BEST TV WEATHERPERSON Minneapolis 2008 - Paul Douglas
Shed no tears for Paul Douglas, for he retires filthy rich, thanks to a pair of farsighted inventions: In 1997 he sold a 3-D earth-modeling system he developed for $3 million, and last year he and a partner pocketed a cool $22 million for Digital Cyclone, a service that sends weather warnings to mobile devices. But viewers have certainly lost something with his departure from the CBS affiliate thanks to nationwide downsizing at the Eye Network. While Douglas didn't have the pretty-boy appeal of rival Sven, we're losing a major source of institutional memory on Minnesota weather. Douglas served the Twin Cities for 22 years, a duration increasingly rare in this era of job-hopping in local TV. "No attempt was made to negotiate a lower salary; it was pretty cut and dry," Douglas wrote in a farewell letter, noting that he regretted not being able to tell viewers on air. "It's just business, dollars and cents—I get it." Ultimately, Douglas was the victim of widespread media restructuring as the internet continues to change the advertising economy. Douglas may not have liked how it went down, but he's lucky to get out of the perfect storm relatively intact.