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Tom Skilling announces retirement

Tom Skilling, a fixture of Chicago television and beloved by generations, announced Thursday he will retire next year after 45 years at WGN.

His last day on air will be February 28, 2024.

“There’s no formula for this. I am going to retire at the end of February after a marvelous 45 years at this incredible television station,” Skilling said during his announcement on the WGN Evening News Thursday. “We all get to a point where we have to make a decision. ‘Is it time to retire. It’s the toughest decision.”

Skilling started his successful career at the unheard-of age of 14 in Aurora, while still in high school. He had a series of radio and TV jobs in Illinois and Wisconsin before coming to WGN-TV in August of 1978. Known for his in-depth and highly detailed weather segments, Tom has elevated the audience’s understanding of not just the weather, but the science behind it.

In addition to his weather forecasts on WGN News, Skilling hosted nearly 40 years of severe weather seminars at Fermilab, often welcoming in a “who’s who” of severe weather experts from around the world. Tom has also reported firsthand on the weather from locales as varied as AlaskaLas Vegas, an ice-breaking ship in the middle of Lake Huron, and, most famously, was once chased by a tornado in Oklahoma.

Skilling is a multiple Emmy Award-winner from the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and funds a scholarship to assist a local college student each year. He was presented with the Illinois Broadcasters Association “Broadcast Pioneer” award in 2018. In recent years, he has dived headfirst into the science of climate change, leading talks and participating in conferences across Chicago and the United States.