Thursday, June 20, 2013
KOLD viewers have probably noticed the absence of chief meteorologist Chuck George on broadcasts for the last week or so. In fact, his Facebook page is flooded with posts inquiring why he hasn't been on air. George, who through a news story aired by KOLD recently announced he is engaged in a long-running battle with depression, may have suffered another setback.
George most recently appeared June 7 on the station’s 5 and 6 pm newscasts, but was not on the air at 10pm. Aaron Pickering filled in on that prime time shift. George hasn’t been seen on television since. Furthermore, he’s been absent from social media, which George utilizes with frequency under normal circumstances.
Upon retrospective viewing, George appeared to struggle more with the 5 pm newscast. He’s good enough to get through the weather reports, but they certainly don’t rank as high water efforts. He’ll do little things like miss his marks, or wander a bit too close to the camera, but generally he manages to make it through.
Perhaps it’s reading too much into it, but the required news banter interaction is where uncomfortable signs appear. On the June 7 newscasts, Teresa Jun and Heather Rowe occupied the anchor seats, and they seemed to go into some variation of Pleasantville mode, a bit over-smiley, almost as if they were hoping a happy demeanor would act to diffuse an unpredictable situation so the weatherman didn’t blurt out something that would really get some attention.
If the absence is long-term, it would be George’s at least fourth lengthy hiatus from KOLD since 2010.