I never thought it would actually happen. I’ve been hearing about it for months, but I just knew they’d be able to work it out. But sadly, no. When I switched on the television this morning, there is just a looping disclaimer on channel 4. That’s right… KXAN, Austin’s NBC affiliate, is off the air. I don’t get it! How can you just pull an entire network?!! What the hell? And if you don’t have any idea to what I’m referring, you obviously do not have Time Warner Cable.
I don’t know all the particulars about the failed negotiations, contract disputes, etc., and I don’t really watch anything on NBC, except the “Headlines” on Monday nights with Jay Leno. So, what do I even care, you may ask?
Because KXAN has always been my ‘news’ station. They’ve always been the ones I watched for my local, ‘up to date’ news stories. Well, we also watched to see what the heck Michelle V. would be wearing each night. But the main reason I watch KXAN? Two words: Jim Spencer.
Oh yes, I’ll say it right out loud… I LOVE JIM SPENCER. He is ‘the man’. He is the rockin-est weatherman ever to grace the screen of Austin news stations. You can always count on Jim, with his own little brand of humor to give it to us straight.
Now, I know other people might have a certain fondness for Jim, but I have been watching him since he started with the station during my freshman year at UT. I can remember listening to his weather reports in my dorm room, as we got ready to go out at night. (yes, remember the days when 11:00 p.m. was too early to get somewhere?!! Jeez…)
“Jim, we’re going out dancing at Dessau tonight… what’s the weather going to be?” (omigod! Remember Dessau Hall?!) “Jim, what’s the humidity? Am I going to have a bad hair day?!” Answer: ‘most likely, yes’.
Jim has always been my ‘go-to guy’ for the crazy Texas weather. The only time that Jim and I almost came to blows was on my wedding day in 1998 when he kept telling people to “stay inside. Don’t try to get out on the roads… the rains are just too heavy.” I was just praying that my guests were watching another, ‘sub-par’ weatherman that day.
When we moved back to Texas after almost 6 years in Colorado (I call those the “Jim-less years”) I was delighted to be back with good old Jim. He hadn’t changed a bit, and evidently I haven’t changed too much either. I still rely on Jim to tell me when to send jackets to school with the kids. When the weather is bad, I stay constantly tuned in to what he has to say. And Jim won’t let you down. He won’t leave the station while we’re under threat of severe weather… he’ll just stick it out until “ICE STORM (insert the year here)” comes to a conclusion. That’s my Jimmy-boy.
So, here’s hoping that KXAN and Time Warner Cable can end their stalemate. I guess in the meantime, I’ll have to tune in to another station for the weather updates. But it just won’t be the same.
I miss you, Jim. And it’s only been one day. (Sniff, sniff…)
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