Wayne Mahar, 65

Meteorologist retiring from CNY Central; entering a new phase in life

By Mary Beth Roach

Q: Do you have any specific plans yet for your retirement?
A: I call it semi-retired. I’m still going to be working. I’m just not going to be working so much. My last day on TV, full-time TV will be Friday, Dec. 3.

Q: When you say “your last day on TV full-time” what does that mean?
A: I’m still going to have my private weather business. I have a lot of clients in New York, around Central New York and Syracuse. I have clients all over the world. I do a lot of work for events all over the world, like the Academy Awards, MLB All-Star Game and Super Bowl concerts. I’m still going to do my work with the legal cases. I work with lawyers on court testimonies. I’m still going to be heard on radio locally. I’ll be on TK99 and K-Rock every morning starting in January. Basically, instead of working 80 hours a week, like I’ve done since I’ve been a teenager, I’m going to work 35 hours a week.

Q: What has been the least favorite part of the job?
A: The hours are not really conducive to a lot of family time. If you work a shift like me, I’m getting in here [to the station] at 1 or 1:30; I’m getting home at midnight. And beyond that, I have my private business so I’m up early in the morning doing the forecasting in my home office.

Q: In the past three decades, what are some of the biggest changes in meteorology, and especially weather, as part of the broadcast industry?
A: There’re so many more computer models now than there were years and years ago, advance Doppler radar and ways to get word out about storms. It’s such a social media, digital type of age and everyone’s got their phone, and you send out weather alerts, and push notices on the phone. When I started in weather on TV in Maine back in 1977-78, there were no computer graphics. It was pieces of cardboard and magic markers. I’m probably the only one in Central New York that has literally seen it all, going from magic markers and cardboard maps to the incredible computer graphics we have nowadays.

Q: You have been a big hockey fan all your life; you’ve played as a practice goalie with the Syracuse Crunch and joined the Syracuse Gray Wolves, a senior recreational hockey league, at the age of 50 or so. Do you still play with the Gray Wolves?
A: I try to play once a week. And hitting the gym three times a week, that’s my down time.

Q: Animal welfare has always been a particular passion for you. You established the Priscilla Mahar Animal Welfare Foundation in honor of your mother. Is that something you’ll continue to be involved with in your retirement?
A: Absolutely! Absolutely! That will continue. I have hired two years ago Galaxy Media Events. They and I work together and are going to continue Canine Carnival. We’re going to continue that every year. We’re going to continue making donations.

Q: Is there anything you want to add?
A: We’ll get to do a little more traveling. We’ll see the kids and the grandkids a little more often. [He and Dianne have two daughters and two grandchildren.] I’m looking forward to it.

Featured Image: Wayne Mahar holding little furry Gabby, one of three dogs he and his wife, Dianne, have. He has been at CNY Central TV stations for 37 years and on television for 43 years. He is retiring in December.