FPREN introduces new Chief Meteorologist Jeff George

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Jeff George has been named the new chief meteorologist for the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN). George comes to FPREN through KOKH-TV (FOX 25) in Oklahoma City, where he had worked since 2007 for 14 years as a chef. After a seasoned career in broadcasting, George comes to FPREN with a desire to make an impact and to seek a whole new challenge in his career. “That’s what’s important to me,” George said, “is making a difference.”

FPREN is a collective of 13 public radio stations that reach Floridians through radio shows and online stories featuring critical information during extreme weather events. The organization is headquartered at WUFT-FM/TV within the College of Journalism and Communication at the University of Florida. FPREN received the Community Lifeline Award in 2019 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for excellence in public service.

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FPREN’s new chief meteorologist, Jeff George

Originally from Pittsburgh, George found his calling in meteorology serving in the Air Force, which he joined in 1991. After stints in Florida, Mississippi and Italy, George found himself serving at Fort Polk, Louisiana as part of a combat weather unit. Enjoying this “brave” challenge for many years, George soon felt it was time to move on. In 1999 he joined KALB-TV looking for a new challenge. He had befriended the chief meteorologist who had insisted that George grant “This is where I needed to be,” George said. He then spent more than 20 years in television broadcasting serving the North Dakota, Ohio, Texas and Oklahoma markets before joining FPREN in June.

As for George’s goals at FPREN, he is very excited to “provide forecasting and safety measurements for the entire state of Florida and South Carolina” in this new role. “I look forward to promoting safety on a much larger scale.” George said, “While at the same time, on a smaller scale, I’m excited to mentor broadcasting students and prepare them for the world of television. That excites me as much as anything.” In addition to reporting on the weather across the state, FPREN also trains College of Journalism and Communications students for a future in forecasting. After so many years of experience, George said he is ready to start passing that knowledge on to the next generation.

George wants the public to know that FPREN staff thoroughly study weather science when making decisions about safety. Because more than anything, George is passionate about the people of Florida. “We legitimately care about people and their safety,” he said. “Our job is to protect people and make sure they are aware of all the dangers associated with each tropical system. Whether it’s new information or reminders, the bottom line is that our mission is to make sure everyone and their families are taken care of before, during and after big events.

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