Few local broadcasters are as recognizable as KOAA’s lead forecaster Mike Daniels. When you’ve been on Colorado Springs airwaves for almost four decades, you can’t help G become a familiar face. To get to know Mike away from the camera, I asked him a few simple questions:
Question: You’ve been on the air in Colorado Springs for as long as I can remember. In a business where people are frequently on the move, what is it about the Pikes Peak region that’s kept you from moving to a different market?
Answer: I have been on the air at Channel 5 for over 36 years now. I’ve had opportunities to move to other markets G being born and raised here in southern Colorado, specifically Pueblo, I’ve always felt that being close to family is much more rewarding than chasing bigger markets. I really love our beautiful part of the world and the excitement of forecasting in Colorado.
Q: What three foods do you have to have in your fridge or pantry?
A: I have to have fruit to start my day; apples and bananas are a must. I enjoy breakfast burritos, even at night when I get home from work. My favorite has to be bean, egg and cheese with plenty of green sauce. A couple times a month I splurge and get homemade Slovenian klobase, a specialty sausage at Franks Meat Market in Pueblo. They must infuse it with a lot of garlic spice because even the smell when slow boiling is delicious. I cut the klobase down the middle and add Pueblo chile and cheese.
Q: If your TV had only three shows or networks on it, what would you be watching?
A: If I had only three TV shows to watch the first would be “House Hunters” on HGTV as I really like the Mexico episodes. My fiance and I try to get to Puerto Vallarta or Cancun a couple times a year. I had to cancel a trip in March due to COVID. I love the NFL Network and the series “A Football Life.” I also find “Better Call Saul” entertaining.
Q: When you were a kid, what did you imagine yourself doing for a living?
A: When I was a kid I wanted to be in radio. I bought two record players and practiced in my basement. My parents thought I was up to something bad because I wouldn’t let anyone in the basement when practicing. I was a bit shy when I was younger. If I wasn’t in TV I would probably want to work for Parks and Wildlife due to my love of the Colorado outdoors and all it has to offer.
Q: You’re a Colorado native. What’s it like to work as a public figure in the same state you grew up in?
A: It’s been really great to spend my entire career here in the area I grew up in. I still see people on the streets that I went to school with. It’s really rewarding to know your audience on a first name basis. I still feel that the people of southern Colorado are some of the friendliest anywhere. I used to do a promotion on air called “Mike’s Backyard BBQ.” I would bring BBQ to the winners’ homes and do the weather live. People still stop me on the street to this day and remind me of that promotion.
Q: Has there ever been a time you were completely starstruck?
A: The only time I was really starstruck was when I was about 10 or 11 years old. The Baltimore Colts held training camp in Golden at the Colorado School of Mines. I was a huge Colts fan. My dad took me to watch the Colts practice and I was able to meet Johnny Unitas, the Hall of Fame quarterback, and get his autograph, which I still have to this day.
Q: What has been one of your strangest or funniest encounters with a TV viewer?
A: I’ve got many stories about encounters with viewers, some of which can’t be printed in the newspaper. I do remember the first time someone recognized me for being on Channel 5. I was in the grocery store when a man came up to me and said, “You look about 15 pounds heavier in person.” I told him the suit can hide a lot of things.
Gazette TV critic Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones.