Portland Weather Anchor Change: Bruce Sussman is Out

April 4, 2014

The Portland TV rumor machine has been in overdrive the past 3 days.  That’s because for the first time in about 5 years there is a change in the Chief Meteorologist job at one of the 4 stations.  It doesn’t have anything to do with me or FOX12, but anyone who reads this blog is interested in weather.  And if you’re interested in weather you probably also have an interest in who is presenting weather nightly on local TV.

Here’s the latest:

1.  Bruce Sussman over at KOIN has been let go.  Or you can choose your own wording such as “fired” or “contract not renewed” based on whether you are a viewer, owner of a tv station, etc…

2.  His last day was Thursday and last broadcast was 11pm.  I noticed the wording of his last forecast update yesterday was telling:   “If this forecast (sun next week) holds…don’t expect to see me on the news…I’ll be out playing with the kids!  Thanks so much for getting your news from the KOIN weather team. I’ve always appreciated you doing that.    Bruce Sussman – Chief Meteorologist”.   His bio is already gone from their website.

3.  Rumor also says Kristen VanDyke, a forecaster from station KRQE in Albuquerque, is coming to take that job soon.  You can see her here:  http://krqe.com/2014/04/03/kristens-thursday-morning-forecast-11/

Bruce is a good friend and it’s very disappointing to see him losing his position of course.  Although we do all know in this business that the end can come at any time, especially at a station that has problems.

KOIN has been struggling for years with numerous management changes, changing owners, and poor ratings.  Still, from a purely meteorological point of view, it’s never good to swap out a forecaster with almost 20 years of local forecasting experience with someone from out of the area.  Of course only half of what we do is weather forecasting and the rest is TV, so it’s a balancing act for TV stations.

The last time we saw a dramatic change like this was back in 2009 when Dave Salesky jumped from KGW over to KATU, bumping Rod Hill from KATU to…KGW.  Apparently in this town most of us just move from station to station.

Good luck Bruce, I’m sure you’ll do just fine wherever you land!

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen