June 6, 1955
James Max Spann Jr. is a Huntsville native but spent part of his childhood in Butler County before moving with his family to Tuscaloosa. While in high school he served as an amateur radio volunteer, transmitting information about the 1973 Brent tornado and 1974 Super Outbreak. He also worked as a disc jockey in Tuscaloosa while studying electrical engineering at the University of Alabama. His broadcast career took him to radio and TV stations in Montgomery, Birmingham, Demopolis and Dallas, Texas. In 1989, Spann returned to Birmingham to work at WBRC Channel 6. He also returned to school, earning a certificate in broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University. In 1996, Spann joined Birmingham’s ABC 33/40, one month after the station signed on the air. Now chief meteorologist there, Spann has received numerous broadcast awards, including an Emmy in 2014 for best television weather anchor in the Southeast. Spann also has been elected a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Silver Circle.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.