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.)
It’s been a wild summer at WKMG-Local 6. And apparently it’s not over.
The big shocker: longtime anchor Jacqueline London was let go, as was longtime reporter Donald Forbes. Now comes word that a relative newcomer is gone too.
FTVLive.com is reporting that Local 6 morning meteorologist Eric Wilson “was given his walking papers.”
According to the website, “Sources says [sic] he was was called into the GM’s office after the noon show and told that he would no longer be the AM and Noon meteorologist. Word is he still [has] six months to go on his contract. They’ve offered to let him stay on the air on the weekends until it expires, but word is he said he will not return to the air.”
Sure enough, on Tuesday morning, Troy Bridges was doing the morning weather in place of Wilson.
Some quick notes from the news that is television …
Happy birthday, WESH. Channel 2 turned 54 years old on Friday. The station went on the air June 11, 1956, from Daytona Beach. Some fun facts about WESH: It was the 19th television station in Florida. … It wasn’t the only NBC affiliate in Central Florida when it went on the air. It shared NBC with WDBO-Channel 6 because most folks outside of Volusia County could not receive WESH, which was broadcasting on a 300-foot tower in Daytona at the time. On November 5, 1957 — the day WESH activated a new 1,000-foot tower in Orange City — it got the NBC affiliation all to itself. … Of the Big 4 network affiliates in Orlando, WESH is the only station with its original call letters. Check out our WESH history page for more information. …
Fox-owned WRBW-My 65 celebrated its sweet 16 birthday on June 4. It went on the air as independent Rainbow 65 in 1994. …
I’ve been traveling a lot lately and came across some familiar faces on TV. In Chicago, former WKMG sports anchorRyan Bakeris now at WBBM-CBS 2 as the main sports guy at the CBS O&O. In Norfolk/Virginia Beach, former WESH morning anchor Tom Schaad is the main anchor at WAVY-NBC 10. …
Eboni Deon has joined WFTV as Channel 9′s new weekend meteorologist. She previously worked at CNN International and The Weather Channel — which could explain why she has admirers from across the globe on her Facebook Fan Page. She replaces Ben Smith, who moved from Channel 9 to WHNT-CBS 19 in Huntsville, Ala. (And WHNT is also the home of former WESH meteorologist Dan Sattefield.) …
I don’t write much about Central Florida News 13 — since I can’t get it on my home TV — but the cable station says it will launch a new website soon. “More video. Easier to Use. More of What YOU Want,” is how News 13 is describing its new cfnews13.com page. Stay turned.
A couple of changes to report on the local news scene…
WOFL-Fox 35 meteorologist/traffic reporter Sabrina Fein – declared by some to be the “hottest” woman on Orlando TV — has left O-Town. Posting on her Facebook fan page on May 19, Fein wrote, “For all of you that are wondering and asking, I have decided to take a short break from the news business and refocus my career in Los Angeles. Thank you all for participating in this page and I am hopeful that you will still follow me and my career. Take care for now. – Sabrina xoxo.” Reading more comments on the page, it appears that WOFL wanted to move her off the weather beat. …
Thursday will mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Charley’s surprising and destructive visit to Orlando.
Orlando’s TV stations performed a great public service on Aug. 13, 2004 — dismissing the official National Hurricane Center track for the storm and correctly predicting the hurricane was headed to Orlando, not to Tampa. The stations gave residents extra time to prepare for the storm — but no one could have known it would be a hurricane drill that would have to be repeated two more times during our relentless summer of storms.
Area stations are marking the anniversary in different ways. WKMG-Local 6 — which lost power during Hurricane Charley and remained on the air only by using a generator from one of its live trucks — will air a one-hour special Wednesday that recalls not only Charley but the other storms of 2004. “Charley, Frances & Jeanne: Five Years Later”will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
WKMG is joining WOFL-Fox 35 and Central Florida News 13 in hosting a daylong telethon, beginning at 5 a.m. Thursday. Money collected will go to the American Red Cross — which provided relief to Central Floridians during Charley, Frances and Jeanne. Read more about the telethon here.
After the jump, photos and video of Hurricane Charley’s Orlando visit