EXCLUSIVE: CBS46 drops chief meteorologist Paul Ossmann


Originally posted Monday, April 8, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

CBS46 relieved chief meteorologist Paul Ossmann of his duties suddenly and without explanation Monday.

"We are unable to comment on personnel matters per policy," said his former boss Steve Doerr.

Ossmann started in Atlanta at WAGA-TV in 1988 and helped launch "Good Day Atlanta" with the late Amanda Davis in the early 1990s. He was the long-time 11Alive chief meteorologist before being dismissed in 2011 after 13 years. At the time, he filed for bankruptcy protection, gave up his $900,000 Alpharetta home to foreclosure and saw his marriage fall apart.

But he said he got his act together with a lot of prayer and hard work and remarried in 2015. He joined CBS46 in 2012 as a freelancer doing weekend/fill-in work, then helped out with traffic, which led to a full-time morning meteorologist job paired with Jennifer Valdez. In 2017, he was named chief meteorologist by then general manager Mark Pimental. (Lyle Banks took over for Pimental early last year.)

"When my life came crashing down," Ossmann said in 2017, "all you have is yourself and your work ethic and reputation... There are certain checks and balances that happen in life. I had a big one in 2011... I just made it clear to myself that opportunities are available. Just be ready for them. Don't ask questions. Don't ask why. Be prepared."

At the time, he said he stayed humble and didn’t lobby for the chief meteorologist job: "I knew I had more in the tank. I'm glad that things worked out the way they did."

Ossmann declined to comment about his departure.

UPDATE: On Tuesday morning, his work Facebook page “Paul Ossmann CBS46” merged with “Paul Ossmann Weather.”

And this note appeared, which shed no light on the situation. It’s unclear who is his “social media team.” :

Hi everyone it's Paul's social media team. As you may of heard, Monday was Paul's last day at CBS46. He's fine, thank you everyone for your kind notes and emails. Paul is going to be taking some time offline as he moves ahead with other projects he works on and will continue to post here with your local forecast discussions.

Later, as fans started posting negative comments about CBS46, this came up:  “We aren't here to bash CBS, they were great to him for 8 years and he is very thankful to them for bringing him on after leaving 11Alive.”

I found out CBS46 staff had access to his site and had posted all that, calling themselves “Paul’s social media team.” He has no such thing and Ossmann had no input into the above statements. The “Paul Ossmann CBS46” page was taken down Tuesday afternoon and the comments above have disappeared into the Facebook ether.

Ossmann now maintains a personal page for friends only.


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>>RELATED: My 2011 story after Ossmann left 11Alive and had to file for bankruptcy protection

Last December, a local news gossip website called FTVLive posted some notes allegedly passed between evening anchors Sharon Reed and Thomas Roberts, one of which mocked Ossmann. My sources tell me those notes were legitimate but it didn't appear Reed or Roberts were tangibly punished.

UPDATE: On Tuesday night’s 11 p.m. newscast, Reed announced Ossmann’s departure with a brief statement, noting: “Paul remains a colleague and a friend to so many of us. We certainly wish Paul the best.”