I couldn't believe it when Julie Chin told us she was leaving TV. But at the same time I understood and wasn't surprised.
She informed us of her decision a while back. Her eyes filled with emotion. Mine did too.
There's no such thing as a 9-5 job in TV.
Julie's morning schedule is probably the most brutal. Wake up at 2 something in the morning for a 10 hour shift. She doesn't "get credit" from viewers for coming into work at 2:30am. Be ready for lights, camera, action by 4:57am.
She's always the first one in and the last one out on the morning shift.
Why arrive so early? It takes about two hours to make a forecast and prepare the data for the newscast. KJRH doesn't hire someone to do that work either as to a meteorologist, that's like someone else doing your homework. There are no "talking heads" in the weather department at KJRH.
If storms are on the radar, her alarm clock goes off earlier-- she arrives at work at 1:30am. Even going to bed at 7pm, that's less than 6 hours of sleep. If it's raining several days in a row, then wow! Lots of extra hours if the weather lives up to Oklahoma standards.
Julie never cut corners behind the scenes either. Better than anyone else in town she researched local events for specific forecasts, planned out exactly what graphics to show and why, searched for ways to engage the viewer on each individual weathercast. And she did it all with her signature smile and natural enthusiasm!
On top of that, everyone requests Julie! She loves her school talks, hosting duties, volunteering and public appearances. She will continue to be a community pillar after her broadcast career is over.
(ABOVE: Julie Chin (w Jason Grubbs) at one of her zillion events. From the Sand Springs Soap Box Derby. Check out the video! I strapped a camera to mini-Storm Chaser 2 to record Julie racing.)
Julie survived Tulsa TV for 9 years, and she did the job better than anyone. Need proof? Look at the results-- KJRH has grown to its highest morning ratings ever.
If Julie has future job plans, she hasn't told us what they are. She and her husband are staying in town, that's all she's saying for now.
Need a spokesperson? Hire her. Need a face for your Tulsa company? She's your woman. She'll learn your business plan better than you know it yourself!
KJRH would, of course, love her to stay on as a meteorologist, but she's too good! Her best days are ahead of her.
I think Julie might be smarter than the rest of us too-- she's now putting her life and her family first! (How fun of a Mom will she be?!)