Saturday, June 21, 2008
Wally Kinnan The Weatherman
Wally Kinnan at work:Courtesy Life In Legacy
Today, we will look at possibly the second or third most popular weatherman in Cleveland TV History..Most certainly one of the top five, Wally Kinnan the Weatherman. He was weeknight weatherman at WKYC-TV 3 from 1965-to the mid 1970s..
Henry Wallace Kinnan was born in Rural Crooksville, Ohio, near Athens on March 7, 1919. He attended High School in Columbus where he met his wife, Marjorie Ahrendt. Kinnan attended Ohio State University, studying Mechanical Engineering..In early 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps at Fort Hayes in Columbus. He eventually became a B-17 Bomber Pilot and was shot down over France August 17, 1943..After being transferred to a German POW Camp, He, along with his fellow POW's, convinced their German Captors to allow them to form a Musical group. Using whatever instruments that could be had through through donations, etc. They became known as the "Sagan Serenaders"..Kinnan was one of the group's conductors and played trumpet..Some of the group's exploits are described in the feature film the Great Escape.
After World War II, Wally Entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a degree in Meteorology. He served in the Korean Conflict as a Weather expert in the Pacific Region.
He then became one of the earliest TV Weathermen at WKY-TV 4 in Oklahoma City in 1953..He had AMS seal of approval #3..He tells how he drew straws with the two other AMS forecasters to see who would get numbers 1, 2 and 3. He moved to NBC's WRCV in Philadelphia in 1958, working alongside News Icon Vince Leonard..While in Philadelphia, Kinnan pioneered the 5-day forecast..With the court-ordered return of the Philadelphia station to Cleveland as WKYC in June 1965, Wally made the move to Cleveland, displacing the Popular Dick Goddard, who returned several months later at WJW-TV 8, where he still is today..
Kinnan's folksy, jovial manner and his expertise proved to be a hit with Northeast Ohioans..However, by the mid 1970's Kinnan had been fired at TV 3..He then worked at WTSP-10 Tampa, Florida in 1978-80 before retiring..He and his wife eventually retired to Houston, Texas to be near his Son David..
Kinnan passed away on November 22, 2002. Until reading more about him on the internet in recent years, I had no idea how full a life he had lived..
A Classic Moment:From WKYC-TV's "Eleventh Hour Report" in 1971..Virgil Dominic, Doug Adair and Jim Graner surprise Wally with a visit from none other than Lawrence Welk..Kinnan is visibly moved by the gesture, as he seems to be a great fan of Mr. Welk..Courtesy Channel 3: 50 Golden Years October 27, 1998..Copyright 1998 Gannett Co.
Information courtesy Wikipedia and Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Very nicely done bio..
Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Another good bio