Kevin O'Connell (U.S. TV personality)
O'Connell also sub-hosted on The David Letterman Show on NBC, hosted the game show Go on NBC from October 1983 to January 1984, and presented the syndicated disco series Disco Step-by-Step from 1977 to 1980. He was often a substitute weathercaster for Weekend Today during the 1990s. He also hosted the 1986 and 1987 game show pilots Keynotes and Money in the Blank.
O'Connell was previously a news and weather anchor for Buffalo's WIVB, as well as Los Angeles' KNBC and KCBS-TV during the 1980s before returning to Buffalo in 1990. He was also a disc jockey early in his career, before moving into work in weather; as late as 2012, O'Connell was voice-tracking a shift at WECK in addition to his television duties.
Since joining WGRZ in 1993, O'Connell's primary focus has been weather forecasting, and he obtained an American Meteorological Society seal of approval as a result of his work there. O'Connell does not go by the title of meteorologist since he does not hold a bachelor's degree in the science of meteorology (he received his AMS seal before a degree became a requirement for it); he has some meteorology education from Buffalo State College, from which he graduated in 1972.
O'Connell was expected to retire near the end of 2016; his heir apparent, meteorologist Patrick Hammer, was hired in June 2015 and was originally to work his way into the position as O'Connell winds down his duties with WGRZ; this was complicated when Hammer was pulled off the air in November 2015 after a repeat driving under the influence arrest. Hammer was retained for mornings (where he worked in a previous market) while Heather Waldman, a former Accuweather on-air personality, will take over most of O'Connell's shifts.
O'Connell, a registered Democrat, was briefly courted as a potential candidate for Erie County clerk in 2017 but declined the offer. As of that time, his contract with WGRZ runs through the end of 2018.
- Stephen Cohen The Newslife: From Arkansas to Aruba 2011 - Page 336 "... did run across Kevin O'Connell, a weatherman from the city who had made his way to Los Angeles at KNBC. He had the boyish good looks of a California surfer, which he was not. Now back in Buffalo, in a monster home on a nearby lake, , we shared stories of Los Angeles, and I offered him the chance to get back onto the air at WGRZ. ..."
- Channels - Volume 7 - 1987 -Page 70 "KCBS weatherman Kevin O'Connell took the brunt of their raps for his live, on-location "California Living" segments that "discovered" a new town every day. Wrote the Herald Examiner's Ray Richmond: "The only hope is that he'll eventually run out of towns." Los Angeles viewers quickly voted with their channel selectors. After two weeks, the Nielsens for KCBS news were down a full share point ..."
- Pergament, Alan (January 3, 2014). A tale of two weather cities. The Buffalo News. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
- Pergament, Alan (June 5, 2015). Ch.2 hires new meteorologist as heir apparent to O'Connell. WGRZ. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
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