Today is the last day of George Myers being the chief meteorologist at Augusta TV station WJBF NewsChannel 6. He’s been there since the mid 1980s! So, in “That’s Rich” fashion, I thought I’d share some of my memories of George through the years.
The year was 1998 (or thereabouts) and I was in high school and a big weather enthusiast. I was almost always up-to-date on weather conditions and the forecast. A big part of my day was watching The Weather Channel and the local television meteorologists and weather forecasters.
My interest in meteorology began at a much younger age when I was around 7 years old. For as long as I can remember, George Myers has been the chief meteorologist at WJBF NewsChannel 6, known back then as Newswatch 6. Most of George’s roughly four-decade career in front of the camera has been at WJBF. He’s covered a variety of weather impacting the Central Savannah River Area during that time, including Hurricane Hugo, the Superstorm of ’93, the severe drought of the late 1990s, the ice storms of 2004 and 2014, numerous severe weather episodes, and the list goes on and on.
George has always covered each weather event with a calm demeanor making sure his audience understands what the threats are and how to stay safe. And when the weather is not as active, George’s humility comes through on the screen, sometimes through self-deprecating humor, such as this clip below:
Now back to circa 1998—I was a teenager who had a passion for weather. At that time, my parents were small business owners and that required that my dad spend time out and about making sales calls. One day when he came home, he told me he ran into George Myers at an auto parts store and told him he had a son who was very interested in weather. During their brief conversation, George invited my dad to tell me to call the station and ask to speak to him to set up a visit. As you can probably imagine, I was very excited at the prospects of meeting a local meteorologist and getting to see the inside of a TV station.
Eventually, everything was all set up and my dad, granddad and I went to WJBF for a visit to watch one of their late afternoon newscasts in the studio. At that time the station was located at the corner of Reynolds and 10th streets in downtown Augusta. George was very welcoming, as were Jennie Montgomery and Brad Means who was relatively new to the team at that time. I began to shadow George on several occasions over the next couple of years, along with John Lynn who is still at WJBF, and Matt Monroe who is now with WeatherNation.
While my career in broadcast television actually launched a couple of blocks away at WAGT, stemming from an internship I did there during college, I never forgot how welcoming and accommodating George Myers was in encouraging further development in my interest in weather and broadcasting.
From the first day I met him until now he has been the model of kindness, professionalism, and yes—godliness! Many of you know that George and his wife lost a daughter in a tragic car accident in 2019, and another daughter was severely injured in that accident but is now doing much better. I spoke with George last night and I can tell he is at peace despite living through a storm most of us can’t even imagine. And I know his faith in God and the prayers of many have uplifted him and his family.
When WAGT was purchased by another company in 2016, I stayed on at WJBF (WJBF’s corporate owner had been managing WAGT since 2010) and eventually had the honor to work directly under George for a few months before I made the difficult decision to leave for a position at Augusta University. I’ve worked under a number of bosses since I first entered the working world at age 17. Let me tell you, George has been among the best! He respects others and knows how to foster goodwill among his coworkers. Telling George I was stepping out of the weather business, especially when I was enjoying finally having the opportunity to work directly under him, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to tell anyone. It felt like a combination of disappointing your dad and giving up something you love at the same time. But it was the right thing for me to do at that time. As always, George was very supportive and understanding.
George was set to retire about two months ago, but due to COVID-19 and the strain it has put on newsrooms across the world, George once again put others before self and decided to stick it out a little longer to make the transition easier for his coworkers and our community.
God bless you in your retirement, George! Enjoy spending more time with your family. You’ve earned it!