You can't accuse Doug Collins of making a snap decision when it comes to his retirement plans. He spent 18 months thinking about the right time to end his 26 years of forecasting local weather on radio and TV, most recently for "ABC30 Action News AM Live."
"Our son just graduated from high school," says Collins, 66. "I decided I wanted to stay another year so that I could collect Social Security and work at the same time. Now it's time."
His last day on ABC30 is scheduled for May 30. He leaves one year after the retirement of another veteran weather forecaster, ABC30's Angelo Stalis, who worked at the local ABC affiliate for 43 years.
Being on the air for a few more weeks gives viewers a chance to say farewell. It also is giving Collins an opportunity to reflect on his days here.
"There have been a lot of highlights in my career. I started working in radio in 1965 while I was still in high school. I got into AM radio when it was at its peak and FM when it was at its peak," Collins says. "When I got here in 1985, there were only four TV stations. I came to Fresno planning to only stay one year and I have been here ever since."
The switch from radio to TV came when Collins lost his job in Boston after the station changed its music format. It wasn't a completely bad thing. Collins already had realized he didn't want to play those same songs anymore, and he decided to move into weather forecasting. He took the change seriously, going back to school (at the urging of his wife), and became the first broadcast meteorologist in this market.
His first radio jobs in Fresno were with radio stations KFRE and K-Jewel, but for the past 18 years he has done weather duty at KMJ. He worked at CBS47 before making the move to ABC30.
"Working at 47 gave me a lot of experience, but when I got to move to 30, where the big boys are, that was really good," Collins says.
Collins retires at a time when there is a lot more support for predicting weather than when he started. He laughs, saying that in the early days he barely had radar to use in putting together a forecast.
After all that weather watching, Collins doesn't think he will miss the work. He knows he won't miss getting up at 1:45 a.m. to go to work. He plans to sleep until 4 a.m.
As for his time on air here, Collins says. "It's been a privilege to be part of the community. I want to thank everyone who let me come into their home."
Meteorologist Shelby Latino has been hired to take over the weekday morning and midday weather reporting duties at ABC30. Her first day will be May 22.
Local talent recognized
Nominations for the "43rd Annual Northern California Area Emmy Awards" have been announced. The awards are presented for outstanding achievement in television by National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). Northern California is composed of media companies and individuals from Visalia to the Oregon border and includes Hawaii and Reno.
The Emmy statuettes will be presented June 14 in San Francisco.
Local nominees include:
Feature News Report-Light Series: "¿Sabor a qué?," KFTV Univision 21, Marialcy Carreño, producer; David Ibarra, anchor/reporter
Historic/Cultural-Program Feature/Segment: "Tragedia Sin Nombre," KFTV Univision 21, Marialcy Carreño, producer; Sandy Sirias, co-producer; Vanessa Ramírez, reporter; Jaime Sandoval, photographer/editor; Marlo Medina, graphic designer.
Sports-Daily or Weekly Program/Series: "Acción Deportiva Extra," KFTV Univision 21, Sandy Sirias, producer; William Bonilla, sports anchor; Michelle García, technical director
Public/Current/Community Affairs-Feature/Segment: "Vuelo de Honor," KFTV Univision 21, Vanessa Ramírez, reporter; José E. Muñoz, photographer/editor
Health/Science/Environment-Feature/Segment: "Cosechando Combustible," KFTV Univision 21, Geovana Herrera, reporter/editor
Community/Public Service (PSA)-Single Spot or Campaign: "Copa Univision Fresno 2013," KFTV Univision 21, Andrés E. Sánchez, creative/ director/designer: Pablo Ramírez, Alejandro Rhode, voice over announcers
Promotion-News Promo-Single Spot: "Noticias Univision 21 - La furia del planeta," KFTV Univision 21, Andrés E. Sánchez, creative/graphic designer
Promotion-Program-Single Spot: "Solo Boxeo Tecate - La pelea por el agua," KFTV Univision 21, Andrés E. Sánchez, creative/design/director/photography; Marlo Medina, production/post production
Director-Live/Recorded Live: "Noticias 21," KFTV Univision 21, José E. Muñoz, director
Graphic Arts-Graphics and Animation: "Festival del mariachi 2013," KFTV Univision 21, Andrés E. Sánchez, creative/graphic design/animation
Lifestyle-Program Feature/Segment: "Jack of All Trades," KSEE24, Lemor Abrams, reporter
Feature News Report-Light: "Grey And Frank, A Friendship," KSEE24, Angela Greenwood, reporter; Kevin Michael Mahan, photographer/editor
Documentary: "A Race for Heaven," KMPH26, Nick King, producer/writer/narrator, Alexander Taylor, videographer/editor