A hip-hop-loving newscaster brought a new meaning to the term frontin’ this week.
“When I do the news there's very little wiggle room for letting your guard down,” Tom Murphy told the Daily Dot. “Weather is important, but it also gives you an opportunity to showcase a lighter side. I don't know much at all about meteorology, but I do know a lot about pop culture. I love sports, and I love hip-hop, so I decided I wouldn't take myself too seriously and instead just have fun with it and try to be as natural as possible.”
That philosophy has helped Murphy gain attention on the Web this week after his highlight reel took off on Reddit Tuesday night. The video, titled “Just Havin’ Fun Out There,” has since been viewed more than 386,000 times.
If it hadn’t been for WBKB-TV’s meteorologist moving on to a new job, we may never have bore witness to Murphy’s clever quips, hip-hop references, and sports jokes while giving Northeast Michigan their weather forecast.
Since WBKB is based in a small market, Murphy decided to temporarily take on another responsibility in addition to his anchor and reporter duties. His bosses are fully supportive of his efforts as he tries to keep a regular weather segment on WBKB.
Rather than to seek Web infamy, Murphy posted his weather forecast clips to his YouTube channel to simply show his family and friends his take on doing weather forecasts.
“The reaction has been overwhelming. I didn't expect any of this. To see the (mostly) positive response the video has gotten has been surreal. It's amazing to see how something can spread so quickly.”
Murphy and his colleagues (there are just six members of the WBKB news team) are tight with each other and his YouTube success has livened up the newsroom.
“We've enjoyed reading some of the comments, especially the negative ones,” Murphy said. “But again it's been a shock to everyone. They've seen my weather forecasts night in night out, and we usually have some laughs about them, but nobody expected anything like this.”