WPXI-TV names Valerie Smock as new meteorologist
The announcement Oct. 31 that meteorologist Valerie Smock will join WPXI-TV's full-time staff in December ends an almost 10-month search to fill the position.
“We look for a lot in a meteorologist, which is why the search (to replace Mike LaPoint, who left in January) took so long. We wanted to make sure we got this right,” news director Mike Oliveira says. “Weather is the most important service we provide our viewers. Our meteorologists know that and work to make that service valuable.”
Raised in Ohio, Smock, a Kent State University graduate, who is a member of the Air Force Reserves, has been with AccuWeather in State College, Pa., since 2010.
“From the start, we recognized Valerie's ability to forecast and communicate the weather story on air. When we got to know her work ethic and her personality, we knew she'll be a great fit,” Oliveira says.
She has worked in her field in Toledo, Youngstown and Great Falls, Mont., and has served as a public affairs specialist in the Air Force Reserves and a military police officer in the Ohio National Guard.
“When I heard about the chance to be part of such a wonderful organization, I had to jump at the opportunity,” Smock says. “I am looking forward to living in Pittsburgh and seeing all that the city has to offer, as well as being involved with such a great community.”
Oliveira, who says the station sought “a great communicator who can tell the weather story in a way that's relevant and useful to the viewer,” says her full-time shift is still to be determined. “The first step was finding someone who'd be a great fit for this team,” he said. “We're glad we finally did.”
Rex Rutkoski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4664.