Weather Channel Lameness

The following New York Post article just appeared on the The Marny Stanier Appreciation Society Yahoo! News Group:

January 17, 2006 — A top female exec at The Weather Channel alerted
company brass that plans to “young up” the network and fire two
anchorwomen constituted age discrimination — and was promptly axed
herself, new court papers reveal.

Lois Craig, top dog in TWC’s human-resources department, was “promptly
terminated” after she told CEO Bill Burke she feared plans to boot
prime-time anchor Marny Stanier Midkiff and another female colleague
violated discrimination laws, according to the documents.

The papers — which reference a deposition given by Craig — were filed
last month in Atlanta Supreme Court and mark the latest salvo from
Midkiff, 43, who sparked a storm of controversy for TWC when she sued
last January over her 2003 firing.

The new papers are part of the lawsuit Midkiff, a 16-year vet of TWC,
filed alleging her boss, General Manager and Vice President Terry
Connelly, fired her after claiming that older on-camera staff was
costing the network viewers.

Connelly openly spoke of female staffers as “matronly, dowdy and
nun-like,” according to the original suit. After the suit was filed, a
videotape emerged that showed Connelly at a company seminar openly
ridiculing the wardrobe of a Fox News anchor, saying it made her look old.

“Do you want to look old?!” Connelly shouts.

Meanwhile, the newly filed papers claim that women over 40 weren’t
Connelly’s only target.

In 2003, Connelly told male anchor Rick Griffin, then 47, that he
looked “old” and needed cosmetic surgery on his eyelids if he wanted
to stay in the biz, according to the court papers, which cite
Griffin’s deposition.

Griffin refused. That October, after being issued a warning to
“improve his performance,” Griffin was fired at Connelly’s behest, the
documents claim. For her part, Craig filed charges claiming she was
fired in retaliation for opposing age discrimination — and landed “a
very substantial settlement” from TWC, the new papers claim.

The documents also reveal that Connelly was fired from a Cincinnati TV
station where “a female employee over 40 brought an age- and
sex-discrimination case against the station in connection with
Connelly’s participation in the elimination of her position.”

Connelly directed women to change their hairstyles to look “younger.”
A young hire, Hillary Andrews, was told to bleach her hair and
eyebrows, the papers claim.

Connelly also ignored a company order to find other slots at TWC for
Midkiff and others whose jobs he wanted to eliminate, the papers claim.

At the same time, the papers say, Connelly was looking to fill those
slots with talent in their 20s and 30s — including Andrews, Alexandra
Steele, Sandra Diaz, Jen Carfagno and Stephanie Abrams.

TWC has declined to comment on the ongoing Midkiff suit.

An Atlanta judge is slated to hear arguments in the next few weeks.

Wow. Let’s all hope that Connelly and his fellow higher-ups at TWC really take it on the chin.

8 thoughts on “Weather Channel Lameness”

  1. I am a big fan of Rick Griffin.I always liked watching him.
    I am in my 20’s and Loved his professionalism,expertise,and calm
    demeanor..
    Shame on TWC For telling him to fix his facial features.
    I don’t see one thing wrong with his face..
    IT IS JUST TWC’S LACK OF CARING WHAT PEOPLE REALLY WANT..
    NO HILLARY,WE WANT RICK,TERRI,and MARNY on air!!

  2. I am very glad to know someone has the courage to file a suit against the Weather Channel for the firing of some very good, interesting and knowledge people, i.e. Rick Griffin. I followed him in the Sacramento CA area for years, choosing his TV station to watch because of his professionalism and knowledge of the weather. He was the reason I began watching TWC when he went there, both times. Since his departure I won’t be caught watching them and their so-called “weather babes”. Shame on TWC and I hope Rick and the others get their just compensation for these obvious age discriminations.

  3. The best 2 on the Weather Channel ever were Rick Griffin and Cheryl Lemke. I am 30 years old,
    highly educated and a professional. If you people at the Weather Channel want to be taken seriously
    you will go back to business dress for both men and women. Most people I know and associate with,
    think you “higher-ups” are now a joke and are not taking the weather channel seriously. I have
    liked the Weather Channel until lately as did my parents. Your OCM’s look unprofessional and like
    they maybe planning a trip to the bar later. Dr Heidi Cullen is a joke among most scientists and
    meteorologists. I have even heard people on TV joke about her. Many of us are going to write your
    sponsors about what you people have been up to. The months of May and June we will be keeping track of all who advertise on your channel to be contacted in July beginning with the companys who have
    the most commercials to the ones who have the least. You should be trying to keep the viewers happy.
    That’s how it works here in my profession.

  4. You people are idiots. Hot chicks is the only thing that draws viewers to the weather channel. They should fire every male on there, and every female over 35.

    I can get the weather on 20 different channels, I can only get weather babes at TWC.

    Shame on you morons!

  5. Weather Channel is a Joke! They need to get back the fundmentals. Just give the weather. Like the current weather would be nice. Who wants to watch 30 minutes of history on the weather in 1976. Oh, and who came up with this dynamic duo, (Abrams and Betts) Beyound the Forecast.
    Can we just get the current weather and get bak to basics. Maybe they need to change the name from the Weather Channel to “The Disaster Channel”, what I would call their current programing.

  6. Fire every female over 35??I guess that means Sharon Resultan….Kristina Abernathy,Cheryl Lemke…,

  7. There are some good looking women who are 35 or older. Kelly Cass, Sharon Resultan, Heather Tesch etc.

  8. I started watching the weather channel when it first aired in 1982. As someone who has an interest in climate and weather, I watched the channel religiously until lately. I suppose its all about the ratings, but wish you would just stick to the basics as before. REALLY losing your credibility when running segments like “Wake up with AL”. Not even a trained and educated weather man. Just a TV personality. Should be ashamed of yourself

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