WXYZ-TV meteorologist Jerry Hodak announces retirement
After more than 45 years on television in Detroit at WXYZ-TV Channel 7 and WJBK-TV Channel 2, Jerry Hodak today announced his retirement as of September 23rd. He made the announcement during WXYZ's 6:00pm newscast today.
While primarily known as a weathercaster for Channel 7, Hodak also spent a number of years behind the anchor desk for Channel 2.
Hodak, a native Detroiter, began his broadcasting career as a newscaster at WDET-FM at Wayne State University. He went on to report for WDBO-TV in Orlando, Florida and covered many of the early space launches from Cape Canaveral for the CBS radio and television networks.
He returned to Detroit in 1965 as a weathercaster for WJBK-TV. In 1977, he joined WXYZ as a weathercaster and Science Editor. He currently appears on Action News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
"Jerry Hodak is synonymous with weather in Detroit and we will certainly miss his calming style, smooth approach and delivery," said WXYZ-TV Vice-President and General Manager Ed Fernandez. "We in the WXYZ family are grateful for his years of service and dedication to WXYZ, the broadcast industry, and the viewers of Detroit. Jerry is a true professional who will be sorely missed for his gracious nature and his gentlemanly style inside the halls of Broadcast House. We wish him all the best as he makes this important decision for his life and begins to enjoy more time with his family and friends."
A favorite with television viewers for his accuracy and science expertise, Hodak has earned the Television Seal of Approval from the American Meteorological Society and has won numerous awards for his science reporting.
Some of his most memorable work was done during the country's most significant weather events. In 1997 he went tornado chasing in Oklahoma and Texas. He covered the California mudslides in 1998, and reported from Florida on the devastation caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
Hodak has been honored with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Award. Earlier this year he was inducted into both the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
"Anybody who has a passion for their job and loves what they do is certainly going to miss it, but the time comes in everyone's life for a slower pace. For more than 40 years I've gotten home after midnight every night, so I'm looking forward to spending evenings with my family."
Jerry has passed his love of broadcasting down to a new generation. Two of Jerry's three daughters are in the television business.
Throughout the months of August and September, Channel 7 will celebrate Hodak's accomplishments and the many contributions he has made to broadcasting and to WXYZ-TV throughout his career. Evening newscasts will feature tributes to the man Detroit viewers affectionately know as "The Chief." Fans can meet Jerry and wish him well on August 21 at Channel 7's broadcast booth at the Woodward Dream Cruise.
Longtime TV anchorman Jac LeGoff, who died at 87 Tuesday, was remembered by many for his affable, laid-back demeanor on the air. "He's the last of the tranquil news guys who weren't full of flash and dash, but were that solid rock that Detroit needed and wanted," said Erik Smith, who worked with LeGoff at WXYZ-TV (Channel 7). LeGoff was so popular during his 20-year reign at WJBK-TV (Channel 2) -- Fox 2 now -- that he, co-anchor John Kelly and weathercasters Jerry Hodak and Marilyn Turner were all hired away by WXYZ in the mid-1970s. Channel 7 trumpeted its hirings with a 1974 ad campaign, "We Got Who You Wanted." "WJBK was so overpowering that the only way Channel 7 could stop it was to buy everybody -- Kelly, Hodak and LeGoff," said Tim Kiska, former Detroit News reporter and author of "A Newscast for the Masses" (Wayne State University Press) and "Detroit Television" (Arcadia). "It took WJBK years to recover." Former WXYZ anchor Bill Bonds insists that his station was becoming more competitive after its feisty coverage of the '67 riots, and solidified its position in the mid-1970s by raiding WJBK... Veteran newsman ruled the Detroit TV market (Wed, 7/28)
Detroit Free Press:
Jac LeGoff, the calm, straight-shooting TV anchor who worked at four Detroit-area stations in a five-decade career, died Sunday in Novi. He was 87. LeGoff was one of the first big names in the Detroit TV news market. Frequently teamed with John Kelly, LeGoff became a trusted news reader and ratings grabber on WJBK-TV (Channel 2) and WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) in the '60s and '70s. "Jac was pretty much a straight-ahead guy," said Kelly, 82, who is now retired. "The tenor of the time was nobody laughed, nobody giggled. You were solemn and you did the news." Later, as the times changed, Kelly said humor was introduced in their newscasts... Jac LeGoff: News anchor worked all over the Detroit television dial (Wed, 7/28)