February 26th, 2013
Gary Lezak

Major snowstorms are huge media events, particularly for TV stations, and particularly during this month which happens to be a TV Sweeps period where ratings mean increased ad rates.

It is said that certain stories affect certain individuals.  However, everyone is impacted by the weather.  That’s why storm coverage is critical.

But it isn’t easy.  Many TV stations have booked rooms at area hotels for reporters to stay at rather than going home.  Absurdly long hours are the norm.

Although staffers work horrendous hours, KSHB’s Chief Meteorologist Gary Lezak may have taken his work schedule to a new level with this week’s snowstorm.

When the storm was at its worst in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Lezak anchored the station’s coverage along with cohorts Brett Anthony and Jeff Penner.

He was then on from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. last night, 5 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. today.  Sources say you can expect him to be on today from 4:30 to 5:30, and then 6- 7 p.m. and 10:00 to 10:30 p.m. tonight.

After his final newcast Lezak went home and spent time in the snow with his famous weather dogs Breezy and Stormy (below).

“Gary was the only Chief on when the storm was at its worst, in the early morning hours of Tuesday,” a source told Bottom Line.  “I think this speaks to his passion and dedication for covering severe weather.”

Lezak told Bottom Line forecasting this kind of weathrer energizes him.

“Weather is just fascinating.  The passion I have for winter weather forecasting gets me so focused and energized.  The challenge of getting the forecast right is something I take very seriously.  We want to prepare the metro for what’s about to come, and I know it has to help.”

With all the hours Lezak has logged it might mean that his catch phrase of “We have new data” could hit triple digits with this storm.

It also might mean a a well-deserved rest might be in order.

Lezak with weather dogs Breezy and Stormy (Stewie is visiting)

12 Responses

  1. Solid Sid says:

    Gary has been fantastic. He has raised the bar.

  2. Person says:

    He really HAS worked obscene hours, but I’m sure the rest of them have too! Being short one in their weather staff I’m sure has really put a toll on them, so I’m also sure that they’re beyond excited to hurry up and get someone hired, something they probably haven’t even be able to focus on for the past two weeks because of all this recent wild weather.

    But he really does deserve a break, every meteorologist in this town does in my opinion, but especially Lezak. He probably hasn’t slept for a total of three days since all of this started last week.

    Not only that, but he seems to be there by his own accord. Now that really is passion and dedication right here.

  3. Woah now... says:

    KCTV’s Tom Wachs, not even a Chief, was in around 830 Monday night, and left around 11AM on Tuesday. This after he worked both days over the weekend. Poor guy was running on fumes by the end, but you’d never guess.

  4. Clark H. says:

    Its obvious Gary truly loves his job. Whose to say his arrogance or cockiness; job related only. He wants to be in front of the camera. He could come in and help and let the other two do the in front of the camera. Due to staff shortage he probably does have to come in and help. I am sure the two other meterologists can more than handle the job.

  5. Mike says:

    He’s afraid someone on air will upstage him.
    The GM is keeping an eye on his work.

    Snow is snow, yeah there’s a lot of it, but that is why you hire competent colleagues. They’re not going to make you look bad, even in your own mind. You DON’T have to be there 24-7.

    • MikeT says:

      oh, i don’t know mike. i think gary just loves his job and takes it seriously when the weather gets severe, winter or spring, and wants to be in on it. but i do agree that to some extent he loves the camera… but then don’t all TV news and weather personalities?

  6. LAC says:

    Gary did a good job as did Jeff Penner and Tom Wachs !!!!!! Tom was really looking tired toward the end !! But I would have been asleep already !!! Great to by Chris Suchan as well !

    I have to say, Gary has two great dogs, I do too, but he really needs to get away from using them as props all the time. He is a GREAT weatherman, and does not need assistance, just a Great on-air team !!!!

    Per Fox 4, weather theme should be Malaise during the storm, they have too many jokes, and I am afraid to watch them during Tornado events, they are NEVER outside or in the Sky.

  7. Carrie says:

    I have loved Christa Dubill as anchor at 11:00 news, but can’t find the love for her at the 4:30, 5:00 and 10:00. I find her voice irritating and loud anymore, especially at 10:00 when trying to wind down the day. At times I feel that she is pius and a it of a know it all, one ups man and bully.

    I feel that the other anchors sort of tolerate her ways and don’t feel that she really belongs with them.

    When Elizabeth Alex comes in to anchor at 6pm the mood changes and all is calm and wonderful.

    If anyone needs to leave KSHB, it’s Christa Dubill.

  8. max says:

    Christa is annoying as can be. Lezak is a good guy, but his “complicated”, “a lot to talk about”, “changing weather pattern”, and “the same storm from XX days ago”, are just as annoying. He comes in and pulls Katy like shifts and then whines about lack of sleep on his blog. He needs to give it a rest and get some rest. We know he loves the weather. Chasing the storms to St. Louis and disecting them with your 3d technology is not as fascinating to most viewers as it is to him. KSHB is a KCTV clone.

  9. matt says:

    FOX4KC and KMBC had all their Weather People in and KMBC had coverage at 4pm with Moritz and Moore and none for FOX4KC.

  10. Jay says:

    Frequently, News Directors will want their front-line talent on air, in the belief that a viewer will switch the channel if they see anyone but the highest paid member of the news team on during breaking news/severe weather. Or the Chief Met can always decide to take the camera time every minute that he’s in house. Either decision is a slap in the face of the other team members who were allegedly hired to do a job & then are basically told “you’re not good enough”, through the actions of others.

  11. R. Neilson says:

    re: Christa Dubill

    She’s either reading a story as if she’s speaking to a 9-year old or she’s raising her tone trying to add drama. Often sounds like she’s auditioning for a part when she’s reading the news. When a story is cute, she tries to make it cuter. When a story is dramatic, she tries to make it more dramatic.

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