Climate change

Sun is setting on iconic Austin weather reporter after 30 years at KXAN

Sun's setting on iconic Austin weather reporter after 30 years at KXAN

Jim Spencer KXAN
Jim Spencer is stepping back after three decades on the air. KXAN/Facebook

Through rain, sleet, snow, hail, and much more, Jim Spencer has been there to tell Austin residents when to bundle up and when to take cover. But after 30 years as a fixture on KXAN weathercasts, Spencer is going into semi-retirement and switching to part-time status.

Spencer joined KXAN’s weather team in 1990. Three years later, he was elevated to chief weathercaster — a job he’s held ever since at the NBC affiliate. Eric Lassberg, vice president and general manager of KXAN, calls Spencer “an Austin icon.”

“I told KXAN four years ago that I planned to decrease my workload after I reached 30 years on the air, and now is that time. But this is not a goodbye. You’ll still see me on KXAN, just not as often,” Spencer says in a story posted January 14 on the station’s website. “For the past 37 years, I’ve had the incredibly good fortune of living my childhood dream — telling people about the weather on television every day — [and] now I’m looking to also do some other things.”

Spencer says he plans to devote more time to charitable causes and business ventures.

Spencer is passing the full-time umbrella to David Yeomans, currently the weekday morning meteorologist at KXAN. Yeomans, who grew up in Austin, will shift to weeknights on March 1, the day after Spencer steps down from his full-time job.

Yeomans interned with Spencer during college and joined KXAN in 2012.

“I’ve been so fortunate to learn from the best in Central Texas,” Yeomans says. “Jim has been my mentor since age 19. To then have the chance to work side-by-side with him through some of Austin’s biggest weather events, and now carry on what he has built here at KXAN, is an incredible honor.”

With Yeomans’ move to weeknights, KXAN meteorologist Kristen Currie will appear on weekday morning newscasts. The station has hired Nick Bannin, a TV meteorologist in western Massachusetts, to take Currie’s place on weekend evening newscasts.