Catching Up: Ken Schulz to Leave WHAS

Ken Schulz head shot

(Note to googlers: now you can stop typing “Is Ken Schulz Leaving WHAS?” in search!)

Well, the rumors have been flying for months now, and it was finally confirmed yesterday that longtime area weatherman Ken Schulz is leaving WHAS (from fellow one-time Bingham holding the Courier-Journal):

When Ken Schulz started doing the weather on WHAS-TV in 1978, gas cost about 63 cents a gallon, “Grease” was a hit at the movies and “Laverne & Shirley” was No. 1 in the television ratings.

Yesterday, gas was going for more than five times that amount when WHAS and Schulz announced he will be retiring May 21 after almost 30 years on the air.

Part of the reason Schulz won’t be leaving for nearly two months is to help fill in for Jeremy Kappell, another WHAS-TV meteorologist, who is leaving in a few weeks to take a job as the chief meteorologist at a Topeka, Kan., TV station. Kappell has been at WHAS since 2003.

On the maybe-not-so-bright-side of this story, WHAS will be hiring a new chief meterologist:

His successor will be Monty Webb, a meteorologist at KIRO-TV in Seattle who will start at WHAS sometime this month. Schulz said when he retires, he will be prohibited to work on the air for any other area station for a year. No doubt, other local stations might be interested in him in the future.

Additionally, WHAS general manager Mark Pimentel comes across as pretty douchey in Tom Dorsey’s article:

“The reality is we had slipped in the news ratings,” [Pimentel] said. “From 2004 to 2007, the rating track was not a positive one…

“We needed to do a better job with severe weather, and when I say that, I’m not laying that at Ken’s feet. As a station we have to do better and as a weather team and a news team,” Pimentel said.

“He has strong credentials. We just think Monty [Webb] brings a lot to the table…

Ugh. What total manager-speak.

However, on the bright side of things, Schulz will still be around on weekends as he also “tries something new.” And he’s got a good attitude about starting out anew, which is pretty cool:

“Sometimes change takes you back a little bit, but this is a good thing. It’s not a bad thing to get a new life. I think it’s going to work out best for everybody,” [Schulz] said, sounding like he really means it…

Schulz said he wants to explore the world of public, community or corporate public relations and could certainly offer a lot as someone whom everyone knows and whom a lot of people have liked over the decades.

“I’m really feeling good about it,” Schulz said. “It’s a new start, and I’m jumping in with both feet. I’m going to get a chance to reinvent me a little bit.”

Well that’s refreshing. Good job, Mr. Schulz, and thank you for your years of service.

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