Channel 2 meteorologist Andy Parker is leaving the station to become part of Channel 7's revamped morning program this fall.
Parker joined Channel 2 about a decade ago, a few years after leaving Channel 7 when he was unable to operate a business when he was doing weather. He worked at Channel 7 for seven years until leaving in 2000.
"We are thrilled to have Andy Parker coming home to 7 Eyewitness News,” said Channel 7 General Manager Michael Nurse in a release announcing Parker's hiring. “Knowing and understanding the changes in Buffalo weather is critically important to our viewers. Andy’s addition to our already strong team of meteorologists gives us a clear advantage in continuing to provide lifesaving information to our dedicated viewers. We strongly believe that Andy’s addition makes WKBW the most accurate and trusted weather source in the Buffalo area.”
Nurse's uplifting release came about an hour after Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner announced to his staff that Parker was leaving the NBC affiliate:
"After many discussions, Andy Parker has decided to leave us here at 2 On Your Side. His last day at the station is today.
"Andy has been at Channel 2 since 2004 and his development here culminated when he replaced Chesley McNeil on '"Daybreak" a few years back.
"We wish him and his family all the best in whatever the future holds.
"Maria Genero will join the 'Daybreak' team starting tomorrow and our search for a new and transformational meteorologist begins immediately.
The move from the top-rated morning program, "Daybreak," to the third-rated morning program, suggests that Parker did well in recent research conducted by Channel 7's new owner, E.W. Scripps Co.
Scripps realized it needed to make some sort of splash to get people to give Channel 7's new morning program another look. It most likely gave Parker a handsome raise to leave Channel 2, where he appeared to be in line to replace the station's top weatherman, Kevin O'Connell, when O'Connell retires.
Scripps also probably realizes that it needs more than Parker. The key to getting people to watch most likely will be the anchors that Scripps hires for the morning program.
Channel 7 is looking to replace Cole Heath and Tiffany Lundberg, the morning anchors who were let go last week after a year as the station's already low morning ratings plummeted even more.