If it was hard for Cheryl Scott’s legion of fans to see her bid farewell from WMAQ-Channel 5 Sunday night, it wasn’t any easier for Scott.
“Signing off this weekend was difficult for me,” said Scott, who delivered her final forecast as the NBC-owned station’s weekend meteorologist. “It’s been three great years at NBC, and the outpouring of support from Chicago viewers has been amazing. I am so thankful for what has been a great experience in one of the best cities in the country.”
So what’s the long-range outlook?
“As I move forward with my television career, it's safe to say I'm ready to move from double-shift weekends and explore a new opportunity. Mother Nature is 24/7 so look for my weather and career updates on social media [@CherylScottWX].”
Scott, 29, said she will continue to work closely with the American Red Cross, where she serves on the board of directors for the Greater Chicago region. Otherwise, it may be a while before she’s back in the public eye.
As first reported here August 16, Scott chose not to accept a contract renewal offer from NBC 5 so that she could consider other options. (“We appreciate Cheryl’s contributions over the past three years, and wish her the best in the future,” management said.) Station bosses moved quickly to realign their weather front, shifting Alicia Roman to weekends and bringing back Byron Miranda for the new 11 a.m. weekday newscast.
News of Scott’s departure brought out a flood of complaints. Fans of the New Jersey native and Brown University graduate were sympathetic that Scott wasn’t being promoted quickly enough since joining NBC 5 in September 2011 from WBIR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Knoxville, Tennessee. Scott’s reference to “double-shift weekends” suggested that her schedule of early-morning to late-night newscasts on Saturdays and Sundays was taking a toll.
Now that Scott is contractually free to explore other opportunities, her agent, Chicago-based attorney Andrew Stroth, predicted plenty of offers will be forthcoming.
“The interest in Cheryl on both a network and local level is very high,” said Stroth, who has represented media and sports talent for 20 years. “She’s a special talent with a bright future.”