December 11th, 2012
George Waldenberger

The word coming out of KSHB these days is that new General Manager Brian Bracco started shaking things up the minute he arrived on the scene at the NBC affiliate on December 3.

After all, Bracco had spent much of his career at Kansas City ratings leader KMBC and parent Hearst Broadcasting for 25 years.  He had some very definite ideas on how to run a station.

It now looks like he is putting those ideas into action.

Earlier today word surfaced that reporter Beth Vaughn was heading to Indianapolis to co-anchor the morning show on WRTV.

Now the word is that meteorologist George Waldenberger will be leaving KSHB and heading to WFTV in Orlando. His first day on the ABC affiliate owned by Cox Media will be Jan. 16.

Waldenberger first worked at  KMEG-TV in Sioux City, Iowa, until August 2007.  He then spent two years at KJRH-TV in Tulsa before joining KSHB.

Ironically, Waldenberger’ s profile on the KSHB site begins this way:

“I’m going to go ahead and say this right away, I like snow. From blizzards to  flurries, I think it’s all great. Kansas City has some of the most exciting  weather in the world! Thunderstorms, heat waves, cold snaps, ice storms, and  floods along with a little snow on the side all keep my job here very  challenging.”

Good luck covering those Orlando snowstorms…

39 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    I wonder how much notice Gary Lezak got on this move..

  2. Person says:

    I personally believe that Waldenberger was already on his way out, unless Bracco was secretly making decisions before even arriving at KSHB, and George was told to keep quiet and to keep this whole ordeal secret and look for a new job.

    The same goes for Beth Vaughn too. They had probably already been searching for new jobs and found them, and this is just coincidental timing for the both of them.

    But maybe not too…who knows!

  3. matt says:

    Vaughn maybe want to go back to full time Anchor and George a chance in the future to got o Chief and a chance with WFTV if Tom Terry leaves.

  4. bdr says:

    I really think the one that should be going is Gary Lezak. I travel all over the world and I think it is appaling that the station allow a dog to be sitting at a news desk. It is an a disgrace to the local station as well as the City.

  5. Bob Mead says:

    Oops. One more storm KC’s most accurate forecast failed to see coming.

  6. Mike T. says:

    bdr… a dog on the set is “appalling?” really? maybe a bit cutesy, but come on. what i find appalling is that every single winter, every single meterologist or weather forecaster has to remind us, cheerfully i might add, to “bundle up!” when it’s freakin’ 20 degrees outside. do they think we’re stupid? i’ll take stormy doing her “tornado” trick any day over that claptrap.

  7. LAC says:

    I agree, the dog stuff is just STUPID at this point… Jeff Penner should be Chief Meterologist, he is to the point, factual, and has an excellent on air manner.

    Lezak is NEVER there, ALWAYS on “vacation” always showing his lavish trips and ALWAYS has the dogs as part of the weather. He has gotten more off topic in the past couple years, spending more time on his idea’s and non weather stuff, to the point I quit watching. Last week was nice… He was NOT there, KSHB should make a move with him very very soon, Gary needs to move to Vegas !
    Please take the dogs too !!!!!

  8. KWS4Life says:

    #1. Jeff Penner is pretty much gone as well at this point. Brian Bracco also doesn’t like Lezak. Would be very surprised if Lezak doesn’t get the boot as well.

    #2. Brett Anthony or Erin Little will be Chief of 41 by the Summer.

    #3. Wouldn’t be surpirsed if they try and get Matt Chambers from St. Louis to do mornings or weekends here.

  9. firedog says:

    How do u know Bracco doesn’t like Gary? I dont see that anywhere..

    I have lived in several countries around the world and my family and I love Gary Lezack – and especially the winning combination of him and his dog in the studio. It puts the station ahead of the competitors as a family friendly program.

  11. Renae says:

    I hate to see George Waldenberger leave Kansas City. He has much more personality than Lezak and doesn’t bring any dogs on the set.

    I agree that Lezak needs to leave because he is never on the air and I am tired of his body covering up where I live.

    Jeff Penner is great and he does need to be the chief meteorologist.

    Maybe I will try a new news station.

  12. Susan says:

    I love Gary. Sorry to see George W go. I watch the weather in the AM and then change the channel. The two anchors are like oil and water. Curtis is terrible.

  13. Molly says:

    I thought Geo.W.was very good. I have always liked Gary, but I thought G.W. was giving him a run for the money after he got acclimated to the new position. Hope he got a better job in Florida.

  14. Devin says:

    Why George??
    Why the dogs on the news set? Enough already.
    Who cares where Lezak travels and what his
    dogs do.

  15. Sam says:

    George is a class act. He brought KSHB Up a notch. He is confident, intelligent, personable, and his enunciation is impeccable. (a trait rare among some local anchors). My first impression of George when he came to KC was that he was using KC as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
    I wish George all the luck though he probably won’t need it. If station politics played a role in George’s departure, somebody made a bad decision.
    Concerning Gary’s dogs on the set: leave them alone. They’re cute, funny, entertaining, and a refreshing change from the norm.

  16. Cassie says:

    I agree with the “Gary should go” sentiments, or at least his dogs. It’s not quite as bad as it used to be – I swear the dogs got more air time than the entire sports section! Wasn’t a big fan of George, so it’s been a real treat to have Jeff Penner on the last few weekends. Would be delighted if KWS4Life’s predictions come true!

  17. Linda says:

    I liked George and enjoy watching Jeff. Gary drives me crazy with his silliness. I love dogs, but not on the “news.” If he says “WOW” one more time, I will scream.

  18. Margaret Wheeler says:

    Hate to see George leave; hope Brett and Jeff never leave. I think Gary is probably a good weatherman, but I don’t like the way he appears to be patronizing with Elizabeth Alex; seems much more friendly toward Christa Dubill.

  19. Fred Fishbach says:

    I am so sad to know that George has left KC but I am proud of him as he certainly deserves MUCH MUCH BETTER, than forecasting with Gary Lezak! Gary thinks he is the most accurate forecaster in the world, but look at the past years forecasts and compare yourself!! Gary is too self centered and pius!
    Sorry George is gone but happy for him! Too bad Gary didn’t leave rather than George! We do miss him.

  20. NOT A FAN
    You people must live in an alternative universe. Waldenberger, God bless him, is the worst local news personality ever. His voice, appearance (Homo Howdy Doody, anyone), and delivery make me cringe. The unease he displayed and was reciprocated w/ his castmates was very difficult to watch. Lezak and the others are fine, but GW’s demise is overdue and aa most positive step.

  21. Dan Scott says:

    I’m not sure that you all know that G.W. was a weatherman, not a meteorologist. He was the same as a busty weathergirl. And, he had the least seniority. New bosses always make changes, good or bad just to show changes are being made. G.W. had a nice personality but the other guys have hands-on experience and seniority. Moving on and moving up will be good for George.

  22. Ann says:

    We love Gary Lezak! We used to watch him on the other station that he came from and switched to Channel 41 because of him. I remember something about him not being able to go on the air for 3 or maybe 6 months after leaving that station, so his dog Stormy went on. I love the dogs. He gets that much vacation time because it’s in his contract because he’s that good and the station wanted him that bad. I think Gary is very accurate and very professional. I would really hate to see him go.

  23. Lynn P says:

    So sorry to hear about George, but I’m sure the move will be better for him. I have stopped watching Channel 41 weather when Gary Lezak is on – what a narcissist! So self-absored, making up acronyms or initials for “lezak” forecast predictions. I will watch when Jeff Penner or Brett Anthony are on, but otherwise I go elsewhere for my weather. As for the dogs, I feel so sorry for Stormy – Gary is always pressuring her to do her “tornado” – PLEASE, give the poor dog a break!

  24. Ohmyhoney says:

    GW was excellent and personable. He wasn’t trying to be some hotshot JoCo TV personality. (I live in JoCo). Gary and Elizabeth Alex were very close friends so it’s funny you think he doesn’t like her. I do think Gary is on vacation alot and his winter forecasts for snow amounts haven’t panned out the last 3 years. I love dogs but I am sick of seeing him always picking Stormy up and I bet she hates it too.

  25. Ken says:

    OMG. I can’t believe how shallow people are worrying about Gary`s dogs on the set. It’s clever, creative and different from others. If you don’t like it, switch the channel. There are plenty of other more traditional and boring choices. I regret George`s departure and I wish him great success with his career. He is outstanding and will do great wherever he goes. I’m a big fan of Gary and his team and watch 41 for that reason. Give him a break and lighten up.

  26. Irene Maxwell says:

    I love Gary he is such a great weatherman an his dogs are great. He does so much for all homeless pets.

  27. Mrs. K says:

    We have lived in MO for 6 years, after living at various times on both coasts and in the upper Midwest. Being in our mid-60s we figure we have viewed a good sampling of news and weather styles and quality. It took us about a week to start referring to Mr. Lezak as “scary gary”. It is soooo tiresome to try to pick out the relevant facts among his self-promoting blather. When Elizabeth Alex left there was no reason to stick with 41 any longer.

  28. Mr. Jeff says:

    I especially don’t watch Gary on Friday nights, because of his droll comment: “It’s Friday night in the big town.”

  29. Liesl says:

    Wow! I was worried about Jeff Penner missing this weekend, surprised at all the meteorologist bashing going on! Worried about Jeff, he is sweet, kind of goofy but endearing and a home boy. Hope he isn’t gone.
    Gary, also love. He is totally dorky goofy and yes a total dog lover. None the less he is entertaining and his enthusiasm is contagious.
    I do hate the weather teasers through the newscast!!
    New girl fine so far. Makes me feel old she is so young.
    Everything better than Busby! Ugh! Talk about too much self esteem! Wears me out with his pompousness!

  30. Jack Wood says:

    Is Jeff Penner gone?

  31. Mona Girl says:

    Love Gary & his dogs! Compared to him, the other weathermen in K.C. are big yawns. Who says that the weather shouldn’t be entertaining? Grumpy curmudgeons & dog haters, obviously! George came off as being very plastic & needs to work on being more authentic (study Gary). Kaylee Dionne is a refreshing personality and much more natural than George.

  32. Jeanette says:

    As a long time viewer of KSHB, primarily because of the weather, I am not impressed with the changes and switch to KMBC & KCTV depending on personnel. The “little girl” voices of the new KSHB evening anchor and meteorologist are a turn off. The majority of the newscast is advertising so, if Gary is not on, I switch. KMBC gets it right with their female anchors – Lara Moritz, Donna Pittman, and Erin Little are professional and mature. I wonder how the viewership of KSHB has changed since December and if advertising revenue is up or down…

  33. Anna says:

    I liked George and I liked Elizabeth Alex. The little blond bimbo may be able to sing, however, she is not much of a weather forecaster. I have started watching another KC channel much of the time. You may have rated KC stations for 25 years, but you are way off base with these changes. Boo! Boo!

  34. Tawnie says:

    I only watch BECAUSE of Gary. I am a scientist and I love learning about his LRC. If he goes, I go…

    • charles roberts says:

      That’s because Gary is really starting to get annoying-he along with other “forecasters” have so much filler. They could eliminate half of their presentation and still tell you the same thing. He’s getting to be a drama queen! As I mentioned before, Katie Horner is alive and well in guise of Gary Lezak.

  35. Brett says:

    Interesting that an article about George leaving Kansas City end up with comments all about Gary Lezak. Damn, give it a rest. And George is doing the right thing for his career, many in KC cannot blame him. Best o’ luck George.

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