Former Georgia radio, TV meteorologist John Wetherbee has died

He was a mid-day host during oldies Fox 97.1′s heyday in the 1990s



John Wetherbee, a veteran Georgia TV and radio personality, died of cancer Tuesday at age 71, his family said.

The death was a surprise despite Wetherbee’s ongoing illness, said Georgia News Network director John Clark. The network was using Wetherbee’s daily weather reports for about 100 radio stations.

“I just talked to him last week,” Clark said. “He seemed to be in great shape. He was undergoing treatment. It’s a shock. It really is.”

Wetherbee spent more than 30 years in Georgia. He worked for a time as a meteorologist at the CBS-TV affiliate in Atlanta and spent several years at the Atlanta oldies station Fox 97.1 as a mid-day host during the station’s heyday in the 1990s. He started his own weather network in 1997, providing reports to hundreds of stations nationwide over the years.

Wetherbee’s friends said he radiated positivity and care for others. “He’d call different people in radio every week just to see how they were doing,” Clark said. “I never saw him down a single time.”

Spiff Carner, morning co-host at Fox 97.1 during Wetherbee’s tenure, said, “If he moved next door to Mr. Rogers, it would instantly become Mr. Wetherbee’s neighborhood. He was that nice.”

And his nickname was “Big John” because of his 6-foot-9-inch frame.

“We used to tease him that his weather forecasts were so accurate because his head was already in the clouds,” Carner said.

Wetherbee was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2014 and more recently, the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame for 2024.

In a statement, Bob Houghton, who runs the GAB, said he has known Wetherbee’s “energy never slowed down. I can tell you that when I called him to tell him he was being inducted into the GAB Hall of Fame, the very first thing he said was, ‘How can I help you?’ And that was so typical of John. There wasn’t a nicer guy in the business.”

Wetherbee, who was born in Columbus, Ohio, worked at radio stations in Cincinnati and Chicago before coming to Atlanta to be operations manager at WALR-FM, then a soft pop station.

Dennis Winslow, vice president of the Friends of Georgia Radio non-profit group, hired Wetherbee after WALR changed formats, giving him a slot at Fox.

“He truly loved radio,” Winslow said. “And he loved weather. He was able to bring both of them together.”

In recent years, Wetherbee lived in Savannah.

Wetherbee is survived by his wife Diana, his three daughters Cristen, Sara and Heidi and five grandchildren.

The funeral will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggested donations to either the American Cancer Society or Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.