Schwoegler's unhappy departure

Ch. 4 meteorologist gone after 33 years

By Mark Jurkowitz, Boston Globe Staff, 5/30/2001


It didn't create the furor or the controversy of WHDH-TV's (Channel 7) decision not to re-sign Kim Carrigan. But, like that situation, the quiet departure of longtime meteorologist Bruce Schwoegler from WBZ-TV (Channel 4) this past weekend was the last chapter in a story with an unhappy ending.

According to a Channel 4 press release, Schwoegler - who arrived at the station 33 years ago and who is in his late 50s - was leaving at the end of his contract to, as the age-old euphemism goes, ''pursue other interests.'' (His final broadcast was Saturday.) In a statement, station general manager Ed Goldman said, ''We are all very grateful to Bruce for his many years of service to WBZ-TV ... and we wish him well in all his future endeavors.''

Schwoegler's agent, Stephen Freyer, speaking for his client yesterday, made it clear that Schwoegler wants to continue his career and was not planning on retiring. (The station had publicly called his impending departure a retirement a few months ago.)

''Bruce is hopeful he'll be on the air some time in the future,'' Freyer said. ''He does it well. He does it with great intensity.''

Not that long ago, the popular and effervescent Schwoegler was an integral part of Channel 4's homey, family-like image, along with Jack Williams, Liz Walker, Bob Lobel, and Joyce Kulhawik. But the handwriting showed up on the wall in summer 1998, when he was demoted to the weekend job. At the time, Goldman told the Globe that unhappy Schwoegler fans would ''have to get over it.'' Now, he becomes another major Boston TV news figure on involuntary hiatus.