Brian Wagner, born in and raised in Cincinnati, came to Southeast Ohio in the fall of 1985 to attend Muskingum University. After graduating in 1989 with a degree in Communication, he began his broadcast career in New Lexington. After a short stay at WWBK in Mount Vernon, he join the WHIZ Media Group in fall 1992 starting as the Afternoon host on WHIZ AM.
He was named Program Director for WHIZ FM in the spring of 1994. In 1995, he became WHIZ’s Radio Operations Manager. Brian was then named Media Operations Manager in the summer of 2004, over seeing all programming aspects of the WHIZ Media Group. He also co-anchors, and is the meteorologist for, WHIZ TV’s "Live at Noon." Brian is a member of the National Weather Association and has a certificate in meteorology from Mississippi State University.
Brian is active in the community, serving as a trustee for the Muskingum County Community Foundation and is the current President of the Board for Muskingum, Perry and Morgan County United Way. He is an adjunct professor at Muskingum University. He served as the Inaugural President of the Muskingum County Community Foundation Council and as a past board member of Zanesville Community Theatre, Genesis Advisory Committee and Mid-East Career and Tech Center’s Communication advisory board. Brian and his wife Christine have a son, Matthew and a daughter, Lizzie.
Phil Sakal was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio where his fascination with weather began. From three feet of snow from a lake effect snow storm, to golf ball size hail Northeast Ohio had it all. From a very early age Phil knew he wanted to be a Meteorologist.
Phil went to Ohio University in Athens, Ohio where he majored in Meteorology/Geography. While at OU he was a member of the Meteorology Club. He is also a member of the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association.
Phil interned at WEWS Newschannel 5 in Cleveland, Ohio before coming to WHIZ in May of 2012. He is excited to be apart of the WHIZ Storm Team, and you can catch him on Sunrise in Southeast Ohio every weekday morning at 6 AM.
In his free time, other than keeping tabs on the weather, Phil enjoys golfing, watching the Cleveland Indians and Browns, and is always on the look out for a great pizza!
Feel free to drop him a line!
Matt Albanese grew up in New Jersey and began at WHIZ-TV in April, 2012. Matt lived in the New York tri-state area his entire life before moving to Southeast Ohio and is enjoying his time in the Midwest. Matt has always been passionate about meteorology and there is no question that East Coast snowstorms had something to do with it.
After having completed a BA in International Business & Management from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and gaining some initial experience in the business world, Matt decided to attend Kean University in Union, NJ. At Kean, he earned a second degree in Meteorology. Matt also further developed his communication and presentation skills through television broadcasts, radio forecasts as well as live weekly radio discussions.
Matt is fortunate to have been able to intern at News 12 The Bronx, an independently owned news company, for 3 semesters during 2010 and 2011. More recently, he worked as a Freelance Meteorologist for ABC News in New York City from August 2011-March 2012. At ABC, Matt created weather graphics for World News with Diane Sawyer and was trained to assist during World News overnight programs & Good Morning America.
When Matt is not working, he enjoys watching the New York Yankees and the New York Giants. He also enjoys being outdoors and spending time with family and friends.
Weather Forecaster / Reporter
Katie Donovan was born and raised in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. She joined WHIZ as a weather forecaster and reporter in June, 2014. Ever since she was young, she has loved anything and everything to do with the sky. Becoming a weather forecaster has been her dream for a long time!
She attended school at the College of Mount St. Joseph, in Delhi, Ohio where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Communication and New Media Studies. During her college years, Katie spent some time working as a summer Orientation Leader and Publicity coordinator for the Campus Activities Board. She also wrote news stories for her school paper, Dateline, during her junior and senior years.
Katie previously worked for FOX19 in Cincinnati as a News Content Specialist, running camera and prompter for the newscasts. During her time there, she also got to work as weather assistant and make graphics for the show. During severe weather events, Katie helped in updating social media postings.
In her free time, she enjoys horseback riding, fishing, painting, drawing and creative writing.