Clint Youle is a pleasant, neighborly citizen of 35 with spectacles and crew cut, who got into television almost by accident. He was a radio newswriter in Chicago 2½ years ago when station WNBQ started looking for someone to do a televised weather show. Youle mentioned that he had taken a three-months course in meteorology in the Army and got the job. By last week the job had grown to two local weather shows, a 45-second spot twice a week on John Cameron Swayze's network telecast (TIME, June u), and had boosted Weatherman Youle's salary to $40,000 a year.
Screen-Porch Manner. Comfortably stationed before a 3-by-4-ft. map of the U.S., Youle starts out with a quick survey of local conditions ("Did you notice that sun today? It's going to stick around for a spell"), sketches in symbols for his predictions (e.g., a sun for fair weather). Then he branches out to cover the outlook for most of the U.S., tells why weather forecasts sometimes go wrong, how a barometer works ("It's just a scale for weighing the air above it"), explains the theory of weather fronts ("When warm air comes into contact with cold air, that makes weather").
Over the past two years, Youle's neighborly, screen-porch approach to the weather has brought him thousands of devoted listeners, who deluge him with fan mail. When Chicago soldiers were sent off to Korea, their relatives wrote to Clint for a report on Korea's climate. A southern Illinois coal-mine owner askedand got information on how to adjust a barometer for use in his mine. Among Youle's most appreciative fans are the personnel of Chicago's U.S. Weather Bureau, grateful for someone who appreciates the weatherman and who knows how to handle critics when forecasts go wrong. Said one weather official: "He makes a real, honest effort to understand weather forecasting and to put it over."
Family Act. Youle admits that he was as stifi and nervous as any amateur during his first few appearances as a TV weatherman. But his wife Jeanne and his brother Bruce got to work on him, and "between the two of them, they hammered me into something." Now, one of Youle's local shows includes his brother (for commercials) and his wife (for family chatter). When the Youles went off on vacation last month, even his 60-year-old mother got into the act, substituting for Jeanne by reminiscing about young Clint and old Chicago.
Last week, Clint was back before the cameras again, talking about his favorite subject, still a little surprised at the way people listened. "I've been astonished," says he, "at the interest people have in the weather. Not just from the farmer, with his bread & butter interest, but interest from everywhere. It's one human-interest story that never runs dry."