KAGS weatherman to go off radar Oct. 12

Press reports
Posted 10/4/19

Weatherman Bob French, a presence on Brazos Valley televisions since 1990, will retire with a community celebration on Oct. 12.

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KAGS weatherman to go off radar Oct. 12


Weatherman Bob French, a presence on Brazos Valley televisions since 1990, will retire with a community celebration on Oct. 12.

French had announced his retirement in June with the statement “old weatherman never die, they just wane,” but had not given a firm date.

In a press release Friday, Bryan/College Station NBC affiliate KAGS said the celebration of its chief meteorologist will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the first-floor boardroom of the Guarantee Bank building in Bryan, 2800 Texas Ave. The event is open to the public.

French’s retirement will sum up nearly 40 years delivering weather on TV newscasts in Beaumont and at both KBTX and KAGS in Bryan/College Station. He began broadcasting the weather in his hometown of Beaumont in 1980, moving to the Brazos Valley area – where he attended Texas A&M University before leaving the school to pursue a career as a singer/songwriter – in 1990.

French eventually earned a degree in mass communications at Lamar University in Beaumont. He also holds the Broadcast Seal of Approval from the American Meteorological Society.

From 1990 to 2013, he was chief meteorologist at KBTX. After his dismissal from that channel, the then 59-year-old French filed an age discrimination suit against the station, alleging that he had been forced to work additional hours during the 2012 holiday season that lead to a medical leave of absence for which he was then reprimanded.

For the past five years, the familiar face has served as chief meteorologist for KAGS.

“Bob has been a strong leader in the KAGS newsroom who we were very fortunate to get,” KAGS station manager Roby Somerford said in the release.

According to French’s official biography, “Bob is also very active in the community. He has visited almost every school in the Brazos Valley, and his t-shirt collection is second to none.

“Whether it is visiting schools or civic organizations, talking about weather or entertaining with his music, he’s always smiling unless the weather demands a more serious demeanor.”

Growing up on the Gulf Coast, French became fascinated with weather at an early age, especially regarding hurricanes, having experienced Hurricanes Audrey in 1957, Carla in 1961, and Cindy in 1963.

“Throughout his career, Bob has been a mentor to many aspiring meteorologists, some of whom now forecast the weather at stations in large cities including Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth and Atlanta,” KAGS said in the release.

French has also served on advisory boards of numerous local emergency planning and charitable organizations such as the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and Health for All Clinic, SOS Ministries, and The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History.

Accdording to Friday’s press release, one of French’s most memorable experiences was flying into the eye of a hurricane on an Air Force Reconnaissance plane. A close second would be experiencing a 100 mile-per-hour wind at the Oran Nicks Low Speed Wind Tunnel at Texas A&M.

KAGS said French and his wife Beth have two children and four grandchildren, with whom he plans spend more time, as well as more time with his other passion, music.