Get to know more about WBKO's Chris Allen.
Since the super outbreak of tornadoes near his Northern Tennessee home in 1974, Chris has had a fascination with weather.
Once frightened by the winds, the lightning, and the dark clouds, Chris overcame his fears by learning why and how storms happen. He says he always wanted to be like the guy on TV tracking the storm. He also had a passion for music and listening to the radio often trying to mimic the news broadcasters and DJ's of the day. He figured until the time was right to enter television he would brush up on his skills in radio and worked in the Nashville radio market while still in high school. Chris had various stints as an on-air personality and news reader at stations such as NewsTalk 1510 WLAC, WLAC-FM (now WNRQ) and The Big 98, WSIX-FM. In fact, it was in the mid 80's that Chris was often the "fill in" host for Gerry House who retired in early 2011 from "The House Foundation" at WSIX.
His first venture into television was in 1983 when he was hired to the creative services department at Nashville's new Channel 30, WCAY. There, Chris learned the ins and outs of TV production and was the station's primary announcer.
Chris' dream to do TV weather finally came true in 1984. After all those years in radio, Chris took a job as the creative services director at WGRB-TV in Campbellsville, Kentucky. While there he designed a small set just big enough for one anchor and a weather map. Chris happened to be that one anchor. Chris also kept his hand in radio on weekends working at "The Beaver 96.7 WBVR", "The Gator G107" (now WUHU), WCKQ, Campbellsville and Christian Family Radio WCVK in Bowling Green.
He joined WBKO in 1986 behind the scenes in the creative services department. Chris' daily responsibilities included writing, shooting video, editing and voicing commercials and station promotions. In 1988, Chris finally got the break he was hoping for when he was named the Weekend Weather Anchor.
Not long after, Chris was named Weather Director of the First Alert Storm Team and began his stint as Morning Weather Anchor and co-host of AM Kentucky. Through several co-host changes over the years, Chris has remained a constant on the morning show which consistently ranks as one of the highest rated local morning news shows in America. As Weather Director, Chris has been responsible for implementing many improvements to the First Alert Weather Center, including the introduction of South Central Kentucky's only live Doppler radar, a network of full-time storm spotters and facilitating a continuing series of public weather preparedness classes in conjunction with the National Weather Service. When Chris started doing weather in 1986, he had one computer. There are now over a dozen weather computers in the First Alert Weather Center including a hub that houses Kentucky's largest network of weather cams through AAASystems. All of this technology works together to bring you weather information unmatched by any other local source.
Presently, Chris is past-Chairman of the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC) which helps prepare citizens across Kentucky for severe weather. It is through this committee that he and (then) Kentucky State Senator Brett Guthrie helped author a bill that requires all Kentucky schools to conduct annual tornado safety drills. Chris also holds the National Weather Association Broadcast Seal of Approval and is currently Vice President of the NWA's Ohio Valley Chapter. He was given the Associated Press award for outstanding Public Safety reporting with coverage of the May 18, 1995 tornado outbreak in Southern Kentucky. Most recently, Chris was awarded several Kentucky Associated Press honors and the coveted "Mark Trail Award" from the National Weather Service for his intense severe weather campaign that prompted over 20,000 South Central Kentuckians to get a weather radio.
Chris has also been involved in other station activities such as Station Promotion Manager and Producer of many special programs such as "The Old Time Fiddler's Contest Special" and "The Glasgow Highland Games Specials." In 2006, Chris - along with co-host Whitney Ray hosted "Countdown To Country", a live one-hour special from the red carpet at the 40th annual Country Music Awards in Nashville.
Outside of the station, he has been a member of Habitat For Humanity, FEMA's Project Impact, and was past Chairman of the Bowling Green/Warren County Rescue Squad. As mentioned earlier, Chris is an avid music lover. He served as band booster president for the Bowling Green High School Marching Purples and is active in promoting high school marching bands throughout South Central Kentucky. You can also catch Chris helping with the annual WHAS Crusade For Children and St. Jude Children's Hospital Dream Home campaigns.
In 2013, a Hollywood movie producer heard Chris' daily weather podcast at Spreaker.com and used it in the 2014 release "Joe" starring Nicolas Cage. Chris' voice can be heard various times throughout the film as Cage's character (Joe) is listening to his truck radio.
Chris and his wife Shelia have two daughters who are now adults and starting lives of their own. Rachel, his oldest still lives in Bowling Green along with husband Daniel, son Caleb and step-daughter McKenzie. Jessica also lives here in Bowling Green and loves photography and is a business entrepreneur. Chris and Shelia have been married 31 years and attend Hillvue Heights Church in Bowling Green. Shelia is part of the Prayer Shawl ministry at Hillvue and spends her spare time knitting and crocheting shawls, scarves and hats for those who suffer from terminal disease and for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In his spare time, Chris enjoys watching old TV shows - taking trips with his wife Shelia and his buddy Danny to scenic parks and historic places. There's also a deep interest and appreciation for music as Chris often visits recording studios in Nashville, Muscle Shoals and Memphis to learn all about music history and the recording process. He has a vast collection of vinyl, CD's, cassettes and even 8-track tapes that span back to the early days of Country, Rock and Gospel music.
It is at Hillvue Heights Church where Chris serves on the Tech Team as a sound engineer and producer. Almost every Sunday Chris is in the audio booth at Hillvue mixing sound for three services to CD and DVD that are heard at Hillvue.tv and all around the world. In addition to all this, Chris shares a passion for ministry through worship and fellowship that he says gets him through each day. As he puts it, "I've been given many great gifts and I thank God every day that I get to share them with everyone else!"
Chris celebrated his 26th anniversary with WBKO on July 25, 2014.