(WKBN) — A celebration Tuesday here at WKBN — Chief Meteorologist Paul Wetzl will be celebrating the start of his 25th year at First News!
Of course, we couldn’t let this anniversary go by so we talked to some of the people you’ve worked with over the years.
Paul’s first on-air forecast was back in 1998.
Gina Marinelli: Here’s our new weekend Meteorologist Paul Wetzl
Tom Holden: He comes to us from Mississippi but he is a native of nearby Lisbon. Paul welcome back home
Paul: Well thank you. It’s good to be back home
For 25 years, Paul has been forecasting the Valley’s weather, moving up the ranks from weekend forecaster to WKBN’S Chief Meteorologist.
Two men Paul idolized in his early days at the station and to this day are broadcasting legends Don Gutherie and Rich Morgan.
“Paul was just a natural. When Don saw him — when I saw him, we both felt like this is the guy we need. He was just perfect to work with us,” said Morgan.
If you ask Morgan, Paul taught him as much as he taught Paul, especially when it came to the computer and those animated graphics.
“I didn’t know computers so thankfully Paul was working weekends but he would come in during the week and I would have a list of questions for him every day and I’d say, ‘Paul, Paul, Paul!” said Morgan.
One thing we all know and love about our chief, Paul is always willing to share his love and knowledge of weather forecasting, giving tours around the station and fulfilling wishes.
He’s inspired so many future meteorologists, many that have interned under him and now work here today.
Meteorologist Ryan Halicki considers Paul a dear friend and mentor.
“In addition to the friendship that we have there, it’s just a respect that I have for him. It’s so cool to work with someone who I remember watching when I was young as well,” said Halicki.
When you tune into our severe weather coverage and these two are on the screen, they don’t miss a beat — oftentimes finishing each other’s sentences.
“He’ll just mumble something and already I know what it is that he’s looking for or he knows what it is that I’m looking for — and that just comes with working alongside someone so closely,” said Halicki.
Whether he knows it or not, so many of us here at Channel 27 look up to Paul. His expertise, passion and love of the Valley shines every time he’s on the screen.
He’s dedicated to giving you a forecast that means something.
“Paul is a farmer, a real farmer so when he gives a weather forecast he’s very concerned about how it works hour to hour,” said Morgan.
“His forecasts mean more than just a job giving you the forecast and helping you plan your day. He relies on those forecasts himself to plan his day and his time when he’s not here taking care of the cows,” said Halicki.
Don’t worry, Paul says he’s not going anywhere and WKBN is his home.
Here’s to another 25 years!