June 16, 2009

KGW NewsChannel 8 Mourns Loss of Jack Capell

Belo station's long serving meteorologist and war hero passes away


Portland, OR - Veteran KGW broadcaster Jack Capell died at his Seattle home on Sunday, at 86, his family said. Capell was part of KGW's original news team and served as the station's meteorologist for more than forty years. He continued to offer viewers the forecast even after he was confined to a wheelchair. Capell retired in September, 2000.

Capell served with the Army's 4th Division battling Germans at Normandy's Utah Beach in 1944. He also shot down a German plane and was among the troops that liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau. Capell was wounded once, catching fire when a shell hit a nearby can of gasoline.

His interest in meteorology began during his wartime experiences in France, after days of grim warfare under bleak skies. Capell had an epiphany while viewing an unusual break in the clouds.

"It was a mystic experience I had," he recalled. "It was just like going from hell to heaven. What a marvelous thing if I could just learn what makes all that magnificent beauty."

In his book, "Surviving the Odds," he chronicled the day-to-day struggle of the soldier on the front.

Capell correctly predicted the iconic Columbus Day storm of 1962, phoning in to the KGW studio from weather bureau facilities and warning of a "serious, serious storm" on its way.

Driving back to KGW, the weather looked fine. As he drove down Vancouver Avenue, Capell was worried his prediction was wrong. Soon a band of black clouds enveloped the city, proving his forecast right.

"Every day Jack Capell exhibited the qualities of dedication, humility, and bravery against every challenge. His contributions as a broadcaster and as a fine human being are legendary," said Rod Gramer, KGW's executive news director. "We will all miss him deeply."

Condolences to the Capell family can be sent to:

The Capell Family
5701 Seaview Ave. NW
Seattle, WA 98107

Funeral and memorial services are to be announced. Details will be posted on kgw.com.

About Belo Corp.
Belo Corp. (BLC) is one of the nation's largest pure-play, publicly-traded television companies, with 2008 annual revenue of $733 million. The Company owns and operates 20 television stations (nine in the top 25 markets) and their associated Web sites. Belo stations, which include affiliations with ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CW and MyNetwork TV, reach more than 14 percent of U.S. television households in 15 highly-attractive markets. Nearly all Belo stations rank first or second in their local markets. Additional information is available at www.belo.com or by contacting Paul Fry, vice president/Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, at 214-977-6835.

KGW NewsChannel 8 - - - Where The News Comes First!
1501 S.W. Jefferson Street, Portland, Oregon 97201
And the KGW Studio on the Square