TV meteorologists come and go at Cincinnati TV stations, but fill-in Steve Norris doesn't get the gig. What's up with that?
"I have received a couple of full-time offers from local stations, but graciously declined them, wanting to see where my e-commerce venture would lead me," says Norris, who fills in again this weekend on WLWT-TV (Channel 5) as new hire Ashley Brown from Indianapolis learns the systems.
The Indiana native debuted on Cincinnati TV 20 years ago. WXIX-TV hired him in 1997 after two years at Dayton's WKEF-TV. He later switched channels to work at WCPO-TV until fall 2011. Since then he likes to say that he "keeps his feet wet" filling in at Channel 5 and Dayton's Channel 2.
"After leaving WCPO-TV, I briefly searched for a chief meteorologist position and quickly received a couple of offers, but neither was enticing enough for me to pick up and leave. I’m well established here (22 years now!) and I love everything about the area, my home and neighborhood ," says Norris, who lives in Warren County's Deerfield Township.
"It was not long after that I started up a couple of e-commerce businesses which allowed me to stay here, be my own boss and work from home.
"In a nutshell, I develop and source products, have them manufactured and then shipped to Amazon warehouses across the United States where they are then sold. So, when you see certain products on Amazon.com, you would have no idea that a guy in Cincinnati, Ohio is behind it. To most buyers, they’re simply “buying something on Amazon”. Once I ship a product to Amazon, they do the rest—marketing, selling, customer service etc.
"I’ve put a tremendous amount of work into it, have attended seminars and am constantly learning. It’s been one of those things that, when I look back, I’m amazed at what I’ve been able to pull off. It’s been both fun and rewarding," he says.
Norris filled in for Jennifer Schack's maternity leave from Channel 5 in the spring, and again in June after she left the station to work for the Diocese of Covington. "I did not inquire or have discussions with the station regarding that position," Norris says.
Yet he makes it clear that "meteorology and forecasting are still my passion. I could foresee a scenario where I could get pulled back into it full-time, but the circumstances would have to be just right," he says.
And that's why Steve Norris isn't a full-time TV meteorologist.