Weather forecaster Bob Ryan, a fixture on Washington TV for decades, said Wednesday that he intends to retire next month from WJLA.
Ryan has been forecasting the weather on Washington’s airwaves for more than 30 years. He spent most of his local career at WRC, before moving to rival WJLA in 2010.
With a friendly but no-nonsense style, Ryan, a certified meteorologist, has guided Washington area viewers through blizzards, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes. His presence helped make NBC-owned WRC, the leading news station in the region. At WJLA, an ABC affiliate, he has teamed with another local weather forecasting vet, Doug Hill.
Ryan, 70, said he would stay with the station through the May “sweeps” period and into the latter part of June. He called his parting with the station “amicable.”
However, Ryan was frustrated with the quick demise of TBD.com, a digital-TV partnership owned by WJLA’s parent company, Allbritton Communications. He joined WJLA just as Allbritton was ramping up the venture, which was supposed to feature weather news prominently. Ryan is a pioneer in digital weather forecasting, having started one of the first local weather sites, WeatherNet4, in 1996.
Allbritton ended TBD in mid-2011, less than a year after it began, citing financial losses.
“Everyone said we were committed to it for at least two to three years,” Ryan said Wednesday in an interview. “It became two to three months. But that’s the way it goes, I guess.”