Frank Mitchell pulled the plug on his TV career for a move to the financial sector.
Former longtime meteorologist Frank Mitchell used to warn the public to take cover when severe weather approached. Now, he helps people prepare for life’s potential storms in his role as a financial advisor for Edward Jones.
“I used to help people through a camera. Now it’s face-to-face,” Mitchell says as he reflects on his career change four years ago.
Mitchell, whose actual last name is Mamola — Mitchell is his middle name — decided that seeing his two children grow up was more important to him than working nights as the chief meteorologist at KTUL.
He had tried to have best of both worlds. He became the assistant coach of his son Grayson’s baseball team, but was often forced to arrive late and leave early while wearing a suit and tie in the Oklahoma heat.
“It was miserable,” says Mitchell, who also was disappointed to miss his daughter Chloe’s acting and cheerleading activities.
He needed a change.
However, the challenge was how to reinvent himself as his 50th birthday approached. He had been fixated on meteorology and news since he was a kid growing up in southern California.
Mitchell recalls he spent a year “soul-searching” and consulting with people he knew before a friend who worked as an advisor at Merrill Lynch made him an offer to join the financial firm.
“I had always been fascinated by the financial industry,” Mitchell says. “In fact, I remember my wife telling me a long time ago, ‘You’ll be a financial advisor someday.’”
Mitchell’s wife is Teri Bowers, the executive director and COO of the Oklahoma Aquarium, and Mitchell’s former co-worker at KTUL.
Mitchell’s on-air proposal to Bowers more than 20 years ago remains one of his bravest acts. At the time, the two co-hosted KTUL’s morning show.
“It could’ve been the end of my television career,” Mitchell says of the proposal. “Or, at least, I would’ve been known as the guy who got rejected on live television.”
Instead, his bold move briefly made him something of an international celebrity. The video spread online in an era when “going viral” hadn’t yet been coined. A Japanese news crew even traveled to Tulsa to do a story about the couple.
Bowers left the station in 2006. By 2012, Mitchell says the desire to be with his family was pulling him away from broadcasting, a career he’d started as a weekend anchor and weekday reporter in the Midland/Odessa, Texas, area in 1986.
Mitchell has no regrets about walking away from television, although he says he has turned down offers to return to KTUL. He now enjoys flipping among the channels on those springtime evenings when severe weather coverage rules the Tulsa airwaves.
“That’s not my job anymore,” says Mitchell, who recalls being on air seven straight hours on one of those bumpy nights. “My job now is taking care of people’s finances and helping them reach their goals.”