Weatherman comic Fritz Coleman retires after 4 decades of smiles & sunshine at NBC4

“Fritz said it would be like this.” But after 39 years of delivering his forecasts of “early morning low clouds and fog, hazy afternoon,” the man who has brought relentless sunshine to Southern California is retiring. Legendary weatherman Fritz Coleman is leaving the NBC4 news team and it marks the end of an era in local Los Angeles television. Coleman and NBC4 announced that Friday, June 26, at 5 pm and 11 pm, would be his last broadcasts.

Coleman made the choice to retire after four decades of success as part of one of the longest-running news anchor teams in the industry alongside co-anchors Colleen Williams and Chuck Henry and sports anchor Fred Roggin. After a year of planning his retirement, Coleman has decided to spend more time with his family, appreciate his good health, and dedicate more time to his outstanding standup comedy career and charity work.

Theaters around town, including the El Portal Theatre in the NoHo Arts District and the Garry Marshall Theatre in Toluca Lake (where Coleman has been the honorary mayor for decades) have honored the beloved comic with displays on their marquees. Fritz’ one-man comedy shows have been showcased at both the El Portal and the Garry Marshall Theatre.

Coleman’s style of humor seamlessly intertwined with his extensive knowledge of weather for his NBC4 broadcasts. And he used his comedy skills with his philanthropic work emceeing so many charity events. All that made him one of Southern California’s most popular and beloved TV anchors in the business. He joined NBC4 in 1982, and through the years became well known for his affable personality, turning weather forecasts into must-see TV on NBC4, and performing hilarious “Fritz and Fred” and memorable “Fritz said it would be like this” promos that viewers loved.

“This career has been a gift. To work in the greatest news operation in Southern California has been the greatest experience of my life,” said Coleman. “I have also had the opportunity of raising my children, while working with a wonderful team. I have made lifelong friends at NBC4 and in the community it serves. I’m so very thankful.”

Coleman has been named “Best Weathercaster” in nearly every major newspaper in Southern California and devotes much of his free time to supporting hundreds of charity events to benefit local nonprofits. He also led several NBC4 community town hall meetings addressing the drought crisis and educated neighborhoods on water conservation.

Coleman has garnered many awards for his dedication to community service. In 2019, he was feted by fellow broadcast professionals with the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters (PPB) lifetime achievement honor. Fritz also received an honorary doctorate from Woodbury University in Burbank for his extensive public service in the community.

Over the course of 20 years, he has received Humanitarian of the Year Awards from many charitable organizations, including groups like Shelter Partnership and the California Hospital Medical Center.  The City of Los Angeles named Coleman a “Treasure of Los Angeles,” and the United States House of Representativesgave him a congressional “Humanitarian of the Year Award” for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the American Red Cross.  Coleman has also been honored by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Salvation Army for his long-standing commitment to the organization.  He also holds the key to the City of Burbank, and is the Honorary Mayor of Toluca Lake.

Since the 1980’s, his humor has been featured in multiple shows that have aired on NBC4, including “What a Week” (1990 – 1991), “It’s Fritz” (1988-1990), “Fritz and Friends” (Special) and “The Perils of Parenting” (Special). He has four Los Angeles area Emmy Awards for his work on these specials and series.  His first production “It’s Me! Dad!” won the coveted 1997 Artistic Directors Award. Coleman also worked as a stand-up comic at clubs throughout California, most notably The Improv in Hollywood and The Ice House in Pasadena, where he continues to be a regular.  Coleman also made several appearances as a guest on the “Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and other network shows.

A Navy veteran, Coleman is originally from Philadelphia and attended Salem College in West Virginia and Temple University where he studied radio, television and film.  He moved to Los Angeles in 1980 from Buffalo, New York, where he worked as a radio personality. Prior to that, he was a disc jockey and radio talk show host.

When live theaters open again, Coleman will continue to appear in his acclaimed one-man show “Defying Gravity.” If it comes to a theater near you, go see Fritz for a rib-tickling/side-splitting comedy break. Coleman’s comedy is a blessing in the world especially nowadays.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.