Ken Cook, the longest-running meteorologist on Atlanta television, is retiring, he announced Monday during Fox 5’s 10 o’clock news.
He will be leaving the airwaves during the middle of the summer.
Here is his statement:
Ladies & Gentlemen:
I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you some news.
I am happy to tell you that I will be retiring at the middle of this Summer.
This was not a decision done in haste or taken lightly, but one that my wife, Susie, and I, along with FOX-5, have been working on for more than one year now.
I have really enjoyed being your Chief Meteorologist here at FOX5, but now it’s time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life — retirement.
I have contemplated retirement for a long time. I think that anyone past 60, or even younger, thinks about it a lot.
Over the years, I’ve planted a lot of roses — actually and figuratively — and now it’s time for my wife and me to start to smell the roses.
I will miss the wonderful people with whom I have worked with daily here at FOX5. They are my friends, my confidants, and my family. I will miss telling you, my friends, about the weather. After all, what does a Meteorologist love to do most? — talk about the weather. I have enjoyed sharing fun times; serious times; and sometimes sad times with you. Now it’s time for someone else to do that. I leave you in good hands with Meteorologists, Jeff Hill and Joanne Feldman and the rest of the FOX5 News Team.
I am sure that you will see me pop up on TV from time to time, and I will remain involved with local charities, such as the MDA, Cystic Fibrosis, the American Heart Association, and others.
I want to thank you for the nearly 35 great years that I’ve had here at FOX5.
Rumors of his pending retirement have been floating around for weeks.
He has been with WAGA-TV since 1979, including time when it was a CBS affiliate. (Glenn Burns at Channel 2 Action News has been there since 1981.) Before that, he spent several years at the National Weather Service.
GM Bill Schneider provided this quote: “Ken is Atlanta weather. His commitment to our community is unparalleled. We have depended on his forecasting for 35 years and appreciate all he has done to keep us safe in times of severe and uncertain weather. Thank you Ken, it has been a privilege to work alongside you.”
In an interview I did with Cook about five years ago when he was celebrating 30 years on air on WAGA, he said the Web had changed his role over the years beyond merely providing simple forecasts: “It’s important for me as a meteorologist to understand this stuff and interpret it. We’ve become expert interpreters. Anybody can go on the Internet and see all the forecasts.”
Weather, he noted, has also become more important to the newscast than it used to. During a 30-minute show, he said, he’ll pop up three times now instead of just one time in the past.
At the time, Cook said he was still several years away from retirement. He was still having fun. “Our job is make the weather interesting,” he said. “The clear weather days are tougher than the stormy days.”
Here is the intro to Ken Cook WAGA did back in 1979:
Here’s another promo from the “Anchorman” era:
Here’s a promo from 1994:
And here he is from 2012:
Here’s the video of him announcing his retirement: