Marina Jurica is headed to space.
Well, kind of.
After three years as chief meteorologist at CBS47 Jurica is leaving Fresno and going to work for NASA.
She announced the departure via social media on Friday.
“After 21 years in TV, I am retiring and moving to the next chapter in my life,” she wrote on Twitter, along with #goingtoNASA and #reachforthestars. She also tagged NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she will be working as the lead commentator for NASA TV (check your local cable listings).
Friday evening is her last newscast. She begins with NASA on Monday.
“It’s always been my dream to work with NASA,” Jurica said in an interview with The Bee. She got started in television news because she graduated from UCLA at a time when NASA was winding down its space shuttle program. There was an opening at a news station in Palm Springs and it seemed like a good opportunity.
That opportunity took her across the United States and allowed her to see just about every kind of weather.
“There’s not one weather phenomenon that I haven’t covered,” she said.
On Facebook, Jurica posted a retrospective of her career from Palm Springs to Lexington, Kentucky; Cincinnati; Charleston, West Virginia; and Minneapolis. She worked in Orlando, Florida, before becoming chief meteorologist at CBS47 in 2016. She was the first female chief meteorologist in market, she said, and is still one of the few female chiefs in the country.
Of course, Jurica has also had a dual career all this time.
Along with her television news work, she has been moonlighting as a professional opera singer. She appeared in the Canadian tour of “Les Miserables” and debuted her own show “Seasons of Love ” on Broadway last August.
While she never got the chance to perform in the Central Valley (she did get to sing the National Anthem), she would like to take the show on tour, eventually.
When she does, the show will come to Fresno, she said.
Jurica is the latest in what has been a large turnover in on-air news talent in Fresno this year.
ABC30 saw the departure of four newscasters – Tony Cabrera, Brianna Ruffalo, Chris Alvarez and Gene Haagenson. Fox 26 lost both Nick King and Gia Vang. In February, Evan Onstot announced he was leaving KSEE24 for a job in Oklahoma City.
Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee