I can no longer tolerate our local weather coverage. I turn on the Channel 7 news at 5, and for the first 20 minutes I get wonderful, beaming smiles and perfect hairdos on news anchors who banter back and forth amidst features that stress the hominess of our ABC affiliate. Some nights I'm so touched by the KidCares feature that I break down and cry in my TV dinner. I just can't get enough of those anchors!
But then, when it's time for the weather with Channel 7 meteorologist Roger Forrest, it's a one-way ticket to Dullsville. It's all weather, weather, weather and zero personality.
Everyone besides Roger gets along like one big happy family. But that weatherman sticks out like a sore thumb! Vicki in the local news chair always asks Mark, her co-anchor, about his new daughter, Kimberly. It's a shame they don't have more time in their busy lives to catch up on each other's personal lives while off-camera, but I know they are very busy. (Vicki is a caring mother of two, dealing with the issues of a working woman, and also enjoys the outdoors and community choral concerts.) Greg, the sports anchor, is also very concerned with his fellow newscasters, and often teases Mark—good-naturedly, of course—when Mark's favorite teams lose.
But when Greg is through with sports, and he turns to Roger Forrest, Channel 7 meteorologist, with a chipper, "Did ya get out in that sun today?" Roger never even answers him. He just launches into his weather forecast. Why, I never find out what Roger did that day! He rarely even comments to Greg about the sports he just announced, and he speaks with that creepy voice that doesn't sharply rise and fall or pause dramatically. It sounds just like you or me talking. And you know, Roger's smile just doesn't seem as wide or as bright as the others. He really should try a whitening toothpaste and just a dab of Vaseline on the front teeth.
I called the Channel 7 "We Care Line" (7-WE-CARE) to give some feedback on the weather portion of the show, such as my recommendation of the toothpaste and some bright geometric patterned ties like the other anchors wear, but Roger never called me back. If he truly cared what I think, like the ad for the "We Care Line" said they all do, he would have called.
Even the Channel 7 song says how much my ABC affiliate cares about me: "Channel 7 is there for you, Channel 7 cares—the news is you!" It's very reassuring to know that my news station isn't some faceless company that's just after advertising dollars. Channel 7 really cares about the community! You can tell by watching Thursday's Special Neighbors features.
While everyone else at Channel 7 is working hard saving animals from the pound and lauding elderly thimble collectors and videotaping retarded people playing softball, Roger is just talking about barometric pressure. Where's the human kindness in that? Where are the viewer snapshot contests?
That weatherman makes me downright nervous. All the other news segment displays have cursive lettering in calming pastel colors, but the weather has harsh, plain typeset. Willard Scott always wishes people a happy birthday, but did Roger Forrest do the same for me? Fat chance!
I don't want to have to do this, but if this keeps up, I may switch over to Channel 5's weather report. NBC's Walt Fields may not have the latest Accu-Weather Doppler radar technology at his fingertips like Roger does, but at least he knows what a smile is!