Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gene Norman out at KHOU 11

UPDATE APRIL 19, 2013
Gene Norman to WIAT CBS42 Birmingham

Lots of rumors are floating around about Houston TV people and this one apparently is true - just earlier than what I originally heard.

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that KHOU 11 chief meteorologist Gene Norman is gone. In fact the man is nowhere to be found on KHOU's website either. Crazy because we are still in November sweeps.

UPDATE 1/11/2013
What Gene Norman is doing now

I really should have seen it coming since someone just posted a YouTube link of Gene Norman's resume reel on my post about the big KHOU 11 weather department schedule change from last August (WATCH IT BELOW).


Here is where things get really interesting. The Houston Chronicle makes it appear that weather change could be a reason for Norman leaving. Here is more from the Chron:

On the day the change was announced, a message was posted to Norman’s Twitter account reading that “blondie moves to morning, morning moves to 4, 5. I am reduced” to 6 and 10. Later in the day, another message on the account read, “It appears my twitter account was hacked today be careful on social media,” and the tweets regarding the assignment changes were removed. Norman did not return a telephone call seeking details about the reported Twitter hacking.

So yeah, "blondie" would be Chita Johnson.

Now for the untold story (turn on Inside Edition music). That Norman tweet was how the Houston Chronicle and I found out about the KHOU 11 weather department schedule change.

Here is how things went on a different path at that point. Call me weak, too nice or sympathetic, but I called KHOU, said I had the news of the weather changes, they confirmed and I posted without the inclusion of Norman's wild tweet. Why did I do this? I thought it might cause Norman a lot of grief with Belo. The TV business is already bad enough for everyone in it - I figured he didn't need a guy with a stupid free account on blogger posting this. And KHOU certainly did not need to have anyone else leave them at this point (they might want to bolt the doors from the outside over at the Allen Parkway studios).

The newspaper business is pretty rough too, but the Houston Chronicle also saw Norman's tweet and ran with it on August 13th. The whole message was reprinted in the paper. Surprisingly the news did not go viral like I expected. Now it just might.

The lesson for young journalists here is don't be nice or sympathetic like me. I was nice and did not get the scoop of Norman's departure. The Chronicle posted the tweet, got the scoop and now I am linking to them for the news.

By the way, the Houston Chronicle says David Paul will be filling in on the 6pm and 10pm. Other folks are available to fill-in too. There is always Dr. Neil Frank and former Fox 26 KRIV's Matt Lavine.

Norman came to Houston in January 2008 from WGCL in Atlanta. Before that he was the weekend meteorologist at KTRK 13. Where Norman's resume really starts to differ is the fact he worked at NASA developing weather monitoring software for the space shuttle and did not get a degree from Mississippi State University (got his bachelor's from MIT and a master's in meteorology from the University of Maryland). He got into TV while at NASA by driving to Beaumont on the weekends and doing weather there.

As for the man with his own weather number, he has some powerful family connections and knows how to network.

When I interned at KTRK in the 90s, I found Norman to be a nice guy, and remember, I was an intern so that's saying something.

Good luck Gene.

UPDATE 1/11/2013
KHOU names David Paul the chief meteorologist

55 comments:

  1. It didn't seem like KHOU ever gave him a chance to be chief meteorologist when they called in Neil Frank for every major weather event.

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    1. Norman was cool. I miss david and darby. Chita and katherine suck.

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  2. Hey Mike, Since Gene Norman left KHOU 11 today, Are they moving Mario Gomez to 4 and 5PM from weekends, And hire a new weekend meteorologist at the end of the year.

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  3. Typical McGuff, turns a post about Gene Norman into a story about himself.

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    1. I can't believe I talk about myself in my personal blog! How weird.

      Since you say this is "typical," you must be very familiar with my blog and read it a lot. That means you like me, and I bet if I got to know you, I'd like you too.

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    2. THAT MORON SAYS MIKE TURNS THE STORY INTO HIMSELF BUT HE COMES HERE TO HIS BLOG. WHAT AN ASSWIPE! WE HAVE PLEANTY OF THEM AROUND US.MIKE EXCELLENT JOB AS ALWAYS! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

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  4. Come on, Peeps, Michael does a great job.....

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  5. Norman never did fit in at KHOU. He was just a polar opposite of Doc (who everyone loved) and everything he did was gimmicky and forced. Norman Number and forecasts from the rodeo in a cowboy hat on an iPad? It all felt forced and he just couldn't pull it off. Also his referring to Chita and David as "blondie" and "morning" just shows he never fit in with them as a team and had no respect for his coworkers and their talents. Best move KHOU could have made. Now let David have Chief meteorologist if he wants it and let's move on.

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    1. SEND CHITA BACK TO TARZAN AND BRING BACK GENE.i MISS HIM ALOT...

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    2. Totally agree about Gene Norman never fitting in to KHOU. The Norman number had no real significance about the weather being what you wanted for the majority of the time, it was just what HE thought of the weather. A waste of time. But, it was extremely hard to follow Doc, and no one can really measure up to Frank. But, I think David Paul should get the job because of his passion for weather and his commitment to Houstonians. He is a lot of fun as a weather man! I don't think Chita is that competent.

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    3. If you check Chita's dressing attire you will note that she is heavy into BDSM so sending her to Tarzan might not be the best thing. Send her my way and we can have lots of fun.

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  6. TOTALLY saw this one coming the moment "blonde" was moved to mornings and "mornings" was moved to evenings. Watch out Vicente, you're probably next on the chopping block... #ijs

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  7. Bummer. I love the Norman Number. Cheesy I know but my kids look forward to it everyday. Done with KHOU. First Lucy and now Gene. Why? WHY? I see new faces popping up all the time. Where did all the good folks go?

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    1. I feel the same way. I only watch the news at 10:00 PM, and KHOU was my go-to channel, especially for the weather, as Gene's forecast was always the most accurate when compared to other networks.

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    2. With KHOU (Belo) you will find that those people who depart suddenly with no notice have been fired. Gene Norman is the latest of many. You remember Darby Douglas doing the traffic in the early mornings - here one day and a new bimbo to replace him the next.

      Now as far as those leaving the station under friendly terms - they spend weeks or months saying good bye to them. Sylvan Rodreguez (left so he could die in peace), Dr. Neil Frank (we heard of his retirement for months). There are many others that have moved on and KHOU has made a big deal of their leaving.

      So when they depart quickly (overnight in fact) and before contract expiration (Gene started June 2008 so his contract wouldn't have been up until at least May of 2013) that essentially means they were fired.

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    3. Chita and her lil barbi sidekick look like trannys, inappropriate attire and the makeup. LOL. They probably "worked" their way up.... I miss Gene.He was the most informative and accurate.

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  8. Yep, looks like I won't be watching 11 anymore. They have just been falling off for the past year.

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  9. I noticed that KHOU traffic announcer Katherine Whaley has a degree and experience as a broadcast meteorologist. Management won't have to look too far to fill any staffing gaps.

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  10. Norman was an idiot. If they move David Paul into that spot permanently (like he should have been when Neil Frank left), I might actually watch KHOU again. It's about time you made a good move KHOU

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  11. chita is the best thing that happened to "poor ol' channel 11" still in the number 3 spot for the millionth time in ratings.. I say give "blondie" a chief meterologist job- get rid of David Paul-he's too fake- bring back Mario and wish for the best..

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    1. If they are still number 3, then she had no impact and was a poor hire. End of story. (And, IMHO, she was an absolutely terrible hire.)

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    2. Nice tits but very blonde.

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  12. Chita is an embarassment to weather casting and never should have been hired. I'll miss Gene.

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  13. I find Chita to be a very good fit in the mornings and much more enjoyable to watch than the 'force it in every 7 minutes' on KTRK 13. It was a great move swapping David Paul to evenings and I will definitely not miss the Norman Number hocum!

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  14. Of all the Ch. 11 weather people I never cared for Mario.

    I thought Gene was ok but didn't think he delivered the weather as great. David I love and his delivery is smooth and more. I would love to see him at 4, 5, 6, and 10 permanently.

    Chita can stay in the morning. That way don't have to watch her. But she probably beats Casey and Anthony hands down though.


    I am just waiting for her, Lily and Kathryn to push Ron out.

    But I do have to agree I know the station still likes Doc's experience with the Hurricanes and even Channel 2 does it and it is their choices. Not everyone has the full experience with this weather phenomenon. Good luck to Gene and hope he finds somewhere to go.

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  15. You can learn a lot about a meteorologist by their bio.

    Mississippi State = I was a starving general assignment reporter who took a correspondence course so I could call myself a meteorologist and get on the set and off the street.

    Somewhere else = I actually went to school to learn the weather.

    David Paul: Mississippi State.
    Chita Johnson: Mississippi State
    Mario Gomez: Colorado, with forecasting stints in the Air Force.

    Guess who will get promoted?

    As for the other stations:
    Tim Heller: Mississippi State
    Casey Curry: Mississippi State
    Travis Hertzog: Texas A&M (bio touts a 4.0 GPA, even)
    David Tillman: Jackson State

    Over at 2, where they accurately list it as "broadcast meteorology certification" from Mississippi State, only Mary Lee didn't go the online or correspondence course route and got her degree at UC Davis.

    Hey, I'm not saying these people aren't good on the air, I'm just saying the term meteorologist is kind of a joke if any TV reporter who sends in their box tops can get a certificate, you know what I mean?

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    1. Word on the street back then was that Gene was handpicked by Doctor Neil Frank because of this. He didn't think David had the education. Good on air, but not enough creds. Guess it doesn't matter now?

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  16. Chita Johnson is hot, quit hating on her!

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  17. The only reason why Chita is in the morning is obviously her cheery personality that suits well with Jang, Gradney, and Whaley. But I think another reason is she's attractive enough to split the young male audience from Jennifer Reyna and Casey Curry. The fact that 13's Curry got engaged is even making it easier for Chita to get more viewers from her. She is basically ratings bait for the young men, there's no doubt. Things like this would make her a big benefit or an asset to a station giving her all the attention, making someone experienced like Norman to be left in the dust. This is what happened here.

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  18. The point about TV "meteorologists" is a good one. Might as well call them "weathercasters", as Ed Brandon so aptly quipped about himself and others of that pre-broadcast-meteorology-certificate era...

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  19. I don't think she attracts young men. She and Reyna attract unattractive men, especially older ones. Let's face it...there are a lot of unattractive men in this city. Put pounds of makeup, fake hair that they spend quite a lot of money on and tight clothes on an average woman to make her attractive and the morons will watch.

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  20. I remember Gene Norman from Beaumont, Channel 12 on weekends.

    He was fine, but one of my favorite weathermen is and has been for a long time, DAVID PAUL. I always had my auto on for his weathercasts early each morning.

    Then, he was moved to the late afternoon, and it made it more difficult to catch his weathercast.

    Now, that he is one four times a day, I am back to watching David Paul(University of Texas - English as well Sci. at Mississippi State) again. He first attracted me by talking about some long range possibilities. He was clear that these were possibilities and not written in stone, and weather in general can change at the last minute.
    Chita needs to tone it down as does that new woman on Channel 26. They would both look more professional in a nice conservative suit. Make-up should be for HDTV not the stage.

    BYW, if Ch.11 needs some help, I hope KHOU brings in Matt Lavine. I loved him at Channel 26. Really missed him. I liked Ms. Sinclaire also. Mike Iscovitz (Florida State) is good, too bad about the changes at Ch. 26.

    I am a weather nut, and pick my local news because of the weatherperson.

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  21. KHOU should bring Wee Hohenstein to be chief

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  22. Hope David Paul permanently gets KHOU-11's "Chief Meteorologist" position.

    Katherine Whaley is the most versatile on-air personality at the station. Like a previous poster, I remember she had a degree and plenty of previous experience broadcasting the weather segments (I watched her fill-in for Mario several times, and she did a fine job). Plus, she's co-anchored, weekend anchored, and done general assignment reporting. I have no idea why KHOU needs to look outside the station for a more qualified replacement (in weather, or even other on-air positions) -- they already have an outstanding professional in Katherine Whaley, who definitely more than deserves to be promoted. WAKE UP, KHOU management!

    Mia Gradney is terrific, too. I remember her from the old Channel 39 news.

    Sad to see Gene Norman leave. Should have guessed something was up when the Chita Johnson-to-mornings and David Paul-to-afternoons moves were made. I would not have imagined the odd person out was Norman, though.

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  23. All these Chita haters must be frumpy old women. Chita is more than competent as a meterologist, and nice on the eyes to boot. Just because she looks good on TV doesn't mean she doesn't know her business. Sure she talks fast at times, but she is just trying to get us as much info about the weather as possible in the time allowed.

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  24. Wow. I didn't know Gene Norman "left" KHOU. I mainly watch KTRK, but this came as a shocker. He was pretty good. The "Norman Number" was annoying though.

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  25. I miss Gene a lot. I moved to the area just two weeks before Hurricane Ike hit. I moved from small town mid-America and was already terrified of city life and then was plunged head-first into a major hurricane. Our electricity was out for two weeks, but the neighbor across the street had electricity. He ran an extension cord across to us so we could keep our refrigerator going and a fan and a small TV. I was able to pick up Gene's broadcast with that little TV and he and the rest of the team kept me sane during that entire period. I felt so disconnected and isolated from the rest of the world and Gene's calmness helped me to stay calm.

    Please find out where Gene is working now so I can change the channel to where he is now forecasting the weather and supplying us with his daily Norman Number.

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  26. Too bad, he was the best on that channel.

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  27. I'm so disappointed and sad to read these comments. I always watched channel 11 news just to hear Gene Norman. I wish he would come back. Im not crazy over Chitia. She carries herself like a cheap hooker

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  28. I love to watch David Paul!! He will be great!! Sorry Gene left, but something tells me he will do ok wherever he goes. Congratulations David! Khou has the best weather team and I will continue to watch!!

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  29. We have been wondering about Gene for sometime and finally took the time to try to find out what happened to him. We liked him as a person and enjoyed listening to him. He was lively and fun. We also pick our news due to the weather person and since we liked Norman we watched 11. Now that he is gone,and we still don't know why, we will be waching Frank B. on channel 2. Good Luck to Gene, he will be missed.
    David and Amanda

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  30. I love KHOU now. I gave up on Channel 2 way back when it was sold ('80s?). That change was horrible especially at the beginning and I had been watching KPRC since I was a little kid.

    I was never a fan of Gene Norman and with my weird work schedule, I can only catch the news during the CBS Morning Show breaks. On Mondays, I watch the 4:30 am show. I do miss seeing David Paul, because I always thought he was less alarming and more accurate than the others.

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  31. I was surprised with the sudden departure of Gene Norman. I do, however much prefer David's weather forecast and his delivery; Chita always talks much too fast. Gene's weather report was ok but I wondered what the "Norman Number" was all about. Rodeo was a painful time for Gene - he looked so out of place with that cowboy hat and tried much too hard to "get with the program"; a cowboy he is not. I think that David was a good choice for the position of Chief Meteorologist. I also have issues with the newscasters - mainly Hurst and Cannon. The news reports are much too choppy with each one taking turns reading each news story. At the end of the broadcast, they seem to battle over who will have the "last word". Ms. Chow does a very good job - especially when she does the news broadcast by herself. She is very professional and her delivery is excellent - she speaks slowly and distinctly.

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  32. I changed the channel when Norman came on because of his number. It was just a matter of time it would fold.

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  33. Norman Number was BS, he was tring to look good on the tube. Sounds like his a RACIST 2, "just saying" by the posts he made.
    My guess is if one of the others had posted "Blackie" was fired it would have been all over the news and the black advocates would be all fired up. Just saying, hehehe.

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  34. Gene is a great man and really knows all what he talks about pertaining to weather. I believe he was been discriminated against which caused the reason for his leaving. He is the best weather for caster I had ever seen or witnessed.

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  35. Chita looks good. Norman will do fine and Paul has settled in.

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  36. David Paul tries too hard to be witty. His jokes are flat, and his attempts to be funny and witty leave him looking out of place. His fit with the newscasters looks painfully uncomfortable for the team.

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  37. He was cool, but the tweet....never think THAT would be from him....I came here, and this is excellent because I was looking for this info. Thanks!

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