Joe DeNardo

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Joe DeNardo
Born Joseph William DeNardo
(1930-11-27) November 27, 1930 (age 84)
United States Martins Ferry, Ohio

Joseph William DeNardo (born November 27, 1930) is a Pittsburgh meteorologist.[1] He is known for his 1994 campaign, "Joe Said It Would."[2] DeNardo currently resides in Moon Township, Pennsylvania with his wife of almost 60 years. When he retired in 2005, after 45 years on the air, he enjoyed "iconic" status among Pittsburghers.[3]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Joe DeNardo was born and raised in Martins Ferry, Ohio[4] and attended Wheeling Central Catholic High School in Wheeling, West Virginia. While at Wheeling Central, DeNardo averaged a 4.0 GPA. In addition, Joe was an outstanding basketball player, making the All-State team both his Junior and Senior year. His nickname on the court was "The Flash" due to his speed and quickness on the court. Perhaps the best shot of his career was against his hometown of Martins Ferry, where he hit a buzzer beater jumper to win the game. While in the air, DeNardo was fouled hard and knocked unconscious.

DeNardo graduated from Duquesne University in 1952 with a major in Mathematics and Physics.[5] He was president of the Alpha Phi Delta fraternity. In 1953 he received a Masters in Meteorology from The University of Chicago.[5]

He is an avid model railroadist.[6]

Career[edit]

DeNardo started his career with the United States Air Force, providing weather reports to authorities.[4] DeNardo served four years in the Air Force, achieving the rank of Commander of the weather detachment at the Greater Pittsburgh Air Force Base.[4] He was honorably discharged in 1956.

In 1957 he opened DeNardo and McFarland Weather Services with his friend David G. McFarland, whom he met in the Air Force. "DeNardo and McFarland", located at the Allegheny County Airport, would sell weather forecasts to the Pittsburgh corporate aviation community (17 clients including Westinghouse, Rust Eng. and ALCOA), private aviation services, gas and electric utilities, construction and local radio stations. The company also had a contract with Allegheny County, Pennsylvania to consult on air quality issues.[7] Many of the US Weather Services (NWS)personnel located at the airport would work part-time for DeNardo & McFarland, one flight down.

KDKA-Channel 2 hired DeNardo in the late 1950s to brief its on-air weather personalities before every newscast. Eventually, Channel 2 managers asked him to do a few forecasts for the TV station's sibling radio station, KDKA-1020 AM. KDKA Radio started DeNardo broadcast career in 1957. DeNardo and KDKA reached an agreement where he would broadcast his weather reports on television. KDKA became one of the first stations in the country with a "real meteorologist" as a part of the programming and Joe began his regional fame and celebrity status. After a new manager took over, DeNardo left KDKA, citing the unpleasant atmosphere.[4] DeNardo landed at WTAE-TV in 1969, bringing his news anchor partner Paul Long with him to WTAE, continuing their often sardonic banter when Long would introduce DeNardo for the weather segment of the news. Joe was so popular that his presence at WTAE was the focus of an advertising campaign.[8]

DeNardo retired from WTAE-TV on January 1, 2005. He remained a presence on the station for fund-raising efforts, and continued to deliver his annual "Winter Weather Forecast" on WTAE-TV until 2009. Pittsburghers immediately think of him when they hear the slogan "Joe said it would."

Until 2009 DeNardo offered his winter weather forecast through ESB Bank, providing white boards with his winter weather forecast to bankers. They can be picked up in any ESB Bank branch.

During the 2014 North American cold wave, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review sought out DeNardo's opinion on the current state of weather reporting, nearly a decade after his retirement.[9]

Community Work[edit]

DeNardo is known for his relentless charitable work for the community. Keeping the spirit of youth in mind, DeNardo would make school visits every Wednesday "with the exception of holidays." He would fly into the school via helicopter and present an assembly for the kids. Traditionally, in return, DeNardo would receive a cake from the faculty of the schools. "We figured it out, and I think it was in excess of 650 schools I've visited in our viewing area," he said. "I've talked to almost half a million students," teaching them about storms, satellites and how to predict the weather.

Along with school visits, DeNardo has given back to the community through The Salvation Army and his own actions. WTAE-TV would host two charitable events each year that donated to The Salvation Army, the Project Bundle-Up Auction, and the Bundle-Up telethon.[10] DeNardo hosted both of these events.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Owen, Rob (20 August 1998). "A Sunny Forecast Joe Denardo Rests At Home, Expects To Be Back On The Air Sept. 30". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. E5. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "WTAE Flashback: Joe Said It Would". WTAE-TV. November 30, 2012. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  3. ^ Rutkoski, Rex (September 19, 2011). "DeNardo, Kudzma downplay their forecasting roles". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved May 19, 2013. "During that time, they were the weather for many Pittsburghers. Today, the two meteorologists downplay their icon status." 
  4. ^ a b c d Leonard, Vince (November 22, 1968). "DeNardo its Over CLimate At Channel 2". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved May 18, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Joe DeNardo: WTAE, chief meteorologist". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. February 9, 2003. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ Fanning, Win (June 13, 1978). "The Weatherman's Railroad". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  7. ^ "DeNardo Backs Duquesne Light's Better-Air Plans". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. February 27, 1973. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ "DeNardo's The Name. Weather is his game!". The Pittsburgh Press. February 24, 1970. Retrieved May 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ Heyl, Eric (January 8, 2014). "Heyl: Joe said it would ... be great if we cooled it". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved January 9, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Arc to Honor Joe Denardo". Observer-Reporter. March 1, 1999. Retrieved May 19, 2013.