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Exclusive: Former Huntsville Chief Met Discusses Move to Maryland, Part One

In Alabama, CBS, Editor's Desk, Exclusive, Hirings, Huntsville-Decatur, Interviews, Weather on February 17, 2012 at 6:25 am

Dan Satterfield (Courtesy: WHNT)

As many local news blogs (including us) reported earlier this month, former WHNT chief meteorologist Dan Satterfield will soon be starting at WBOC, a CBS affiliate in the Salisbury, Md., market.

Many of you had questions regarding Satterfield’s move and his departure from WHNT in December 2011.

A few days ago, I conducted an impromptu interview with the 32-year weather veteran to try and get some answers to these unknowns. This will be the first of two parts; the second will hit in the next few days.

South TV News: First off, when do you/did you officially start at WBOC and what has been your experience at the station so far?

Dan Satterfield: I start March 5. The station is unique n that it is one of the few privately owned stations left in America. They have a chopper and a great facility. The GM there was the ND who hired me here in Huntsville 17 years ago. He was one of the best news directors I have ever known and a fantastic boss. As GM he has done even greater things at WBOC. The weather there is very fascinating with a true mid-latitude coastal climate and forecasting there is going to be a real challenge.

STVN: How is your workload compared to what it was at WHNT, in terms of coverage, etc., and what different weather situations would you encounter in a market like Salisbury?

DS: The workload will be similar but not nearly as much severe weather. That suits me fine, and I am looking forward to more marine forecasting on the coast and on the Chesapeake. Lots of farming/waterman on the Delmarva and when someone’s livelihood depends on the weather, that gets my attention. I’m a snow lover, and the area gets an average of 7-10 inches of snow a winter, (except this year!) and the summers last three months, not 5 (I like that fact a lot!). Hurricanes are also an occasional factor and I’ve not done that kind of forecasting since my Florida days.

STVN: Some say you can’t judge a station by its market size. Would you say that’s the case with your new job as well?

DS: The station is very unique and very loved in the area, and has ratings that are nothing short of amazing for this day [and] age. The Delmarva has a unique culture all its own, and the land/Bay and coast are beautiful, not to mention the region drips with history. Big-city culture like the National Symphony is just 100 miles away in Baltimore and DC as well. My wife and I are really looking forward to being a part of it.

In the coming days, I’ll post the rest of the interview, where Satterfield shares his views on using social media to interact with his viewers and what he hopes to accomplish after 32 years in the business.

That being said, there were some questions he did not answer in the Q&A, and I respect that. For example, he chose not to answer why he left WHNT last year, but that could also be contractually-driven. Simply put, I just appreciate the fact that he took the time to talk with South TV News. I hope to have more of these in the future from different states, because I think these “where are they now”-type features are great, especially for those of you who grew up watching Dan on the tiny box.

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  1. Did Dan family move to md? Is Dan still married?

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