WFLA-Ch. 8 weekend meteorologist Brooks Garner to leave Tampa station in April for Houston
Brooks Garner, weekend meteorologist at Tampa NBC affiliate WFLA-Ch. 8 will be leaving in late April for a job at KHOU-TV in Houston, a step up in media markets, hours and pay that represents a significant career boost.
“Today, I'm excited to announce that been invited to join the weather team at KHOU in Houston, starting in May!” wrote Garner, 33, on his Facebook page today; he'll handle the noon and 4 p.m. weekday newscasts for the Texas CBS station. “Thank you to all who've made my experience in Tampa Bay something I'll always treasure. Your kind words and well wishes have truly been humbling.”
In a later interview, Garner credited lessons learned while tracking Tropical Storm Debbie and Hurricane Isaac for helping him land a position as a weekday forecaster at KHOU in Houston, the country’s 10th-largest TV market. The Tampa Bay area is ranked 14th among U.S. television markets.
“There’s almost a generational complacency here (about hurricanes) because it has been so long since we had a direct hit,” said Garner, noting that Houston was hit hard by Hurricane Ike in 2008. “Houston had their big hurricane just a few years ago…So it is fresh for them.”
Garner came to WFLA in 2010 from WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina, where the Georgia native served as consulting meteorologist for the 2009 Jake Gyllenhaal movie Nailed, giving the production weather forecasts for filming. He also rode a bike 4,000 miles across the country from Virginia Beach to Los Angeles in six weeks.
He couldn’t say for certain when his final day at WFLA would be, though he expected to leave April 21 to start at KHOU May 1.
“It’s a bittersweet thing, because the people at WFLA have been so great,” said Garner, who nevertheless couldn’t hide his excitement for a more conventional work schedule after three years of working weekends. “It’s a natural career progression.”