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'Weather God of Oklahoma' Preps For Stephen Colbert

Gary England, the famed KWTV Oklahoma City weathercaster, is prepping for his appearance on Colbert Report later today, which will air tonight. England was called “The Weather God of Oklahoma” in a recent NY Times Magazine profile. His says the view from his Manhattan hotel, on a post card-perfect late-summer day, is pretty sweet.

“I’m just an old boy from Seiling, Oklahoma,” he says. “This is pretty high-stepping.”

England did some Herculean work, as did many TV news pro’s, when the devastating tornadoes hit Moore, Oklahoma in May. When the second massive one, called El Reno, hit a few days later, England, who is 73, decided 41 years on the air was enough.

“After six hours of absolute pandemonium, my wife picked me up and I said, Mary, that’s it,” he says. “It’s been a long road, but it’s been a good road.”

His last day on the air was August 28, and England is now VP of corporate relations and weather development for parent Griffin Communications, doing public outreach around the state.

The Times Magazine story made England a celebrity well beyond Oklahoma. “It’s been pretty wild, pretty crazy, pretty busy,” he says. “But it’s a lot of fun, at this point in my life.”

The article surely got him on Colbert’s radar screen, and England isn’t quite sure what to expect.

“It’s a six-minute segment,” says England. “I’m sure it will pass so quickly that I won’t even know what happened.”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.