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BEST TV WEATHERPERSON Minneapolis 2002 - Paul Douglas

Readers' Choice: Belinda Jensen

In a lot of places, it might seem weird to have a favorite TV weatherperson--they're all pretty much interchangeable, right? But this is Minnesota, where weather is less a facet of nature than a collective fixation, something to be ruminated upon, guessed at, and complained about till Doomsday. That's why local stations tease their weather reports incessantly. They know that if they showed the forecast first, viewers would just shut off their TVs afterward. In this market, 'CCO's amiable chief meteorologist stands as a giant among poppies. It isn't that Douglas, a.k.a. "Mr. 50-50," is right more often than the competition: When meteorologists are wrong, they're usually wrong in unison (e.g., early February's infamous non-blizzard). Perhaps Douglas is such a soothing presence simply because he's been around for so long, at WCCO and, before that, KARE-11 (between the two gigs, Douglas made a brief sojourn into Chicago's major-market wilderness). And Douglas clearly knows his trade: In addition to broadcasting the weather, he's written books on it, consulted for Hollywood, and developed popular computer forecasting models. But, in the final analysis, what's most endearing about Douglas is his wry, low-key delivery: Watching his nightly reports, you never get the feeling that the sky is falling--even if it sometimes is.

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