If you grew up in Columbus, chances are you got your weather report from Joe Holbrook.
Holbrook, who spent 42 years reporting on the weather for WBNS-TV before retiring in 1992, died on Saturday. He was 87.
“Back in the day, he was everything to folks in central Ohio,” said WBNS meteorologist Mike Davis, who worked with Holbrook for five years. “He took them through the tornado of ’74, the blizzard of ’78. He was the one people turned to.”
Even after more than two decades off the air, viewers still ask about Holbrook.
Raised on a farm in Pike County in southern Ohio, Holbrook created his career without a college education, his son, Pat, said.
He worked in radio for several years in Portsmouth before moving to WBNS in 1950.
“My mom used to tell the story that when he left to go to Channel 10, the TV was a big box with a small screen and at the time radio was king,” said Pat Holbrook, a sports copy editor for The Dispatch. “My mom said, ‘You left radio for that?’ ”
But his father always saw the potential in television, he said.
After two years at WBNS, the business had matured and reporters developed beats. Holbrook, an avid amateur pilot since 1947, chose weather.