Weathergirl

“Desperate” is not too strong a word to use to describe WGCL’s quest to find an audience. “Shameless” may or may not be too strong. Shame is for people with pride. As the fictional Marcellus Wallace said, pride only hurts and never helps.

Loosened from those bounds, WGCL has long favored promos like the one we heard Tuesday: “There’s no eleven o’clock news on channel two tonight! CBS 46 news is on time.” The promo, delivered on-camera by Dagmar Midcap, beseeches viewers to try WGCL merely because the viewer’s options are otherwise limited.

Another WGCL promo references the piece about Midcap in the AJC last week. WGCL cheerfully shows the newspaper headline: “Fresh faced forecaster gets high profile at lowly (in the ratings) channel 46.” It’s a promo beseeching viewers to overlook the station’s admittedly “lowly” status and hey, try us anyway.

We give WGCL credit for a curiously refreshing amount of honesty in both promos.

And you know what? We’re kinda rooting for Midcap. True, she’s no meteorologist. But she’s a personality, and WSB has topped the ratings for decades on the strength of one woman’s personality. Midcap has a certain amount of natural talent. She appears to be bright enough to conjure up and deliver a forecast. She appears to have a pulse. If the choice is between her and Glenn Burns– and there’s no severe weather threatening– why not Midcap?

If WGCL’s new regime can produce a smart, enterprising newscast while promoting Midcap as its “star,” we’re OK with that.

Our only gripe: Can’t WGCL promote Midcap without letting its billboard photos linger downward toward her sternum? Didn’t women like Barbara Walters, Lynn Harasin and Veronica Corningstone fight that sort of stuff decades ago? Seems like that disappeared with the concept of the “weathergirl.”

Oh, wait. Never mind.

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37 thoughts on “Weathergirl

  1. Steve

    But Dagmar is a “weathergirl”, just like the stereotypes of the 50′s and 60′s. With her knowledge and credibility (extreme lack of both), she is a turnoff, especially with her breathless delivery.

    Reply
    1. Elaine Busenlehner

      I hate to see Dagmar go. She knows as much as Glenn Burns does. They are all just guessing half of the time. Only God knows what is going to happen. I hate it when WSB spends 45 minutes talking about a tornado warning in sharpsburg Ga and just keeps repeating and repeating the same thing. Monica is the one that need to leave. She needs to retire SOON……

      Reply
  2. Edward

    I’m reminded of the billboards TNT had for their series “The Closer” with Kyra Sedgwick. I couldn’t tell whether they were promoting the TV series or women’s undergarments.

    Reply
  3. TravisBickle

    Sadly, another example of how hard work ultimately does not matter. Ms.Midcap may have worked her tail off to get this far, but that is not why she is where she is. We all know that.
    But hey, enjoy the glory Dagmar. Take it when you can. You may be the first to get canned

    Reply
  4. Fence Sitter

    You’re right in saying she is fine as a weather presenter when there is no severe weather threatening. However, when severe weather does occur, having an untrained person on-air presents a serious issue. Viewers tune in at such times for accurate information about where the storms are, where they are going and whether they are increasing or decreasing in intensity. A viewer’s decision on whether or not to seek shelter is greatly influenced by the information coming from the on-air weather person. It is not too much to say that such information can carry life or death implacations for the persons watching.

    For example, during episodes of tornadic activity, the on-air person needs to be able to quickly and correctly interpret the weather data he or she is receiving. It requires real time expertise that a “weather personality” simply cannot provide. Despite this, during the recent outbreak of tornados in North Georgia, WGCL had Midcap on the air forecasting the path of the storms. She did the best she could, but her weather knowledge was not much superior to that of the viewer. The problem for GCL of course was that it would have looked bad to pull their on-air weather person at such a time for whoever it was behind the scenes who actually does have weather expertise. But having an untrained person giving real time predictions for tornadic activity was not wise. GCL did have their other weather person on the air as well; maybe he was the one with some expertise in the area.

    I agree that Midcap has talent. She seems to be a reasonably intelligent person with an interesting background and good on-air personality. But she is a poor and inappropriate fit for weather forecasting. I would not be surprised to see her move on asap for something more in line with her strengths and experience–such as perhaps co-hosting a morning show. [FWIW, I have no problem with morning shows.]

    Reply
  5. statepark

    If you’re going to ding Dagmar for her education, have you ever listened to Laura Huckabee’s disjointed, convoluted presentations? It’s enough to make you pull your hair out. Now…if she’d only go back to wearing those see-through tops…

    Reply
  6. kenhotlanta

    I enjoy your blog immensely as I have been watching Atlanta news since the 50′s and it’s good to get a professional view of what really goes on at those stations.
    I have always liked Glenn Burns because his weather forecasts are usually concise and to the point. Not being much of a traveler, I could care less about the weather in Seattle, Detroit, or Boston…I just want to know if tomorrow will bring rain, sleet, snow or sunshine where I live and Glenn usually gets there a lot quicker than most weather people.
    Of course, I had much rather watch Ms. Midcap or Ms. Huckabee (no slouch in the cleavage dept either!), but we can’t have it all, can we?
    BTW whatever happened to Kay Flowers? She is not listed on the WXIA website any more…I always thought she was very talented and underused.

    Reply
  7. Matt

    BIG boobs = BIG ratings.

    Case in point – all the responses to this blog today!

    (ok – maybe not big ratings – but BIG interest)

    Reply
  8. Cari

    Call me crazy, but I do not get it (short of the giant fake boobs). She is quite possibly one of the dumbest people I have encountered in my 2 decade career.

    She is generally unpleasant and has yet to accept blame for any of her 1,000,000 mistakes since she arrived. Others take the fall when she complains to management.

    After 1 year she has yet to learn how to make 1 single weather graphic. She must have a producer or there would be no weather. She can not even say half the cities right in the province… errr, I mean state. Heck, she does not even know what iNews is.

    The worst part is she is a ‘personality’, but yet is devoid of it. Especially when presenting the weather when she sounds like a kindergarten teacher speaking softly to her class.

    There are many other girls with big boobs and personality that know nothing about the weather that could do a better job.

    I have no problem being different, but at least be good at being different.

    Reply
  9. Ima Believer

    She has a weather producer.

    I have always wished that the rest of the weather staff would call in sick one day so we could really see what she can do. HA! You’d have one :30 report.

    Folks, she’s NOT translating into ratings. T and A does not work in Atlanta. The 11pm show went from 3rd place to 4th in May. THAT should tell you something.

    Reply
  10. Deskie

    Ima and Cari are so right.
    It is a shame the way she treats the Production crew.
    After a year, you think she would bother to learn a few things instead of expecting a staff to handle how she looks on air.

    I think WSB got by on a little more than just one person’s talent. :)

    Reply
  11. craptastic

    Good point, Cari. You’d think being in a top 10 market they could find someone who is both a meteorologist and good looking person.

    Reply
  12. locutus of borg

    Its not just severe weather coverage 46 needs to worry about (though I have heard that when bad weather strikes, WSB’s ratings spike and everyone else’s goes down). I am told (though have no direct confirmation) that 46 avoids using the phrase “breaking news” because their internal studies have shown that when they say it, viewers immediately switch to WSB or WAGA. From my understanding, they use the phrase “news alert”. Again, this is not confirmed, only rumor.

    Reply
  13. Austin Rhodes

    I sat next to Joanne Feldman at the GABBY’s the other night…beauty and brains…right there in one little bitty package. And I mean that in a MOST respectful way!

    Reply
  14. North Gwinnett

    Hear! Hear! Thank you for this blog! I am so excited to see a broadcaster speak so candidly. REFRESHING!!
    PS I tune in to channel 46 just to see what they have thought of today. They are inconsistent and don’t even seem to be Atlanta residents. People that live here want to see and hear people who truly know and love this city. It’s not T and A or ‘personality’ which in many of their on-air people is questionable…. it is knowing the people and living here – breathing in all of the history and culture that make this part of Georgia so fantastic. Viewers can sense ladder climbers from true ATL’s = that is what separates the good from the ugly!

    Reply
  15. confused

    I’ve worked w/ her. Her boobs are not fake, she is really nice, she has weather producers, and believe me, weather is NOT what she wants to do. WGCL has A LOT of problems, but she is NOT the biggest one.

    Reply
  16. Ima Believer

    I will agree with confused.

    The general manager is the biggest problem. His ego is as big as his body.

    He’s the one who put Dagmar on the 4/6/11.

    Meredith needs to fire him NOW. The station has done nothing but sink under his “leadership.”

    Reply
  17. StevenCee

    What I don’t get is how important the weather is (no matter what’s happening) to WSB’s news broadcast, often being the lead story. I’ve never, ever, lived in a place (big or small), that had so much “alarm” over any change in the weather. We seem to always be getting warned, with Mr. Rogers’-like delivery, about possible rain, cold, heat, wind, storms, or even something as serious as a tornado.

    I really can’t see getting excited about a potential “hard-freeze”, in January (duh), or the chance of a brief snow flurry, etc..

    Plus, I find the “Atlanta’s most accurate” slogan about as disingenuous & fallacious as FOX’s “Fair & Balanced”… I think I put more stock in the daily horoscope than his forecasts, which I have literally seen wrong, at the very same time he’s giving it! And the five-day forecasts are even more detached from reality, I can’t count how many times we’re told the weekend will be fun in the sun, only to find Friday morning, the script is flipped, and it will rain all weekend. Or watched the little (5-day forecast) thumbnails in the newspaper, change completely from day to day, totally useless.

    Finally, when we did have the tornado that hit downtown, he followed another one the next afternoon, that according to him, was squarely hitting the airport (except it didn’t), and then smashing again into downtown, (which his own reporter on the ground didn’t see happen). With fantasy tornadoes, rain that isn’t supposed to be falling, but is, & all kinds of other less definite maybes & mights, does it really matter if the weather person is a trained meteorologist or just personable, and able to transmit the weather report?

    I’m not a huge fan of Dagmar’s, but I”m also not about to criticize her, she’s just trying to get into whatever she can, or has to do (the early morning show on 46 is horrible), to make it in TV in this market….

    Reply
  18. statepark

    I know why Atlanta stations want to talk about the weather as much as possible. It’s innocous. It doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings, and it allows them to avoid (as much as possible) the horrific reality of crime in the metro area.

    What is it? Five black-related murders/rapes/robberies a day in the metro area? And the local media usually won’t bother to give descriptions of at large felons. What a joke.

    Reply
  19. whippoorwill

    I personally like Ken Cook. Some of us don’t live in the metro area, much less inside the perimeter, but Atlanta is our TV outlet. He keeps following the storms as they move east/southeast and doesn’t forget about us out here in the “sticks.”

    I also think he has the most expertise and experience of them all and doesn’t put out the undue alarms.

    Reply
  20. Wrangler of Found Light

    No one in this BS blog has ANY idea of what he/sha says. Not “insiders”, much less, “outsiders”…

    Reply
  21. Justin

    I’m not surprised but I am disappointed that WGCL has promoted and sold Dagmar based on her looks. I watch all four stations’ broadcasts, so I already tune in to WCGL occasionally. Having her there has not made me watch them any more than usual though. Does her physical attractiveness and those tight shirts catch my eye? Yes. Just like when I see any female with an attractive body and tight clothes. But I also have very little respect for Dagmar and those other women. And that’s my initial judgement. If I get to know these women, maybe I gain respect for them. Although, based on my experience, I usually don’t.

    Doug wrote: “If WGCL’s new regime can produce a smart, enterprising newscast while promoting Midcap as its ‘star,’ we’re OK with that.”

    I believe there is an inherent contradiction in that statement. I don’t think I’ll consider WGCL’s newscast “smart” so long as an untrained personality does the weather. And if moves like this one are what WGCL thinks it should take to build a better newscast, then they are headed in the wrong direction.

    Reply
  22. gooberpeas

    Joanne Feldman is excellent for sure…..by the way, is it just me, or does anyone else see a resemblence to Barbara Feldman (Agent 99) ?

    I think Orelon Sydney has a great delivery, but she seems to have disappeared from the airwaves.

    Reply
  23. JasonC

    Orelon has been doing weekends on WXIA.
    I don’t know if she is freelance, P/T or F/T. I think she does a pretty solid job.

    Reply
  24. John

    When I was “informed” of WGCL’s hire of Midcap with some prime photos of her jumping in the air, my response was: “So basically, if I walk down the hall and tell my coworkers it’s raining out, I will inform more people of the weather than are watching her on TV”… the response was priceless: “And, you’d be far more qualified and accurate”.

    Send her back to the Cheetah, or wherever she came from.

    Reply
  25. sayejibley

    I’ve worked with Dagmar and she’s nice. Very chatty and passionate about lots of things, but not weather. She does seem to be impatient and rude to those “below the line.” She signed on to do Better Mornings and loved her Critter Corner and although she hasn’t said as much, I’m sure she’s not happy with the current situation. I don’t expect her to be around long. I think she’ll move on- go back to Canada or host some non-news show or something. I give her 6 months.

    Reply
  26. gooberpeas

    I finally caught a Dagmar weather report on tv the other night…

    I’m sure she’s a very sweet young lady, but I get the impression that she will appeal to the less cerebral of viewers….

    maybe she’s just trying to make the best of a bum assignment…..

    Reply
  27. StevenCee

    About 20 years ago, for the first time in Hawaii television history, a channel added a full-time “weather person”. He was hired off his long-time gig as a funny Top 40 radio DJ, and came to his new position, bringing his sense of humor & jokes with him.

    Well, he was fun, light-hearted, and to be honest, despite absolutely zero training in meteorology, he was FAR MORE ACCURATE than any of Atlanta’s highly touted “experts”!

    Of course, living in Hawaii, it’s pretty hard to say “Sunny & nice” and ever be wrong……..

    Reply
  28. gooberpeas

    I noticed that about tv news in Hawaii too….no weatherman….(I was last there in 1990)….

    but then, anyone can say “sunny & warm with a chance of rain this afternoon”

    Reply
  29. namitacud

    Did anybody else see Dagmar’s motorcycle review? It aired at 4:20 in the first or second week of June – I forget the exact day. Dressed in an expensive leather racing suit & helmet, she rode and commented on a racey Triumph 675. Gushing that it was smooth, beautiful and powerful, she proved that she’s a competent sportbike rider, no mean feat, but how is any motorcycle review news? Just like a train wreck, I could not peel my eyes away.

    Reply
  30. Pingback: The Cult of Dagmar « live apartment fire

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  32. Debbie Deviance

    YES!!! I agree that Joanne Feldmann is a dead ringer for Agent 99 from the old Get Smart series!!! That’s funny, I thought I was the only one noticing that too.

    But Agent 99 was played by Barbara Feldon, not Feldmann. (It’s okay, I swore it was Feldmann too until I looked it up.)

    LOL. Everytime I watch the weather on Fox 6:00 PM I keep waiting for Ken Cook to answer the phone in his shoe now.

    Reply

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