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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Welcome Back, Jack!
Jimmy Moore
December 30, 2001

I wrote the following article prior to the announcement by News Channel 7 to keep Jack Roper on staff as their weatherman. I would still like to share it with you as a tribute to Jack Roper for his contribution to the Upstate.



With the passing of 2001, the days of the previous year seem to have come and gone as quickly as the sands of time can fall. Likewise, one of local television’s real treasures has come and gone from our lives just when many of us were getting to know him. The time has come for fans in the Upstate to say goodbye to our favorite television weatherman, Jack Roper.

Jack Roper was born and raised in South Carolina, graduating from Union High School and attending the University of South Carolina. He went on to study meteorology at the University of Florida and Penn State University. After several weatherman jobs at some local radio stations, he was given the chance to become a television weather anchor and children’s show host at WITN-TV in Washington, NC. He then headed out west to KENS-TV in San Antonio, TX where he was also a weatherman. In 1986, Jack returned to his home state of South Carolina to join the team at News Channel 7 WSPA-TV, as their leading weatherman.

Jack Roper made the weather as entertaining as Tiger Woods makes golf entertaining. You just had to watch him to see what the man was going to do next. His off-the-wall antics and commentary are what endeared him to so many people. People either loved him or they hated him. There was no in between. As quirky as he was, sometimes I think that even he didn’t know what was going to come out of his mouth until he said it! That is all a part of the formula that made him enjoyable to watch for so many years. Unfortunately, all of that came to an end on December 31, 2001.

Jack Roper meant more to the local community than the high browed executives at News Channel 7 even realized. Jack’s contributions reached much further than simply reporting the weather. Anyone can do that in this day and age of 21st century doppler technology. Jack was a hard working, dedicated man who always offered his time doing community service. He was a popular attraction at festivals and carnivals with his magic and comedy act. He drew lots of attention everywhere he went. And, all the while, he was a walking advertisement for News Channel 7.

What in the world was News Channel 7 thinking getting rid of Jack Roper?! They say they want to bring in someone who is more “qualified” to do the job. Hey, News Channel 7? Just be honest and say that you want to bring in somebody that is younger to do the weather. Jack Roper is more experienced and qualified to be the weatherman than anybody you will bring in to fill his spot. You will never replace Jack Roper. He is one-of-a-kind!

It is unclear at this time what the future holds for Jack Roper. With his immense popularity in the Upstate, he will undoubtedly have many options for employment. However, I would not be surprised to see him being offered several television weatherman jobs from stations across America. It would be sad to see him leave South Carolina, but a man with his talent should not let it go to waste. If a job offer comes from outside the state of South Carolina, then we will all be rooting for you, Jack. Thanks for being a part of our lives over the past 15 years. You will be sorely missed! On behalf of the citizens of the Upstate of South Carolina, we say so long, Jack Roper!
Not so fast! News Channel 7 finally came to their senses announcing in late December that Jack Roper will be staying because of the outpouring of letters and e-mails to the station requesting him to stay. It is a testimony to so many of you who expressed your opinion to News Channel 7 about how you felt about Jack Roper. It looks like we will get to enjoy Jack in 2002 and for many more years to come. Welcome back, Jack!

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