John M. Galloway / Detroit News)
Today is longtime meteorologist Chuck Gaidica’s last day on WDIV’s weather desk.
Gaidica, who has been on Detroit television for more than 30 years, is leaving to pastor a Novi church.
During an hour-long special on WDIV Friday evening, Gaidica sat down for a meal and a talk with his 11 p.m. broadcast team: Carmen Harlan, Devin Scillian and Bernie Smilovitz.
“It’s the best team I’ve ever worked with on the air and it’s the best team I could have ever hoped to work with,” Gaidica said during the “Good Luck Chuck” special.
“We should say thank you, but we’re really upset with you,” Harlan said jokingly. “But thank you.”
The show aired some of Gaidica’s more memorable moments during broadcasts including his halloween costumes and taking a pie to the face.
In January, Gaidica announced he was leaving his position as director of meteorology to join Novi’s Oak Pointe Church as its pastor of world outreach. The church has 3,000 members.
Gaidica said he first thought about leaving the station about eight years ago.
“I kinda felt life was going to change, but I didn’t know what that meant,” he said.
Gaidica said he didn’t know he would be going into the ministry, but he knew he would be focused on working with others.
“I was restless because I always felt I should be developing something,” he said.
Gaidica, a three-time Emmy Award winner, joined Channel 4 in 1987 after five years at WJBK.
Concerned for the station in finding a replacement, he gave several months’ notice.
He’ll be replaced on the evening newscasts by meteorologist Ben Bailey.
Gaidica will contribute to WDIV-TV part time, with a focus on special events and good-news features.
Former WDIV anchor Mort Crim was among more than a dozen current and former colleagues who offered their well wishes during the show. He recalled sharing newscasts and telethons with Gaidica.
“I’ve always considered you a class act,” he said. “Indeed you are.
“You’re going to be a loss to television, but you’re going to be a gain to the church.”