After 30 years of sunny skies and good cheer at WBBM-Channel 2, Steve Baskerville is retiring as chief meteorologist at the CBS-owned station.
Baskerville, 67, announced Tuesday that he plans to step down effective December 22. No successor has been named as weather anchor for the station’s 5, 6 and 10 p.m. weekday newscasts, according to a CBS 2 spokeswoman.
“It is a natural time for me to step away and be more available for my family and loved ones,” Baskerville wrote to colleagues. “If I’ve ever looked good on the air, it’s because of the talented people in the building who make you a better broadcaster. For me it’s the stories, the observations and laughs we’ve had in the halls that made the years seem to fly by!”
Jeff Kiernan, vice president and news director of CBS 2, praised Baskerville’s long run.
“Steve’s career has been nothing short of amazing from presenting the weather nationally at CBS network to the many years of delivering reliable forecasts and weather coverage to Chicagoland viewers,” Kiernan said in a statement. “His infectious smile and good humor helped viewers through Chicago’s changing weather, and it brightened every day for those of us fortunate to work with him.”
A Philadelphia native and graduate of Temple University, Baskerville co-hosted a morning talk show with Maury Povich on KYW (then the NBC-owned station in Philadelphia), and worked as weather anchor on “CBS This Morning” in New York before joining CBS 2 here as weekend weatherman in 1987. He moved up to chief meteorologist the following year.
The recipient of 11 regional Emmy Awards and numerous other honors, Baskerville was inducted earlier this year in the Silver Circle of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Here is the text of Baskerville’s note to colleagues:
I know what you’re thinking, He never writes a note to EVERYBODY. What’s going on?
Well, it has taken me 30 years to write this note: I am finally putting the weather remote down and I’m stepping away from the map. This has been an incredible streak of years staying employed. I am very fortunate. I started working back in 1987 on a handshake – no contract – a handshake with a guy named Ron Kershaw. It was that informal. [I guess it’s too late to ask for a contract now….] All kidding aside, it is a natural time for me to step away and be more available for my family and loved ones. That’s code for how much I miss my grandkids.
If I’ve ever looked good on the air, it’s because of the talented people in the building who make you a better broadcaster. For me it’s the stories, the observations and laughs we’ve had in the halls that made the years seem to fly by!
Enough of this maudlin reminiscing, there will be plenty of time for that. I’m still here until December 22nd! It’ll take that long to find stuff I’ve misplaced in the move from the old studio!
In the meantime, this is just a quick love note to say thank you and that I’ve been honored to share so many days with you.