Thursday, April 1, 2010
Channel 5 spotlights Holly Springs
By SUE WATSON
WMC-TV Channel 5 in Memphis was in the city March 23 for a Weather Road Show, starring meteorologist Ron Childers.
The city was selected because it has not been visited by the road show and also because of its rich culture, history and its friendliness, Childers said.
“We’re here to meet people, not just to educate – to shake hands and say hello,” Childers said.
A crowd of several hundred turned out at the Eddie Lee Smith Multi-Purpose Building to meet the television crew.
“It gives us the opportunity to meet people who feel like they know me and I don’t know who they are - to meet our viewers,” Childers said.
Visitors received free Channel 5 T-shirts, registered to win a jacket and enjoyed a presentation that included weather safety tips as well as some February 5 storm pictures.
Childers is originally from the Benton County area and has many relatives in Potts Camp and Hickory Flat, he said. So, in many respects, it was a homecoming for him.
Trained in meteorology at Mississippi State University, Childers began his career in broadcast journalism in radio in Memphis as a late night DJ for FM 100 and WRVR (FM 104.5).
But his real passion was weather, something he has been talking about with Channel 5 viewers for 20 years.
“I take it very seriously and have a real passion for it,” he said. “My favorite weather is sunny and 75. But I also have interest in severe weather.”
Childers’ least favorite weather is winter. He hates the cold, cold, he said. A suitable wintertime temperature for him is 45 degrees, he said.
“It’s been something else this year,” he added.
Asked if he feels like a celebrity when he is on the road, Childers said he gets that feeling a little when he is outside Memphis. But television workers are just normal people, he said.
“This just happens to be my job,” he said. “The response in this smaller community is much more than Memphis. I am a regular Joe there. There’s a big turnout in a small town and people do look at us as celebrities. But I am normal just like you. I’ve got bills just like you. I love my job.”
Childers grew up watching Channel 5 with his father when they moved to Memphis from Hickory Flat when he was a youngster. He’s been a fan ever since.
“I remembered Dick Hawley and Jack Eaton and then to have the opportunity to get to know them and meet them and people like Dave Brown - they taught me a tremendous amount about television and about life. I am honored to have watched Channel 5 and now to be a part of it.”
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