After more than 45 years as Detroit’s trusted source for weather, WXYZ-TV Chief Meteorologist Jerry Hodak will retire from Detroit’s ABC affiliate September 23.
Hodak, a native Detroiter, began his broadcasting career as a newscaster at WDET-FM at Wayne State University. He went on to report for WDBO-TV in Orlando, Florida and covered many of the early space launches from Cape Canaveral for the CBS radio and television networks.
He returned to Detroit in 1965 as a weathercaster for WJBK-TV. In 1977, he joined the WXYZ-TV family as a weathercaster and Science Editor. He currently appears on Action News at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
“Jerry Hodak is synonymous with weather in Detroit and we will certainly miss his calming style, smooth approach and delivery,” said WXYZ-TV Vice-President and General Manager Ed Fernandez. “We in the WXYZ family are grateful for his years of service and dedication to WXYZ, the broadcast industry, and the viewers of Detroit. Jerry is a true professional who will be sorely missed for his gracious nature and his gentlemanly style inside the halls of Broadcast House. We wish him all the best as he makes this important decision for his life and begins to enjoy more time with his family and friends.”
A favorite with television viewers for his accuracy and science expertise, Hodak has earned the Television Seal of Approval from the American Meteorological Society and has won numerous awards for his science reporting.
Some of his most memorable work was done during the country’s most significant weather events. In 1997 he went tornado chasing in Oklahoma and Texas. He covered the California mudslides in 1998, and reported from Florida on the devastation caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
Hodak has been honored with the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Award. Earlier this year he was inducted into both the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, and the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
“Anybody who has a passion for their job and loves what they do is certainly going to miss it, but the time comes in everyone’s life for a slower pace. For more than 40 years I’ve gotten home after midnight every night, so I’m looking forward to spending evenings with my family.”
Jerry has passed his love of broadcasting down to a new generation. Two of Jerry’s three daughters are in the television business.
Starting Monday, Channel 7 will celebrate Hodak’s accomplishments and the many contributions he has made to broadcasting and to WXYZ-TV throughout his career. Evening newscasts will feature tributes to the man Detroit viewers affectionately know as “The Chief.” Fans can meet Jerry and wish him well on August 21 at Channel 7’s broadcast booth at the Woodward Dream Cruise.
Hodak’s last day on the air will be Sept. 23. The on-air celebration will include family, friends, and colleagues.
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