Mike Francis is out at 11 Alive

Posted: 12:51 pm Monday, January 27th, 2014

By Rodney Ho

Mike Francis has been chief meteorologist at 11 Alive for about two and a half years. CREDIT: 11 Alive

Mike Francis has been chief meteorologist at 11 Alive for about two and a half years. CREDIT: 11 Alive

Mike Francis, chief meteorologist at the NBC affiliate 11 Alive here since the summer of 2011, has left the station.

Why? I am not sure but I’m told he was taken off air before his contract was up. He has not found a new gig that I know of so this was not a voluntary departure.

I first reported this news Monday afternoon. Later in the day, the 11 Alive Facebook page confirmed the news when someone inquired:

Thanks for writing. Mike Francis is no longer at 11Alive. Veteran meteorologist Chris Holcomb 11Alive will be taking over the weeknight weather duties. We’re currently doing a nationwide search for a world class meteorologist to join Chris, Chesley McNeil 11Alive and Allison Chinchar 11Alive to ensure you’ll always have the weather information you need to keep you informed and safe.

His work Facebook page has not been updated since Jan. 10, the last time he was on air.

When I reached him by phone today, Francis said, “Everything is fine. My wife is calling me. I need to call you back.” (He didn’t call me back.)

His former bosses have not gotten back to me about the situation. An insider told me Holcomb, a long-time weekend meteorologist, has been angling for the weekday job for a long time.

In an interview soon after he arrived, Francis told me how much he loved the weather ever since he was a child. A self-described adrenaline junkie, he was a tornado chaser in the past as well, spending 10 years at an affiliate in Little Rock, Ark.  He has seen more than 40 tornados live.  General manager John Deushane at the time said he had a “fire in the belly” for weather.

Indeed, his passion for the weather is readily apparent on both the TV and his blog and social media entries.

You can read my entire interview with him at the time here.

The intro video WXIA-TV did for him in 2011 lives on on YouTube:


netradiojock

netradiojock

5pts

They should have never let Paul Ossmann go.  He was great.  They should make Chesley McNeil Chief Meteorologist.  He is also good.  In my opinion, he is better and more knowledgeable than Chris Holcomb.

BryanO

BryanO

5pts

Wow pretty crazy Ch 11 has lost about what it’s staff in the last month?  I like them all, budget slashing???

Eric_2003

Eric_2003

5pts

I agree with M-in-the-burbs.  I’m not a big fan of the Wizometer.  I couldn’t imagine Guy Sharpe (God rest his soul) forecasting Atlanta weather on a scale of 1-11.

Mike Francis seems like a nice guy, however, I don’t think of him as major TV market material.  Unless Little Rock CBS affiliate KTHV (also owned by Gannett) could be wooing him back.   I really don’t care for Chesley McNeal either… and I believe that he undoubtedly followed news director Ellen Crooke from Buffalo NBC station WGRZ (another Gannett station) to Atlanta.  Chris Holcomb, who has been at 11Alive since 1991 deserves to be chief meteorologist.

MotocrossSurvivor

MotocrossSurvivor

5pts

My money’s on him being replaced by a black woman named Laquiesha.

M-in-the-burbs

M-in-the-burbs

5pts

How can anyone take their job seriously when you have to distill your forecast to a Wizometer number?

737CPT

737CPT

5pts

As for Mike, he seems like a nice guy, but doesn’t seem to “fit” in this market. He is high energy and needs to be back in the Central US chasing Tornados!

When it comes down to it, TV Newst & Weather is all about ratings just like the rest of TV….so Mike won’t be the last to go, as he wasn’t the first to leave! TV personalities are rare birds that come and go with very few staying in place for an entire career!

Best Wishes to Mike Francis!

Crushers64

Crushers64

5pts

Say it ain’t so. Mike is great and my wife and I love the passion he bring to the weather.  I can still hear him yelling “if you can hear my voice, you’re not in your basement and the tornado is coming”!

We’ll miss you Mike!

tlh3791

tlh3791

5pts

While I’m sure Mike Francis is a perfectly nice guy, I always felt like he was hurling his words at the viewer. Maybe, as a previous commenter suggested, he isn’t used to kind of boring weather like we have around here. Not exciting enough for him. IN turn, it made his delivery style seem abrupt and harsh.

No matter…11 Alive has lost its luster. Unceremoniously dumping Paul Ossman, Jill Becker retiring, the over the top flirting between Chesley McNeil and Elle Duncan and the CONSTANT patting themselves on the back for all of their “good works” has made 11 Alive a joke. I watch the news to….wait for it…get the news. I don’t care how awesome 11 Alive thinks they are for all they do…most people/companies making a difference in our communities don’t need to toot their own horn. They do it to DO IT, not so they can see if their ratings go up.

737CPT

737CPT

5pts

Please make Chris Holcomb the chief Meteorologist for the Station as his style is smooth and his presentation on right-on! Also bring back Paul Ossmann as his style is outstanding and his presentations are. Always clear! Bothe these gentleman know their stuff and have excellent TV presentation.

BTC

BTC

5pts

Bring back Dagmar!!

FMFats

FMFats

5pts

Maybe he’s just driving Elle Duncan to Boston.

RaulCastro

RaulCastro

5pts

OMG, about time!! Watching him do the weather was like watching a robotic mannequin. Ugh!!

PMDR

PMDR

5pts

46 actually does a decent job with weather.  They cut to pre-taped Ossmann last night for the snow preview because he’s the only one with prior snow experience.   Good to see them using their staff for best results and not worrying so much about shift territories.     Tracey Hutchings also looks/works fantastic at night.   

I feel for Mike.  11 is a station in flux, however the weather here is actually kind of boring and predictable, except when management wants it to be as exciting as storm chasing.   Making crazy gets old.  

Mike would be great at Fox 5, where they at least say they take weather seriously.   I think part of that was their reaction to Mike joining 11.   Would be fitting to join their team.    I wish him the best. 

SouthEastNative

SouthEastNative

5pts

Mike Francis has always seemed so out of place in our market, probably not exciting enough for a former storm chaser.   Here in ATL, Mellish is about the closest you can get on the accuracy scale and  I would rather listen to him then watch the weather soothsayers.   Good luck to Mike Francis, and please run as fast as you can if they want you to do anything as dumb as the Wizometer!

JohnDeere2

JohnDeere2

5pts

I thought he was an awesome meteorologist. 11Alive made a mistake if they let him go.

inthemarsh

inthemarsh

5pts

He was as good as the rest of them. I wish him well if he’s gone.

The_SAWB

The_SAWB

5pts

Does Ken Cook remind anyone of those flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz?

As for Mike Franics leaving I’m sure he was a decent dude, but seriously who watches the news on Channels 11 or 46?

23Zone

23Zone

5pts

weather — a big waste of time on these stations—spend more time on news and entertainment stuff.  if I want the weather I can go outside  — bring back that hot weather chick that used to be on CBS !!!

ZBIRD

ZBIRD

5pts

They should hire Rich Thomas from WSFA-TV in Montgomery, AL. That man knows weather!

TokyoTom

TokyoTom

5pts

I tried to watch him but, after 11Alive let Paul Ossmann go, I switched over to Wsb (once Monica had left the station). Ossmann was let go in part because he did not “embrace” the Whizometer if I recall a Rodney Ho blog from that time.

There are still plenty of Weather Channel alumnae in the area- how about Cheryl Lemke or (stop my fluttering heart) Alexandra Steele? Though I would be okay with Chris Holcombe, 11Alive seems more interested in going outside rather than promote from within when the prime-time talent leaves the station.

FMFats

FMFats

5pts

Thank God. The man was a nightmare from day one.

metitotktodd

metitotktodd

5pts

Why can’t 11Alive get any continuity with weather people?  It’s beyond embarrassing at this point.  They really need to find a serious meteorologist, and not currently the clown they have on mornings.

rjallen

rjallen

5pts

what, KEN COOK is retiring!!!! NO WAY…………… we love Mike Francis!!!! HIRE HIM BACK RIGHT NOW!!! his weather was always an 11 on that wizzy thing!!!…plus he always blogged some good and interestng stuff!!!

11 alive, you did wrong if you fired him!

Gringo_Bandito

Gringo_Bandito

5pts

Maybe he is tired of being insulted by the whizometer.

NASCARJeff

NASCARJeff

5pts

Maybe he is going to FOX 5 to replace the retiring Ken Cook

737CPT

737CPT

5pts

tlh3791…..And as for Brenda Woods’ opinions during the late afternoon/early broadcast…she ought to please keep those opinions to herself as she comes accross in a not so arbitrary manner!

CXMorales

CXMorales

5pts

@737CPTPaul Ossmann is on Channel 46 dumped the Wiz people right after I found out he was there

RodneyHo

RodneyHo
moderator

5pts

@737CPTI just spoke to someone inside who said Holcomb will take over.

atl30075

atl30075

5pts

@BTC amen, brother!  it never gets too hot in Atlanta for tight sweaters.

budbrigman

budbrigman

5pts

@The_SAWB  I consider 11Alive to be the Tosh.0 of news channels. “Here’s a story we found for you on the Internet! Which you probably have already seen.” Stop trolling the web for videos, and report on some local news. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but 46 is a better news station.

737CPT

737CPT

5pts

MotocrossSurvivor…..well prices of tickets (mainly fuel costs – when is the US going to stop importing expensive foreign oil/refined fuels…thanks BO) have skyrocketed over the past 3-4 years, especially foreign travel, not withstanding the extra cost of a passport which also has nearly tripled in the past 10-15 years….I think renewal is something like $140 when it used to be $40-$60. After getting past sticker shock, getting past TSA is definately not any fun for the average USA Joe! Why TSA does’t profile (officially they cannot say they do), beats the hell out of me! Even though they may, there may be some US Citizens that wear their hats too tight, get brain squeeze and loose it for some reason – who knows why? Yet, with all the hassels that modern Aviation is going through, flying is an extraordinary tasks! Think about where we have come from in such a relatively short time! Dec 2013 was the 110th year since the first powered Airplane flight! Now you can travel around the world, and in some aircraft, without stopping, if you have a properly augmented flight crew to pull the duty! Truly Amazing, if you think about it! Pilots love to fly…the challenges are there to be overcomes by the skilled Aviators of the Modern Day. Happy travelling!

737CPT

737CPT

5pts

Yes, I believe Paul left right as Mike F. was hired…he probably thought he was next inline for the Chief Meteorologist’s Job at ch 11! Well, 11Alive got exactly what they wanted and lost a great weatherman when Paul left!

737CPT

737CPT

5pts

RodneyHo, great…he deserves it and has been skipped over by the “new guys” (Mike F and Chesley Mc) too many times. That makes the workplace a very harsh full place when someone is skipped over, even though there for a while, and the new guys take over! It causes resentment and the passed over employee sometimes starts to look for a home somewhere else and the loosing station (workplace) looses a great employee who already exhibited that he is a company man!

Great to hear the news!

netradiojock

netradiojock

5pts

@737CPT …Paul was the Chief.  11 Alive fired him and replaced him with Mike Francis.

Source Article from http://radiotvtalk.blog.ajc.com/2014/01/27/mike-francis-appears-to-be-out-at-11-alive/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>