WGN Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling Official Retirement Wednesday, February 28, 2024


Tom Skilling, a fixture of Chicago television and beloved by generations, officially retired on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Tom Skilling, WGN-TV chief meteorologist emeritus, in his most recent work period appeared weekdays on WGN Evening News from 5-7pm, WGN News at Nine and WGN News at Ten. He celebrated his 45th anniversary with WGN-TV in August 2023.

WGN Meteorologist Tom Skilling announced on October 12, 2023 that he would be retiring in February of 2024.

Skilling started his successful career at age of 14. He was hired by WKKD in Aurora, IL, while attending West Aurora High School. In his first television job, he joined WLXT-TV (UHF Channel 60 in Aurora, Illinois) three years later while attending school during the day.

In 1970, after WLXT-TV shut down operations, Tom moved to Madison, Wisconsin to study meteorology and journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Skilling worked at WKOW-TV (ABC affiliate) and WTSO radio in Madison before going to work for WITI-TV, Milwaukee from 1975-1978, where he was rated the city’s #1 meteorologist, according to WGN News.

Tom joined WGN-TV on August 13, 1978. Skilling established himself as a respected meteorologist with detailed explanations of weather both locally and nationally. In addition to his in-depth “technical made easy” reports, his enthusiasm included extensive use of state-of-the-art technology. For over 30 years, Skilling was chief meteorologist on WGN Midday News as well as later newscasts.

During his career, Tom Skilling was awarded honorary doctorates from Lewis University, St. Mary’s of Minnesota and Aurora University.

In early 2004, Tom Skilling helped coordinate the Tribune Weather Center, which combined the meteorology resources and expertise of WGN-TV, CLTV and the Chicago Tribune in one location. Since 1997, Skilling was the driving force behind the Chicago Tribune’s weather page. Another element in the column was “Ask Tom Why,” in which Tom takes viewers’ questions and answers the “why” behind the weather. In October 2008, Tom and the Weather Center started providing weather reports to WGN Radio, and via the WGNtv.com weather blog.

Over the past 38 years, Tom Skilling hosted a Tornado and Severe Storms Seminar at the main auditorium in Wilson Hall at Fermilab in Batavia. As host of the event, Skilling welcomed the ‘who’s who’ in the severe weather research and forecast community, including famed University of Chicago tornado researcher Dr. Ted Fujita. The Fermilab programs have been attended by thousands over the years and have been streamed to even larger audiences online, according to the WGN News official website.

Skilling also teamed up with Walgreens, Midland Radio and the National Weather Service to promote severe weather alert radios in homes. He appeared for a promotion of the radios on May 21, 2011 at the Arlington Heights Walgreens, 235 East Palatine Road.

Tom has spoken and continues to speak at numerous events throughout the Chicagoland area discussing climate change. Some examples of his advocacy efforts include: hosting a talk to 200 area science teachers in Downers Grove, participating in a climate conference in Naperville, headed out to Palatine to address an Energy Expo sponsored by the Sierra Club, and working with the Mayor’s office several times. He emceed a conference of local mayors from across the Chicagoland community who are addressing climate change, as well as an awards event for mayors recognizing environment efforts in member cities (mayors and their representatives for the world’s 40 biggest cities which included the mayors of Paris and Mexico City and the Deputy Mayors of New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC). Tom was awarded the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) as their “2018 Broadcast Pioneer” honoree.

Celebrities, educators, school administrators, lawmakers, and everyday citizens wish Tom Skilling a happy retirement (WGN News). YouTube Tips ⓘ

Tributes from Oprah, Dan Aykroyd & Jim Belushi, Bonnie Hunt, Mark Giangreco, Bill Curtis, Carol Marin, Jim Williams, Joe Donlon, Mr. T, Steve Dahl, WXRT’s Terri Hemmert, John Records Landecker, Bob Sirott & Marianne Murciano, Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, Gov. JB Pritzker, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Brant Miller, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Sen. Dick Durkin, Lencia Kebede, the Adler team, Brant Miller, Svengoolie, Dr. David Livingston (President Lewis University).

Photojournalist Mike D’Angelo and WGN Evening News anchor Micah Materre spent a very cold and wet Saturday with Tom, who talked for hours about the love of his life, his career at WGN and what has been his biggest fear (WGN News). YouTube Tips ⓘ



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Remember the time that Tom Skilling roasted Pat Tomasulo? YouTube Tips ⓘ

They’re back. Dan, Ana and Lourdes return for their latest telenovela. In honor of Tom Skilling’s retirement, they are are the hunt for his replacement. YouTube Tips ⓘ

At the end of February, Tom Skilling will wrap up his legendary career. He is set to retire on February 28 after 45 years of incredible work at WGN News. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Tom Skilling, WGN News Chicago, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Tom Skilling, WGN News Chicago, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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