Beloved Hudson Valley Weatherman Gives Heartfelt Goodbye
A longtime weatherman in the Hudson Valley is saying goodbye to the local area in what he says is for a now a "forced retirement".
Early Wednesday morning, FiOS1 News meteorologist Joe Rao announced it was a "sad day for me career-wise" because it marked the final day for Fios 1 News.
"And with it, what might very well be my final day as a broadcast meteorologist," Call it a 'forced-retirement,' Rao wrote in a heartfelt message to fans on Facebook.
In August, Verizon Fios announced it was shutting down its local news channel in the Hudson Valley in November. Verizon decided not to renew the contract with RNN out of Rye Brook, which at the time when the announcement was made said would lead to 150 employees being laid off. Verizon later announced a deal with Altice USA (Optimum).
"Certainly, I did not want to end my career in this manner," Rao said.
Rao who lives in Putnam County has been working as a meteorologist since 1978, first on the radio and then TV. He's been nominated for eight Emmys. However, despite his vast experience, he says he hasn't been able to find another job.
"But over the past few months I’ve gradually come to the realization that my handicap is . . . well, my experience; I have TOO MUCH of it," he wrote. "Translation: I’m old. In the 21st century world of television, everything is skewed toward a younger demographic. Maybe, if a much younger version of me (see below) applied for a job as a weather anchor, I’d have a better chance of at least getting a call back when I applied for a job. So far, after all the portfolios have been distributed and all of the on-line applications were filled out, my phone has yet to ring once!"
Rao still has hope he lands a job in broadcasting and even mentioned a desire to teach meteorology or astronomy as an adjunct at a college in the Hudson Valley.
Rao ended his post with a heartfelt thank you to the people of the Hudson Valley.
"I just want to say to all of you that my years of broadcasting, both on radio and on television have been spent very warmly, because you’ve invited me into your homes. And that’s a nice place to be, for two thirds of your life. Thanks for listening . . . and watching.