Friday, May 13, 2005

David Apple and the Weather

David Apple, who did the weather for KPTV & KATU in the 80's and 90's died this week. He was a very nice man. He did a lot in the community and cared (and listened) to his audience about what they needed. When it was planting time, he talked about that. When a big storm was coming (we call them weathergasms), he didn't overdo it. He was a meteorologist and a forecaster, not a performer.

There are a few left in the market - Zaffino, Nelsen & Hill are true meteorologists. They studied it in school. They know the history of the region. Most,if not all of the others are not. They took a correspondence course offered by Mississippi State - pay the school, go on TV! Let's face it, the most talked about weather person in Portland in the recent past is Daria O'Neill.

Most of the surveys about TV news put weather coverage near the top. We all talk about the weather every day - but do we need to take 4 minutes from every 22 minutes of content in a half hour newscast to say it's gonna be cold, or wet, or blustery? That's an old argument. What these surveys don't say is what do you need from TV weather people - I'd guess just the facts ma'am. And if you asked in a survey if you'd rather have producers give that much time to weather at the expense of a story about a tax increase, or a human rights case, or the JTTF, would they go with the latter? Surveys never seem to ask the right questions.

A wake for David Apple will be held Wednesday the 18th (the 25th anniversary of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens) at 6pm at the Jennie Bramhall House at 5125 NE Garfield.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to see some station cut down on the on-screen time devoted to the weather and instead put a full-time weather crawl at the bottom of the screen. I know, I know, it would be a "ratings killer," but I'd love to see maybe 1 minute on-screen weather and give those extra 3 minutes to something else.

Friday, May 13, 2005 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous John Ray said...

I met David in the early 90's when I used to work at KOIN and we were looking for a meteorologist. He made it clear that his personal time was more important than the extra time we would have needed. That said a lot about him as a person. I admired that.

Friday, May 13, 2005 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Mitch said...

Mike, I'm so sorry, but I can see the Schulberg column now:

Portland TV veteran in hot water

- On Thursday morning, an anonymous blogger caused a stir by promising to deliver dirt in Portland media.

- On Thursday evening, another Portland blogger outed the mystery author as 33-year KOIN-TV veteran Mike Donahue.

- On Friday morning, apparently unaware he'd been outed, Donahue went on to assess local weather personalities, praising several non-KOIN employees as "true meteorologists." Donahue went on to dismiss "most, if not all the others," saying they "took a correspondence course offered by Mississippi State - pay the school, go on TV!"

According to KOIN's website, meteorologist Mark Ronchetti went to Mississippi State's meteorology school, while colleague Katie Baker took their correspondence course.

Ouch.

Mike, what were you thinking? Again, I'm so sorry. I sympathize with your point, but, wow.

Friday, May 13, 2005 4:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Er, I think Jack Bog was joking.

Friday, May 13, 2005 4:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If all people wanted was "just the facts" then not only would weather need only 1-2 minutes each night, but the entire newscast could easily be 10 minutes. Just give me a rundown of what happened and where. No intros, tags, live shots etc. And definitely no "Jesus on the toast" stories.

And, I seriously doubt the blogger is Mike Donahue. I worked with him for years over at KOIN and he would have neither the inclination or time to put all this together. Plus, it's rose growing season, he's got better things to do!

Friday, May 13, 2005 6:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Mitch said...

Folks: Shh...just go with it.

Friday, May 13, 2005 6:12:00 PM  
Blogger Sailor Republica said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, May 14, 2005 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seriously -- in Portland, who needs a weather forecast? 9 months of the year, there's a 50/50 or greater chance for rain; 3 months of the year is 90% chance of being drout.

let's use the time to give real news stories greater depth

Saturday, May 14, 2005 6:18:00 PM  
Anonymous hilsy said...

I am saddened to hear the news of Mr.Apple's passing.

I agree with Media Insider's view on current TV weather personalities. I especially think Zaffino and Nelson are direct philosophical descendents of the great Jack Capell.

And as a rowing coach for the past 11 years, I actually pay attention to what they say during the weather forecaset. The only time I don't trust them (and the good ones will freely admit this) is when an uppre level low is influencing the weather.

Sunday, May 15, 2005 6:44:00 PM  
Blogger activist kaza said...

Hear hear to the great Jack Capell! I too knew David Apple (a little) from my time at Channel 12, and he was a VERY nice man. If I'm not mistaken, he also coined one of the more optimistic phrases in local weather jargon...instead of a forecast calling for "partly cloudy" skies, he'd say "we're looking for a few sun breaks". That was Apple...smiling through the rain!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 8:08:00 AM  
Anonymous ExNerd said...

David Apple was a friend for a decade. We met in the weather business at KATU. He took me under his wings as a nerdy know-it-all kid and helped me become a thriving confident adult. He was truly my second father. I'll never forget the time he said, "Let's go get you a new wardrobe." He did. He marched me right down to Nordstroms after the evening news and picked out a new closet full of clothes. He was never judgmental, gave what he could, and looked on the positive side of everything. He did indeed coin the phrase "sun breaks", a great phrase that I still use.

Mark Nelson, Matt Zaffino, George Stephan, Jim Little and Jack Capell are all true weather professionals (and all very generous people as well) in this crazy business, which mixes nerds with on-screen personality. Not one of them would sacrifice the truth for the image.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 5:39:00 PM  
Anonymous exportlander said...

I worked with David Apple for about three years in the mid-90s. He was a genuinely great person. I haven't spoken with him in several years but I am truly saddened by the news of his passing.

I know that wherever he is now, he's got people smiling and laughing.

Farewell, my friend.

Saturday, July 16, 2005 1:19:00 PM  

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