Northwest Business Magazine

Greg Bobos: Drumming to a Different Beat

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A talented percussionist from an early age, this meteorologist has always enjoyed exploring the unknown, as he continues to do while launching his young career.

Greg Bobos, on the set of the 13WREX morning show with co-hosts Aaron Wright and Hannah Welker.

Most viewers know Greg Bobos as the friendly meteorologist who delivers the daily forecast on the 13WREX television morning program that airs Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 a.m.

What they might not know about is his love for playing the drums.

Bobos grew up in northwest Indiana, banging on pots and pans, or whatever he could get his hands on. In sixth grade he tried out and made the school band. Playing a musical instrument was something he could do with his cousins, who played the saxophone and trumpet in the band. “I wanted to play something they didn’t,” he says. “I started playing the drums and have loved it ever since.”

Eventually, Bobos took private lessons. At Lake Central High School, his band was good enough to perform in state and national competitions. After he graduated, the band director asked Bobos to come back and help teach current high school band members.

“It’s a huge responsibility,” he says of the drums. “There are a lot of other instruments relying on you to not mess up. It teaches you discipline, and how to work as a team. Plus, you get to hit a lot of different stuff. That’s pretty cool.”

A native of Dyer, Ind., Bobos was the only child born to Greg Sr. and Kathy. As a youngster, he kept himself busy with a variety of activities.

“When you’re little, you tend to have quite an imagination,” he says. “I loved to build things with Lego bricks.”

He also played soccer, baseball and basketball, with his father coaching many of his teams. Baseball is his favorite sport; he’s always been a diehard White Sox fan. “I won’t even step foot in Wrigley Field,” he teases.

Growing up, Bobos dreamed of going into space, not following the weather. “I grew up wanting to be an astronaut because I was fascinated by the unknown,” he says. “As I got older, my interests turned toward the weather for the same reason, the thrill of the unknown and ever-changing.

“I grew up watching the weather,” he adds. “I wanted to be that guy who told you to grab your coat on your way to work. I wanted people to be able to depend on me. I’m lucky to be doing what I do, and that people want to watch.”

In 2011, Bobos graduated from Indiana University with a major in atmospheric science and a minor in physics. He loved the college experience. “There was something about Indiana, from the campus, to the people, to the school spirit – it just felt right,” he says.

Somewhat shy, working in communications helped Bobos to get out of his shell. It’s also helped him deal with a stuttering problem he had as a child. “It wasn’t anything that was noticeable,” he says. “It was only when I got excited. People who stutter tend to talk fast.”

Bobos got his first job out of college at WYIN, a PBS station in Merrillville, Ind. He split his time between television and radio. He was co-host of an afternoon radio talk show called Lakeshore Drive, and he was the evening meteorologist on the television side. “The radio show was pretty laid back,” he says. “We covered sports, weather and interviewed a variety of guests. It was a good time.”

He spent eight months at WYIN before moving to Rockford in June 2012, for an opportunity too good to pass up: working on a morning show in a larger television market. Bobos only knew of Rockford from friends who played in the drum line for the Phantom Regiment, the well-known drum and bugle corps.

But he’s quickly grown to appreciate his new home. “I love the people of Rockford, “he says. “It’s similar to my hometown. I’ve noticed there are good people here who are willing to help out others. There’s a good Midwestern feel here.”

Delivering an accurate weathercast is not only necessary, but also offers some levity to any news program, says Bobos. “There’s a lot of hard news in a 30-minute broadcast,” he says. “When weather comes around, it gives people a chance to take a deep breath and relax. You can smile and laugh.”

And that he does, with his co-anchors Hannah Welker and Aaron Wright. Like the time he gave the pair a drum lesson during a segment from a local music store. Or the time he and Welker visited a local candy store for a Valentine’s Day story. Bobos is lactose intolerant, something he’s suffered from since childhood. “People ask me if I miss milk and ice cream,” he says. “You can’t miss what you’ve never had.”

Bobos and his co-hosts get along well on and off the set, and it shows in the quality of their work. “It’s like three friends sitting on a living room couch just talking,” he says. “We’re serious when we have to be, but there’s also a time to relax and have fun. We’re lucky that all three of us have good chemistry together.”

Welker agrees. “Greg’s very smart,” she says. “If you ask him something, he always comes back with, ‘I’m a scientist.’ He has a good sense of humor. He can make me laugh about anything. But what makes Greg awesome at his job is that you can always count on him. If something goes wrong with the show, or if we have more time to fill, Greg will step up and give 110 percent. He’s always prepared to get the job done to the best of his ability. He knows when to get down to business and he quietly reels Aaron and me back in. He’s a quiet leader. He’s a nice guy and deserves all the success he’s had so far.”

When he’s not at work, Bobos stays plenty busy. He makes the two-hour drive back home to visit his parents, and his girlfriend Tiffany, whom he met two years ago through mutual friends.

His favorite vacation destination is Disney World, where he’s made a handful of trips over the years. “It’s a place where you can still be a kid,” he says. “You can let go for a few days.”

He also finds time to play fantasy sports. “It’s something fun to do and it keeps me in touch with friends back home,” he says. “It gives us something to talk about when we’re 150 miles apart.”

And, of course, there’s his favorite hobby. Bobos still has a drum set, but living in an apartment keeps his playing to a minimum. “It’s like riding a bike,” he says. “Once you play, you never forget.” Bobos would like to join a band one day, and he has aspirations of teaching students how to play the drums.

“It’s a good feeling to help someone else out,” he says. “I know I wasn’t good when I started. I had a lot of people help me.”

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