John Coleman (meteorologist)

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John Coleman
John Coleman KUSI (cropped).jpg
Coleman in November 2007
John Stewart Coleman[1]

(1934-10-15)October 15, 1934
DiedJanuary 20, 2018(2018-01-20) (aged 83)
Alma materUniversity of Illinois
Bachelors in Journalism, 1957
OccupationJournalist / Television Weatherman
Years active1953–2014
SpouseLinda Coleman

John Stewart Coleman (October 15, 1934 – January 20, 2018) was an American television weatherman. Along with Frank Batten, he co-founded The Weather Channel and briefly served as its chief executive officer and president.[2][3] He retired from broadcasting in 2014 after nearly 61 years, having worked the last 20 years at KUSI-TV in San Diego.[3][4]

Professional career[edit]

Coleman started his career in 1953 at WCIA in Champaign, Illinois, doing the early evening weather forecast and a local bandstand show called At The Hop while he was a student at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.[2] After receiving his journalism degree in 1957, he became the weather anchor for WCIA's sister station WMBD-TV in Peoria, Illinois.[3] Coleman was also a weather anchor for KETV in Omaha, WISN-TV in Milwaukee and then WBBM-TV and WLS-TV in Chicago.[2][5]

In 1972, Coleman and his stage crew craftsmen at WLS-TV created the first chroma key weather map ever in use.[2][3]

WLS Eyewitness News team, 1972. Back, from left: anchor John Drury, anchor Joel Daly. Front, from left: weatherman John Coleman, anchor Fahey Flynn, sportscaster Bill Frink.

Coleman became the original weatherman on the brand-new ABC network morning program, Good Morning America.[6] He stayed seven years with this top-rated program anchored by David Hartman and Joan Lunden.[2][6]

In 1981, he persuaded communications entrepreneur Frank Batten to help establish The Weather Channel, serving as TWC's CEO and President during the start-up and its first year of operation. After being forced out of TWC a year later,[2] Coleman became weather anchor at WCBS-TV in New York and then at WMAQ-TV in Chicago, before moving to Southern California to join the independent television station, KUSI-TV in San Diego in 1994,[7] in what Coleman fondly calls "his retirement job."[2] Coleman abruptly left KUSI while on vacation in April 2014, with no on-air farewell.[4]

Coleman obtained Professional membership status in the American Meteorological Society and was named AMS Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year in 1983.[8] Coleman said that after ten years of attending AMS National Meetings and studying the papers published in the organization's journal the AMS was driven by political, not scientific, agendas and withdrew.[2]

Views on global warming[edit]

Coleman spoke out as a "rejectionis[t]" of global warming in 2007 after watching NBC's "Green is Universal" week, when as a sign of environmental awareness, the studio lights were cut for portions of Sunday Night Football's pre-game and half-time shows.[9] In a 2015 open letter to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he claimed that a causal relationship between rising levels of atmospheric CO2 and rising temperatures had not been shown to exist.[10] He has called global warming the "greatest scam in history"[11] and made numerous false or misleading claims about climate science.[12][13] Coleman held a bachelor's degree in journalism and stated in interviews that he has not conducted any scientific research in the area of climate change.[12][14] Coleman's views contributed to his decision to drop out of the American Meteorological Society.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Coleman was born in 1934 in Alpine, Texas, the youngest of five children born to Hazel Coleman, a mathematics teacher, and Claude Coleman, a college professor.[16] Coleman was married twice. He and his first wife had three children before divorcing.[1] Coleman met his second wife, Linda, at a poker table in Viejas Casino and was married to her for eighteen years.[1] In May 2016, John and Linda Coleman moved to Sun City[1] in the Summerlin Community of Las Vegas.[2] Coleman died on January 20, 2018, at his home in Las Vegas.[17][7][15]



  1. ^ a b c d Stone, Ken (August 14, 2017). "How's the Weatherman? KUSI's John Coleman Plays Retirement Card in Vegas". Times of San Diego.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "John Coleman". KUSI News. Archived from the original on April 4, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2014.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ a b c d Rogers, Rich (November 19, 2007). "Weather Channel Founder: Global Warming a 'Scam'". WAGT News. Archived from the original on August 10, 2007. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Posner, Jay; Peterson, Karla (April 10, 2014). "Forecast for John Coleman: Retirement". San Diego Union-Tribune.
  5. ^ "Speaker: John Coleman, Weathercaster on KUSI TV in San Diego". APWA San Diego/Imperial Chapter. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "John Coleman, Chicago meteorologist and Weather Channel co-founder, dies at 83". Chicago Sun-Times. Associated Press. January 21, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Robbins, Gary; Garrick, David (January 22, 2018). "John Coleman, Weather Channel co-founder who doubted climate science, dies at 83". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ a b "AMS Awards". American Meteorological Society. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  9. ^ Homans, Charles (January 7, 2010). "Hot Air". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  10. ^ Taylor, Jason. "'Global warming the greatest scam in history' claims founder of Weather Channel". Daily Express. London. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  11. ^ "Weather Channel boss calls global warming 'the greatest scam in history'". The Daily Telegraph. London. November 9, 2007. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Weather Channel co-founder John Coleman prefers conspiracies to climate science". The Guardian. November 2, 2014. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  13. ^ Samenow, Jason (November 3, 2014). "Why does anyone pay attention to John Coleman, Weather Channel co-founder, on climate change?". The Washington Post.
  14. ^ Samenow, Jason (November 3, 2014). "Why does anyone pay attention to John Coleman, Weather Channel co-founder, on climate change?". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ a b "San Diego weather icon John Coleman dies". San Diego Union-Tribune. January 21, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "Featured Scientists". WordPress. October 20, 2017.
  17. ^ Hsu, Tiffany (January 21, 2018). "John S. Coleman, Weather Channel Co-Founder, Dies at 83". The New York Times.

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