COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 Chief Weathercaster Dave Schmidt will retire Tuesday, December 17. He has spent more than two decades on the air providing weather forecasts and information to mid-Missourians.
"KOMU has been very good to me," Schmidt said. "Thank you to our viewers who have trusted me to provide them with important weather information and for inviting me as a welcome guest into their homes."
Schmidt said he took a temporary job at KOMU 8 News, which turned into a permanent position. Schmidt joined in December 1989 as a copywriter and voice talent after spending several years in radio broadcasting. In 1991, he began forecasting weather and was promoted to chief weathercaster in 1996.
"One of the key things that people maybe don't know is that I'm not trained meteorologist," Schmidt said. "My background is in communications, so they allowed me to come here and learn weather on the job, and that just doesn't happen anymore."
"I was doing talk radio right here in town, and they changed management. When companies change management they usually clean house, so I was part of what they cleaned. The manager here, Tom Gray at the time, asked me to come out temporarily until they found something else, so temporary turned into permananent," Schmidt said.
"Doppler Dave" has been a well-liked staple in mid-Missouri homes and the KOMU 8 newsroom for years.
"Dave has been the top dog delivering Mid-Missouri's weather for more than two decades. No one comes close to his status in bringing people important weather information. People will long remember watching Doppler Dave deliver the weather to them," said KOMU 8 News Director Stacey Woelfel.
"Dave's dedication to KOMU 8 and our viewers over the past 24 years is admirable. His gentle, calming nature has both aided and comforted us through some of the most dire weather events," said KOMU 8 General Manager Marty Siddall. "He leaves KOMU 8 with our very best wishes for the long, healthy retirement that he has earned."
So what does the man who spent more than two decades in front of the green screen plan to do next?
"I have mixed feelings on retirement. I think I know what I want to do - that is to produce more freelance voicework - but I'm ready for a change."
"I'm going to enjoy the holidays with my family, and once January rolls around, I'll start putting out some feelers and making myself available," Schmidt said.
After Schmidt's retirement, KOMU 8 Weathercaster Rosie Newberry will move to evenings, providing weather information for KOMU 8 News at Five, Six and Ten and at Nine on Mid-Missouri's CW. Kenton Gewecke has been added as weathercaster for KOMU 8 News at Noon.
KOMU 8 News will take a look back and celebrate Schmidt's career during KOMU 8 newscasts on Tuesday, December 17.
"What has been a priviledge is to be allowed into people's homes each evening all across mid-Missouri," Schmidt said. "Because when they turn their TV on, they're essentially inviting you in and that's nice to know you're welcome in their homes."