WDBJ7’s Robin Reed a hero to budding meteorologists over four decades
Reed has inspired dozens of meteorologists to enter the field
ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - As WDBJ7′s Robin Reed announces his retirement at the end of 2022, we wanted to take a look back at his impeccable career as a meteorologist, news anchor and public servant to those in the WDBJ7 viewing area.
In the spring of 1982, a young mustached man from Harrisonburg would be tasked at presenting the weather on your Hometown Station. Little did anyone know, WDBJ7 would become his permanent home for the next four decades.
Robin hit the airwaves in the early ‘80s and was almost immediately thrown into forecasting some of the worst weather in our region’s history. While some relish the idea of the winter dusting, it was his calm, confident delivery during the historic flood of ‘85 that made Robin a household name, and a hero to budding meteorologists enamored by the atmosphere.
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One of those budding meteorologists was Michael Brennan, now Acting Deputy Director at the National Hurricane Center. Brennan interned with Robin Reed in the mid ‘90s as a student at Cave Spring High School.
“Robin was always very encouraging of anything I wanted to try,” says Brennan.
“I think about what I do now is so much about communication, and I think that seed was planted very early on in those experiences with Robin.”
Countless interns went into the field of meteorology. However, Robin was also a master at molding and motivating those around him in his department. Countless weather team members have gone on to have successful, life-long careers in the industry.
Frank Billingsly started with Robin at WDBJ in the early 1980s and is now a meteorologist in Houston. Billingsly has also gone on to have a 40-plus-year career as a meteorologist. “I want to thank you for your friendship and your mentorship when I was getting into the business and of course your leadership. I know the people of Roanoke Valley are going to miss you.”
Cecily Tynan graduated Washington and Lee University and became the weekend forecaster at WDBJ7 in the early 1990s, training under Robin’s leadership. Tynan has had a long-lasting career as meteorologist at WPVI in Philadelphia since 1995.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done for me and for other colleagues, and for him viewers over, you’re the best,” says Tynan.
You may also remember Patrick Evans. The witty feature reporter and forecast started working at WDBJ in 1990, working alongside Robin Reed for a full decade. In 2002, Patrick moved to the Palm Springs area to work at KESQ, where has been ever since. “He [Robin] was a great mentor and teacher; that is obvious by the fact that he’s been working at Virginia Tech for many years,” says Evans.
Some decided to stay closer to home, including NBC12′s Andrew Freiden, who worked with Robin in the late ‘90s. “I convinced Robin to give me the weekend weather job in 1997 and I’ve been doing it ever since. You really are amazing and you had a huge impact on a lot of people in the commonwealth and you had a huge impact on my life,” says Freiden, who has been the morning meteorologist in Richmond since departing from WDBJ in the early 2000s.
“I also learned from you how to be gracious and kind, which was amazing to see in you. You were the big star, treated everybody equally and with kindness and I’ll never forget that,” says Freiden.
Working on this story and hearing from how Robin inspired so many meteorologists has solidified that fact working alongside Robin was a one-of-kind experience, says chief meteorologist Brent Watts.
Robin has inspired countless meteorologists over the years, many who remain in the business across the country.
Stay with WDBJ7 each week in November as we look back at Robin Reed’s incredible career here at Your Hometown Station as he approaches his final days before retirement.
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