Six Inches Of Partly Cloudy

Northeast Ohio may once again be looking at bad winter weather, but the conditions are sunny on South Marginal Road.

Dick GoddardThat’s because the Cleveland TV market’s biggest name, Local TV LLC Fox affiliate WJW/8 “Fox 8 News” meteorologist Dick Goddard, celebrates 80 years on this Earth today…and he’s still going strong.

The Plain Dealer’s Mark Dawidziak weighs in on Goddard’s birthday and local TV dominance in an article published Wednesday…which is pretty good “Goddard 101” primer focusing on his long career, and dominant status in this TV market:

And there’s another landmark date rolling toward us like a spring warm front propelled by prevailing winds of affection. May 1 is the 50th anniversary of Goddard’s TV debut as a Cleveland weatherman.

In the article, or even in private, there’s no talk about Dick Goddard retiring soon, despite the fact he’s been on TV longer than many of his viewers have been alive.

There is talk about his well-noted love of animals – a “Fox 8” segment today said that Goddard could be called “Cleveland’s Dr. Doolittle” – and of his yearly celebration of that famous weather worm, the Woollybear.

The Dawidziak piece notes an upcoming memoir by the WJW forecaster, which carries the tentative title “Six Inches of Partly Cloudy” – coming out of a viewer’s phone call after a snowstorm, upset that he had shoveled “six inches of partly cloudy” out of his driveway.

The book, published by local publisher Gray and Company, is expected to debut around Goddard’s 50th TV anniversary in May.

Whenever Dick Goddard leaves the air, it’ll be his own choice.

Like another long-time broadcaster, retiring Cavaliers Radio Network Hall of Famer Joe Tait, letting Dick Goddard go – even by a contract non-renewal – would be akin to touching “the third rail” of local broadcasting.

And no matter who owns WJW, from Storer to New World to Fox to Local TV LLC, they have known it…


One Response to Six Inches Of Partly Cloudy

  1. Yekimi says:

    Happy birthday to Dick! I’ve been a weather geek ever since I can remember, probably from growing up in Florida and going through a few hurricanes. When I moved up here in the early 70s, I tuned through the stations and out of all the weathermen, he was the only one that talked about hurricanes in the Gulf or Atlantic even though they wouldn’t affect Ohio. I’ve stuck with watching him ever since. He’s about the only one that keeps a level head when talking about severe storms coming through the area, unlike some of the stations and their “Doppler of Doom” weathermen who make it sound like the end of the world is at hand!

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