One must not necessarily be an actor or a singer before they are able to achieve fame appearing on television. One of the many people who have been able to do this through the unconventional route is Betsy Kling, an award-winning journalist and weather forecaster at WKYC in Cleveland, Ohio.
In a career spanning two decades, Kling, who has risen to the position of Chief Meteorologist, has endeared herself to audiences with her lively and engaging personality as well as her accurate and dependable forecasts. She is so good at her job that many find it hard to believe that journalism was not her first career choice.
A Setback in Her Initial Career Pursuit Led Betsy Kling to Study Journalism
Betsy Kling was born in Copley, a town in Northeast Ohio. Her dad worked as a firefighter while her mom was a seamstress. She spent her formative years in the town where she attended the local high school and got her first exposure to broadcasting. Betsy often did the morning announcements and found it fun. However, as of that time, she did not aspire to make a career out of journalism but rather wanted to become a teacher. This led her to enroll at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), a school renowned for its education and human development program.
During her freshman year at BGSU, Betsy realized that education was not working out for her. She, therefore, changed her major to Journalism and subsequently minored in Meteorology after her friends told her it was an easy course – something she later found out not to be true as she initially struggled. Betsy would, however, go on to enjoy meteorology as she completed her studies in 1997.
Her Professional Career Began Before She Graduated From University
In her senior year at BGSU, Betsy Kling became one of the presenters of her school’s news station, BG24 News. She featured two times a week on the network and is believed to have impressed quite a few people with her work that she was able to land a job before graduating.
Betsy was offered a position at WKJG-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and she accepted. She would go on to spend the next 3 years serving as both a newscaster and weather reporter for the station. She was a general news reporter three days a week and a meteorologist on the weekends. Betsy was evidently enjoying her work as a meteorologist so much that she enrolled at Mississippi State University in 1999 to receive further certification in broadcast meteorology.
By 2000, Betsy Kling moved to Jacksonville, Florida to join WTLV/WJXX TV as a weather anchor. This gig lasted for two years and in March 2003, she joined WKYC-TV in the Cleveland/Akron area of Ohio. Before joining WKYC-TV, however, Betsy had completed her studies at Mississippi in 2002 to become one of the few women to earn the title of Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) from the American Meteorological Society.
Kling’s Work with WKYC-TV Put Her on the Map
Betsy Kling’s new job at WKYC-TV proved to be everything she wanted as her workplace was close to her hometown of Copley. She revealed that when she started making appearances on TV, numerous people from her childhood, including acquaintances whom she had lost contact with as well as her teachers back in Copley, reached out to reconnect with her.
Her experience at WKYC-TV was also very intriguing as she took on various roles while gradually working her way up the ladder to become the Chief Meteorologist at the station in 2008. On many occasions, she travels to areas threatened by severe weather in order to help other meteorologists. Betsy has also helped to design numerous weather gadgets and tools used for reporting at WKYC-TV. More so, she is a regular at the network’s 3News edition and also serves as the 5PM Anchor.
The Successes She Has Recorded and the Work She Does to Empower Women
Betsy Kling is a proud recipient of several awards, including a few from the Emmys. In 2003, she received an Emmy for Team Effort News Event Coverage of the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2009, she received another Emmy in the category of Crafts: Weather. Her most recent win was in 2012 but she has been nominated a few more times since then. Other awards and recognitions Betsy has received are the Best Regularly Scheduled Weather from The Ohio Associated Press in 2007 and The Chuck Heaton Award from The Press Club of Cleveland in 2015 among many others.
While making sure that she continues to do a good job at work, Betsy has become an inspiration to many people. She has particularly been an inspiration to young girls who look up to her. As a result, the meteorologist has contributed to the launch of the 2018 girls and women in STEM initiative. Betsy had the full support of the WKYC station to start the program aimed at encouraging women to study STEM-related courses that have been dominated by men in the past.
Betsy Kling Has a Beautiful Family with a Fellow Journalist
It is often said that opposites attract but this does not seem to be the case with Betsy Kling’s love life. The award-winning meteorologist is married to fellow journalist Paul Thomas who is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Thomas started out as a writer for several newspapers like the Fort-Wayne Journal-Gazette, Dallas Morning News, The Houston Post, and Cincinnati Enquirer before switching to broadcast journalism where he has worked as an anchor/reporter for stations like Channel 3 News and WKJG-TV.
With regards to their relationship, Kling first met her husband while they were both working at WKJG and their first encounter was when she made a joke about his hair. When they met the second time, she apologized for making fun of him, and at that, the sparks went off. They started dating and got married in August 1999 at a private wedding ceremony attended by close friends and family members.
The couple now have two lovely daughters; Josie (born 2008) and Violette (born 2015). Josie and Violette often make regular appearances on their mom’s channel, most especially during the Christmas period. This has turned into an annual tradition at WKYC.
Despite her busy schedule, Kling often makes time to embark on adventures with her family. Some of the places they love to go include the Akron Zoo, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Summit Mall’s Center Court Playground, and The Amish Country. They also make regular visits to the library where they can easily spend several hours.