But as his power increases, Neil’s ego increases, which some suggest is a real-life parallel to Schwartz. “He’s become incredibly egotistical,” says one NBC 10 employee who asks not to be named. “Like whenever there’s weather, he thinks the show should revolve around him.”
According to the employee, Schwartz has lately become a bit of a newsroom diva, someone who condescends to producers and his fellow employees. Last year, he made the papers when he shamed Vince DeMentri during a live broadcast for standing waist-deep in floodwaters, which Schwartz said was dangerous. DeMentri was livid at being interrupted, and the two nearly came to blows in the newsroom. Schwartz titters uncomfortably when asked about the incident. “It was an unfortunate misunderstanding,” he says. “Vince and I get along well.” Spoken like a true celebrity.
But that Hurricane in a teapot was followed by a larger one. In December, the Inquirer ran an item alleging that Schwartz was refusing to mention Christmas on the air. “There was a shot from our helicopter showing all the holiday lights on the houses lit up,” says one NBC colleague. “And he was supposed to say something like, ‘This is lit up so well, Santa should have no trouble finding your house this year!’” According to the source, Schwartz refused to say the line. Being Jewish, he said, and furthermore a scientist, he did not want to acknowledge Santa Claus in his broadcast.
News of Schwartz’s Santa-denial broke, and sent viewers into a frenzy. According to an NBC source, the station was inundated with e-mails and calls demanding the weatherman’s resignation, and Schwartz was directed by his bosses to read an on-air statement in which he called the Inquirer item “absolutely untrue,” signing off, “Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a joyous Kwanzaa!”
Schwartz says he was never directed to read anything, and adds, “It was all misunderstanding. It was exaggerated.”
“A bald-faced lie,” says the NBC source. “What you read in the paper was true.”
Prior to these incidents, Schwartz had been nothing but a friend to the print media. “I have never dealt with anybody so eager to have their divorce written about,” says Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross, who led a September column with the headline, “The forecast is divorce for NBC 10 meteorologist Glenn ‘Hurricane’ Schwartz.” “Usually you have to beat someone over the head to get that information.” Under the impression he was getting an exclusive, Gross had asked Schwartz if he was planning on speaking to any other media outlets. “The next day,” Gross says, “two other papers also reported his split and quoted from a ‘statement’ released by Glenn. The guy’s issuing a press release about his divorce. You really don’t see that shit ever. I asked him if he planned to become a pussy-magnet like John Bolaris and he joked it off, but I wonder if that’s what he was trying to do. To let women know he’s out there swinging.”
Schwartz is dating now — since he’s such a recognizable personality, he tends to rely on being set up by friends — but he met his one true love a long time ago. “I will love the weather until the day I die,” he says.