Meteorologist Marty Coniglio, who's forecast the weather on Denver TV for three decades, told us last November that he'd be leaving 9News on December 30. But he remained on the air after that date, and earlier this month, he revealed a plan that might lead to him extending his stay at the station.
This prediction proved absolutely accurate. Corresponding via email, Coniglio confirms that he'll be sticking around 9News, at least for the near term.
Tim Ryan, 9News's recently named director of content, was effusive about the development in an internal email to staff. "I’m happy to share with you that Marty Coniglio has extended his stay at 9News," he wrote. "I’ve worked with Marty for many years and look forward to watching him early every morning, even when the weather isn’t good. (I do understand he’s not responsible for the actual weather.)"
No one was more surprised by this turn of events than Coniglio, who spent ten years at CBS4 and five at Denver7 before signing up with his current employer. During a conversation last year, he said he'd decided to step away from his role on 9News's highly rated morning show partly because of health issues. He suffers from chronic migraines and tinnitus, and he developed an ulcer that may have been exacerbated by an early shift schedule that typically requires him to get up prior to 2 a.m. As such, he wasn't sure if he wanted to continue working in TV — and he doubted his departure would cause much of a stir.
"I just do the things that need to be done," he said. "I was never high-profile at Channel 4, and even though I was the evening meteorologist at Channel 7, I wasn't high-profile enough for them, which is why they dumped me for Mike Nelson, which is what happened. And it's the same thing at 9News. We have big personalities here" — a reference to Kathy Sabine, who recently renewed her contract to stay at the station, where she's worked for more than 25 years — "so I do what I need to do to keep the cogs moving. I've always felt like I'm a utility infielder or a capable backup quarterback, but not really Tom Brady."
Given Coniglio's modest assessment of his allure, he was blindsided by the outpouring of affection from longtime viewers, who helped our interview become one of Westword's most viewed news posts of 2019. "I don't even know how to describe the emotions" sparked by this reaction, he admitted. "It's humbling and it's heartwarming. I can honestly say I had no idea that people felt that way, and it's changed the emotional environment surrounding the entire decision."
Meanwhile, other dynamics were at play. "A day or two before the story dropped," Coniglio noted, "the station made some organizational changes," including the return of former assistant news director Ryan in a new position. Both Ryan and 9News president and general manager Mark Cornetta soon asked if he would consider staying longer, and issues related to a family member who was recently laid off suddenly made this an attractive prospect.
Coniglio has agreed not to get into specifics about how long his additional stay will be, but he divulges that "it will go past this summer."
No doubt his bosses, and viewers, hope that's only the beginning of his latest chapter at 9News.