WTAE goofed again!
Boy, talk about another missed opportunity. Two years ago it was Jerry Martz, now Don Schwenneker.
I’ve been an avid WTAE viewer on and off for most of my life. (Leave out a block of years when I watched David & Peggy on a regular basis.) I have often stated that Don Cannon and Paul Long were just like family at our dinner table when I was little – and of course “Mr. Science” the meteorologist and his school visits were something we looked forward to each week.
Some number of years ago, the station hired Stephen Cropper to work along side DeNardo. Not long after, Schwenneker came in from WTAJ in Altoona and Jerry Martz, an area native, arrived too. Any one of those three gentleman could have been perfect for the position as “Chief”. And almost all of them had that seat at one time or another. In 2002, many were surprised when Schwenneker became the “second in command” under DeNardo moving Cropper to the weekend chair. Martz held down the early morning weather reports suiting his schedule to be able to teach a course at Penn State New Kensington.
In 2005, the roles reversed again – three ways. Cropper got the top spot following DeNardo’s retirement, Schwenneker got the noon news and a single spot in the 5 PM newscast and Martz got shoved into the weekends. Seeing the writing on the wall, Martz took a new position at a station in Ohio – a place where he could eventually move up into the top spot. Meanwhile, Dimitrius Ivory had been hired to take over the early morning weather, and in 2006 Erin Kienzle took over the weekends.
Don’t get me wrong, I like 4’s weather team. Sure, some I like better than others, but all in all the entire team cannot be beat. However, if you were to ask me, not one but TWO opportunities have been missed to retain some excellent weather forecasters at the station. I’m sure Chicago will enjoy Schwenneker’s friendly persona – and I hope WBBM will let him have a recipe blog!
WTAE News Director Bob Longo told the Post-Gazette that he intends to hire another meteorologist. I certainly hope he/she will be able to take some of the weekend pressure off of Kienzle so that either one will be able to fill-in during the week.