Saying Farewell to George Kessler

By KBJR News 1

January 28, 2011 Updated Feb 17, 2011 at 11:54 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - We're saying farewell to our co-worker and good friend here at the Northland's NewsCenter.
Meteorologist George Kessler is leaving the station to be closer to his children and for a new job opportunity. There is no doubt he has left a huge mark here at the station and all across the Northland.

George Kessler took the Northland by storm in the early 1990's.

"He is so Kessler'ish," said Barbara Reyelts, news director of the Northland's NewsCenter. "He is his own man. He is a very individual, individual."

It didn't matter if it were thunder or a snow storm, his enthusiasm about the weather was evident, despite the challenges in forecasting for the Northland.

"It was so much more than the facts and information," Reyelts said. "For George, everything was personal. He just loved the weather and that came across."

George traded shorts for snow pants when he moved to the area from the east coast.

"The fact that he likes cold weather, the fact that he moved from a warm weather climate to here, to the Northland, and did it deliberately, I think is part of his magic," said David Jensch, station manager of the Northland's NewsCenter.

For a decade, night after night, George presented the weather with a sparkling touch.

"George's passion for weather is what makes him George," said Dave Anderson, the weekend meteorologist at the Northland's NewsCenter. "The guy lives and breathes weather, he is one of these guys who grew up wanting to be a weather person and accomplished his goal going through college."

George took some time off from TV in 2001, but just a few years later he appeared back on the screen in the Duluth market. It was like he had never left.

With George, what you saw is what you got. There was no hiding the fact he was genuine person. But, he did hide one specific part of his wardrobe.

"The viewer never gets to see these size 13 shoes that he wears with his, especially with his gray suit," said Jensch. "That always got me."

Working with George can be described as a treat, but it can also be very distracting.

"He also likes history, politics and things like that," said Anderson. "The topic could start about the forecast and then it goes into the history of meteorology, the political ramifications of whatever weather may come across."

Anderson and George frequently worked together to shoot small comedy skits for the Rubber Chicken Theater.

"If I cover up the pecks, the ladies won't tune in. That's what they like you know," George said in one of the skits from the late 90s.

From chili cook offs to the Christmas City of the North Parade, George rarely said no to opportunities that put him in the thick of it all.

And during the Winter, while bears hibernate, Geese flock South - on some occasions, George would go on the air with a beard. In 2009, the Northland's NewsCenter let viewers weigh in on the fate of his bristles.

For so long, Northlanders relied on George's forecast, but this time, he didn't say it'd be like this.

Written for the web by Kevin Jacobsen