AUSTIN (KXAN) — Chief weathercaster Jim Spencer has chosen to begin his semi-retirement at the end of February, KXAN announced Thursday. He will continue to be part of KXAN’s First Warning Weather team, working part-time.
Spencer said it’s long been his plan to scale-back his time on TV once he reached his 30-year anniversary at KXAN. He started at KXAN on November 1, 1990 and became chief of the weather team in 1993. He is the longest-serving weathercaster in the history of Austin television. He started his television career in 1983 in Ada, Oklahoma.
“I told KXAN four years ago that I planned to decrease my workload after I reached 30 years on the air and now is that time. But, this is not a goodbye. You’ll still see me on KXAN, just not as often,” Spencer said.
“For the past 37 years I’ve had the incredibly good fortune of living my childhood dream — telling people about the weather on television every day — now I’m looking to also do some other things. Over the years, I’ve started or become a partner in four businesses that I plan to be more involved in, while still stepping in here at KXAN whenever I’m needed.”
Spencer also plans to continue his community service and involvement with charitable organizations such as Family Eldercare, the Helping Hand Home for Children and animal welfare groups, among many others.
“I’m looking forward to having more time to devote to the charitable causes I’m passionate about, including the many great community projects supported by KXAN,” Spencer added.
The three-time Lone Star Emmy award recipient has received many honors over the years, including being named national “Weathercaster of the Year” by the National Weather Association. Texas Associated Press Broadcasters awarded him “Best Weathercast” five times. Readers of the Austin Chronicle have chosen him “Best Weather Person” 21 times.
“He is an Austin icon and for good reason. His heart is what drives his performance as KXAN’s Chief Weathercaster, which is what you sense when watching, and why he is the most popular and best weathercaster in Austin ever,” said Eric Lassberg, Vice President and General Manager of KXAN. “Thank you, Jim, for deeply caring for our community and saving lives.”
Next First Warning Weather team chief
KXAN weekday morning meteorologist, David Yeomans, will become chief of KXAN’s First Warning Weather team on March 1 and move to weeknight newscasts.
After many years growing up in the Austin area, Yeomans interned under Spencer at KXAN during college. Yeomans started at KXAN in 2012.
“I’ve been so fortunate to learn from the best in Central Texas,” Yeomans explained. “Jim has been my mentor since age 19. To then have the chance to work side-by-side with him through some of Austin’s biggest weather events, and now carry on what he has built here at KXAN, is an incredible honor,” Yeomans said.
“People trust KXAN for their weather information, and that responsibility is something I do not take lightly,” he continued.
“I couldn’t be handing over my responsibilities to a more capable meteorologist,” Spencer commented about Yeomans.
“Not to mention someone who is intimately familiar with our viewing area and local weather patterns, and already very popular with our viewers. This will be a seamless transition,” Spencer said.
Yeomans studied meteorology at the University of Miami, including researching hurricane formation to attain his master’s degree. He holds the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society.
“Viewers frequently tell us David has an exceptional quality as a broadcaster,” KXAN News Director Chad Cross said. “He’s articulate and passionate when he talks about weather. On TV and behind the scenes, he’s a friendly, genuine person.”
Yeomans is a three-time Lone Star Emmy Award winner and has been recognized for best weathercast by Texas Associated Press Broadcasters. He is a longtime volunteer with Meals on Wheels Central Texas and also serves on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Advisory Council and Executive Committee.
Familiar face joins KXAN News Today, new team member announced
With Yeomans moving to weeknight newscasts, KXAN meteorologist Kristen Currie will move to weekday mornings on KXAN News Today.
Currie started her career forecasting in West Texas. She earned her B.A. in environmental science with a specialization in climate and energy and a minor in atmospheric and oceanic science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She also holds a certificate in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University.
KXAN also announced the addition of a sixth meteorologist to its First Warning Weather team, Nick Bannin, who brings more than a decade of experience to the team. Bannin studied atmospheric science at Cornell University. Viewers will see Bannin on weekend evenings.