern New Englanders are a pretty particular bunch,” said WLNE news director Allison Gaito. “So, in creating a newsroom that best fits the needs of our viewers, I have intentionally stuck close to home. Kelly is one of us.”

This is a return to WLNE for Bates, who started her career at WMUR in Manchester, N.H. as a staff meteorologist and science reporter. After four years there, she went to Atlanta, Georgia, to create educational weather content for Weather Plus, a 24-hour weather and traffic television station broadcasting in the Netherlands before joining WLNE for the first time in 200o.

“Kelly is a pro viewers know and trust and that’s why I am excited to welcome her back to the ABC 6 StormTrackers team,” said Gaito.

WLNE’s description of Bates on its website is both funny and heartwarming.

She has been voted best female meteorologist of Rhode Island by the readers of Rhode Island Monthly for the past nine years. Her followers enjoy learning about the whys of weather in addition to the forecast, in addition to the numerous pictures of her four cats.

In her limited free time, Kelly enjoys hiking, scrapbooking, and annoying her adult children with things they evidently already know.