13 WREX meteorologist Justin Ballard leaves station for Florida


ROCKFORD – Forecasts herald a dramatic change of scenery for meteorologist Justin Ballard, who is leaving 13 WREX for a concert in the Sunshine State.

Ballard, 30, accepted a job at the PBS station on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville.

Ballard joined 13 WREX in August 2018. His last day at the station was Sunday.

The move south is bittersweet, Ballard said.

“My partner and I have called the Stateline home for the past three years,” Ballard said in a Facebook post. “From nights spent on the Prairie Street wharf to drinks on The Office patio, this community has been so kind to us. I can’t forget the many community events I was able to attend. Oh, and the people I work with. A group of absolute professionals, with whom I am so proud to have had the honor to work alongside for the past three years.

Ballard is the latest in a series of 13 on-air WREX personalities who have left the station in recent months.

Following:13 WREX news anchor Kristin Crowley is bound for Atlanta

News anchor Kristin Crowley left Rockford in March for a position as an investigative reporter at WXIA-TV in Atlanta.

Crowley’s former co-host, James Stratton, left WREX 13 in August for a position as chief investigative reporter and deputy presenter at KCCI-TV, the CBS affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa.

Investigative reporter Mary Sugden left the station earlier this month for reporting work at WOI-TV, ABC’s Des Moines affiliate.

Ken DeCoster: [email protected]; @DeCosterKen

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