Meet the weather presenters who have skyrocketed to TikTok fame by sneaking increasingly absurd phrases into live TV broadcasts
- Weather presenters are building massive followings on TikTok — but not because of their meteorology skills.
- Instead, fans tune in to see them sneak their requested phrases into live TV broadcasts.
In December 2022, Nick Kosir, a meteorologist who reports for FOX Weather in New York, casually uttered the phrase "I'm the biggest bird" during a live weather report.
The moment may have gone unnoticed by casual viewers, but a clip of the broadcast received over 4.4 million views on TikTok, where Kosir could be seen standing beneath an on-screen comment that showed the phrase was suggested by a viewer.
Kosir, 39, has over 6.2 million followers on his TikTok account, but viewers aren't simply tuning in to see if they'll need an umbrella; he's built his massive online following letting viewers form part of the weather reports, accepting suggestions of dance moves and phrases he attempts to sneak into the broadcast.
@officialnickkosir Replying to @maknich123 Oh my days #weather #boston #nickkosir ♬ Calm Down - Rema
Kosir, who has worked in weather for around 17 years, told Insider he takes his job as a meteorologist "very seriously" and would never post videos if there were dangerous conditions outside. However, he said the majority of the time "the weather is fairly quiet" so he decided to continue posting the uploads alongside his regular work, and ultimately became evening co-host at FOX Weather in 2021.
@officialnickkosir Replying to @user42931344937083 Thank y’all for 6 million followers #imthebiggestbird #bird #nickkosir ♬ DA BIGGEST BIRD -
Kosir is one of the most popular weathermen on TikTok, but he isn't the only meteorologist attracting a massive following on the app.
Fans are flocking to this niche corner of the internet, making increasingly difficult requests of their local weather reporters, applauding the way they sneak song lyrics and TV show quotes into the news, and hoping to spot their own phrase being used in the process.
"A lot of people say my videos helped them through a hard time or a bad day, but it's also the reverse," Kosir told Insider. "It kind of gave me something to look forward to every day."
Weather reporters have found a new way to interact with audiences
In 2020, Kosir presented weather reports for the FOX-affiliated channel WJZY in North Carolina where he started looking for ways to entertain himself during the lengthy broadcasts.
"I worked on a four-and-a-half-hour long morning show and that's a lot of hours," Kosir told Insider. "At the end of the show I would just kind of challenge myself to use these phrases that people would request and it just kind of kept me going."
Texas-based Adam Krueger, a 42-year-old chief meteorologist at CW39 Houston, has worked in weather for 20 years, but started sneaking words into his broadcast in 2022, sharing the results on TikTok where he has over 428,000 followers.
Krueger started by taking the word of the day from the popular puzzle game Wordle in a series he kept up for months, and slowly gained a small following. But the "big turning point" came when his followers came up with their own suggestions of phrases to include, he told Insider.
He took on his first comment request in November 2022. In the TikTok, which received 51,000 views, Krueger could be seen standing in front of a weather screen, delivering the news, beneath an on-screen comment that showed a viewer had asked him to sneak the Rick Astley lyric "never gonna give you up" into a segment.
"The cold weather lasting with us for a while," he said. "This cold be like, 'Houston never gonna give you up.'"
The comments were filled with people saying this was the best way they'd ever been rickrolled — an internet meme in which people open a link that unexpectedly takes them to Astley's most famous song. Others requested increasingly outlandish phrases.
One month later, Krueger posted a clip in response to a request that he say "I like feet" live on air. Krueger responded, "Challenge accepted," and showed a weather segment in which he said, "I like feet of snow when I'm skiing." The video received over 7 million views.
@weatheradam Replying to @_3mx_ Challenge accepted! #rickroll #nevergonnagiveyouup #challengeaccepted #AmazonSavingSpree #petsmart #weather #meteorologist #weatherman ♬ Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley
The requests for easy sentences quickly transformed into more elaborate challenges which included putting entire song lyrics into his reports, with lines from artists such as The Notorious B.I.G, Miley Cyrus, and Snoop Dogg. The latter even gave the weatherman a shoutout on his personal Instagram account on March 7, which Krueger said was one of "the coolest moments so far."
Some viewers are concerned about the creators' bosses' reactions, but this hasn't yet been an issue
As well as leaving additional words for Kosir to include in his upcoming broadcasts, comments applauded his efforts, and the way he seamlessly worked the requests into the show, but some questioned whether he was putting his career on the line. "Bros risking his job for us, respect," a viewer wrote and received 7,400 likes.
But far from being a hindrance for his producers, Kosir said the channel he works for is fully on board with what he does and his coworkers even help him do it. "The people here at FOX Weather are very sharp and smart and they see the value in building the brand in new ways," he told Insider.
Fox Weather President Sharri Berg told Insider in an email statement, "Nick has a unique and entertaining way of connecting the traditional and social media audiences, with weather content that is uniquely appealing to both," adding, "He's become a great ambassador for FOX Weather."
After his videos blew up, Krueger said he sat down with the general manager at his TV station to make sure they were on board with what he was doing and clarified he wouldn't say anything bad, and he said they gave him their support. "Obviously it's brought a lot of positive attention to the station, so it's working out well," Krueger told Insider.
CW39 Houston did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
@weatheradam Replying to @chrisrok6 @eminem Lose Yourself in the weather? Challenge accepted! #eminem #loseyourself #weather #challenge #sneakingwordsintheweather #8mile ♬ original sound - Adam Krueger
People love the videos for their nostalgic references and positivity
Krueger described the huge attention his videos received as "strangely positive" with no negativity in sight. This isn't always the case when creators go viral, which can oftentimes come with a barrage of hate and criticism. In Krueger's case, he said people told him the videos make them laugh or smile when they've had a bad day.
"The wholesome part is important for me to stick with," he said. "We've got a couple of young kids and they see every video that I do, and I want them to be able to be proud of it too."
He thinks the popularity of his videos could stem from a few factors, including the fact they're "just a funny thing to watch" while also providing informative content about the weather. He added the nostalgic choice of phrases could go some way to explaining their success too, as the songs and references tend to be from the 1990s and 2000s, including quotes from the TV show "Friends" and tributes to the Backstreet Boys.
While he feels a "little pressure" to cram all the phrases in, Krueger told Insider he has no plans to stop the videos any time soon, and takes the responsibility of his viewers' suggestions seriously. "I write down and I bookmark and I save a lot of the comments. So I've got this list now of hundreds of requests that I want to get to," he said.
Kosir thinks the popularity of his content comes down to the juxtaposition of a "middle-aged, white dude in a suit" attempting to pull off dance moves and "Gen Z phrases or rap lyrics."
He said the viewers also appreciated the fact they were being listened to, and that he tries to show the human side of weathermen and create a real relationship with his viewers.
"I think that's what people are most drawn to is that authenticity," he said. "The secret sauce is just being yourself."
For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider's Digital Culture team here.
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