TV Meteorologist

TV Meteorologist

Kevin Selle

Wichita Falls, TX

Male, 52

I've been a broadcast meteorologist on television since the early 1990's. Happy to answer any questions about the weather or local TV news. Yes, I often wear sneakers on set just out of view of the camera.

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189 Questions

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Last Answer on October 19, 2017

Best Rated

When a major storm event is coming, do your TV producers encourage you to sensationalize it? Amp up the hype/severity/fear-factor, that sort of thing?

Asked by Moe-town almost 5 years ago

I haven't personally experienced that but I know of stations where the culture sort of suggests that type of behavior. One of the problems with that type of thing is once you raise the level just a bit there is often a "keeping up with the Joneses" type of competition that kicks in and it escalates over time. Often times reporters in the field will feel the need to raise the level of urgency to make live shots more interesting. Great question, it is a growing problem.

Thanks for answering! Throughout your career, did any station ever pressure you to develop some quirky weatherman 'gimmick'?

Asked by Steph almost 5 years ago

I've never had that happen, but I can imagine it has. Often times station management will see something that happens naturally they like and encourage it. I used to do a lot more live shots out in the field and really enjoyed them so they sent me out often. One time they sent me out for no apparent reason to a local park where nothing was happening. To show my frustration I had the photographer set up a good distance away from me and I sat on a bench with my back to the camera enjoying the sky. Turned out it was one of their favorite shots. :\ Thanks again!

What's your opinion of storm chasers? Weather-savvy thrill-seekers, or harebrained lunatics? (And have you ever done any storm chasing yourself?)

Asked by Mike c. almost 5 years ago

Excellent question, complicated answer. The short version is the storm chasers run the spectrum. Some are untrained and pose a real threat, others are doing valuable research. I know some local governments in tornado alley have proposed some sort of chaser licensing. Very limited for me, I'm more often tied to the studio during events. That said, I was recently invited by a high profile chaser, it would be fun and interesting! If you are interested, a Google search for storm chasing tours shows some good companies that offer some adventure. Do note there is usually a lot of driving, tiny motels and cheap food! Thanks, Mike.

do you think it's unwise for weather reporters to report on location in the middle of hurricanes etc? seems so dangerous and not at all worth it...

Asked by becca j almost 5 years ago

Excellent question, Becca, there is actually some discussion about that now in the industry. Some have suggested that credentials such as Seals of Approval might be taken away for unsafe behavior. One problem is that no one wants to be the first to do "less" coverage or pull back. It might take someone getting hurt before some action is taken. It is a tough call. I guess my message to people in the industry, especially reporters as opposed to meteorologists, is to try and learn some basics about storm structure and safety so they can be as prepared as possible.

do weathermen specialize by climate? like warm vs. cold climates? e.g. could a weatherman in hawaii take the same job in alaska without missing a beat?

Asked by CBass almost 5 years ago

Great question. One of my mentors told me, "You go to school for four years to learn meteorology, and then it takes two more to learn to forecast." So, time spent in a particular area gives you valuable experience in the local climatology. In your example, the weatherman in Hawaii, if he had had a good education, could certainly take a job in Alaska, but it would probably take a few seasons to get comfortable. Thanks!

What kind of career paths do TV meteorologists pursue other than doing the weather for a news station until they retire?

Asked by Tori almost 5 years ago

I know of a few who have started their own businesses, radar products or data services. Others have worked with the companies that provide graphics systems to television stations. There are more industries than you might think that hire meteorologists or meteorology consulting services. Power companies, trucking companies, aviation. Also weather research and teaching are options. Over the past few years more and more news anchors and reporters are leaving the business for public relations, media representatives and the like. Thanks, Tori!

do weather reporters frequently become news reporters and vice versa? or are news reporting and weather reporting two completely different animals?

Asked by billbo jackson almost 5 years ago

Generally not, but there are always exceptions. Probably what happens most is that future news people end up doing weather on the weekends in a smaller city to get started and will then do some news reporting for three days during the work week. I've known of a few weather people who moved to the news side or even sports, and others who move the other way but I would say that is the except rather than the rule. I once had an agent tell me I would be a good anchor, I could tell she was waiting to measure my reaction. I politely told her to keep walking. :)