Back in January, we let everyone know that Mary Ann Eckstein was stepping down as the news director at KFOR Newschannel 4. The report came as a shock to many. Mary Ann had been with KFOR for 33-years; long enough to remember when Mike Morgan wore regular ties, the Ogle men were just the Ogle boys, and Gene Wheatley had a farm report.
I’m still not sure what to think about KFOR’s Lance West (pictured above). On one hand, he seems like a cool, funny and laid back dude. On the other, he’s a little goofy and weird. I’d compare him to the co-worker you’d invite out to happy hour with your friends, only to learn that he drinks strawberry daiquiris and plays video poker.
Lance has made quite a name for himself over the years for producing weird, off-beat sweeps stories. He’s swallowed swords, sipped his own urine, and I think one time even dressed up like a fat version of Mike Steely’s ex-wife and flirted with Bob Barry Jr. These types of stories went on a hiatus when Lance was stuck in the purgatory known as the Freedom 43 Morning Show, but now that he’s back in primetime they are starting to resurface.
The first one we noticed aired last week when Lance conducted a sophisticated experiment to see whether or not Oklahoma motorists are turtle killers. Turns out, we just like to kidnap and race the turtles in Crescent. This week, Lance decided to turn things up a notch and show first graders a videotape of Tim McVey’s execution.Yep, it’s good to have Lance back and in full form.
From a story called “Already Antiques:”
We’re currently in the heart of May sweeps. It’s the annoying time of the year when desperate reporters and even more desperate new directors stoop to the lowest of lows to bring in viewers. Most of the time, the stories they run are your typical over-sensationalized, fill in the blank, fear driven pieces, like “12 Hidden Dangers Found Inside Your Microwave,” “How To Tell If Your Teen Is Sexting the Sexual Predator Who Might Be Hiding In Your Attic Right Now,” and “Watch Amanda Taylor Annoy Some Country Musician.”
Occasionally, though, reporters go outside the typical box of fear, paranoia and shitty interviews and produce a story that’s so ridiculous that it just has to be watched. KFOR’s Lance West is one of those reporters, and his story on Channel 4 tonight looks like one of those reports. Here’s a preview sent to us by an Ogle Mole:
So far, the biggest development of this severe storm season has been a lack of actual severe storms. I know we’re just now entering May and anything can happen, but we still haven’t had a multi-vortex mega grinder tree debarker hit a small town or Moore. That’s good and everything, but if you dropped $4,000 for a storm shelter over the winter, you have to feel kind of ripped-off.
The second biggest development has been the arrival of KFOR’s new bionic storm chase Reed Timmer. Not only does the former reality show star and PhD candidate bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to Mike Morgan’s weather team, but he also rolls around in the Dominator – a futuristic armored storm chasing machine complete with grounding spikes, unbreakable double-pained glass and probably a flux capacitor. Here’s a pic of the beast and its master:
The sudden arrival and emergence of Reed and has Dominator surprised everyone. This includes KWTV Channel 9. Now, in a “It’s so obvious it’s embarrassing” response, the OKC ratings leader is having a contest to help nickname David Payne’s storm chasing vehicle. They haven’t announced what the grand prize is, but if it doesn’t include playing catch with Gary England or a trip to the beach with Lacey Swope, I’ll be disappointed.
Anyway, because this is the type of stuff we do, I asked out contributor network (Tony, Spence, Marisa, Chelsea, Joel, Zeb, Chad, etc.) if they had any name suggestions. They did. Some are pretty good. Here are 18 of them:
1. XXXXtreeeme Mountain Dew Red Bull Storm Chaser HD 3000
From what I’ve heard, David Payne drinks a mixture of Red Bull, Mountain Dew and Dean Blevin’s Smart Ones for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He’s a dare-devil.
2. The Dominatrix
If they go with this, maybe we’ll finally get to see Lauren Nelson in leather.
3. The Overcompensator
This is probably the best possible name, but only because it’s true and accurate. Hell, it would be a great nickname for the Dominator, too.
That image is the new promotion graphic for the Channel 4 weather team. I’m not sure why they look so disappointed. I think they were either trying too hard to be serious or they know you just spent 20-minutes today looking at Internet porn. It has to be one of the two.
The Mountain Dew drinker pictured on the far left is Reed Timmer. He’s the station’s new bionic storm chaser. Mike Morgan announced yesterday that Reed will be the guy to replace longtime KFOR weather sidekick “Daredevil” David Payne.
Reed is actually a well-known celebrity in the storm chasing world. He’s starred in a reality show, has 65,000 Twitter followers, and even has his own Wikipedia page. Here’s his bio:
Reed Timmer is a meteorologist and professional storm chaser who starred in the now canceled American documentary reality television series Storm Chasers. He also starred in the documentary film Tornado Glory.
Timmer became interested in the weather at a young age after experiencing a severe thunderstorm that reportedly dropped golf ball-sized hail in his yard. After winning the national championship in the tree identification event at the 1996 Science Olympiad, Timmer began studying meteorology at the University of Oklahoma in 1997. In October of that year, he filmed his first tornado. He earned a B.S. and M.S. at OU and, as of March 2010, is a Ph.D. candidate.
So not only can provide the strength, size and track of a tornado, but he can tell you what trees it destroyed, too. That’s impressive. The only thing David Payne could do was smell pine.
In addition to all that, Reed rolls around in an armored vehicle called Dominator 4. No, I’m not making that up. I think the vehicle was made in a secret underground lab by Morgan Freeman.
Here are a few pics:
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