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Ch.4′s Segal Gives a Classy “Wake Up!” Goodbye

I’ve got to hand it to former Channel 4 meteorologist Amelia Segal.

She sure can keep a secret.

It wasn’t until a day before her departure from WIVB-TV that just about everybody inside her station learned where she is headed this afternoon.

WRC-TV, the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C., announced Wednesday that Segal is joining the station’s weather team on March 11. It is quite an achievement since D.C. is a Top 10 market.

According to sources, Segal is probably going to start with some morning and early afternoon work at WRC before eventually becoming the weekend meteorologist.

The announcement came about a month after stilltalkintv speculated that Segal was planning to leave the station after the end of the February sweeps when her contract expires and was upset that she wasn’t allowed to leave a few months earlier to work for a D.C. station near her hometown in Maryland.

Segal never returned my Facebook messages or telephone calls but it would appear that the D.C. station held the job for Segal.

I understood why Channel 4 wouldn’t let her go early. It had already lost its two “Wake Up!” co-anchors in the last six months. They were replaced by co-anchors Diana Fairbanks and Jordan Williams. With Segal’s departure, the “Wake Up!” team is now going to be all new in a time slot in which viewers usually crave consistency.

Channel 4 has been looking for Segal’s replacement for weeks and has brought in at least one person for an interview. It hasn’t announced anyone has been hired to replace Segal on the stations’ 4 Warn Weather roster. Since weather is a big deal on the station, you would expect someone would be hired more quickly for the position than has been hired to fill other slots at the station.

The big question this morning was whether Channel 4’s management would allow Segal to say goodbye after three years.

It did. Segal gave a very classy goodbye speech this morning and said she had a “wonderful new opportunity” and “my time spent here has been absolutely wonderful.”

Amelia Segal

Amelia Segal

“It was great forecasting the weather here, very challenging,” said Segal. “You learn a lot about doing it every day. I thank (the audience) for letting me come into your home.”

Segal, who was moved from the weekends to the mornings late in 2011, noted it is hard to get up so early in the morning and praised her co-workers in the morning for helping her.

She even praised the station’s managers who prevented her from leaving early, saying “they’ve been just great.”

Of course, Segal isn’t the first on-air staffer to praise management in a goodbye speech. It almost seems to be a requirement if you’re going to be allowed to give one.

“You look at your resume tape when you get to a place and look back three years later and say, ‘I appreciate you believing in me and seeing where I can potentially get to,” concluded Segal. “Thanks so much Western New York, it’s been great.”

Segal is right  — she noticeably improved from when she arrived at Channel 4 three years ago after spending a few years seasoning at an Erie, Pa. station right out of Penn State.

That used to be the norm for local TV here. But now some on-air staffers are put on the air straight out of college or with very little experience and given on-the-job training.

I’ve been accused by some friends and readers of being too soft on Channel 4 sportscaster Lauren Brill. I have criticized her on several occasions, but I don’t blame her as much as I blame management for hiring her with so little on-air experience. She arrived from cable’s MSG Varsity channel and did well enough there to get a couple of Emmy nominations this year.

However, Brill needed a few years in Erie or Elmira for seasoning before coming here and getting what amounts to on-the-job training. That’s why I give her a little break.

In case you missed it while watching the Oscars Sunday, the WNY newlyweds, Max and Katie Bichler, on “The Amazing Race” survived the second episode. The Oscars took a big bite out of Channel 4’s audience but “Race” still earned a decent 5.8 rating here and I imagine anyone who cares about the reality series watched it On Demand if they have the capability. I passed but it is on my DVR list.

pergament@msn.com

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5 responses to "Ch.4′s Segal Gives a Classy “Wake Up!” Goodbye"

  1. mike says:

    Now that she’s gone, please think of a reason to keep using her picture in your posts.

  2. kathy says:

    That station has huge local news: 4 am to 7am, and
    4 pm to 7 pm every weekday, plus their 11 am half hour and 11 pm half hour. My mom lives down there,
    and that news crew is quite something. I think they keep 5 or 6 meteorologists.

  3. Tom W. says:

    What kathy said above is right. WRC has a ton of local news coverage and has been the #1 station in Washington, DC for years. It’s also an NBC O&O station.

  4. fred says:

    Sad she left. She was a very talented person who happened to be very nice to the eyes.
    Can we bring back Lisa Flynn?

  5. chuckp says:

    “I’ve got to hand it to former Channel 4 meteorologist Amelia Segal.”

    As someone who has criticized her for talking with her hands too much, I had a good chuckle when I read that. Thanks, Alan!

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