SO LONG!

Hey Folks, Jamey Singleton here.

I’ve been with the Cable 12 family on and off since I was 15 years old. Back then, I was already learning how to do weather in front of a green screen before school in the morning. Steve Oakes had to take me to school in the station van and drop me off. Fond memories. Incredible opportunities, especially in an age before social media. Computer models were still coming out of their infancy. I had a weather radio and a low speed modem which called into the weather Computer over at WSLS, Channel 10. Then Chief Meteorologist Bill Meck actually gave me the same access he had at the time to read National Weather Service discussions… back then our forecast came from the NWS in Washington. The National Weather Service in ROANOKE simply took observations and issued warnings using the old Volens Weather radar… World War II technology.

Cable 12 was only a few years old and had just moved into their new building on the then locally-owned AMC Cable campus that is Shentel Communications today.

This was a time when TV was still king. To get the forecast and news, you had to schedule your day around the morning, noon or evening shows.

So having a Live morning show that was produced in Franklin County was cutting edge… not to mention fun!

Now, 30 years later so much has changed. Some for the good. Weather information is everywhere. I had completed college as an actual Meteorologist and had a long run at WSLS starting as fill in and working my way up to weekdays.

I made mistakes. By the mid 2000’s I was having episodes of extreme sweating and nervousness that I didn’t understand. I was embarrassed and feared losing it all if these attacks ever happened on air. Mental health was something I knew very little about. I would later learn that I had Panic Disorder and Social Anxiety. It would be the X factor in my poor judgements that led to the end of my career at WSLS.

Returning to Cable 12 offered me a fresh start to find myself and most importantly find Jesus and truly, truly establish a personal relationship with Him. I can’t thank Steve Oakes enough for that.

I worked for years back where I started, sure that all I needed was another chance back at local TV news and I would be back on track.

It’s funny how we can deceive ourselves. My return to local news in 2012 at WSET, Channel 13 in Lynchburg is still something I’m glad I pushed myself and asked God to help me with. The only thing… my job there wasn’t entirely weather-related. Most of it involved writing news stories for the web. After a horrible car crash that was my own fault, I had health battles with broken bones and the pain that followed as you would expect. But in that environment, I found myself slipping back into my old mistakes. Addiction is addiction; it doesn’t matter if you are a street buyer or a patient with a valid prescription. My anxiety was still an issue and was getting worse in the years that followed. Channel 13 wasn’t Channel 10. Times had changed. I wasn’t as young anymore. I didn’t really fit in the way I did when I was at 10. I was miserable. I left and came home again to Cable 12 and Kevin Tosh in 2014.

Back to having control to do my own forecast was great. My supporters on social media had actually gone down west of Bedford because Channel 13 is a Lynchburg station.

The local, laid back days at work best being stuck writing news stories all day, not to mention the three hours driving back and forth to Lynchburg. Cable 12 is 8 minutes away.

But the anxiety wasn’t going anywhere. And I wasn’t getting any younger. Standing and doing camera work at ball games took a lot of out me than it did in my younger days.

Meanwhile Kevin was starting a family and really getting things done at Cable 12. Before we knew it, Kevin was the one on camera and I preferred to be off camera. I enjoyed that. I still covered weather but from more of a web based, at my desk, more informal way rather than putting on a suit and tie and presenting polished graphics with makeup on.

The format worked well. I started getting offers for Sponsorship on my own social media pages. People started offering to pay me to consult privately or on retainer. New technology allowed me to use better weather tracking equipment that I had at any news station before at a price I could pay for out of pocket! Software that used to cost stations millions is now being used by more and more weather hobbies and enthusiasts.

I took time to catch up on changes and new methods of forecasting since I had graduated in 2000. Turns out I had a lot to learn but I loved learning more from a scientific approach… not just for TV, for the real science. I realized soon that I have learned more weather AFTER graduating than before. Researchers are constantly discovering new methods and techniques and it’s all fascinating. I apply it to my work.

The idea of only doing local weather is growing outdated. The software and the knowledge allows someone to cover weather all over the country and make a career out of it.

Many folks have beaten me to the punch. One person in particular isn’t an actual meteorologist but has over half a million subscribers on his YouTube page by using the exact same technology and software I have at home. He’s opened my eyes to a world where I can truly do all weather and have more ability to save lives than even the most popular TV meteorologists.

But it’s hard.. at times impossible to be that person, the full time meteorologist who’s always tracking and dependable. Weather is a full time job. A lot of people I know have never understood that. It’s a hard concept to grasp from the outside but you constantly have to analyze, interpret, forecast, post, go live for severe weather events, and so on.

Someone once asked me, “why can’t you analyze the models at a certain time of the day and post later and be done?”

Because when you stop to run a camera or direct a show, or set up for a game, you’ll miss the always-changing information which can bust a forecast just like that.

I can’t stop time and I’m now looking at 44 years old this fall. A ball game can leave me sore and in the bed for a day or two after nowadays.

I want to get into doing the weather on my own but with God at my side from home. The pandemic taught me that the ability to work from home can really take away the stress that someone with severe anxiety like me has always dealt with.

With Kevin leaving Cable 12 next week, I suddenly have to decide whether I want to abandon the new weather opportunities that I’ve been working to move into or return to a job that would require me to edit, shoot, sell, meet with people, etc. It’s not a bad job but if you have anxiety and a love for weather it would be turning my back on what I see as God opening a door for me.

Franklin County is full of talented, young and eager students and young adults who have more than enough talent to take Cable 12 to the next level with the right leadership and support. I’ve been working hard to make sure the station has connections to the next wave of talent but I’m not in charge. I can only do so much.

I wish Cable 12 all of the best and will always be greatful for the experience and love my coworkers have given me.

I’ll be home but doing weather full time now. Local forecasts and alerts will continue but with more depth. National Forecasts will also be covered ona daily basis soon. I’m so thankful for the chance to finally do what I love no matter what time or day it is.

See y’all on my YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Patreon Page! Buckle up, we’re gonna have a blast!