Longtime WPLG meteorologist Walt Cronise passed away at his home in Jacksonville on September 20. After a 25 year career forecasting the weather in the Navy, and a stint with the Hurricane Hunters, he joined WPLG in 1968 as a freelance weather forecaster when the station was still known as WLBW. Just a year later they promoted him to chief meteorologist.
Known to many as Uncle Walt, viewers knew him for his sharp forecasting skills, and for those oft promoted “fearless forecasts… rain or shine”. The bow tie was his symbol, earning him the nickname “The bow tie weather guy”, as were those pet names he gave thunderstorms – like toad stranglers, and swimming pool fillers. Through the years Cronise worked alongside legendary Ann Bishop, and later Dwight Lauderdale until he retired in December 1992.
Walt Cronise is survived by his wife Dorothy, five children, seven grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren. The family asks memorials in his name to be sent to Wounded Warrior Project or the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod World Relief
WPLG aired a nice tribute this evening, here’s the video:
Ten years ago comedienne Joan Rivers took a ride in the 10 Taxi, one of our favorite features on Local 10 back then. Rivers was in town for a special event, she was being inducted on the Jackie Gleason theater walk of stars, and in between went for a ride in the Marathon checker cab with reporter Todd Tongen at the wheel. She talked about her act, cracked some jokes, and shared her secret to success.
We’d love to see Channel 10 post the unedited version of this
This video arrived in our inbox yesterday, it’s from the August 26 police chase in Miami.
The stations that share Sky10 had a rough time covering the chase because the chopper arrived plagued by technical difficulties which meant WPLG, WTVJ, and WFOR, (WLTV didn’t break in) had the same
freezing, stuttering video which eventually disappeared. That left WSVN as the only station able to follow the car. Sources from different stations told us “we just watched WSVN and listened to Ralph Rayburn for details”. And that was really evident on Channel 10, during the coverage Jacey Birch gave a live play by play, clearly stating at one point that they don’t have Sky10 available as she looked at monitors nearby! Oops?
Speaking of Channel 10, they had a really rough time covering the chase. It felt like it was really chaotic behind the scenes for some reason. The whole time they were on the air there was constant noise and chirping from the radios in the newsroom which Jacey Birch’s mic picked up, it m made it difficult to follow what anchors Constance Jones and Erik Yutzy were saying. On top of that, the station stayed a little too long on a close up footage of the dead victim covered by yellow tarp which the wind eventually blew to uncover a slouched man in his wheelchair.
WFOR had Eliott Rodriguez cover the story who, given the circumstances, kept it together well for almost 15 minutes
Sources tell SFLTV that WPLG anchor/reporter Jen Herrera and meteorologist Roland Steadham are on their way out! Allegedly, the station has decided not to renew Herrera’s contract, and Steadham got replaced by recent hire Jennifer Correa after just a year at WPLG, he joined Local 10 in August 2013.
One source told us “It feels like no one is safe” with Herrera getting bounced after eleven years at the station. She joined Local 10 in May 2003 as a reporter but it was her internship at WPLG when she was 18 years old that got her excited about a career in the news business. She’s also a South Florida native and a graduate from Florida State University.
We should note that Herrera’s former co-anchor partner Jason Martinez left Local 10 the same way. First they moved him from the morning desk to reporter then eventually he faded out.
WPLG Local 10 management has been on a roll lately as they look to improve ratings even though in 2013 WPLG brought in a little over $71 million dollars in revenue, second only to WSVN if you don’t consider WTVJ and WSCV together.