How do you say goodbye after 27 years in this business (21 of those in Tulsa)? Please allow me to try.
Why am I leaving? Simply put, working nights isn't family friendly. I have a 13 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. Because of my schedule I've missed a lot of their activities and lives. Its time for me to be home at night, on weekends and during holidays with my wife and kids. A new career will allow me to do that.
Don't get me wrong. I love what I do. I've loved the news and weather business since I was a little kid. It's all I ever wanted to do, and it's all I've done since I graduated college. I'm going to miss it terribly. But at this level, the only way to change my schedule is to change jobs.
I've decided to become a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch here in Tulsa. I plan to work very hard to be as trustworthy with my client's finances as I was as a chief meteorologist. I hope if you ever need any financial help with anything from mutual funds to retirement plans that you will allow me the honor. Who knows, maybe someday you will see me back on the air doing financial segments.
Working at Tulsa's Channel 8 has never been dull. I've experienced a lot of highs and lows. Of course one of my favorite moments was when I proposed to my wife Teri live on Good Morning Oklahoma when we were the cohosts. I only wanted to surprise her, but I wound up surprising thousands of people who were watching.
Then there was the Wicked Weather Show I was doing at the Mabee Center when I found out my wife had gone into labor with our first child. You should have seen the looks the hospital staff gave me when I showed up dressed as Dr. Frankenstorm!
The saddest moments were the countless tornado disaster sites that I visited especially Picher, OK and Joplin, MO. Seeing people sifting through rubble that used to be their home breaks my heart. Yet, they were always willing to take a moment to talk to me about their loss.
Speaking of severe weather, the true test of stamina in this business is staying on the air continuously for hours on end. Due to multiple tornado warnings, I once stayed on the air for 7 hours without a break. Hopefully I helped save some lives along the way.
Severe weather is taken very seriously at Channel 8. Getting the word out so people have time to take cover was my goal. Please continue to stay safe when bad weather threatens. You can bet somewhere I'll be watching it.
Who can forget "The Blizzard" when we were all stuck up here on Lookout Mountain for 2-3 days. The snow drifts were so high we couldn't get out. So we slept here. Seeing your fellow coworkers in their pajamas brings you closer as a team!
Then there's KTUL's first meteorologist Don Woods. I had the honor of spending time with him before he passed. And I was honored to be invited to speak at his memorial.
I'm going to miss all of the fun places that I got to do my weather live from, but I'm sure I'll save a few calories by not trying all of the new fair food this year. Don't be surprised if you run into me at Mayfest, Tulsa State Fair, Oktoberfest, Rocklahoma, and the rest of our great festivals. I just won't have a microphone in my hand.
Thank you to all of you who invited me over the years to speak at your schools, clubs and businesses. I always liked getting out of the studio to talk to people. It's not unusual for an adult to tell me that I spoke to their class when they were in elementary school. That can make a guy feel old!
I've had the opportunity to work with some amazing people over the years. "Thanks" goes to my KTUL management and coworkers. It's been a blast. I wish you all the best.
To the viewers, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for watching. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have lasted in this business as long as I did. Thank you for watching, writing, calling and posting. God bless you all.
Or email me at FrankPMitchell@aol.com
Goodbye for now,