KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Do you remember Fred Broski? He was a tremendously likeable personality on Kansas City television who had a distinguished broadcasting career from 1957 until he retired in 1998. Yes, it has been 16 years, and he is loving retirement!
He invited me to his home on a warm and windy spring day. When I arrived, the barbeque was on and ribs were smoking and not just a few ribs-- Fred had four or five slabs on there and they were just about ready to come off the grill, and he ended up packing up the extra ribs to share with the KSHB/KMCI employees.
While we were eating lunch we reminisced over his incredible career. He had a small recording studio in his home where he recorded hundreds of radio spots and narrations. He also operated a one-man ad agency from home and ran a local bowling tournament for around 15 years.
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He began his career in 1957 on KCKN radio in Kansas City, Kan. From there he went on to become the main weatherman in St. Joseph in 1958 at KFEQ-TV. In the early 1960s he was the weatherman on KOMU-TV in Columbia, Mo., where he told me a funny story.
“On a Friday night there was a possible snow storm showing up, and after reading about it on the weather wire, I came on television and forecasted one to two inches of snow and temperatures in the 30s for the KU/MU game in Columbia the next day. When I was done with my weathercast, the phone was ringing. I think it was the MU Athletic Director and he tried to explain to me that I can’t forecast snow and let everyone know it may snow on that game. And I explained, ‘Hey, you stick to sports and I will forecast the weather.’ Click.”
We laughed and went on to more stories. We also discussed his hosting of Bowling for Dollars. Fred loved the show and enjoyed meeting all of the people. He said it was about the people, not the bowling. But it was based on a progressive jackpot and he hosted the successful show from 1969 to 1977.
Fred went on to be the main weatherman on Channel 9 in the late 1960s and then he was the weekend weatherman on Channel 5 from 1984 until he retired in 1998.
Fred has been married to Jane for 56 years. It was such a pleasure to meet up with him and have a great meal at the same time. Thank you for the ribs, Fred! Thank you for the insight into the television business. And especially, thank you for the funny stories!