WPBN-TV Meteorologist Mark Watkins Retires After 55 Years
December 8, 2023
WPBN/WGTU-TV (Traverse City) Meteorologist Mark Watkins has retired after 13+ years at the stations and a career spanning nearly 55 years. Watkins began his career in radio back in 1969 during his high school years at a local radio station in Georgia. From there he moved to Chicago where he attended Northwestern University and also working as a nighttime radio personality while pursuing his B.A. in Political Science. “I always knew I’d be in radio, at least to begin my career,” Mark told WPBN's Trevor Drew. “I was interested in broadcasting as a kid.”
Watkins later turned his broadcasting career to television, beginning in Bismarck, North Dakota. During his 8 years there he worked as a talk show host, did sports, news and appeared in commercials. “I learned a lot about TV there,” Mark said. “I did a lot of different jobs but I finally decided what I wanted to try was to be on the air as a weatherman.”
He then moved to California to attend San Jose State University to earn a B.S. with Great Distinction in Meteorology. While in school he worked as a Meteorologist for KPIX-TV in nearby San Francisco as well as a dj for KPIX radio.
In 1993, he moved across country to become a Meteorologist for WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina. After 16 years, Watkins moved to cable television to report weather. And, then in June of 2010, he made his final move to Traverse City to join WPBN and WGTU.
Mark said he has always seen himself as a broadcaster first, then a meteorologist.
“I enjoy going on TV and telling a story. I enjoy everything about broadcasting,” Mark said. “So many weather people on TV now, if you ask them how they got started, they’ll say, ‘I always loved the weather, then I got into broadcasting.’ With me, I was in broadcasting then found a job in the business that fit what I wanted. And it happened to be weather.”
Watch WPBN's interview with Watkins as he looks back on his career: