A New First Live Local Weather Face

February 9, 2016

I have a new co-worker in the FOX12 weather center!

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Meteorologist Liana Brackett has been with us since early January; getting on-air just in the past few days.  She’ll be getting you all your weather information during the 8pm and 9pm shows on PDX-TV.  Of course she’ll be working on other shows as well.  Our company owns both FOX12 and PDX-TV and we produce newscasts for both stations.  It’s all the same in that the signal just goes to one transmitter or the other; the same graphics and FOX12 branding is used in all shows.  We produce 6 evening newscasts so that’s a lot of weather content to fill!  We do a lot of this:

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There are generally two ways a person gets into broadcast meteorology (television weathercasting).  The first is most typical: you get a broadcast journalism degree, start as a reporter, get some weather knowledge, and become a weathercaster.  The second path is to get a degree in Atmospheric Sciences or Meteorology and then become an on-air meteorologist.

Here in the Portland television market there are 4 weathercasters with a degree in meteorology and we now have 3 of them!  Brian MacMillan and I both have degrees along with Liana.  She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.  Liana spent the past 6 years working here in Portland right under our noses…at the Portland National Weather Service office.  As a result she knows our weather well which is quite a plus.  To be honest, it’s a bit of a pain to teach someone from another part of the country how our weather works; it takes awhile to get used to all our terrain and the effects it has on day to day conditions so we got lucky to find someone local.

I asked her a few questions…

What’s the hardest part of changing from a non-TV job to “on-air”? Using less technical meteorological terms! That was a tough one for me because I was used to using “orographic lift” and other terms daily. But, I love explaining weather terms so that will be fun to do on-air.

What’s the best part? I love explaining weather to people so now I get to do it every day! That, and the dressing up part and the fun people I get to work with.

Have you been surprised by anything/something? I didn’t realize how long I can spend looking at the weather! At the NWS, you’re constantly watching the weather so I can easily spend 3-4 hours just trying to get the forecast “just right.” But, now in TV, I have to manage my time between forecasting, getting camera ready, and actually doing the show. I just need to get some more programs on my home computer then.

What’s it like to tell a weather “story”, have a producer talk in your ear, change graphics, and smile all at the same time?  Tougher than it looks or no? Oh. My. Goodness. It is way tougher than it looks! There is an art to it all, and that’s when things go perfectly. It’s even more challenging when you throw in any malfunctions like you can’t see yourself, but you still need to talk into the camera and smoothly go through your weather story. But, I’m loving the challenge and know it’ll just get easier and smoother. I seriously love this job!

Anything else you want to add? 
This job is amazing! Well, I get to work with Mark every weeknight
so how can it not be? Lol, he’s sitting nextto me so I have to say that. J 

Because I’m such a mean guy…that’s right…
We’ve all enjoyed getting to know Liana over the past month and look forward to many more months/years with her!
Here is some contact info for you:

BIO: http://www.kptv.com/story/31094017/meteorologist-liana-brackett

Follow on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LianaBrackett

Like on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lianabrackett/?fref=nf

By the way, in case you are wondering who is leaving or getting fired?  No one.  Nora Hart has been doing weather for the past 16 months but is now a news anchor again.   She’s leaving us in the weather center and moving about…15 feet away.
Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen