Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Is this the new Chief Meteorologist at KOCO Channel 5?

To answer the question that was so innocently teased in the headline: No, that’s not the Chief Meteorologist at Channel 5. It’s actually Jennifer Zeppelin. She’s a back-up weatherperson at KTUL Channel 8 in Tulsa and is temporarily filling-in at KOCO Channel 5 until they’re finally able to coerce someone into accepting their open Chief Meteorologist position. We know this because it’s what Channel 5 told us yesterday during their 10pm newscast.

However, that didn’t stop the Ogle Mole Network from informing us that a random new face was playing around with the First Alert Doppler and reviewing the seven-day forecast. Check out some emails we got last night:

It looks like Channel 5 has hired the new chief meteorologist. Her name is Jennifer Zepplin. Not bad looking.

I bet you guys are all over this. 5 has a new weather chick named Jennifer Zeppelin. I thought David Payne was taking Rick’s spot.

New cougar on channel 5 weather and not a word from TLO.  Slipping.

I’m proud of a lot of the things we’ve accomplished here at The Lost Ogle, but becoming the apparent go-to source for Oklahoma City weather gossip is not one of them. Yes, I know we’ve brought it upon ourselves with the coverage we give to the local media and weather deities, but I still think it’s kind of strange. I mean it’s okay if someone sends us pictures of Emily Sutton singing or dancing or dreaming about me, but reporting on news like this makes me feel silly.

All that being said, I’m going to feed the beast on this and pass along the rumors I’ve heard about Channel 5’s ongoing search for the next third place weatherman in the Oklahoma City market. After that, I’m then going to drink heavily and cry.

• Channel 5 wanted David Payne, but either the price wasn’t right or David Payne wasn’t interested. Payne is a hot commodity in this market. He’s so dominant in the ratings that I heard Channel 9 considered going after him as a replacement to Jed Castles, but Gary England wouldn’t allow it.

• Other names being considered or tossed around are KOCO morning weatherman Damon Lane, Tulsa weatherman and Mike Morgan nemesis Dan Threlkeld and possibly former KWTV 9 nice guy Zach Daniel, who is the current chief at WTVR in Richmond. One of those people may have been offered the job, but turned it down because, according to a mole, “the pot wasn’t sweet enough.”

• Dean Blevins is reporting there’s a 50% chance that Stoops takes the job.

• This isn’t related to Rick Mitchell’s departure, but Jim Gardner has finally started over at Channel 9. This is something we reported over a year ago. His chopper is being sponsored by Bob Mills. Now all we need is Channel 5 to get their own chopper and go after Bob Howard for a sponsorship.

Anyway, that’s all I “know” about the Channel 5 stuff. I have no clue if any of it’s true or not, but let’s hope it is. Then I can say things like “You heard it here first.”


  1. Jennifer Zeppelin ROCKS!!! She’s confident and experienced. I vote for Jennifer!!! I think she’d be a great addition to the KOCO TV on air, prime time cast!!!

  2. “Weatherman” may not be the best choice of words. Hopefully KOCO isn’t only considering men for the job.

  3. She’s very bright and camera friendly but she has a disconcerting habit of staring into the camera all thru her report and never looking at the map behind her. Also, her husband works for the OSU foundation so I suppose his job is to dole out T-Bone’s vast amount of wealth to undeserving aggies.

    My vote is for Rusy McGranie. I think he’s the best of what’s available.

  4. I find it funny that KOCO is looking a current/former OKC meteorologist to be Chief Meteorologist. You would think KOCO would start looking in other TV markets for an Chief Meteorologist.

    I thought that Jennifer Zeppelin was OK, I wasn’t very impressed with her.

  5. No response one way or the other to Jennifer Zepplin. But check out Brooke Wagner, the anchor she worked with in Denver:

  6. Speaking of weather news, nothing on the KFOR possum infestation? One ran across Emily Sutton’s foot. Is she okay? Can Joleen Chaney use her mad rural Oklahoma skills to lure them away like the Pied Piper of OKC?

    • I never saw a possum until the city tore half my neighborhood down in favor of new busneses.Then all those animals came right out of the woodwork.

  7. My understand is Dan T was too overbearing for the rest of the Channel 5 staff so they passed on him… Damon Lane was never in contention nor was any of the other KOCO meteorologists. If I had to guess they are in money saving mode right now. With Rick’s salary gone they can save money for the next six months while they go meteorologist shopping….

    • They know that anyone can tell you whats coming,but noone can tell you what will happen when it gets here./So…It does not matter who tells you the weather,they’re not going to be right.

  8. Tulsa Channel 8 also has a chief meteorologist opening, Frank Mitchell resigned. Most people feel Jennifer will move up there. Maybe she has her pick of either job. I used to live in Colorado and she’s well regarded there. Sarah Libby has been on Channel 8 off and on as well.

  9. Jim Gardner also had a heart issue that kept him grounded.

    He has just recently been medically cleared.

    The contract thing was so last year.

  10. So, was that heart attack story just practice for when Garnder has a heart attack while covering a tornado during a Thunder game?

  11. Jim Gardner HAS NOT been cleared by FAA to fly. He is being FLOWN by another pilot and is riding shotgun and doing the on-air reports. News9ers not happy with 2 pilots on the payroll but since Bob Mills picks up the tab who cares.

    Bobbie Miller just had her kid, KFOR likely loving the fact the insurance isn’t taking another hit right now.

    KOCO management is still searching for a Chief Met replacement, Dan T did not wow the current staff with kindness so he is out. David Payne apparently cost too much to captain a sinking ship. Zach Daniels has apparently been promised Lord Gary’s gig and refused the interview.

    This leaves KOCO in a bit of a pinch. However without a severe weather event on the horizon barring a “2nd season” in late Sept.-Oct. or a harsh winter with blizzards they have time to pick & choose. But just as with their “No Name” anchor selections of the past saving money doesn’t equate to drawing viewers or taking an axe to KWTV or KFORs rating dominance.

    The caveat… if Ms. Zeppelin can be the counter to over the top weather warriors Lord Gary and Morgasim.
    Proof is in the pudding, not to say she could not hold her own, but Rick was always recognized as the “calm one” and he could never break out of 3rd place.

    Throw in a Sky5 that spends more time getting gas and is underpowered compared to the other 2 whirlybirds with an unknown pilot, plus lack of an ace field chaser and you just don’t have the recipe. The curve is too long to get more than 1 or 2 good cracks at it during a severe season.
    KOCO really should take the opportunity to throw the kitchen sink in but Hearst is likely saying lowball the offers so we can look good in the 4th quarter.
    The KOCO Met job ad thinned the candidate pool to 10+years experience in severe coverage. They should still have some solid resumes flying in as OKC is considered a weather mecca.
    Time will tell TV fans.

    • Wow, Chris Lee has chased in OKC longer than anyone and yet he’s not considered an “ace” chaser?
      Oh and Hearst sucks, as does their KOCO General Manager and all the other Department Chiefs just sit back and earn a paycheck.

  12. Update…just saw on TVSpy.com that Channel 8 will be “Led” by Ms. Zeppelin. Which leaves one to wonder (at least me anyway) if KOCO will give the gig to Damon “I’m not Ed Hochuli” Lane or Prof. Steve Carano.

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