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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Lonnie Quinn, Chief Weathercaster of CBS 2 News

Lonnie Quinn is the chief weathercaster of CBS 2 News at 5, 6 and 11PM weekdays. He also serves as the national weather anchor for the Saturday edition of THE EARLY SHOW.

Quinn joined WCBS-TV in 2007 after a five year run at WTVJ, in Miami, FL. Quinn's television career actually started as an actor on ABC's All My Children. That experience allowed him to develop a comfort in front of the camera which helped him to perform exceptionally in local and national broadcasting. After changing careers from acting to broadcasting, Quinn's first newsroom job was at WVIR in Charlottesville, VA. He was hired as a cameraman but three months into the job, a chance to report in front of the camera solidified his new career path. Soon his duties included full time reporting and anchoring the weekend weathercasts. While in Charlottesville, Quinn covered stories related to the Thomas Jefferson/Sally Hemings controversy and the famous baby switch at the University of Virginia hospital. He also reported extensively on the rising political career of Emily Couric before her unfortunate death in October 2001.

Miami, FL was the next stop and it was a turning point in Quinn's career. Not only was he promoted to full time weather anchor, but also allowed to develop his own, unique style. Quinn has always been a fan of the weather and he hates the idea of a boring weathercast. His goal always is to give the viewers the information they need in an engaging and entertaining way. Quinn feels that if he is excited by the weather, then the viewers should be too! By 2005, Quinn was one of Miami's most popular on-air personalities and guided the area through the most active hurricane season in history. For five years, Quinn worked closely with Max Mayfield at the National Hurricane Center. He also joined the "Hurricane Hunters" collecting data on a category 5 hurricane as they flew through the eye of "Isabel" off the coast of North Carolina. Quinn is a private pilot himself and holds a meteorology certification from the FAA.

Outside of the weather, Quinn loves to report a good story. His belief is every other station in town will most likely be covering the same event…you had better come up with some way to make your storytelling stand out. He is a proud winner of an Emmy award for best on-air talent.

Quinn graduated from Boston College, where everyone follows the motto "Ever to Excel" which is also the foundation for Whom You Know, magna cum laude with a B.A. in speech communications. Whom You Know love love LOVES Boston College and we think they breed Movers and Shakers. Lonnie is a huge sports fanatic and swam competitively in college. Decency in broadcasting prevents him from ever putting on a "Speedo" again. Thus…you can now find him playing racquetball weekday mornings at the Westside Y in NYC. A native of Cheshire, Connecticut, he currently lives in Manhattan with his wife, Sharon, and his son, Nate. He 100% totally digs this job. Whom You Know is totally psyched to present him as our latest Mover and Shaker!

Peachy Deegan interviewed Lonnie Quinn for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: How did you like Boston College?
Lonnie Quinn: I loved BC! In my opinion, it was the best collegiate experience I could have asked for. To this day my closest friends are my roommates from BC.

What were you involved with there?
I swam all four years while I was in college. I actually held a number of BC records going into my junior year. As it turns out…that was the year this hot shot freshman arrived and proceeded to trounce me in every race from that point forward. What’s up w’ dat? Didn’t that kid understand the whole concept of respecting upper classmen? I’ll never forget that. The guy’s name was John Blood and regardless of the fact that he was half a foot taller than me…he was also twice the swimmer I could ever hope to be. To top it all off, he was such a good guy…you just couldn’t help but like him.

Peachy Deegan was a sportswriter there and kept stats for the hockey team... (did you have Dr. Pick in communications?)
“Pick” ? Of course I had him. It always seemed to me that Dr Pickleseimer could not have been his real name. And if it was…he had to be a related in some way, shape, or form to Englebert Humperdink.

What events did you excel at as a swimmer?
I was a back stroker.

What is your most favorite story that you have ever reported on and why?
I reported on this 10 year old runner who had just set the record as the fastest 10 year old in US history. His name is Ronell Hall but everyone called him “Speedy”. I just thought he was the coolest kid. I also enjoyed checking my ego at the front door in order to really “show and tell” the story. I started off by explaining the facts. Next, I actually took off my suit jacket and raced a number of the young kids on the team. I ran as hard as I could and…with no hesitation..I admit to crushing all the kids. Heartless? Yes, but my payback was coming…a one on one race with “Speedy”. We ran a 100 yard dash and I wasn’t even in the picture at the end of the race. I loved the idea that we gave the viewer a very real representation of just how fast this kid was. He was amazing.

What do you like about doing your job in New York the most and why?
I grew up in the tri-state area so I love putting together forecasts that affect so many of my family and friends.

How do you like doing local news versus national news-i.e. Channel 2 versus the CBS Early Show?
I like doing local news because it is so weather intensive. It keeps you up to speed on your meteorology. Everybody is affected by the weather and consequently…it’s the one element of the newscast that everyone needs to hear. National newscasts, especially the morning programs, are so much more personality driven and that allows me to have a bit more fun and be a lot more spontaneous.

What is your favorite drink?
Pineapple and vodka. I don't think it has an actual name. What the hell, let's give it one: A Loaded Hawaiian

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
Brother Jimmy's

What is your favorite Manhattan book?
No Fee New York

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? Rollerblade through Central Park at night...VERY QUICKLY

What do you think is most underrated and overrated here?
Underrated: the subway Overrated: NYC Taxis

How can Whom You Know readers contact you?
Contact me at:

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