Popular meteorologist Angela Buchman has left WISH-TV Channel 8 as expected and is likely to be off the air for a year until she joins competitor WTHR-TV Channel 13, according to several local broadcast television sources.
IBJ first reported in June that Buchman would leave WISH after her contract expired this summer. Buchman has been absent from the station’s weathercasts since Monday, and she is no longer listed on its website. A phone call made to Buchman Thursday at WISH was forwarded to a voice mail no longer in service.
General managers at both WISH and WTHR declined to return phone calls seeking comment on her employment status.
A non-compete clause is expected to keep Buchman from appearing on-air at WTHR for a year from the WISH contract’s expiration.
What’s unclear is whether current WTHR lead meteorologist Chris Wright will remain at the station. Wright also came to WTHR from WISH, in September 1999.
Several media experts predict Buchman’s arrival at WTHR will give the station’s evening newscasts a ratings bump among the 25-54 audience, which is abandoning local TV news in alarming numbers.
Ratings for the May sweeps period for the demographic most coveted by advertisers indicated trouble for the four major local stations, results from New York-based Nielsen Media Research showed.
Buchman is an Indianapolis-area native who returned from a four-year stint at a Sacramento, Calif., station to join WISH in 2001. She earned two Emmy awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for “best weathercaster” in her 11 years at the station.
Her meteorology career began at the National Weather Service before she moved to television, starting at WLFI in West Lafayette.
She graduated from Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers in 1991 and earned a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science from Purdue University in 1996.
Buchman appears to be on vacation this week in south Florida, based on updates she posted to her Twitter account. She hasn't publicly commented on the move to WTHR, but made references hinting at the change in a couple of Tweets.
On Monday, Buchman posted a horoscope, which read, “Recent upheavals will continue to make you feel on edge from time to time, but you can now capitalize on whatever changes have been made.”
On Sunday, she Tweeted: “Settle down, it’ll all be clear.”