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Amy Freeze brings Chicago name recognition to new Fox Weather national streaming network

Robert Channick, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

The correct response: “What is 32?”

Raised in southern Indiana, Freeze went to college in Utah — she was a cheerleader and communications major at BYU — and earned a second degree in meteorology at Mississippi State, once her career destiny became clear.

“This is the name I was born with,” Freeze said. “It was meant to be.”

Freeze worked as a weathercaster at TV stations in several major markets including Denver and Philadelphia before arriving in Chicago in 2007. She fell in love with the city and its history of venerated, long-tenured TV weathercasters.

“We all love Tom Skilling. We all love Jerry Taft,” Freeze said. “When I was there, presenting the weather and forecasting alongside them, it was a real honor.”

Freeze hoped to make the Chicago TV market her professional home for many years and was surprised when her contract was not renewed in February 2011. She left for New York two months later.

 

“When my contract came up, I had so many opportunities to go places, it was hard to be too disappointed,” Freeze said. “I love Chicago and I would have stayed there, of course.”

Chicago fans were less forgiving, regularly booing Bill Bellis, her successor as chief meteorologist at Fox 32, when his face appeared on the Soldier Field Jumbotron instead of Freeze’s during the 2011 football season. Bellis left the station earlier this year after his contract was not renewed.

Freeze said the Fox Weather streaming network will bring her back to Chicago through an innovative platform, with live national weather reports, localized forecasts and a familiar face streamed on your smartphone.

“I think that this is the future of how weather will be consumed,” Freeze said. “When you open up the app … you hit the button live, and I’ll be talking to you in a matter of seconds.”

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