John Coleman: A retrospective look at an industry legend
His voice and vocabulary is unmistakable. His dance moves and meteorology reports are music. There is simply no one like John Coleman. Born in Alpine, Texas in 1934, John Coleman was still a student at the University of Illinois when he was hired by WCIA in Champaign, Illinois to host a local bandstand show called “At the Hop” and to forecast the evening weather. It was the early days of television – Coleman was a pioneer, working his way up to Chicago where, at WLS, he was a part of a new eyewitness news team that gave television something dubbed “happy talk”.
So original, John Coleman was, being made a part of ABC's new “Good Morning, America”, starring David Hartman Joan Lunden and an energetic John Coleman. During his seven years at ABC, John came up with an amazing idea which he presented to ABC's top brass – to create a 24-hour channel devoted entirely to his love, weather.
The idea was ahead of its time. So, in 1981, Coleman struck out on his own. With the help of Frank Batten, he created the Weather Channel, serving as CEO President and meteorologist.
In 1983, Coleman was honored by the American Meteorological Society as Broadcast Meteorologist of the Year – a title he carried west to San Diego where, in 1994, he joined KUSI, becoming its first weatherman on its newly created morning show. But his love of weather is matched only by his love of science, and in 2011, wrote and produced an hour long special separating fact from fiction of global warming.
After 20 years at KUSI, John Coleman has brought his own brand of warming to us here in San Diego. While the sun may be setting on a remarkable career, the glow of this incredible man of television will continue – for no star shines quite as bright as our friend, John Coleman.