Still wondering why Channel 9 pushed meteorologist Lisa Teachman out the door earlier this year?
So is she.
“I still don’t know what happened,” Teachman said Wednesday, the day after it was announced she’ll be joining KCTV-5’s morning show.
1/2 years she’d worked three mornings a week alongside sunny KMBC weatherman Joel Nichols and weekend mornings on her own.
Then in January 2013 she got a call at home telling her she was being moved to nights: three weekday evenings “tag teaming” with chief meteorologist Bryan Busby, then solo Fridays and Saturdays.
It sounded like a promotion.
Teachman had a three-year contract that expired Aug. 1, she said. The station opted to extend it only in small chunks: first for three months, then two months.
Then, finally, one month. After Jan. 31, she was told, there would be no future for her at Channel 9. The station “wanted to go in a different direction.”
As her final day approached, she was prepared to get locked out of the building.
Friends at the station brought in a cake and cupcakes on her last day. Teachman recalls telling the news director, “I don’t get it, I don’t understand it — you of all people know how hard I’ve worked.”
Her work was always praised, she said. Never once, she added, was she asked to see a talent coach to improve her on-air presentation.
Asked for comment, Sarah Smith, KMBC’s president and general manager, said by email: “Lisa is a true professional and we wish her all the best.”
Last November, morning mainstay Nichols told Teachman he’d been offered her position, including Friday and Saturday nights. Shortly afterwardhe left the station
“To take him off something that he helped build and helped make No. 1, I don’t understand it,” Teachman said.
Nichols has so far not publicly discussed his exit from Channel 9. The station says he decided to leave.
“I learned so much from Joel,” Teachman said. “He could relate the weather story of the day like nobody else. I think I became a better person on air by working with Joel.”
Fans of Nichols and Teachman took to email and social media to protest.
“I was overwhelmed by the love and support of Kansas City,” Teachman says now. “I’m truly appreciative of their support.
“I never wanted to leave Kansas City. I never did, and I’m very thankful for this new opportunity at KCTV.”
Teachman and her husband, parents of three “fur babies” (dogs), live in Olathe, and she has family in the Wichita area.
Her new job will be a hybrid of weather and traffic reporting. She’ll appear on “It’s Your Morning” (4:30 to 7 a.m.) five days a week, which KCTV says will make it the only local station with two full-time morning meteorologists. She’ll work with meteorologist Gary Amble, “one of the nicest guys you can imagine.”
Darrin McDonald, KCTV’s vice president and general manager, was out of the office Wednesday, but in a statement he said of Teachman: “It was obvious to us that people enjoy watching her on television, and it was a slam-dunk decision to bring her to the KCTV5/KSMO-TV family.”
Teachman starts at Channel 5 on Thursday, but that will be for orientation and training. Her first day on air will be April 24.
After nine months of being in limbo, “I feel like my life can finally go on now,” she said.
“It was like I was living in the fog and the darkness, and now I’m in the happiness and the light.”