Janice Dean Weathers Several Storms

Janice Dean, senior meteorologist at Fox News Channel, has authored Mostly Sunny: How I Learned to Keep Smiling Through the Rainiest Days. Out March 5, Mostly Sunny details some of the more challenging aspects of Dean’s life, including working for Don Imus, a terrifying home invasion when she lived in Houston, her battle with multiple sclerosis and iffy interactions with Roger Ailes. She describes the latter as “inappropriate and wrong,” and also describes Ailes as kind and loyal.

Through it all, the Fox & Friends meteorologist stays upbeat. Dean, who previously authored children’s book Freddy the Frogcaster, spoke with B&C about sharing her most personal stories. Here’s an edited transcript of that conversation.

B&C: What was the toughest thing for you to share with readers?
Janice Dean:
The home invasion. I haven’t shared it with a lot of people. As I was going through it, I shared with my Houston radio audience and went through a little bit of therapy. I discussed it once on-air when I moved back home to Canada. And then I kind of shut it down.

When [husband] Sean and I first started dating, I told him right away because it made me think I was damaged goods. Even though I was never physically harmed, it certainly left emotional scars on me.

Now that I’ve written it, I realize that people will know very personal things that I haven’t shared with a lot of people. That one was hard.

B&C: Is Fox News a different workplace for women now than when you first came on board?
Oh my gosh, yes. Complete turnaround. I honestly would not be here if I thought that they did not address this issue. As I write in the book, we never thought Mr. Ailes was going to go anywhere. He’s going to fight this and he’s going to come out victorious. I always prepared myself for the worst, that he would find out [that she shared her Ailes experience with investigators], that I would probably be fired.

But you try to do the right thing. If he wasn’t guilty of harassment, then he would be vindicated. But if he was, we had to say something. When all of it went down and [law firm] Paul, Weiss [Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison] was brought on board [to investigate], things started to change very quickly. Within a week, he was gone. The Murdochs did a great job of turning things around. I think it’s a testament to this company that they were very supportive of me writing that chapter. I was honest with them and said, if I’m going to write this book, I need to write my whole story.

There are so many kick-ass women here that have really shaped the way this company is.

B&C: You’ve emerged as a role model for people with multiple sclerosis. How much does MS get in the way of your work?
I’ve been lucky, relatively speaking. I was diagnosed in 2005 and here we are, 2019, and I’ve done pretty well. There are days, but I don’t know what it’s like to be ‘normal.’ Every day I feel like, oh, I’m dragging today. Is it because I only got a certain amount of sleep or is it the MS? I talk to my good friend, [Fox News anchor] Neil Cavuto, who also has MS, about this. Thank God for him. If it wasn’t for him having come out as diagnosed, it would have been harder for me to admit my diagnosis as well.

I had a bad flare-up last year, where we had to go on different medication, and I was off work for a while. But day to day, I think I’m all right. It’s like my forecast — I can’t really tell you what’s going to happen in a week or a month.

B&C: What’s it like knowing the president is watching Fox & Friends?
I don’t have to tell the news of the day, and I don’t think he’s really focused on my day-to-day work. [Laughs.] Like I say in the book, the only red and blue I see on my maps are areas of high pressure and low pressure.

B&C: Will we see a Freddy the Frogcaster TV series?
It’s in the works. I’ve met with a company in Toronto. They love the idea and we’ve made an agreement. They’ll see if this is something that the Canadian government likes and maybe will help us with. I think the forecast is looking pretty bright for Freddy.

Michael Malone

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.