MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - WMC Action News 5 in Memphis announced that Dave Brown will retire as Chief Meteorologist on August 31st, 2015. Ron Childers will take over the role of Chief Meteorologist beginning September 1st.
"Three years ago, I met with our management team and told them that I was looking at retirement in the near future," said Brown. "With their full support, we developed a plan that we hoped would allow a smooth transition. That plan moved into the next phase one year ago when I requested a much-reduced schedule. They agreed and we began the transition in which Ron Childers would take over the main weather responsibilities."
Dave Brown is an Emmy Award Winning Meteorologist and is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle. He has had an incredible 53-year career in radio and television. He has been with WMC Action News 5 for 38 of those years, and will continue his relationship with the station in the role of Chief Meteorologist Emeritus. Dave will host several specials for WMC Action News 5 and will take part in a number of special events in the coming year.
"Whether he was forecasting weather, keeping Jerry Lawler and the gang in line or spinning records at the very beginning of his career, Dave Brown has been a leader and a friend to the Mid-South," WMC Action News 5 Vice President and General Manager Tracey Rogers said. "I am honored to have had the chance not once, but twice to work alongside Dave. I can't thank Dave enough for his service to the Mid-South and I am proud he will continue with the WMC Action News 5 family as we transition the leadership of the WMC Action News 5 Storm Team. Ron Childers has been training with Dave for 25 years, and I am ecstatic Ron will be moving into the role of Chief Meteorologist as Dave continues his partnership with WMC Action News 5."
"The Mid-South really won the lottery by having Meteorologists Dave Brown and Ron Childers watching over them day and night," WMC Action News 5 News Director Tammy Phillips said. "Dave and Ron have protected the Mid-South side-by-side for more than two decades. Their dedication and experience is priceless. Dave has dedicated his life to keeping families in the Mid-South safe. Now, he can retire knowing that Ron will continue the tradition of hard work and dedication for people across the Mid-South."
Ron Childers began his career at WMC Action News in 1989. He has worked with Dave Brown for 25 years, and says he is honored to call Dave not only his mentor, but his friend.
"I grew up watching Dave Brown," Childers said. "One of my fondest memories is of meeting Dave when I was a young boy. Little did anyone know at the time, that one day Dave would give this kid from Parkway Village an opportunity that would forever change my life. It has been a privilege to work alongside this legend in Memphis television for the past 25 years. He has been there for me on my days of greatest accomplishment and my saddest days. He is without a doubt one of the kindest and most genuine individuals that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. To now be in a position to take over the reins of a weather empire that he built is truly humbling. I can only hope and pray that I continue to live up to the standard that he has set and maintained for so many years."
Dave Brown has no doubts about who is taking over the weather department he has spent decades building.
"I am so proud of Ron," Brown said. "He has not missed a beat in continuing the weather tradition we have built at WMC Action News 5. He has become an outstanding forecaster. He is the best in severe weather coverage. I am confident that he will serve the Mid-South well for years to come. Ron has my full confidence and endorsement."
It is hard to summarize the career of Dave Brown and the impact he has had on every person who knew him. When asked what he would like to say to all the people who have watched him for so many years, Brown said:
"I have worked since I was 10 years old, paid into Social Security since age 13. I have been blessed with an incredible 53-year career in radio and television. It is time for me to step away now. I look forward to relaxing, my hobbies, completing projects at home and traveling in the years ahead. I am deeply indebted to my family. My wife Margaret, my daughters Denise, Carmen and Stefanie have supported me all these years and allowed me to be a part of this business. Carmen recently told me, 'I have shared my dad with the world all my life. I'm glad I now just have you for us.' WMC Action News 5 and Raycom Media have been incredibly supportive during this entire process. They have asked me to continue to be affiliated with the station. I am thrilled to accept that offer to appear from time to time on behalf of, and to continue to be a part of, WMC Action News 5. Most of all, I am grateful beyond words to our viewers over the years. You have given me a dream career. I sincerely thank you!"
Starting September 1 st, you can catch Ron Childers weekdays on WMC Action News 5 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., along with Meteorologists Andrew Kozak weekday mornings, Spencer Denton weekdays at noon and 4 p.m., and Brittney Bryant on the weekends.