WBAY 70th anniversary: Chief Meteorologist George Graphos
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Beloved former WBAY-TV 2 Chief Meteorologist George Graphos is enjoying retirement. He now lives in Arizona with his wife, closer to his son.
Since retiring he’s been able to take time to slow down with hobbies he loves, including hitting the race track at Road America, as well as painting, traveling, sailing and photography.
The Marquette, Michigan, native came to WBAY in 1985, wrapping up a 32-year career in broadcast television in 2017.
He says he thinks back on his time at WBAY-TV 2 and the viewers often, especially the fun pranks and conversations.
“Bill and I, during a commercial break, he and I are talking about liver and onions... People have strong feelings about that, they either hate it or they love it. Somehow after the weather, I mentioned that.”
And the viewers took notice. George says he had a flood of emails about liver and onions.
“The connection between your audience and yourself, or yourselves, in this case, it is so personal. I mean personal. I used to stand right next to Cami -- and on different news sets, sometimes it was Bill, sometimes Cami -- but I stood next to Cami’s right ear for decades. I know her right ear better than my own.”
After more than three decades in TV in Green Bay you collect a lot of memories.
“We could be here for a week before we get done talking about memories of funny things that happened,” George remarks.
How could you pick a favorite?
“One time we were at the Railroad Museum. The train started to pull out, and I was supposed to be on it, so I ran and jumped on the back of the caboose and slipped, and I thought, uh oh, this is the end, but Chuck [Ramsay] reached out his arm and pulled me up.” George laughs, “He kind of saved my life.”
Interestingly, the archive video shows it happening differently: George was on the back of the caboose with Chuck in pursuit, and George pulled Chuck aboard by his arm.
With a lifetime of memories George says he cherishes, many from his time spent with viewers, in the late 1980′s George became the first meteorologist in the country to take a weather segment to viewers’ backyards. “We did the Backyard Weather years ago,” he laughs. “That was a hoot! That was really crazy.” Copps supermarkets supplied the food. George provided the magnetic weather maps and magnetic personality.
George still visits northeast Wisconsin and connects with viewers often.
“You miss the viewers. You miss the people you work with a lot. I guess the part that you never forget that’s what’s closest to you,” he says.
Some things he doesn’t miss.
“I grew up with snow, but I don’t miss it.”
But the next time he visits, well, you’ll have to stay tuned.
When he stops by again next summer, we’ll save a seat for him -- at 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., or 10 p.m.
“I most definitely have that on my schedule!”
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