Van Denton came to WGHP TV more than 25 years ago after working in New Bern (WCTI-TV 12, ABC) and Myrtle Beach (WBTW-TV 13, CBS). After arriving at WGHP on April 1, 1990, he anchored the weather at 11pm, Monday-Friday and a few months later the 5pm weather when WGHP became the first station in the market with a 5pm news. For 6 of these years, he had a chance to work with the late Frank Deal and did team weather with Frank at 5:30pm once that newscast was added. Frank was with WGHP from 1969 until 1996. There have only been 2 Chief Meteorologists at WGHP since 1969. Not too many stations have that kind of stability.
He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from North Carolina State University in 1987 and received the AMS TV Seal of Approval shortly after.
He is a 5-time Emmy Nominee for best weather in the Mid-South region of the United States.
Voted best meteorologist in the Triad by:
*Reader’s Choice Awards
In 1997, he started a weather segment called Van’s Weather Kids and in 1999 gave a presentation to the national American Meteorological Society (AMS) Broadcast Conference in Orlando, Florida on the Weather Kids program. After this presentation, many other stations around the country began the segment too.
This program had been a dream for Van since he visited a station as a guest at 15 years old. In October 1980, he had sent a winter forecast to a Raleigh TV station, WPTF (NBC for the market in 1980) and was invited to give the winter forecast on the air. They did not normally invite kids to be on the air, but did in this case. The highlight was the first snow was forecast to be December 27, 1980, and was presented on-air 2 months in advance. On December 27, 1980, it did snow and he was invited back to the station and this opened many doors toward the television career. After realizing how significant this experience had been for him, he thought it would be great to do this for others. When Frank Deal retired in 1996 he brought the idea to the General Manager and News Director and they came up with Van’s Weather Kids. He had saved the names and phone numbers of young people he had met between 1990 and 1996 and called these young people to start the program. Once others saw it, the letters started pouring in from others wanting to be a part of the program. This program was nominated for 2 Emmy Awards.
Van credits two people for inspiring him in his career. The late Skip Waters at WCTI in New Bern where he interned and got his first job as a tv meteorologist. Skip even allowed him to fill-in and anchor the weather on a Friday night at 17 years old when he took a vacation day. He also learned a lot about the business from Frank Deal with whom he remained good friends until his passing in 2010.
He has been married for 25 years and he and his wife have 2 children.
Van anchors the weather for WGHP, Monday-Friday from 4-7pm and 10-11pm.