Bud Kraehling has died. He was 96. For those of us who lived in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, it’s like losing a family member.
For years, Bud did the weather on the midwestern news giant, WCCO-TV. For many years “CCO” was the news leader in the Twin Cities and surrounding area, and that meant Bud Kraehling was “the” weather authority for a great many people. He was also incredibly easy-going. A member of that “greatest generation” that had gone through the Great Depression and World War II, and who, consequently, didn’t get too bent out of shape about minor happenings.
Unlike some of today’s broadcasters, who are constantly encouraged to hype even minor events in an effort to drive the ratings (if they wish to remain employed), Bud Kraehling and his contemporaries didn’t get too excited about anything unless it merited the added attention, and that made Kraehling and the guys he worked with believable, credible and professional. Gentlemen like my former colleagues at KSTP, Bob Ryan, Johnny Morris and John MacDougall. Men who had survived the hellfire of war and were undoubtedly stronger, wiser and more measured for it.
Because they were serious about what they did and because the station owners allowed them to take their jobs seriously, or not, and to be honest about it, they drew an audience at a time when there was no satellite or cable. And yes, there is a lesson to be learned from the way they did their jobs.
Goodbye, Bud. Thanks for all you did. Thanks for reminding us how it’s supposed to be done. You were like an uncle who was always there to warn us it was time to head down to the cellar because a tornado was on the way and that eventually everything would be okay. That we would all get through it because we were Minnesotans. That we were tough enough to weather one more storm if everybody would just calm down, use their heads, and carry on. Which we did. With a smile. Thanks to you.