Wills’ Proper Sendoff and the New Gal in Town

This seems to be a year of departures on local TV, but none can match the sendoff WAVE-TV has given Tom Wills after four decades as the city’s senior meteorologist.

WAVE has given Wills an entire week of tributes, bringing back former personalities (this morning it was ex-anchor Julie Nelson, now in Minneapolis) to record memories. Names like Pia Cummings and Nell Taylor, who we haven’t seen on TV in a long time, recorded Wills tributes. WAVE’s taken us back to the major weather events Wills has covered, starting with the 1974 tornado and then the snowstorms in 1978 and 1994.

It’s certainly classier treatment than WHAS-TV gave its weather icon, Ken Schulz, when he retired early this year.  Of course, Wills wasn’t pushed out the door, either.

But regular viewers of the station may have had enough nostalgia, and today they get their final chance to say good-bye on WAVE3 Listens at 10.

And those who watched this morning’s show got a look at things to come — Wills introduced his replacement on the Sunrise show. There’s plenty to like about Christie Dutton, who grew up in Nicholasville, is a UK graduate and has worked in the Lexington and Cincinnati markets. She’s not hard to look at, and she’s got a meteorology certification at Mississippi State. So she must know her weather, and she knows what to expect in the Ohio Valley.

Dutton spent six years at WTVQ in Lexington before moving up to the Fox affiliate in Cincy, WXIX, in 2007.  However, Dutton’s tenure in Cincy was just over a year, as she was let go a year ago. On the air this morning, she said she’d be starting on the Sunrise show late next week.