Baumhower: Replacing Stan StachakWritten by Jeremy Baumhower | | email@example.com
On April 4, 13abc WTVG announced that longtime Chief Meteorologist Stan Stachak will be taking his Live Doppler 13,000 forecasts and jet streaming into retirement. Stachak, who has been the face of Toledo TV weather for 30-plus years, will step down from his full-time responsibilities April 23. 13abc President and General Manager John Christianson has selected Jay Berschback as Stachak’s successor.
13abc News Director Brian Trauring released the following comment: “Stachak is a professional who cares deeply about the safety of viewers during severe weather situations. The goal is to continue to build on the proud tradition of coverage that Stan has built at the station.”
Stachak has been part of the fabric of many Toledoans’ lives. As a child of the ’80s, Stachak’s face and easygoing demeanor always brought comfort to me while watching the news. Stachak was always the fifth person at my family’s dinner table; I cannot tell you how many times I was shushed for his voice. His predictions brought both joy and disappointment to many Northwest Ohioans.
Former WTVG anchor and current WTOL 11 anchor Jerry Anderson shared his thoughts via email: “Stan and I started the same year  at WTVG. I worked side-by-side with him until 1993. He was always a pro … I spent the first half of the ’80s being Ron Burgundy (remember the hair/’stache?). But what people may not get about Stan is just how funny he can be in a very cerebral way … a dry wit that can just crack you up … smart humor stuff. And then it’s all wrapped up in a great human being … a family man with a huge heart. In short, Stan is pure class (uh oh, I’m back to Burgundy). It was a privilege working next to him for so many years … I wish him only the best in retirement.”
Rob Powers, former 13abc sports anchor who is now at ABC’s No. 1 station, WABC in New York, said via email, “It sure takes a special talent to not only survive, but thrive in this business, and to do it in one place for so long? Unheard of! I had so much fun working with Stan; such a pro. I feel fortunate to have worked with him, and WTVG’s viewers have been fortunate to have him on the job. Calm, levelheaded and so knowledgeable on the air … fun, light-hearted and such a good guy off the air. Take a well-deserved break, Stan … you sure as heck earned it!”
13abc anchor Lee Conklin said, “He is one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. I will always appreciate his professionalism, sense of calm when the weather gets crazy and sense of humor, too. I was actually hired over here 21 years ago to do weekend weather, while I was doing news and sports at WSPD. Despite the fact I was not a meteorologist, and had never done television, Stan was patient with me while I learned the ropes (it couldn’t have been easy). I do remember calling him in the middle of the night from time to time when the weather computers went haywire. I imagine that ticked him off, but he never showed it. He has truly earned his retirement. I’m happy for him that it’s taking place on his own terms.”
Vary rarely in medium-size markets do TV personalities stay longer than 10 years, especially those as talented as Stachak. The Toledo TV market is normally a proving ground for bigger and better things, but Stachak stayed. Stachak dabbled and filled in at CNN in the 1990s, and I am sure he has turned down bigger offers with more money. He chose to stay here, to raise his family here, and for those choices, Toledoans will hold him in their hearts and minds.
Although there will always be a TV weather person sharing forecasts, trying to make normal people understand the art and science of predicting weather, Toledo may never see another Stan Stachak. It takes a special human being to turn down more money and bigger opportunities for more than 30 years to remain dedicated to one town — we call that a “Toledoan.”
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