A Buffalo legend hung up his sweater vest after a quarter of a century last night.
Kevin O’Connell is certainly one of the people that makes Buffalo Buffalo.
“I’m not saying goodbye, just, ‘I’ll see you down the road,'” said O’Connell in a recorded message which aired during Channel 2’s 6pm newscast. He’s been the weather anchor on that show and the station’s lead weather personality for 25 years.
But Buffalo’s known O’Connell a lot longer than that. His media career started as a teen disc jockey at WYSL in the mid-60s, he eventually was the station’s program director.
He eventually made his way to WBEN Radio, where he hosted middays on the radio and was Channel 4’s main weather man during the Blizzard of 1977.
Among the innovations he brought to the Channel 4 weathercast was “Weather with A Beat.” He also hosted Channel 4’s “Disco Step-By-Step” show from Club 747 on Genesee Street.
In the recorded “goodbye” piece, O’Connell said that it was his final appearance on Channel 2, and that he wasn’t retiring, but that he did want viewers to know what he’s truly appreciated in his time at WGRZ-TV.
“Thank you very, very much for your loyalty and your viewership, and your comments both good and constructive,” O’Connell said. “The thing I think I’m most proud of– the millions of dollars that we were able to raise for charity. Not the Emmys or the Golden Mic awards, or the Edward R Murrow plaques, it’s the difference that we made together in our community.”
O’Connell is a 2007 inductee in the Buffalo Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Oct. 22, 1974: WYSL DJ Kevin O’Connell gets a promotion
He’s been known for decades as the grandfatherly weatherman on Channel 2. But before that, Kevin O’Connell was a news anchor on Channel 4, and even before that, he made “Weather with a (disco) beat” a part of WBEN-TV weather forecasts in the 1970s.
Aside from the decade he spent in Los Angeles as a local TV weatherman and national game show host, O’Connell has spent most of the last 50 years on Buffalo airwaves.
Before joining the staff at Channel 4, the son of Buffalo’s city comptroller had worked around Buffalo’s radio dial as a rock’n’roll personality on stations such as WYSL, WEBR and WBEN. Forty years ago today, the ’70s mop-headed O’Connell was promoted to program supervisor at 1400 AM, where he was also playing the hits as a disc jockey.