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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 03/ 1/2010

Under-the-radar goodbye for Bob Ryan at 4

By Dan Stillman

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No hoopla, no sentimental retrospective. Just an emotional but low-key, couple-minute segment at the end of Friday night's newscast, pushed to after midnight by Olympic coverage. Such was the NBC4 farewell for the man who was arguably Washington's signature weatherman during much of his 31-year run at the station.

Sure, if the rumors are true, Bob Ryan may be back on local airwaves in the not-too-distant future. But just like Brett Favre will always be a Green Bay Packer, no matter how many times he unretires to another team, Ryan will forever be associated with Channel 4. And the station will for sure never be the same without him.

If you missed it, you can watch Ryan's Friday night signoff below. Below that, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts. (Note: Ryan is known to lurk here and even comment on our boards from time to time, so if you have a message for him he may very well see it.)

By Dan Stillman  | March 1, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Media  
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Message to Bob: please stay active in the industry, you are a great resource and help so many people understand and follow what's going on with the weather. As far as individuals go you are the #1 resource when it comes to DC weather, in my opinion. Good luck with whatever you do!

Posted by: markinva2 | March 1, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Does this mean that Tom Kierein is now top dog?

Posted by: MarylanDChris | March 1, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Fare thee well, Bob Ryan. And, with your departure, goodbye NBC-4.

Posted by: Hoyas4Ever | March 1, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Wherever Bob Ryan goes (in TV land), I will follow! He's the best and his departure is a huge loss for WRC. I've lived in Washington since 1966 and Bob Ryan is tops among weather forecasters. And I also admire his contributions to WeatherWise.

As of today, I've changed channels. No more WRC for me.

Posted by: JerryFloyd1 | March 1, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Good luck Bob!

I'm gonna miss your presence on channel 4. If you end up back on the air on another station, I will follow.

Posted by: wadejg | March 1, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm gutted...this is like if Brick Tamlind left Ron Burgundy and the Channel 4 News Team to work with Wes Mantooth and the Action News Team.

Posted by: EdTheRed | March 1, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Bob is the best!!! I was disappointed when I heard that he was leaving. Best to you. I guess I just have to stick to the CWG as my prime weather source. I don't know who else to turn to on tv now????

Posted by: liledjen4901 | March 1, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

When someone was talking about the weather earlier today in another part of the country and arguing about the color of the sky, my first thought was that Bob Ryan would say it's an azure blue sky. My family has counted on you, Bob, for many years to give the most accurate and detailed forecast. If it's your wish to continue in your profession, I'll be watching. In the meantime, best wishes on having special time with your wife, and thanks for your many years of guiding us.

Posted by: ImTresbien | March 1, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

We hoped to see Bob's farewell -- and taped when it was clear it would be after midnight. Since the station knew it would be late because if the Olympics, it would have been nice to give him a heartfelt send off atthe 6:00 news, too.

Great forecaster, definitely missed. It's a shame NBC didn't recognize the value of experience. Thanks for all the great work, Bob.

Posted by: Karenlub | March 1, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

You know Bob will be back somewhere to give us yet another "Bob Ryan Guarantee" weekend!

Posted by: marcm2 | March 1, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Bob, you came to my high school to speak to us in 1982. I have been watching you on TV ever since. Good luck on whatever your plan to do next.

Posted by: rwalker66 | March 1, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

reposted from this weekend, in hopes bob sees it:

the thing that distinguishes bob ryan in my mind from the other weathermen is that global warming discussion we had last year with denialist brian valentine. i thought it was so great that someone with bob's credentials/stature would participate in something like that. he answered questions and offered data and stats to back up his position. whatever side of the (false) issue you're on, you've got to appreciate his sticking his neck out like that. i did anyway.

another reason i'll have fond memories of him is he showed "snowde miller" on the news last [friday] night, and he showed the grasshopper a few weeks ago!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 1, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Bob Ryan IS weather in Washington DC. I have been watching him for at least 25 yrs if not more. He will be missed.

Posted by: LDRT | March 1, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I worked with Bob in the late 80s- early 90s before joining NOAA and then NIST. For those of us in the broadcast business, Bob is, and remains, a gentleman and a scholar.

Luck of the Irish to you Bob

Posted by: allane3 | March 1, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

As I posted last week...time to fill in Bob Ryan's spot on 4 with Kim Martucci...and to welcome Doug & Bob on WJLA7 as soon as contract restrictions permit!!!

If that doesn't get Topper Shutt moving on 9 I don't know what will. Honestly I don't know why the heck we've been having such TV meteorologist turnover in this area against the backdrop of one of Washington's most memorable winters!

Posted by: Bombo47jea | March 1, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

reposted from this weekend

Saw Bob Ryan's sign off. Honestly for me, it was very uncomfortable and he seemed to babble quite a bit (as did the other two) and was uncharacteristically not very eloquent given the situation. It was obvious the warmth between Jim, Doreen and Bob, however. They have been together for a long time and liked each other and it showed.

So my question is, given the rumors that Bob will be heading to ABC with Doug Hill, when is Doug Hill's contract up? I can't see them keeping and paying them both long term. It also seems to me that the mechanics of them sharing are problematic. Who is the 'chief meterologist'? Who leads major weather events? I know Bob and Doug are friends but I see problems with how this would work out.

But it would be great to get a scoop here at CWG by Bob himself, when conditions permit. I hope I am wrong about potential problems or paving the way to get rid of Doug Hill. But from an outsider looking in, it is problematic both business-wise and profession-wise.

Posted by: amaranthpa | March 1, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Bob, You will be missed on NBC 4! I often comment, "Bob Ryan says...." You have provided consistent and accurate weather reports over the years. I wish you the best in whatever you do!

Posted by: youmydebi | March 1, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I guarantee you that Bob asked that his farewell be low-key. That's just the kind of guy he is.

I remember when I showed an interest, as a senior in high school, in being a meteorolgist. I emailed him and he was very gracious in discussing with me the many options in schools and careers. I was bold enough to ask if I could visit the studio for a tour and he immediately said "yes!" and set it up. He introduced me to all the weather staff and he showed me how the Chroma Key (i.e. Green Screen) worked and let me try it. Afterwards, I got to see him do a forecast on the air.

When I went to college, I had a project where I had to interview a professional and so I emailed him again and he said "yes!" to the interview and he even called me so that I didn't have to make a long distance phone call (A life saver for a poor college student).

He is a very kind person and I wish him only the best!

Posted by: tbone4eva | March 1, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Bob, you will be missed!! Thank you so much for doing such a great job all these years, especially for us weather geeks!


Posted by: ThinkGreen | March 1, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Back in 8th grade (about 10 years ago) I shadowed Bob Ryan at NBC. That was a fantastic experience. I got to see a pretty good amount of what goes on behind the scenes at the news station, as well as how Bob Ryan prepared his forecasts.

I didn't get to go on TV, but I did get to observe him live on camera from his office as I stood only a dozen feet away. And I got to do a pretend weather forecast with the blue screen showing the national weather! It was fun stuff, and I'll definitely miss watching him on NBC. Best wishes to you, Bob!

Posted by: DAK4Blizzard | March 1, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I grew up on WRC (Remember Vance's big hair?), so I remember when Bob and Willard switched jobs. We in DC definitely got the best of that deal!

I was living in Utah when he passed through SLC, and wrote a letter to the editor of the SL Trib decrying the existence of the 7-day forecasts on the local TV stations. This was in the mid-90's, sometime.

Good luck to Bob, wherever he lands.

Posted by: wiredog | March 1, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm the one who took that video. :)

We're going to miss you, Bob. Best of luck to you with whatever it is you plan to do in the future!

Posted by: oriolesfan23 | March 1, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

great story!

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 1, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

One of the first stories I wrote after coming to the valley 22 years ago concerned the local "Weather Watcher" for WRC. When I called down to WRC, Bob was great, explaining how the program got started in the 1970s while he was in Boston (nobody lives at the airport, where temperatures were reported from, so he gave thermometers to station staff to take home). A great weatherman all these years, and I agree, he will always be WRC to me. Over the years, I gravatated to channel 9, thanks to Glenn Brenner, mostly, and 4 became my second choice. Now I watch 7 since they have managed to put together a lot of the folks I've been watching for the past 20 years, so I hope the rumors that Bob is headed that way are true.

Posted by: ValleyCaps | March 1, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I still remember Bob Ryan on the Today show, pre-Willard Scott.

Bob, did WRC let you take The Shovel?

Posted by: ennepe68 | March 1, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm repeating a comment from Saturday - more appropriate here for the archive and likely more readership than over the weekend

It's a shame that Bob Ryan found it necessary to leave NBC/WRC after an illustrious career as a preeminent TV weather broadcaster. His professionalism, talent as communicator, and personal integrity brought to the TV screen - and meteorology community more generally - a clear understanding of both the capabilities and limitations (uncertainties) in the science(and art) of weather prediction.

On a personal note: when I was starting my career in meteorology in the early '70's, I erroneously believed that becoming a broadcast meteorologist was a reasonable possibility. So, I tried out for a position at a local UHF station in Boston. There was one other competitor who I lost out to. That person, fortunately so for both of us, was Bob Ryan!

I went on to become a happy camper as a research meteorologist, and Bob - well you know the rest of the story. It's virtually impossible to believe, however, that the story in front of and behind the TV screen is about to end very soon. Just sitting back and "watching the weather" is not the Bob Ryan I know.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | March 1, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

@amaranthpa - I agree, although I suspect it was because he was a bit choked up and hadn't really rehearsed what he planned to say.

NBC4 is really taking an unfortunate tack. Jim and Doreen have to be wondering which one is next. First Arch Campbell, then George Michael, now Bob Ryan. They're picking off the old talent and going low budget (although I don't mind looking at Lindsey Czarniak instead of George Michael).

Posted by: ah___ | March 1, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if WRC has something up their in a certain very large weather group that NBC has just bought in the recent past. Just sayin...I know that NBC isnt against splitting costs of something with another partner - see Friday Night Lights and Directv. Maybe some "Cable Weather" personalities could bring some huge ratings to town while the big Peacock pays the bill. Im not talking about Al Roker either.

Posted by: DullesARC | March 1, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting his final goodbye. Maybe he could be a "mystery guest" for CWG sometime?

Posted by: tbva | March 1, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh, Bob, I will miss you. For over 20 years your forecast has been destination viewing, helping me prepare for the day ahead. Good luck, god speed, and get back on the air as soon as you can!!!!

Posted by: agcarter1 | March 1, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Bob Ryan, you will be so missed--may you turn up again on the local airwaves.

Posted by: jlo4 | March 1, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I give heartfelt thanks and so long to Bob Ryan. I also deplore the cost cutting that led to his leaving Channel 4. I hope Vance isn't next. I'll check out 7 to see if/when Bob shows up there. May he enjoy his time off, his time with Olga, and I selfishly want to see him back in broadcasting. Thanks again!

Posted by: saltydad | March 1, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I watched and trusted Bob Ryan when I lived in the Boston area, and I tuned into Bob Ryan every night when I moved south to DC. Both his forcasts and his wonderful outlook on life will be greatly missed.

Posted by: d17574 | March 1, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Bob Ryan wins the final Golden Shovel. Best luck in whatever you end up doing.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | March 1, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Having grown up in this area, to me, Bob Ryan IS local weather. I hope he finds a new platform soon.

(BTW, will he still be doing the weather for NPR?)

Posted by: dinergirl1 | March 1, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Like many others from this area, I remember watching Bob Ryan as a kid. I think it would've been nice for NBC to have put together a compilation of old clips through the years...

Posted by: spgass1 | March 1, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

WRC should be ashamed of how they sent out a legend in weather forecasting. Bob Ryan you will surely be missed. Best of luck to you and where you go, we will follow.

Posted by: pmann1 | March 1, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

After over 25 years of watching you, Bob, it won't be the same without you on channel 4. It really is a shame that it came to this, but I certainly wish you all the best during your time off and hope to see you on the air again. I'll be sure to tune in.

Posted by: laurie1545 | March 1, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I will definitely miss watching Bob Ryan on WRC. I always "go with Bob." Who wouldn't?? I don't blame Bob. I blame NBC. Their budget cutting process is going to cost them viewers and money, eventually. Some things are just worth paying more for! I will still watch least until Jim & Doreen are forced out, too. Best of luck to you, Bob. Thanks for the great years!

Posted by: MALippe | March 1, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Bob, I grew up these past 31 years watching your daily weather reports. You inspired me to one day aspire to be a meteorologist (that didn't work out), but I still am the 'weather guy at the office' which are mostly me relaying your forecasts verbatum to my office colleagues. I wanted to say your best work was always when the forecasts were most complex. Your knowledge of the regions' microclimates and how each weather system can interact differently with each zip code was second to none. Your predictions and coverage of the Blizzard of '83, 93', 96, President's Day 2003 and Wintergeddon of 2009-2010 will forever be etched in my mind. Thanks for the memories!!

Posted by: TopperTed | March 1, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Bob, of course, had charm, charisma, and was a likeable guy, but Doug Hill actually struck me as a better meteorologist. Doug is not as charismatic, friendly and outgoing as Ryan, but explains weather situations much better....he gives you a much better understanding of what is going on. Ryan has a tendency to rush through things, make generalities, and not explain things thoroughly enough.

Jim Cantore, BTW, of the Weather Channel, is another excellent meterologist, who also explains things very his case, even better than Doug Hill.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | March 1, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Bob, thank you so much for all that you have shared with us over the years! Also,thanks for all you do in our community. Bishop O'Connell('94) loves ya brother!

Posted by: johng27 | March 1, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

I hope BOB left the shovel for NBC4 so they can shovel it up their behind!...

I grew up with BOB. Yes I hated him days when his forecast turned into nightmare for it didn't snow & I had to take my sorry-self to the school!

But best of luck to Bob on Channel 7!

Posted by: jimboy435 | March 1, 2010 10:29 PM | Report abuse


I had teh pleasure of meeting you as a Middle School student at Marstellar in Manassas somewhere around 1982. You came by to do a weather science show-n-tell for us. I was completely star-struck, as were my friends, because YOU were the COOL weatherman who LOVED snow... just like us. But you were also approachable, smart and patient with all of us. It made quite an impression on me. And as an adult after a long departure from the DC area, I returned in 2000 to find you still on the air. I was thrilled. I'm really going to miss your broadcasts on NBC-4. Best wishes to you and I hope to see you on the air again soon!

Posted by: Hokiefan314 | March 2, 2010 2:15 AM | Report abuse

If you read this Bob, thanks for all the years of forecasting. When I moved here 25 years ago, I watched all the news broadcasts, and yours and Channel 4's was the one I chose to follow, because you all seemed to love what you do, especially Bob. I still have a couple of Bob's Almanacs that he did, and I have to say I added a lot to my amateur's knowledge of weather thanks to Bob's subtle teaching methods disguised as weather reports. Good luck to you, Bob, I look forward to seeing more from you!

Posted by: adiseker | March 2, 2010 2:28 AM | Report abuse

if you'd like to remain on my "snow people" list to recieve sculpture pics when they come out, send me an email. if you've lost my email, send one to jason and he can get it to me. good luck and all that.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 2, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

i love the stories about bob going to schools. shows how students really remember that. it was possibly "just another school visit" for bob, but for certain students, it was obviously a big big deal.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 2, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Bob Ryan is a staple here in the DC area and always did an outstanding job. And I loved his book he published every year for Children's Hospital. My Mother got it for my Husband every year for Christmas and I could guarantee it would be one gift he would truly love. I miss that book just like I will miss Bob. sniff :(

Posted by: dancermommd1 | March 2, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I used to watch Bob Ryan on Channel 5 in Boston. When I came down here in 1983, one of the hardest things for me was leaving those snowy winters. I asked Bob how he dealt with that and as always he was cheerful, upbeat, insightful, and kind. Yes, he will be missed, and that's a Ryan guarantee. His commitment to education was equaled by no other meteorologist. I do hope he gets to spend time with his lovely wife Olga, as he said he would, but only for a while until something bigger and better comes up.

Posted by: doubtingdavid | March 2, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Bob and I attended the same School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the State University of New York - we were a couple of years apart.

Bob remains a true atmospheric scientist, and he is probably the most famous graduate of that School.

Best wishes in everything, Bob Ryan!

You too Walter in Falls Church.

Brian G Valentine
US Department of Energy
Resident of Arlington, Virginia.

Posted by: BrianValentine | March 2, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

hi brian. apparently global warming is real! these mets here tell me average temps will rise by almost 10 degrees F in just the next month or so! :-)

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | March 2, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Climate Change is Real! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

It happens four times a year in some parts ...

Posted by: BrianValentine | March 2, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

As many have already said, I've grown up with and watched Bob Ryan and Channel 4 News for 30 years. Channel 4 was THE news channel in our house. I didn't believe the forecast until I'd heard Bob declare it. I love his obvious enthusiasm for all things weather-wise and the D.C. area. Bob will be sorely missed on Channel 4 and I hope to see him back on the air very soon! Good luck, Bob!

Posted by: tturner1 | March 2, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I tried to watch the video but the NBC folks have taken it down. GAH. Regardless - Bob, NBC4 won't be the same without you! I've been watching you since I moved to DC in 1990. All the best to you and here's hoping we see you on different airwaves soon enough.

Posted by: megster671 | March 2, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to be the skunk at the lawn party, but Lyin' Ryan was just plain awful. Go back and listen--no picture, just LISTEN to his TV commentary. The man could not hang two sentences together, much less give a coherent forecast. He would jump from the area tempertures to temps in other parts of the country to the wind directions, to the 3 day forecast to the overnight to ....... The man was incomprhensible. Take a break, Bob.

Posted by: jmsbh | March 2, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse


We've put up NBC's version of the video. You need to view it in Internet Explorer, however. There are issues with the display in Firefox it seems.

Posted by: CapitalWeatherGang | March 2, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Video working for me in Firefox 3.5 on a Mac, so it might be certain versions of Firefox combined with operating systems that have issues with it.

Posted by: RandC | March 2, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Dear Bob,
It was hard to switch over from Gordon Barnes to you, but I reluctantly did. I remember not believing you when you said we would have to go to school the next day... and you'd be correct. You won. Now with the utmost respect, I wish you good luck. I will be listening and watching for you.

Posted by: Beavs | March 2, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Like many others who have commented here I remember back when Willard Scott was the weather man. Back then I didn't care too much for Bob to tell you the truth as he had taken away Willard but over the years I grew to appreciate him and his experience as a meterologist and not just someone who just repeated what was told to him.
It is true that Doug Hill would have to share the spot light but quite frankly I think both of them are willing and able to do so. I hope if they take Bob to Wjla that he will continue having announcements of bazaars like he has done over the years. One year I was kind of on the publicity committee of a certain unnamed church in Hyattsville and thought he was a bit too quick in his announcement of our church. I even told Bob that on the phone and really got after him. Well I really shouldn't have and the bazaar was a success even if my project for the bazzaar didn't work as well. So I wanted to say a proper thank you Bob and I wish you well. If Wjla doesn't hire you that really is there loss.

Posted by: hedgeclippers | March 9, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

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