Weathered Changes  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   July/August 2002

Weathered Changes   

Meteorologist Bob Kudzma signs off after more than three decades of forecasting Pittsburgh weather for KDKA-TV.

By Kathryn S. Wenner
Kathryn S. Wenner, a former AJR associate editor, is a copy editor at the Washington Post.     

Pittsburgh meteorologist Bob Kudzma delivers his final forecast for KDKA-TV, retiring after more than 33 years at the suggestion of owner CBS. "They said, 'We've got a deal for you,' " says Kudzma, 63. "I said, 'Oh, fine.' I'm still going to drive my school bus," which he's been doing every day in the three years since he cut back to just the noon broadcast. A New Hampshire native, Kudzma learned meteorology after he joined the U.S. Air Force, which sent him to Vietnam to do forecasts for bombing missions. He joined KDKA in 1968 with no television experience, which was the norm for meteorologists in those days. "He really took everything to heart as to how good his forecast was," says longtime KDKA anchor Stacy Smith. Says Kudzma of longer-term forecasts: "I would say 70 to 75 percent of the time you're pretty confident. The rest you can flip a coin."