Chin to leave 2News to chase dreams
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
12/20/11 at 6:34 AM
Most mornings, Julie Chin is up at 2 a.m. and at work half an hour later.
"That means I watch the 6 p.m. news in bed and shut off the TV by 7," said the meteorologist for KJRH, channel 2.
But that will change at week's end, as Chin's last day on the job is Friday.
After nine years as a meteorologist for Tulsa's NBC affiliate, Chin decided to do something outside the news studio.
"It's going to be a loss for us," said Steve Weinstein, director of 2News. Before contract negotiations earlier this year, Chin approached the station and said she wasn't interested in signing a new contract.
She'll be replaced by the station's weekend morning meteorologist, George Flickinger, weekday mornings on "2News Today" and "2News Midday." At the beginning of the year, meteorologist Taft Price from KTUL, channel 8, will take Flickinger's former spot, Weinstein said.
The TV news business runs in her family, said Chin, who grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y. Her father was a sales executive at their local TV station in New York City, so she'd always watch the news at night with her folks.
"I grew up around TV people, and I've always loved to write and talk and be in front of people, so broadcast journalism just seemed like a natural career path for me," Chin said.
So did meteorology, as her love for weather started really young - specifically, after watching "The Wizard of Oz."
"That was the first tornado I ever saw," she said. "To this day, I always wear ruby red slippers to all of my school weather safety talks since many kids connect with the movie and the weather.
"Plus, it's the story of a little girl who grew up near Oklahoma."
And although she may be a New Yorker by birth, Chin considers herself an "Okie by choice," and plans to stay in the area.
This summer, when Chin thought about her contract coming up at year's end, she paid attention to the "tiny whisper" inside her, telling her it was time to try something new.
A career in Oklahoma weather is more than a job, Chin said. "It is a 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year lifestyle. For me, the decision is about finding a better balance between my personal and professional life."
So even though working as a meteorologist has been a dream job, Chin has other big dreams, she said.
"I am a firm believer that you stay somewhere until you have grown all that you can grow, then it is time for a change," she said.
Chin still plans on chasing storms, but she'll miss snow coverage.
"I love bundling up and reporting in the thick of the white stuff," she said. "I've always been the first to volunteer and sometimes even begged my bosses to let me head out and report in it.
"When you love the weather, you want to be out in it," Chin said. "I'm not going to know what to do with myself on a snow day. I haven't had one of those since I was a kid."
She has big plans for spending time with her family, but "I also plan on finding a new career," she said.
Could she return to TV?
"You bet," she said. "This is Oklahoma. Much wilder things have happened."
Original Print Headline: Chin to leave 2News for something new
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
After nine years, Julie Chin is saying goodbye to KJRH. A. CUERVO / Courtesy