Portland Weather Anchor Change: Bruce Sussman is Out

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




41 Responses to Portland Weather Anchor Change: Bruce Sussman is Out

  1. Tom says:

    Kristen VanDyke is a goddess among humans. Her broadcasts are spot on, and Portland should be thanking their lucky stars for this tremendous gain. My heart goes out to all the good people in Albuquerque for their loss.

    • Jerry says:

      NM weather changes every 5 min. Outdoor activities can keep one… busy. When Kristen came to NM, I knew then, you can’t keep a goddess….caged. Her credential speaks.
      Enjoy her forecasts

  2. lynne tracy says:

    we will miss you bruce. we are so sad to hear your leaving. your why we watch koin.

  3. old weather lady says:

    Seems to me everyone is upset about having a female chief meteorologist. Why???? Does being female mean that you don’t have a brain? I know many “bright” females that are “fast learners”. I will reserve my opinion until I see what Kristen has to offer.

  4. Chuck Dougherty says:

    Hey, Don’t take Kristen Van Dyke from us. She is a great person and active in our community. I always want to see someone promoted but she will be under utilized up there. After all, don’t your forecasts go something like: Monday-rain, Tuesday-rain, Wednesday-rain with sun breaks, Thursday-rain–something like that. Our weather in New Mexico is wild. She has to turn up the expertise to work here.

  5. rain lover says:

    No doubt Bruce will be missed but sad to see all the “claws” come out before his replacement even goes on air. She had nothing to do with his firing (if that is what it was). Why not give her a fair chance before condemning her.

  6. James K Long says:

    If anyone should replace Bruce its Sally. She is articulate and shows taste in how to dress. Makes for nice viewing.

  7. Ted Berry says:

    I surprised ol’ KOIN didn’t promote “Smiling Sally Showman” !!!!!

  8. sinmob says:

    Hey Bernice I think Safeway has a position open

  9. Sherwood Bob says:

    My wife felt it too – I was literally 20 feet away from her and didn’t feel anything. 3.3 on Richter scale 8km NW of Sherwood, Oregon per USGS earthquake map.

  10. Interesting but not large earthquake, felt like a couple jolts.

    • Goducks09 says:

      Felt it too here in NW Portland. Just a couple slight bumps. Interesting with all of the other activity around the country the past few weeks…

  11. For my Battle Ground station, my last frost averages May 3rd the last 3 years.

    For my station closer to downtown Vancouver, the average is today, ironically, April 6th.

    Granted these usually aren’t hard freezes, just touching freezing or so.

    As for today, 64 degrees with mostly cloudy/partly cloudy skies. Not great, but certainly noticeably nicer after the last few days.

  12. WEATHERDAN says:

    Mostly sunny and 66 in Salem this afternoon. Should be about 73 on Monday and about 70 on Tuesday. We already hit 70 back on March 24th. Now it looks like we might hit 70 again next Sunday. No sign of a cold Spring. So far it has been somewhat wet but on the mild side. Really it was just 2010 and 2011 that had cold Springs and cool Summers. Since 1990 only 5 Summers in Salem have failed to hit 80 60 or more times. 1993, 1996, 2000, 2010, 2011. So those two cool Summers were just a blip on a long trend toward warmer Summers. And Mark I understand why you edited my remarks on tv mets. Not a problem with me. Peace.

  13. geo says:

    I actually had a chance to talk to Bruce S. when he was a reporter for Koin 6 about ten years ago at my place of employment, he was doing a story about how high fuel costs affected prices for the consumer. Very personable and friendly guy.

  14. High Desert Mat (Model Rider) Redmond Or says:

    Nice guy, just never watched KOIN. I’ve met him a few times, really nice and really small, what is he Mark, like 5′ 6″ and a buck twenty?

  15. boydo3 N Albany says:

    Euro is looking bedder and bedder fo my kinda wedder 🙂

  16. DEL X V says:

    Bruce is a nice TV guy. Both Jim Little and Pete Parson got good weather jobs after leaving KOIN TV…Bruce should be able too, also.

  17. Sifton says:

    Well I apparently missed the boat on Bruce, never really took his casts to heart. But that gal they got on there, Sally something I think, imo is almost unbearable to watch with that CONSTANT phony azz smiling. + here’s to at least 1 nice day next week!!

  18. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Must say I’ll miss Bruce. Is one of only a very few I watch.
    Loved his sense of humor, always laughed with him!

  19. Brian Schmit says:

    4/4/2014 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:64 at ECHO( 683 ft)
    Low: 48 at DW6132 Portland(272 ft) & Portland-Troutda(36 ft) & Gold Beach(16 ft) & Gold Beach (US 1(60 ft)

    High:30 at CW7477 Lostine(7002 ft) & Rim(7050 ft) & HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 23 at Timberline Lodge (7001 ft ) & Rim (7050 ft ) & HOWARD Mt Howard (8150 ft ) & Mount Hood Meado (6601 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 28 degrees
    DW0460 Sisters (58/30 ) (3251 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.63″ at DW4118 Sandy(1250ft)
    0.59″ at DW0380 Sandy(1600ft)
    0.57″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    0.56″ at EW4395 Milton Fr(3455ft)

  20. WEATHERDAN says:

    What a joke Koin tv is. They keep replacing good tv mets for worse ones. Now they want to bring in some joker from the desert southwest. Bruce Sussman was a good tv met. The last great one they had was Jim Little but they fired him. And who could forget other Koin mistakes such as John Walls and Heidei Sonnen. Also that guy from St. Louis in the 90,s who was a real joke. Here’s how I would grade each of the the four big station in Portland. KATU Channel 2-C+ Dave Salesky is adequate and Joe English is fair but Rhonda Shelby just parrots the NWS forecast and the rest of the crew is lousy. KOIN Channel 6-F Without Bruce Sussman here I can’t think of a good reason to watch this station’s news. KGW Channel 8- A Matt Zaffinio is about on par with Mark and Rod Hill is really good as well. Nick Allard is also good. I have been watching weather on tv on the Portland stations since the 1950,s I am sorry to say while the graphics are much better now most of the forecasters are not. I’m sorry if anyone is offended by my remarks but I call them as I see them. When KOIN had Bob Lynott and KGW had Jack Capell you could get not only their honest opinion of the forecast but a thorough expalnation of what was going to happen. Nowdays you get a bunch of parrots who simply read off the NWS forecast verbatim. My guess is that KOIN wanted somebody who will work cheaper than Bruce Sussman and a woman so they can increase their ratings with 18-34 year old females. As for Bruce working for KPTV I think that is a great idea. Peace.

    • runrain says:

      I am so right on with you, Weatherdan. I go back to the Lynott/Capell days as well. As bad as some of our TV mets are today, the worst ever was Don Clark on KGW.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      I edited your comment a bit Dan.

    • oldwxwatcher says:

      Anyone remember Bob Lynott describing the shape of a surface high pressure area nosing in, when the heat low was sliding up the coast, as a “big Scotty dog”? That’s one of my earliest recollections of TV weathercasting here in Portland.

    • Ted Berry says:

      WD, Bob Lynott got me interested in the weather at an early age…..ditto on most of your analysis of the local weather personalities, Rhonda Shelby takes herself too seriously and rations out the long range forecast, so I don’t watch her anymore, and Matt is a little stiff around the collar.

  21. Andrew (Near Silver Falls 1600') says:

    Sad to see Bruce go. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pop up on another PDX station soon. Seems like a good guy.

  22. Sad to see Bruce go. Very nice guy, and I liked his weather forecasts second to only Marks.

    Hope he sticks around and we see him at the AMS meetings still!

  23. karlbonner1982 says:

    The best weather anchor is one who explains WHY the weather does what it does. Everything from seasonal sun angle to humidity to onshore vs offshore flow, to 850mb temps, to the effect of weather on seasonal ecology dates (phenology). In short, more than just a pretty face and “Will you need your umbrella?”

    Some newbies adapt quickly to the Pacific Northwest’s climatic and seasonal idiosyncrasies, like Melissa Frey from Eugene’s KEZI did back in the late 2000s. Others aren’t quite so into the details.

  24. oldwxwatcher says:

    Bruce always tried to make the weather interesting, even during our “blah” seasons, and came across as a nice person. As for Kristin VanDyke, it appears that she worked at WPDE in Myrtle Beach/Florence SC from 2006 to 2010 before going to Albuquerque and has a BS in Geosciences from Mississippi State. I’m sure she’ll find our climate to be quite a change from what she experienced in those other locations.

  25. runrain says:

    Yes, Bruce was very good. I also enjoyed watching his brother, Brian Sussman, down in the Bay Area. Maybe Bruce would be better appreciated down there.

  26. LongtimeLurker says:

    Sad to see him let go. I watch all the news stations and do feel like the longtime local anchors, reporters and mets are part of the Portland family. Hope he finds a new home here soon.

  27. Jeff Raetz says:

    KPTV make a move and get Bruce on your team!

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