Now he's got a different job. Last month, Spears signed off at CBS4 Denver for the last time, leaving the station to devote himself full-time to
Spears is among a rapidly growing number of local on-air TV personalities who've left their gigs, and often the profession, over recent years. Sam Boik, Matt Makens, Kevin Torres,
Even so, Spears says that his decision to leave his "dream job" wasn't easy.
"I grew up in Arkansas. I was basically at my grandparents' house all the time, and when the Weather Channel came out in
The journey to his debut before the cameras was a long one. Spears calls himself a "nontraditional college student" thanks to educational stints in Arkansas and Minnesota that preceded the completion of a meteorology degree at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he's now a faculty member; he's taught an intro-to-meteorology course at Metro for nine years. In addition, he handled products for Calvin Klein and Pandora jewelry, sold radio advertising and served as an assistant to Denver weather legend Mike Nelson at both 9News and Denver7 before being hired by CBS4 Denver at age 36.
"Most people don't start their TV career in Denver," he acknowledges. "Fortunately, I did."
Photo by Evan Semón courtesy of CBS4 Denver
Courtesy of Chris Spears
For more than eight years, forecaster Chris Spears was a staple on CBS4 Denver , where he built up a considerable fan base with his ultra-accessible style and devotion to giving practical advice. "To me, a TV meteorologist is a customer-service giver," he says. "We offer a product and give it to you to meet your needs — and that product is information. That's how I treated my job."Now he's got a different job. Last month, Spears signed off at CBS4 Denver for the last time, leaving the station to devote himself full-time to Outside the Box , a store at 5760 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard in Arvada devoted to décor for the home and garden that he owns with partner Dorn Nienaber. And he couldn't be more pleased. As he wrote in a Facebook post about his new life shared yesterday, October 25, "I wake up happy and go to bed happy...EVERY SINGLE DAY!"Spears is among a rapidly growing number of local on-air TV personalities who've left their gigs, and often the profession, over recent years. At least sixteen Fox31/Channel 2 stars have moved on since early 2021, including Natalie Tysdal Michael Konopasek and Aimee Lewis, who created a podcast that's a devastating takedown of the broadcast-news industry . And other stations haven't been immune from such exits: Liz Kotalik Ryan Haarer and Becky Ditchfield split from 9News, and CBS4 Denver's Jim Benemann has announced his plans to retire at year's end. Even so, Spears says that his decision to leave his "dream job" wasn't easy."I grew up in Arkansas. I was basically at my grandparents' house all the time, and when the Weather Channel came out in 1982 , they watched it nonstop — and so I did, too," he recalls. "Honestly, my grandma really fostered the weather passion in me. We watched that channel from sunup to sundown, and she'd get me posterboard to make maps. That's where it all started."The journey to his debut before the cameras was a long one. Spears calls himself a "nontraditional college student" thanks to educational stints in Arkansas and Minnesota that preceded the completion of a meteorology degree at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he's now a faculty member; he's taught an intro-to-meteorology course at Metro for nine years. In addition, he handled products for Calvin Klein and Pandora jewelry, sold radio advertising and served as an assistant to Denver weather legend Mike Nelson at both 9News and Denver7 before being hired by CBS4 Denver at age 36."Most people don't start their TV career in Denver," he acknowledges. "Fortunately, I did."Over the years that followed, Spears prognosticated in many different time slots, including mornings and weekends, but always with a concentration on transparency."I took it very personally if the forecast I gave was wrong, because I knew somebody had counted on me when they made their plans that day," he says. "I also believe that when you deliver a forecast, you don't just say, 'Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain, high of 80.' I'd always try to give a range of possibilities — like, 'This is a tricky one. If you're making outdoor plans, you need to constantly check back, because this could change.' I tried to make things human-to-human, conversational, and if I had doubts, I'd let you know it."He adds: "I think some meteorologists are a little too confident in their forecasts, and when it doesn't happen the way they said, the public doesn't understand, and they feel like they didn't get good information. So my goal was always to give you a range of possibilities if that's what the message needed to be."He offered a prime example of this philosophy in April 2019, when Spears's peers were falling all over themselves hyping what was dubbed Denver Bomb Cyclone II . Practically the only voice of sanity prior to what turned out to be a fairly minor spring storm was Spears, who tweeted, "Ok y’all I keep seeing and hearing #bombcyclone2019 thrown around. I know it’s sexy and all, but this isn’t quite that this time though extremely strong. Let’s call this one the ugly 3rd cousin from mama’s side of the family."Being right wasn't making him rich, though. "Television has certainly changed over the years," he confirms. "It's like any other business: You need to do more with less. The salaries are lower, and the days of long-term, high-dollar contracts are gone unless you're at the network level or perhaps the main anchor of a show. And it's not as glamorous as people think. Sometimes we get special access to sporting events or concerts, but it's not like the good old days in the '80s and '90s. With cell phones and streaming and everything on-demand, the TV business is having to fight to survive, and sometimes the people aren't always treated the way they should be treated."Given these new realities, Spears launched a side hustle. Over the past five years, he and Nienaber opened a number of booths at sites such as the Maker's Market at Southwest Plaza , selling the sort of items that now dominate the stock at Outside the Box, which opened its doors in April. The success of these enterprises rose at a time when Spears was growing more frustrated with what was happening at CBS4 Denver."Over the last eighteen months or so, certain decisions were made with regard to scheduling that I didn't agree with," he says. "And with my business with Dorn doing so well, and approaching what is going to be our very first Christmas on our own in retail, the decision was clear: I needed to shift my attention and my focus elsewhere to benefit me, my life and my family."While Spears stresses that he bears no ill will toward anyone at CBS4 Denver, he's also regret-free about the choice he made — and he's having a great time running Outside the Box. "Twice a year, we go to different markets around the country, sourcing and seeking out items that are unique — things that you probably haven't seen or will not see in many gift shops," he says. "We work hard to have all price points, from under five dollars to $500, and to offer a wide variety of stuff. And we love having a relationship with our customers. We have a sign on the door that says 'Fur Babies are Welcome,' because when people come in with their dogs, they get a dog treat. Some of them joke that they can't walk past our store anymore without their dog bringing them in to get a treat. We always have candles burning, so the store smells amazing, and we play upbeat, fun, jazzy music. It's an atmosphere, an experience, which we work at every day."Given his position at Metro, weather remains a part of his life: "I still pull up maps and do forecasts each day in class," Spears says. But he also provides a more personal service."A surprising number of former viewers come in, and when they recognize me, they'll jokingly ask me for a forecast," he concludes. "And I tell them, 'Come in anytime. I'll be happy to give a forecast just for you.'"
Beau BissonEarn that Thanksgiving feast by joining in a turkey trot this morning. The 49th annual Turkey Trot also marks the 135th anniversary of Mile High United Way. It draws nearly 9,000 people to Washington Park each year for a four-mile run/walk and community celebration, complete with a Little Gobbler fun run. Registration starts at 7:30 this morning and ranges from $40 to $45. Find out more here The Thanksgiving morning 5K has become almost as traditional as a Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings.15 days ago Westword
In the week leading to the November 8 election, polls predicted few close races among candidates in major Colorado races . But while many of the outcomes were predictable, including the easy wins scored by Governor Jared Polis and incumbent U.S. They show Polis easily outdistancing Republican Heidi Ganahl 57-40 percent, and District 1's DeGette, District 2's Joe Neguse, District 4's Buck, District 5's Doug Lamborn and District 6's Jason Crow, all incumbents, retaining their seats. In District 7, Brittany Pettersen, a Democrat chosen to follow retiring Congressman Ed Perlmutter, breezed to victory as well.Meanwhile, Republican dreams of gaining majorities in the Colorado General Assembly have disappeared. Note that Hugh McKean's name was still on ballots for District 51 representative; he passed away late late last month.Michael Bennet: 54.95%Joe O'Dea: 42.49%T.J.1 month ago Denver Westword
Hell, it’s the Stanley Hotel ’s reason for being at this point, an entire estate devoted to perfect poltergeist-ian profit.Ghosts are in many ways history taken physical form, and so many small businesses that offer history tours in metro Denver also offer ghost tours, especially in the lead-up to Halloween. One of the several tours offered by Dark Side of Denver offers Goodstein himself telling the stories. (One local ghost named Karen would like to speak to the manager.) “What makes it all the more spooky is the unknown number of bodies still underground,” says Rachel Strobolsen, who runs Denver Local Tours with her husband. The tours are described as “unflinching” and “unnerving.” Think you’re brave enough to experience “Denver’s most terrifying ghost tour”?1 month ago Denver Westword
From the Baller Art CollectionPicasso as Printmaker: A Collector’s Perspective, from the Baller Art Collection, is a feather in the cap for the Museum of Art Fort Collins. A new Picasso print show,, from the Baller Art Collection, is a feather in the cap for the Museum of Art Fort Collins. Mitchell Museum of Western Artclick to enlarge Artist Valerie Savarie interprets the photo above. There's also a finale for Untitled: Creative Fusions 2022 at the Denver Art Museum, a tiny coffin art show and Sexthetics by the Chant Cooperative Finding art isn’t the problem this Halloween weekend — it’s finding the time to see all the art. If you agree,is your kind of art show, with nanoscopic artist-decorated coffins to buy and take home the same night.1 month ago Denver Westword
DORA would be charged with licensing "healing centers," where people could go to consume psychedelics for therapeutic purposes in a supervised setting. Following recommendations from the Natural Medicine Advisory Board, DORA could legalize access centers for other decriminalized substances, such as DMT and ibogaine, in 2026. New Approach PAC , a D.C-based drug-policy reform advocacy group, is pushing the measure, and has contributed over $3 million to the Natural Medicine Colorado campaign. Some grassroots psychedelics advocates, including ones who worked on the Decriminalize Denver campaign, are opposed to 122. “The Natural Medicine Health Act is designed to make these breakthrough treatments available for all Coloradans in a safe and structured way, based on the research," he says.1 month ago Westword
click to enlarge The study suggest moving more people off the streets will cut down on police interactions. Evan SemonA new study from the liberal-leaning Urban Institute shows that when Denver takes a housing-first approach to homelessness, individuals who become housed through these programs have far fewer interactions with police and are arrested less often than those who remain chronically homeless. "Of the 92,550 total cited offenses in Denver in 2018, 1,576 were for offenses associated with experiencing homelessness among the SIB target population," the report states. "What ends up happening is police spend a lot of time managing that problem through citations of people experiencing homelessness. "The study suggests that the City of Denver could save considerable time and money on police work if it expanded the Social Impact Bond program .1 month ago Denver Westword
"Take a little soul, mix in some rock, country and blues, and you have the unique sound of Nathaniel Rateliff," saidhost Jane Pauley at the start of the show's October 23 segment highlighting Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats This wasn't the Colorado musician's first time on national TV; he appeared onseven years ago, and then as recently again as last November . It wasn't even his first time on CBS, asdid a segment on Rateliff and his band last November, too. He started out playing smaller Denver venues, such as the Mercury Cafe and the hi-dive , before moving up to the Bluebird and the Gothic and then regularly selling out Red Rocks. Rateliff shaved his head on the spot.Watch Rateliff's appearance below:If this made you itch to see Rateliff live, you'll have to wait a couple of months. The band plays Belly Up in Aspen on December 9 and 10, and returns to Denver on December 16 to play Ball Arena.1 month ago Denver Westword