Starting Wednesday, October 21st, American Meteorological Society (AMS) and National Weather Service (NWS) Meteorologist Chuck Collins is joining the number one local TV news team in Central Illinois, forecasting weather on WEEK-TV channel 25, WHOI-TV channel 19 and WAOE-TV channel 59. On Monday, October 26th, five days after joining the team, Collins will take over the late evening newscasts including WEEK Nightside, WHOI News and WAOE News 25 late evening broadcasts. Veteran and revered weatherman Lee Ranson continues to forecast weather on WEEK’s Live at Five and 6 p.m. News, as well as WHOI News at 5:30 p.m.
"Chuck Collins and Lee Ranson together form a weather forecasting dream team,” said Mark DeSantis, President and General Manager of WEEK, WHOI and WAOE. “Combining the talented people and personalities of WEEK and WHOI with the top meteorologists in Central Illinois, demonstrates our success in assembling the best team of broadcast news, weather and sports professionals in the state. We are fortunate to have Chuck join us as part of our proven all-star news team that viewers and advertisers acknowledge as being the best in their fields.”
“Having two great weathermen like Lee and Chuck in the evening plus Sandy Gallant and Gretchen Wirtz in the morning newscasts makes our weather operation the best in Central Illinois,” said Content Manager and News Director Don Shafer. “The communities of Central Illinois will be well served by having these weather experts and our terrific news crew.”
Born and raised in Central Illinois, Mr. Collins has spent more than 30 years in local radio and broadcast television. The three-time winner of the Illinois Broadcaster Association’s Silver Dome Award for Outstanding/Best Downstate Television Weather holds broadcasting seals of approval from both the AMS and the NWS. For the last 23 years, Mr. Collins has worked at WMBD-TV and WMBD radio, the past 10 years of which he served as Chief Meteorologist for WMBD 31.
“After three decades in the business, I am thrilled to be a part of THE top-rated news and weather operation in Central Illinois,” said Collins. “It is a pleasure and an honor to be working with my new colleagues and a professional like Lee Ranson. I look forward to serving Central Illinois viewers for many years by providing weather for WEEK, WHOI and WAOE.”
The combination of WEEK’s expert weather forecasters, Chuck Collins and Lee Ranson, with the station's state-of-the-art tracking and dynamic interpretive equipment will enable WEEK to give Central Illinois viewers the most consistently accurate weather broadcasts available. Together with the station’s elite team of news anchors, Tom McIntyre, Mike Dimmick, Gina Morss and Jen Christensen, and sports anchors, Lee Hall and Jim Mattson, WEEK, WHOI and WAOE are committed to breaking the latest news, providing the information needed to plan one’s day and telling the stories that impact lives in the region.
In March2009, Granite Broadcasting Corporation’s WEEK-TV, the NBC affiliate for the Peoria-Bloomington, IL market, and Barrington Broadcasting Group’s WHOI-TV, the market’s the ABC affiliate, entered into a joint sales agreement (JSA) and shared services agreement (SSA) whereby the Barrington-owned station is operated from the studios of the Granite-owned station. The WEEK studios also operate Four Seasons Broadcasting’s WAOE-TV, the My Network affiliate for Central Illinois, in a similar arrangement.