City Journal: The Gonz Show: Todd Gross
Ousted from Channel 7, he took his act to the Web. At the end of a wacky winter, John Gonzalez talks to the do-it-yourself weatherman.
You do daily webcasts for ToddGross.com from your home. Where do you get the satellite imagery? Could you task your satellites to find bin Laden? We do it all from the home studio, yes. We have access through the public domain to satellites that are available to everyone, satellites that they don’t really use on television. It’s amazing what you can do if you know which ones to play with.
What happened at Channel 7? It’s been two years now, and no one’s ever told the full story. I don’t know the story. They just said they were moving in another direction.
Don’t those cats know you won two Emmys? Three.
Three! That’s more than two! Jeez, we should go down there and get your job back. [Laughs.] It’s been a nice change, actually. I’ve broadened my horizons. I’ve done some commercial work and I’m doing television in Springfield on the weekends, so it’s been good.
Is it true you have a snowmaking machine at your house? I have several. I love snow. I really, really love snow. To the point where I would cry as a kid when it didn’t snow. So first, I bought one. Then the next year, I learned how to make the machines. And a lot of snow. The year after that, I was up to 6 feet of snow in my backyard. It was spreading all over the neighborhood.
The neighbors must love that. Yeah, it’s kinda weird. It’s a little noisy.
You named your kids Sky and Sunshine. Are you maybe taking this weather thing a little too far? My lovely wife, Ava, who’s been absolutely great and supportive—she’s the one who went overboard. We’ll blame her.
That’s gutsy. One last thing: Your website says you “still remember meeting New Kids on the Block!” That’s how it’s written, with an exclamation point. You should probably take that down now. Hey, New Kids on the Block, to me, is in. I’m only 20 years behind, I guess. I was also excited to meet Mark Wahlberg. I met him around the time of The Perfect Storm [Gross was portrayed in the film]. You know, we actually met in the bathroom…it was a little odd.