For at least a short time in September 2017, Alan Sealls was the top-trending post on Reddit, where a user handed him the title of "Best Weatherman Ever." This was linked to a video (below) where he gave a clear and concise explanation of the three hurricanes churning in the tropics all at the same time. In their story about it, WKRG noted that "viewers on the Gulf Coast have long known how incredible [he] is at his job."
WKRG confirmed the split to al.com, with the station's general manager saying they'd offered a long term contract but couldn't come to terms. Sealls came to the station in 1999, when it was owned by Spartan Communications, a company with 12 stations in its portfolio. But through a series of mergers and acquisitions, Spartan became Media General, and in 2017, was absorbed into Nexstar Broadcasting Group. The media conglomerate owns 174 full-power television stations nationwide.
It's tough to say what the future will bring. In his video, Alan Sealls said "we'll see which way the wind blows as to the rest of my career." He told al.com: "I'm not trying to leave [Mobile], but if I have to I will."
It seems crazy to me that Alan Sealls has left WKRG, but not every contract negotiation works out. TV viewership is dwindling, yet newscasts and live sports events still move the needle. Here on the Gulf Coast, where weather is constantly changing and sometimes dangerous, every major local station seemingly hangs its hat on breaking weather coverage. With Alan Sealls, Channel 5 had one of the best in the business to promote their weather brand.
WKRG already lost one of its mainstays when Mel Showers retired just a few weeks ago. The legendary anchor worked in this city for fifty years. Alan Sealls was a long way from reaching Mel's seniority, but twenty years is a very long time at one broadcast company.
Gulf Coast viewers will almost certainly hope Alan sticks around and finds a landing spot in our community. But without knowing his plans or his goals, the reality is that you sometimes have to make a move to get what you need. Alan Sealls would be a welcome addition to any meteorological team anywhere in the country. He's that good!
Best of luck, Alan!