In a surprising announcement, longtime Lexington weather anchor T.G. Shuck said he is resigning from CBS affiliate WKYT.
"It's all about my family. It's all about my wife and my three little girls," Shuck said in explaining his decision to step down after 11 years as chief meteorologist at the station and 11 years before that in various roles.
Shuck's last day is Friday, which comes after the end of the crucial February ratings period. The station plans to announce his successor during Wednesday's 11 p.m. newscast.
"It has nothing to do with my not enjoying what I do anymore," Shuck said in explaining his decision. "I love weather. I love what I do. I love the people I work with.
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"I've spent half my life at that place, but you just reach a point where your family needs you. And we just collectively felt like this was the right time to just take a step back and try to be more available."
Shuck said he began thinking about his future after the death of his father-in-law in the first half of 2011.
"With events like that happening, it makes you take a step back and think about your life and what's truly important to you," he said.
To Shuck, that's his wife, Angie, and three daughters — Sydney, 8; Brooklyn, 6; and Raleigh, 5.
"My girls are at the ages now when it's really important for me to be there for them as a father and be home with my wife as a husband," he said. "My poor wife has practically been a single mom for 10 years."
Shuck has no employment plans but said he has a few prospects in other fields and would like to stay around Central Kentucky.
"It's a chance you take, but we're faithful people," he said. "We have faith that an opportunity will come along, and we have a few options already."
Surprise has been the constant response as Shuck has told his colleagues of his decision this past week.
"I was shocked," said evening anchor Sam Dick, who said he understood Shuck's decision.
"I've been on the night shift for 24 years, and it's rough on the family," he said. "My kids are grown up, but his are not, and it's difficult."
Shuck's work has led to numerous honors for WKYT during the past decade. The Associated Press named him best television weather anchor in Kentucky for five consecutive years, from 2006 to 2010. He also won four regional Emmy Awards, including three for his work after the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in 2006.
Shuck's interest in aviation and experience in cockpits led him to serve as one of the anchors during the coverage of the crash.
"That sticks out the most to me in thinking about T.G." said WKYT news director Robert Thomas, who had been on the job just two weeks at the time of the crash. "Because he had a huge interest in aviation, he was crucial that day in helping us cover the story."
General manager Wayne Martin noted in a statement that he appreciated Shuck "being so passionate about keeping our viewers safe and informed about weather conditions."
Shuck's interest in the weather arose during a series of tornadoes in 1974 when he was 5 years old. Besides the Comair crash, he cited the tornado that ripped through Lexington's Masterson Station neighborhood in 2004 and the ice storm of 2003 as his most memorable days.
He joined WKYT as a videographer in 1990 while attending Georgetown College.
He worked in Charlotte, N.C., for a couple of years, then returned to WKYT as a videographer while working toward a meteorology degree. He was named weekend meteorologist in 1996, moved to weekday mornings two years later, and was promoted to chief meteorologist in 2001.
"WKYT is a family to me, but when the rubber meets the road, I need to be with the people who are most important to me," Shuck said.