After spending 40 years in broadcasting — a good many of those years here in Central Florida on the radio and on Channel 6 — Mike Burger is calling it quits.
The current weatherman at Dallas’ KTVT-CBS 11 has opted out of the final 19 months of a newly signed contact. “I found myself looking in the mirror, saying ‘What are you doing?’ ” Burger told Dallas TV blogger Uncle Barky. “Do you want to do this until you’re 70 and then drop over dead? It’s time to have some fun.”
The recent death of his longtime girlfriend’s mother gave him a new perspective on life, Uncle Barky reported. “It persuaded him that life can be short and should be sweeter down the stretch. He also ‘knew this was going to be my last contract, whether it was my decision to leave or theirs. So I decided it would be better to go out on my terms, and do it my way, so to speak.’ ”
Burger, who turns 65 in September, spent a good many years in Orlando — at WDBO radio and Channel 6, when it was WDBO, WCPX and WKMG. He did weather primarily on TV, but after departing for Dallas in 1989, he returned in 1996 to become morning news anchor at Channel 6. He stayed for four years, then headed back to Dallas.
Burger’s last weather segment will be Sept. 4th. He said he plans to remain in North Texas.
Here are some links to see Burger on Orlando TV, plus a special one with him, Glenn Rinker and Ben Aycrigg in the late 1980s at Channel 6. (Sorry for the poor quality of the first two.)
The Orlando Sentinel’s fun summer online contest, the Orlando Celebrity Smackdown, has its championship match up.
The winner among all the local television personalities is WKMG chief meteorologist Tom Sorrells. He reached the finals by knocking out fellow Channel 6 weatherman Eric Wilson in opening round, then dispatching Fox 35 morning meteorologist Jim Van Fleet in the second round, upsetting WFTV chief met Tom Terry in the third round, then rallying late to defeat WESH-2 anchors Jim Payne and Martha Sugalski in the semifinals.
Facing Sorrells from the radio side of the contest bracket are Doc and Grace, morning DJs on K92FM. They made it to the finals by upsetting the Monsters of the Morning from Real Radio 104.1.
Breaking Radio News:OrlandoSentinel.com is reporting that Shannon Burke of Real Radio 104.1 is in jail today, accused of firing a gun — the bullet from which injured his family’s dog and grazed his wife in the head. Burke, 43, is facing charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and animal cruelty. Burke used to have a regular segment on the Orlando-based morning show, The Daily Buzz, on WRDQ-Ch. 27.