Rain or shine, 10-year renewal keeps Skilling at WGN



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Tom Skilling, the undisputed king of Chicago weather, will continue to reign supreme at WGN-Channel 9 and the Chicago Tribune for 10 more years.

In a blockbuster deal that was expected to be signed Wednesday, Skilling, 60, agreed to continue as chief meteorologist for the Tribune Co. flagships here through 2022. Terms were not disclosed, but Skilling is believed to be the highest paid local weatherman in the country, with a million-dollar salary and 12-person staff.

“This is a good deal for Tom and for Tribune because it gives both of them the security of one another for a decade,” said attorney Joel Weisman, Skilling’s longtime agent. “It’s particularly noteworthy in an era when people are uncertain about the future. Most contracts are actually growing shorter.”

Skilling’s last contract was a six-year deal signed in 2006.

Although details were still being finalized earlier this week, major points in the new agreement were negotiated between Weisman and Marty Wilke, who had been vice president and general manager of WGN until last Friday when she resigned to join CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 as president and general manager.

Calling his client “the hardest working journalist in Chicago,” Weisman said Skilling “absolutely loves the work that he does and does it as well as anybody in the world,” adding: ”He’s at the top of his game — and he has been for a long time. He’s a genuine scholar and student of what he does who’s revered by his peers and selfless as a mentor.”

Skilling, who began his broadcasting career at age 14 in his native west suburban Aurora, has been chief meteorologist at WGN since 1978.

Users say

Ware A
Ware A

His forcasts do not rate 100 in my book because he, and all other Chicago forcasters, omit any reference to the weather in California, the West Coast, and how sometimes it has an effect on the weather in Chicago.

I don't give a damn about North Carolina weather, which seems to be a Skilling favourite; but would appreciate a referece and satellits of Caifornia and the West Coast because if often effects the Midwest.


@Ware A I have to disagree with you Ware, I hear him mention weather systems in the Northwest all the time in his forecasts and the possible implications on the Midwest in the coming days. But he also does go on in great detail about other regional areas that no one in Chicago cares about...

Joy G
Joy G

@Ware A That's baloney! Tom goes on and on and on and on about the weather systems that come all the way from the Pacific, over the Mountains, continue onto the Plains and THEN hit Chicago! Drink some more coffee at night to actually stay awake long enough to hear his full forecast! LOL

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)