Nexstar’s WOOD-TV (Grand Rapids) has announced that Ellen Bacca has been named Chief Meteorologist for the station. Bacca is the first female Chief Meteorologist in West Michigan.
She succeeds Bill Steffen, who celebrates the start of his 21st year at the station and his 47th year in the Grand Rapids market. Upon this achievement, Steffen will take on the role of Chief Meteorologist Emeritus, allowing more flexibility with his family while staying on to contribute his expertise to station viewers and the West Michigan community.
“Forty-six and a half years ago, I began this wonderful story and after making nearly 10,000 forecasts, it’s time to move to begin a new chapter. If I had to sum up my career in one word it would be ‘grateful,’” Steffen said, adding, “Ellen is not only an excellent forecaster, but she’s totally geeked about weather! She’s proven she can do an amazing job tracking severe storms. Along with Terri, Matt and Emily, we’ll continue to bring West Michigan your best weather forecasts.”
Bacca started with WOOD-TV in 2014 and has won Emmys for Best Weathercast and Weather Anchor in Michigan, as well as Best Weathercast from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.
She was selected as one of the only broadcast meteorologists in the country to participate in the National Severe Storms Laboratory Hazardous Weather Testbed study to test the next generation of tornado and severe storm warnings.
“Bill Steffen is a legacy man at one of the most respected legacy stations in the country,” Bacca said. “I have been fortunate enough to work alongside him and to learn from him over the past seven years. The team of meteorologists at this station is unmatched and I am honored and determined to uphold that Storm Team 8 legacy of integrity and excellence. I am ecstatic to be called Chief of such an outstanding power-house team.”