Before cable TV and smartphone apps, Nebraskans got their weather forecast from Linda Beermann

Ken Siemek first met Linda Beermann in the fall of 1981, when he began working at Lincoln television station KOLN-KGIN as an intern.

Beermann at the time was the station’s chief weather forecaster, a rare position for a woman in the early 1980s. In fact, she may have been the first woman in the country to hold such a title.

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“While I don’t know that’s true, I wouldn’t argue that point at all that she really was a pioneer in broadcasting for females, especially on the meteorological end of it,” said Siemek, who worked with Beermann. for about five years until she left television in 1986 to spend more time with her two young children.

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After Beermann resigned, the station offered the chief forecaster position to Siemek, a role he has now held for more than 35 years.

“If she had decided at that time to be a working mom, you might never have heard of Ken Siemek, and Ken Siemek and 10/11 might never have happened,” he said.

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With temperatures dropping, prepare to spend more time in the morning removing frost, ice and possibly snow from your car.

Beermann, who died Friday at age 76, spent nearly two decades in the television news business, first at KMTV in Omaha after she graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, then at 10/11.

She started at the station as a reporter and photographer in 1968 and added weekend weather forecasting to her duties in 1970.

Linda Beermann announcement, March 1, 1981

An ad in the March 1, 1981 edition of the Journal-Star featured 10/11 leading weather forecaster Linda Beermann.

She took over the lead forecaster role in 1979 when longtime weather forecaster Bob Taylor died of cancer. She fulfilled that role—often writing temperatures and forecasts and drawing forward boundaries with dry-erase markers—until she left the business in 1986.

Siemek said he was surprised at the time Beermann resigned because “she was such an iconic person and personality.”

“There was a great connection she had with the viewers, and she was very well respected within our newsroom and really the industry as far as broadcast journalists go,” he said, calling her a “larger-than-life” personality.

After leaving broadcasting, Beermann devoted herself to raising her two sons as well as helping her husband, Allen, with his political career. Allen Beermann was Nebraska’s secretary of state from 1971-1995 and later headed the Nebraska Press Association.

In addition to being a dedicated mother, Beermann was also involved in many charitable causes. The Nebraska City native co-chaired the Arbor Day centennial celebration, and she co-chaired the inaugural balls of two governors and was involved with the Nebraska Mothers Association’s Mother of the Year program.

In addition to her husband, Beermann is survived by her two sons, Matthew and John; brother; and two grandchildren.

Services for Beermann are set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday at First-Plymouth Church, 2000 D St.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or [email protected]

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.


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