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Forecast is Sunny for SoC Broadcast Alum, the New Meteorologist in Texas

    •  Ben Cathey
    • Ben Cathey

Recent School of Communication alumnus, Ben Cathey, B. S. C. ’11, avoided the dark cloud of unemployment following college graduation and secured a job as meteorologist for KWES NewsWest 9, the NBC-affiliate in Odessa, TX.
Since his youth, Cathey knew he wanted to be a meteorologist. At the University of Miami, he participated in UMTV, the student-run cable TV station, and auditioned to be weatherman for the channel’s half-hour news program, NewsVision, each of his four years here, finally landing the spot as a junior. Cathey became known around campus and on air for sporting a classic bow tie.

“My professors did a great job mentoring me and it helps working alongside a great news team,” says Cathey, 22, “I was confident I would get a job after graduation. Degreed meteorologists are in demand. Even in a down economy, people need to know if it’s going to rain today.”

Cathey said it helped that he contacted fellow UM SoC alumni in Texas, who immediately connected him with news directors in the area.
Broadcast Journalism faculty member Andrew Barton noted that Cathey was successful because he was persistent and knew the direction he wanted his career to go.
“He was a very good student and a bright guy, but he also knew early on exactly what he wanted and went for it,” says Barton. “He was delivering weathercasts on NewsVision as a junior, and by the time he graduated, he was polished enough to land a full-time on-air position.”
Cathey has found that his work at UMTV isn’t as far from the real world as most would think. The only added pressure is the size of the audience he reports for now. He no longer sports the bow tie he was so well known for at UM.

 Working for a live news station keeps him on his toes.

“They decided to throw me to the wolves my first weekend,” says Cathey. “Ten minutes before air on my first ever show, my weather computer died and two minutes before air, they found out we didn't have a director.”
Cathey’s Texas job isn’t always that trying. He finds that the most important role is standing out from his competitors.
“On a typical day, the challenge is not making the forecast but making the forecast compelling,” he says. “Creating viewer loyalty takes skill and I'm developing that.”
~ Christine Williamson
- Sept. 23, 2011

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