Ken Siemek first met Linda Beermann in the fall of 1981, when he started working at the Lincoln KOLN-KGIN television station as an intern.
Beermann was the station’s senior weather forecaster at the time, 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.
“While I don’t know that’s true, I wouldn’t dispute that point at all, that she was truly a pioneer in broadcasting for women, especially in the field of meteorology,” Siemek said, who worked with Beermann. for about five years until she quit television in 1986 to spend more time with her two young children.
After Beermann’s resignation, the station offered the position of senior forecaster to Siemek, a role he has now held for more than 35 years.
“If she had decided at that time to be a working mother, you might never have heard of Ken Siemek, and Ken Siemek and 10/11 might never have happened” , did he declare.
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Beermann, who died Friday at the age of 76, spent nearly two decades in the television news business, first at KMTV in Omaha after graduating 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.
She took over the role of chief forecaster in 1979 when longtime weather forecaster Bob Taylor died of cancer. She held that role – often writing down temperatures and forecasts and drawing frontal boundaries with dry-erase markers – until she left the company in 1986.
Siemek said he was surprised when Beermann quit because “she was such an iconic person and personality.”
“There was a great connection she had with viewers, and she was 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 and helping her husband, Allen, in his political career. Allen Beermann served as Nebraska’s secretary of state from 1971 to 1995 and later headed the Nebraska Press Association.
Allen Beermann retires after more than 50 years of public service
Besides being a devoted mother, Beermann has also been involved in many charitable causes. The Nebraska City native co-chaired the centennial celebration of Arbor Day, and she co-hosted two governors’ inaugural balls and participated in 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; a brother; and two grandsons.
Services for Beermann are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday at First-Plymouth Church, 2000 D St.
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