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John Gumm Named WKRC-TV Chief Meteorologist

Courtesy WKRC-TV
WKRC-TV meteorologist John Gumm was hired in 2005 by chief meteologist Tim Hedrick.

What took them so long? More than four years after the death of Tim Hedrick, WKRC-TV named John Gumm chief meteorologist Friday.

The Glen Este High School graduate, who has worked at WKRC-TV for 15 years, had been the late-night forecaster since Hedrick left the airwaves in February 2016. He died of cancer in April 2016.

WKRC-TV posted the job opening for chief meteorologist on June 7, 2016, two months later. Gumm finally was promoted to the position on Friday, effective immediately.

Credit John Kiesewetter / WVXU
John Gumm, right, was the morning forecaster in April 2016 when Hedrick died. He's here with the morning team of John Lomax, Sheila Gray, Bob Herzog and Jen Dalton.

"John Gumm enjoys a strong connection with the Tri-State and its viewers. We look forward to John’s leadership of The Weather Authority team in his expanded role as chief meteorologist,” said Jon Lawhead, Channel 12 general manager, in the station announcement.

Gumm posted on his Facebook page: "Thank you guys for all of your support over the years! This wouldn't have happened without all of my friends, family and all of the viewers supporting me.

Credit John Kiesewetter / WVXU
John Gumm with anchor Rob Braun during a newscast on Oct. 14, 2016.

Gumm came to Channel 12 from New Orleans after broadcasting for 12 consecutive hours during Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. After the broadcast, he evacuated his wife and newborn son and headed home to Cincinnati, where he was hired by Hedrick.

He was "officially" named the late-night forecaster in November 2016, although he had been doing the main weather reports since February of that year. 

Here's the release:

John Gumm Named Chief Meteorologist For Local 12

CINCINNATI – WKRC-TV’s John Gumm has been promoted to the position of Chief Meteorologist for Local 12, effective immediately.

"John Gumm enjoys a strong connection with the Tri-State and its viewers," said Jon Lawhead, General Manager for WKRC-TV, Local 12. "We look forward to John’s leadership of The Weather Authority team in his expanded role as Chief Meteorologist."

"It's an honor and dream come true to serve my hometown as Local 12's Chief Meteorologist and it's a role I don't take lightly," said Gumm. "I look forward to leading Cincinnati's most trusted weather team into the future and continuing to uphold the very high standards that our good friend Tim Hedrick insisted on during his tenure as Chief Meteorologist of this television station."

Prior to coming to Local 12, John’s career took him across the country, allowing him to experience every type of weather imaginable. John worked at WHBF-TV in Rock Island, Illinois.; WCTI-TV in New Bern, North Carolina; and WWL-TV in New Orleans, Louisiana. While in New Orleans, he won numerous awards for his work, including an Associated Press award for Best Weathercast in Louisiana.

In August of 2005, he experienced weather forecasting under incredibly challenging personal circumstances. As a meteorologist for WWL in New Orleans, he reported live for twelve straight hours warning viewers about Hurricane Katrina. It wasn’t until after he went off air that he was able to then evacuate his wife and newborn son. Following that broadcast, John received numerous letters and e-mails of appreciation from people whom he helped convince to leave the city.

John is a Cincinnati native and graduate of Glen Este High School. He went on to study weather at Valparaiso University in Indiana, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology. While in college, he helped create one of the largest storm chasing groups in the country. He is a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM), an accreditation awarded by the American Meteorological Society. The CBM supersedes the AMS Seal of Approval and requires successful completion of a very comprehensive examination on theoretical meteorology, operational meteorology, forecasting, and general science.

When he's not forecasting, John loves speaking to area school children about the weather. He also enjoys spending time with his family, mountain biking, hiking, working on home improvement projects and loves following the Reds, the Bengals, and FC Cincinnati. In his spare time, John also dabbles in app development.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.