Broadcast news is almost like the military. Many people’s careers involve moving from city to city every few years, always hoping there is a point where they can truly settle down. Markina Brown isn’t unusual that way.
She has been at TV stations in Lansing, Mich., St. Louis, Cleveland, Chicago and Los Angeles. Now she lands in Atlanta, her first Southern stop.
Brown replaces Dagmar Midcap, who left last month in the middle of her contract for personal reasons. (The sad story is here.)
Brown started her job last week, October 11 and was supposed to start on air this past Monday. But by last Wednesday, she was already champing on the bit and got started for the evening news. “This isn’t my first rodeo,” she said and the equipment was the same she used in L.A. and Cleveland.
In an interview this week, Brown had nothing to say about the Dagmar situation and was cautious across the board. But what is there to say? She’s replacing a popular weather reader and can only do her job and hope for the best.
Like many folks, the Detroit native has relatives here, including her dad’s mom and dad’s sister. Coming to Atlanta and WGCL-TV was an easy decision for her after she was let go from a Los Angeles station in August following a management shift.
“It’s the lay of the land,” she said of her L.A. ouster. “It’s what we signed up for. You take it. You keep it moving.”
She’s quickly learning the metro Atlanta geography and how to pronounce cities such as McDonough. She’s enjoying the weather contrasts already here in Atlanta in the fall. “It reminds me a lot of Cleveland in some ways,” she said.
Brown is a meteorologist (unlike Dagmar, who had Cris Martinez do the heavy lifting). She knows the science. She has the degree. She originally started in Lansing and was thrown in weather. She got to enjoy it once she started taking classes. “I never thought about doing weather at all” before that, she said.
I asked her if she had learned any particular lessons at various cities. “Each station has been able to teach me in some kind of way,” she said. (She is definitely not one to burn bridges.)
She doesn’t mind being at a station that has struggled over the years with ratings and turnover in both management and on-air talent. The strong CBS prime-time lineup has helped bolster its 11 p.m. newscast, which often finishes second only behind Channel 2 Action News, the ABC affiliate. “We’re becoming more recognizable,” she said. “It’s just a matter of time.”
Brown is married but wouldn’t provide details of her husband or what he does for a living. She has no kids but two dogs.
UPDATE: Yes, I did just pluck that photo off the Web. Here’s the photo that was attached with the original WGCL press release: