It took former Channel 4 meteorologist Bryan Shaw exactly one day to land a new job after his contract wasn’t renewed by the local CBS affiliate.
And as is often the case, there is a Buffalo angle. Well, actually there are three Buffalo angles.
The news director, David Seals, at his new station, WHAS in Louisville, Ky., is from Buffalo.
Seals could have asked his sister, Dr. Barbara Seals Nevergold, about Shaw’s work because she still lives here and is often on television. She is the president of the Buffalo School Board.
And before Shaw was hired, the 28-year-old meteorologist apparently got the seal of approval from Channel 2, which like WHAS, is owned by Gannett.
In a telephone interview Sunday, Shaw said he is going to do weather on weekends and also do the forecasts at noon and 4 p.m. on Fridays on WHAS.
“I got the job offer the day after I left Channel 4,” said Shaw.
Was he planning on leaving even if Channel 4 renewed him?
“Not necessarily,” said Shaw. “That’s all I can say.”
Asked if he was told why he wasn’t being renewed, Shaw said he couldn’t discuss that.
Asked if he had to sign something to prevent him from talking about his Channel 4 departure, Shaw said: “I can’t discuss why I can’t discuss it.”
I haven’t laughed so hard in weeks.
Shaw was excellent with social media, was well-liked and worked hard so I suspect that he was let go because of his on-air presentation. He wasn’t the smoothest weathercaster in town. But his abrupt departure from Channel 4 didn’t sit well with some staffers, who didn’t think he deserved to be escorted out the door on his last day.
“That’s not uncommon though,” said Shaw of how he left.
He added he received plenty of messages, calls, texts and emails of support.
“It meant a lot that my co-workers really liked me and had my back,” said Shaw. “I loved everybody I worked with. It was definitely sad to say goodbye to everybody.”
Since he was talking to Louisville before Channel 4 let him go, it appears Shaw realized he might be in jeopardy here.
“I’ll just say I felt like I should look other places,” said Shaw. “It would have been irresponsible to not look at other places just to see what my value was.”
He is moving to a slightly bigger market than Buffalo in the Top 50.
“You always want to move up,” said Shaw. “Moving to a Top 50 is a big deal.”
He isn’t sure if Seals ever saw him on Channel 4 because Seals recently got the job in Louisville and wasn’t involved in Shaw’s hiring. Shaw said he was told that Seals’ sister was the president of the Buffalo School Board.
“I told him he should give his sister a call and ask her if she has seen me and what she thinks,” said Shaw.
Shaw said that Seals could have said no to his hiring.
“I’m sure he could have very well said, ‘I don’t like this guy, I don’t want him to be part of my team,’ ” said Shaw. “He called me and said the exact opposite. He had nothing but good things to say. He said, ‘I really like what you do.’ It was nice that he was from Buffalo because he did ask me some things about what separates me from other people and I was able to use specific examples of the area and towns and he knew what I was talking about.”
For instance, Shaw said he explained how he was able to focus on small towns in Western New York and how they might be impacted differently by the lake and weather patterns here.
He also understands that WHAS representatives called sister Gannett station Channel 2 to find out what the station thought of Shaw.
Shaw said he was open to anything when his Channel 4 contract was up.
“It worked out the way it worked out, and it worked out well,” said Shaw, who added he got a raise from WHAS. “That’s all I can say.”
He never got to say goodbye on the air, so I gave him the opportunity.
“I love Buffalo, I’ll be back to visit. I already have a visit set up for next May,” said Shaw. “My wife and I spent a lot of time here and really got to know the area. It’s an awful lot like home. I honestly know Buffalo now better than I know my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, because when you move to a new city at my age you kind of make the effort to get to know about the city and the fun things to do, as opposed to just what you grew up with and your parents did with you. … I think my wife and I did everything here, and we had a blast doing it. Definitely, we’ll miss it.”
While Shaw never got to say goodbye, Channel 4 anchor Diana Fairbanks ended her last newscast last week with a nice sweet message to viewers about her time here. She also noted that she is leaving the business to return to Traverse City, Mich., with her family.
She doesn’t officially leave the station until Friday. I’ve tried to interview Fairbanks. I suspect that – like Shaw – she can’t discuss why she can’t discuss her departure right away.