KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A lot of people have walked the halls of WOOD TV8. Perhaps one of the most well-known is Ginger Zee.
A West Michigan native and former member of Storm Team 8, Zee is now the chief meteorologist at ABC News, appearing daily on Good Morning America.
Zee has come a long way since her time at WOOD TV8, a journey to the top that certainly had some bumps along the way.
“This is a healing moment for me to realize I guess I don’t care,” Zee said.
When you live life in the spotlight in front of a national audience, getting to a place where you don’t care is huge. What viewers don’t see is that Zee is healing from a life marked by an abusive relationship, depression and a suicide attempt.
She lays it all out in her new book. The title, “Natural Disaster: I cover them, I am one,” says it all.
“I want you to know my flaws because I want you to know me better and I want you to know that person who has really nice lip gloss and shoes and a dress on has been fabricated by somebody else,” Zee said.
“Being real is such a big part of being a person. And it’s important to be able to be honest with your viewers. I think that honesty goes a long way with building a relationship,” Dustin Bonk said, referencing the frankness in Zee’s book.
Bonk, a meteorologist at WSYM/WILX in Lansing who used to be one of Zee’s student at Valparaiso University, was among those standing in the line that wrapped its way through the bookcases at the Woodland Mall Barnes & Noble Saturday to have Zee sign his copy of her book.
“She was an excellent mentor to me for many years,” Bonk said. “And I learned a lot from her as a young student, a young broadcaster trying to get into the field.”
In between the stories of her childhood in West Michigan and her days on “Dancing with the Stars,” Zee’s book contains a chapter titled “WOOD TV8.”
Ginger says it was an easy chapter to write. She described her time at West Michigan’s news leader as “career developing.”
“That part of my career at WOOD TV and the people and also just being in such a powerhouse place that was something I grew up watching was one of the most special times in my career,” Zee said.
In the book, she opens up like few have before her, allowing her viewers and readers in on her highs and lows and discovering she is finally comfortable with who she is.
“I worked very hard to be homecoming queen and then I worked hard my whole life to have people love me on TV. And now I’m taking the chance that people aren’t going to love what my story is. And it feels good. It’s actually really empowering and that’s when I know I’ve been healing,” Zee said.