HOUSTON - Longtime KPRC2 weatherman Doug Johnson died Thursday. He was 79.
A fifth-generation Texan, Johnson was born in the Heights neighborhood. He attended Reagan High School, Texas Christian University and schools in Alaska. During his time in Alaska, Johnson got his start in broadcasting when he took a job at a radio station.
He joined Houston’s first television station in 1962. He became a household name while co-anchoring the "Scene at 5" newscast with Ron Stone.
His rapport and friendship with Stone was apparent to anyone who watched the duo. That chemistry is what made the newscast so enjoyable, according to Bruce Bryant, who directed the show.
“It had humor in a place that you wouldn’t normally find humor,” Bryant said.
The personality-driven newscast featured stories that were on the lighter side of news and finished with a chat segment that showcased the pair’s innate ability to connect with people.
“There was no pretense with them,” Bryant said.
In a segment that became the stuff of television lore, Johnson employed a chicken to help him tell the weather, but Wilma the Weather Chicken had her own ideas of what to do on television. Instead of pecking on the rain cloud or sun, Wilma took flight and landed on top of a camera. Johnson was bitten when he went to retrieve the fowl from her roost.
While there was the lighter side to his job, Johnson guided Houstonians through some of the worst natural disasters the city has ever experienced.
In addition to his television duties, Johnson also hosted a talk show on KPRC’s radio station for several years.
In 1994, Johnson signed off from broadcasting with a thank-you and a fond farewell to viewers.
“I can only give you back one thing, and that’s a wish that every day, for the rest of your life, you have that perfect combination of sunshine and widely scattered showers,” Johnson said.
Colleagues remember Johnson
Here are some of the tributes to Johnson that were posted on social media by his colleagues.
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