Lelan Statom is a true man of science, who has spent years studying meteorology to help make his forecasts pinpoint-accurate.
He delivers that information with a warm smile and good-natured personality, which have made him a local favorite with NewsChannel 5 viewers.
He was born in Chicago and raised in Dyersburg, Tennessee. Lelan says his interest in weather dates back to the 7th grade. In fact, he had his own weather center in his backyard when he was in middle school.
Lelan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications at the University of Tennessee- Knoxville in 1986. He received his Certificate of Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State in 1993.
Lelan started his career in Knoxville, first at WTVK-TV, then at WATE. He worked as a weather anchor - and then some. He served as a producer, photojournalist, tape editor and weekend assignment editor. Lelan also worked with Black Entertainment Television News during his time in Knoxville. In 1990, he moved to Bristol, VA and WCYB to become a weekend weather anchor/reporter. In 1993, NewsChannel 5 noticed his skills, and he moved his family to Nashville.
Lelan has received several awards and honors during his 10+ years at the station. He was the recipient of the YMCA Black Achievers Award in 1994 and 1995, and he has been named one of Nashville's top weather anchors by readers' polls in The Tennessean and the Nashville Scene. He was even voted best dressed male Nashvillian in a "Tennessean" reader's poll.
He was honored with an Emmy nomination, along with Chief Meteorologist Ron Howes, for best weathercast for coverage of the tornadoes that ripped through Nashville and the Mid-South in 1998.
In 2003, NewsChannel 5 This Morning was the highest rated local morning newscast in the country among the Top 30 TV markets. NewsChannel 5 Midday was also among one of the highest rated midday newscasts in the country.
Lelan is a volunteer with 4-H Clubs of America. He also serves on several boards in the community including the TN 4-H Foundation, Northwest YMCA and Middle TN Boy Scouts. In 1999, Metro Nashville Mayor, Bill Purcell, appointed him to serve as a member of the Davidson Co. Agricultural Extension Committee; the Mayor and Metro council reappointed him to the post in 2003.
Lelan is a member of the National Weather Association, American Meteorological Society, and 100 Black Men of Middle TN and is the president of the Nashville Assoc. of Black Journalists.
Lelan's forecasts not only help you plan your day, they are a big help to him. On days when he sees clear skies, Lelan takes to the parks for walking or bike riding. He also loves to take pictures. His favorite subjects are his wife Yolanda and their daughter Kayela and son Taylor.