2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Matt Meister talks about leaving KRDO

Published: March 20, 2014, 12:18 am, by Terry Terrones

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On Tuesday KRDO-TV announced that Chief Meteorologist Matt Meister was leaving the station to take a job with Falcon School District 49 to be their Director of Communications. After the announcement I traded emails with Matt to ask about his departure from the station.

Gazette: Any particular reason for the switch? How did this move/transition originally come about?
Matt Meister: Yes, my most important roles in life of husband and father. My kids are getting to the age where sports and activities aren’t always on Saturday morning. When I’m in the rocking chair at the end of my life, I’ll answer to my heavenly Father, my wife and my children in regards to what type of life I’ve lived and if I gave it everything I had. When my kids are struggling with homework, I need to be there. When my son hits a home run or strikes out to end a baseball game, I need to be there. When my daughter needs help with the melody of a new song she is learning on piano, I need to be there. When my wife puts her head on the pillow at the end of a long day, I need to be there.

Gazette: I know you visit a lot of schools and have school age children. Did that impact your decision?
Meister: Absolutely. I love the energy that the students and teachers share in the classroom. It is such a vibrant and exciting environment. I’ve been witness to shrinking budgets region wide, which is why we created the StormTracker 13 in the Colorado Classroom weather book and program to give back. Joining the effort to educate our children and provide support for those on the front lines is a very logical career step for me.

Gazette: Are your kids in D49?
Meister: We’ve been in our home since 2004, prior to having children. While I don’t live in D-49, I’ve been in many of our classrooms in my role at KRDO and I am excited to be part of a school district with a clear understanding of past and current successes and the challenges we face. We are committed to being the best district by working to earn and maintain the trust of our community by serving the needs of every student in our diverse portfolio of schools.

Gazette: What will you miss most about broadcasting?
Meister: I’ll miss two things the most – two different groups of people. I’ve been blessed to work with and compete against highly intelligent, creative and hard working people that pushed me to be the best I could each and every day. I’ll miss the camaraderie and laughter. Secondly, I’ll miss the viewers. I have been so fortunate to have a great relationship with our viewers. I’ve been real with them and they’ve been real with me. I am grateful for their support. When I think about how many people in southern Colorado have invited me into their homes over the years, it is very humbling. I am proud to be part of such a strong and resilient community. I am amazed and inspired by the caring and generosity we have for each other when times are tough and people are indeed. We are Colorado strong!

Gazette: What are you most looking forward to?
Meister: I am most excited to get to know the rest of the Communications Team that I’ll be working with as we support the students, teachers, administrators and Board of Education of D-49. As I go through life I continue to learn its’ the relationships that matter. The people we love and have in our lives make the tough days bearable, the great days worth celebrating and the journey worth making.

Gazette: I believe Fox21′s Joe Cole had a similar (if not the same) position with D49 before you did. Did you talk to him about the job?
Meister: I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to Joe yet, he is quite the busy man! We are good friends though and calling him is on my to do list. There are a couple others that have made the transition from news to the educational environment and I plan on reaching out to them as well.

Gazette: Did the departure of Eric Singer and Joe Dominguez have anything to do with you leaving? Is there a change of climate at KRDO that viewers aren’t aware of?
Meister: Not at all. I love KRDO and it is as strong as it has ever been. The opportunity to continue to serve my community with a more traditional schedule that will allow me to spend more time with my family was something I could not pass up.