Archive for the Weather Category

Catching Up: Ken Schulz to Leave WHAS

Posted in Louisville News, Media, Weather on April 2, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

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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Bad News for Hair Police

Posted in Music, Weather on March 8, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Hair Police

(Look! A really old picture of Hair Police from the excellent Dusted Magazine.)

Looks like the Hair Police tour we told you about the other day is in trouble. Got the following email from Carlos Giffoni, the man behind No Fun Productions, this morning:

Hair Police got in a car accident in ohio and their car is totalled, but they are all fine.

The Midway(venue for tonight) has some kind of legal trouble and is closed for the time being.

no show tonight

Huge bummer, though we are glad that no one was hurt. Don’t know what the status of the tour is at this point, hopefully Hair Police can salvage a few remaining dates.

In the meantime, I’m going to eat some breakfast, drink some coffee and think about ways to procrastinate instead of shoveling the sidewalk.

Be Careful Out There in the Snow!

Posted in Environment, Kentucky News, Louisville News, Weather on March 7, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

snow pic 1

snow pic 2

(Snow pictures from the Courier-Journal)

Beware the ICE-pocalypse!

Posted in Kentucky News, Louisville News, Weather on February 23, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Ice!

(picture swiped from Page One Kentucky)

Holy crap! It’s the ICE-pocalypse! Cancel school! Send your workers home! Cancel the legislative session! Stock up on beer!

Okay, I lived in northern climes for a long while, I admit I’m a bit insensitive to Kentuckians and their lack of winter driving abilities. But, still, I find the absolute panic that overwhelms local media when a very minor winter storm comes through pretty amusing. That said, there’s nothing really funny about ice-induced injuries, power outages, and property damage. So I’ll try to be nicer in the future. However, at least one positive emerged from the ICE-pocalypse: We now know that Mayor Abramson is a Paul Simon fan —

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson said metro officials also are concerned about ice-coated power lines “We don’t need them out there, slip sliding away.”

The C-J later struck that great line from their main ice story, the humorless jerks.

Whichever Way WHAS Blows: Schulz Out?

Posted in Louisville News, Weather on February 19, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

Ken Schulz

(archival photo from lkyradio.com)

The ‘Ville Voice is reporting that longtime weatherman Ken Schulz may soon be gone from WHAS-11 TV:

Our sources tell us that Schulz was given a choice during contract negotiations — take a pay cut and move to weekends, or quit. This is probably his last week on the air at WHAS-TV.

The same source told us that weekend weatherman Jeremy Kappell, now in his fifth year on the Storm Team, will not have his contract renewed, but will remain at the station if Schulz leaves.

General manager Mark Pimentel said yesterday that the station is in the process of negotiations with Schulz, but wouldn’t comment further, except to say this: “We value Ken and we’re talking.”

Schulz has been a weatherman at the previously Bingham-owned station since 1978 (when I was three years old). The change in personnel could come despite WHAS cleaning up in the local ratings, which seems sort of strange, given how Schulz is — along with WAVE-3‘s Tom Wills and John Belski — a veteran weatherman trusted by viewers. Schulz replaced another trusted weatherman at WHAS, Chuck Taylor, as the lead weatherman in the mid-1990s, as Taylor died of cancer in 1997.

(More) Stormy Weather

Posted in Kentucky News, Politics, Weather on February 6, 2008 by stateofthecommonwealth

storm damage

A state of emergency was declared in parts of Kentucky as seven people died due to a heavy stormfront passing through the region (forty-eight people have died across the region). Hardest hit areas were Muhlenberg, Monroe, Allen, Christian, Jefferson and LaRue counties — most in the Western part of the state. Louisville also sustained some damage, coming only a week after last week’s big storm.

In other news reminiscent of this season of The Wire, Louisville Metro is tightening government services due to “an estimated $9.4 million deficit because of lower-than-expected revenue from taxes on business profits during the first half of the fiscal year.” Among the austerity measures, overtime for Louisville Metro police officers has been restricted. Thankfully Louisville doesn’t have a comparable crime rate to Baltimore, fictional or otherwise. Mayor Abramson blames Louisville’s budget woes on the concurrent national economic slowdown:

“The difficulties on Wall Street, in Washington and in Frankfort have trickled down to Main Street in Louisville,” he said, adding that the only way to balance the budget long-term is by reducing the size of government, or “shrinking the base.”

“I’m very confident we’ll weather this storm,” he said.