Veteran Chicago weatherman Jim Ramsey will retire at the end of the year, wrapping up a 42-year career in broadcasting, WGN-Channel 9 announced Tuesday.
Following his wishes, Ramsey is going out the same way he did his job at the Tribune Broadcasting station for three decades — with quiet professionalism.
“Jim came to me several months ago and told me about his decision, but asked that I not say anything,” WGN news director Jennifer Lyons told staffers in an email. “Because in true Jim Ramsey fashion, he doesn’t want any pomp and circumstance.”
Lyons said Ramsey’s last day at the station will be December 30. “He is ready to spend more time with his wife and to have weekends to himself again,” she said.
Ramsey was not available for comment Tuesday.
A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Ramsey began his career as a news anchor in 1975. Following stints in North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia, he came to Chicago in 1980 to take on a news and weather position at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7. After three years at ABC 7 and four years at WJLA, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C., he joined WGN in 1987.
He long served as WGN’s weekend weather forecaster and principal backup for chief meteorologist Tom Skilling.
Ramsey’s announced retirement follows that of Mark Suppelsa, who bowed out Friday as WGN’s 5, 6, 9 and 10 p.m. weekday news anchor.
Here is the text of Lyons’s email to staff:
I can’t believe I’m doing this again … but I have more retirement news to share with you.
Jim Ramsey has decided it’s time to enjoy life after TV! He is ready to spend more time with his wife and to have weekends to himself again.
Jim has been with WGN for 30 years. Let that sink in for a minute: 30 years of being part of the highly-respected WGN Weather Team. He has been a trusted forecaster, guiding Chicagoans through many brutal winters, crazy spring rains, tornadoes, and blistering hot summers.
Jim came to me several months ago and told me about his decision, but asked that I not say anything. Because in true Jim Ramsey fashion, he doesn’t want any pomp and circumstance.
His last day with us will be December 30th.
Please join me in wishing him all the best in retirement!