On Tuesday, January 20, Channel 5 (KSDK) meteorologist Bree Smith appeared on the Today Show and made the people of the area proud.
Smith was invited to do the weather with Al Roker in the 8 am segment after St. Louisians contributed more than any other city to a Today Show fund raiser (for food). The winning city’s NBC affiliate got their weathercaster on the Today Show to present the weather with Al Roker.
Her performance? Just about perfect. She made everyone look good, including herself. During the segment, nearly a minute and 45 seconds, she was complimentary to the people of St. Louis and others around the country for their giving as well as the Today Show for making the effort. When she actually did the weather segment, the center of attention was on St. Louis…sort of. The map showed the seven cities across the U.S. named “St. Louis,” one named “St. Louis Park,” an “Archville” and a couple of cities named “Arch.” She gave the temperatures for a few of them, of course focusing on St. Louis, MO. To top it off, she had Roker try a piece of traditional St. Louis gooey butter cake which he seemed to truly enjoy.
Smith came across as relaxed, competent and genuinely nice. She even did a great job “pitching” to the local stations’ forecasts expertly delivering the line, “That’s what’s going on around the country, here’s what’s happening in your neck of the woods.” Roker followed that with an emphatic (indicating success on her part) “Boom!” which she humorously echoed. As co-meteorologist Mike Roberts would later say, while also admitting he was jealous of her trip, she was “smooth as glass.”
The downside of this appearance for Channel 5? If TV execs around the country were paying any attention, this might have been a very successful audition for Smith. She could end up, just because her performance was so good, getting an offer for more money in a larger city.
Meantime, she, along with Chester Lampkin, the two youngest members of the Channel 5 weather team, offer great hope for attracting viewers. That is not to criticize the other members of the station’s weathercasters who are all excellent in their own ways. But these two have great talent and a tremendous future ahead of them if they so choose. In the end, if they leave, St. Louis viewers will be the losers.