Good Bye Paul Douglas

i-0ae70547a45a0d7747840c44d387f66b-paul.jpgThe story goes like this: Paul Douglas was a back-room meteorologist for a local Twin Cities news show. He was one of the guys in the back that actually predicted the weather, which was then delivered by the pretty boy/girl weathermen/women on camera. One day the main weatherman was out of town, and the other weatherman was sick (details of the story vary), and nobody realized that they had no one to report the weather until the very last second. So they threw Paul a jacket and tie and said "Get out there, boy, you're the weatherman today."

....

So Paul went in front of the camera and gave the weather, and charmed the audience and the reporters and the producers, and became, overnight, the best weatherman in television.

Paul went on to continue reporting the weather. He was always honest, accurate in his descriptions, and did the best job anyone could do given the vagaries of that business. Notably, Paul understood climate change and was one of the first TV weathermen to refuse to parrot the corporate global-warming denialism. Paul knew global warming was real.

In the meantime, Paul started up a weather data company that was very successful, and was eventually purchased by Garmin for over 40 million dollars, making him the "richest weatherman in the world" according to reports at that time.

I suspect Paul was very much in demand as a weatherman. He did go to Chicago for a while, but preferred living in the Twin Cities, so he returned. I imagine his salary was quite high. This may be why he was fired yesterday.

WCCO, the broadcast company that Paul worked for, has been laying off people, and plans to continue to do so, as they are being beaten out in the Twin Cities market by the local Fox News show. That is really a shame in so many ways... Yesterday, Paul Douglas was on the list of people to let go. Reports are that he is sad to have had this happen while he was on vacation, denying him the opportunity to say goodbye to his loyal audience. I imagine that was a corporate strategy to limit the public outcry over losing the best guy on local TV news (including all the reporters and weathermen/women).

I'm not worried about Paul. He is obviously not in need of a job. But his loss to local broadcasting is sad and palpable.

There is a story in the Star Tribune covering this here.

If you want to contact WCCO and let the know how you feel about this, you can contact them here.

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I am very unhappy about this.

By Elizabeth (not verified) on 10 Apr 2008 #permalink

The word from a lil' ol intern down there on Nicollet says that there might well be another big cut or forced retirement at 'CCO, and the last name starts with S...

By the real cmf (not verified) on 10 Apr 2008 #permalink

NO WAY would they get rid of Don. Really? WTF? How will we survive without his insightful commentaries? (Which I never watch because I'm in bed by 10)

in bed by 10? You duffer;-)
Yeah, I actually heard that just yesterday, from an 'intern'. Don't wanna get any rumors started ( a little late for that since they canned PD!) but that is actually what I have heard...those Viacommies...then again what does an intern really know anyways;-0

By the real cmf (not verified) on 10 Apr 2008 #permalink

I have heard that more cuts are likely, but I have not heard any specific details. There have been buyout offers made to the non-on screen staff in various areas (unionized) which are not expected to produce much joy, so after a sufficient waiting period (a few more weeks, I think) they'll cut there as well.

Yeah, that is in todays Startrib...there is an interesting chronology of the drama over there at 'CCO:
http://www.minnesotamonitor.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=3665
and of course CJ at the ST is on that beat too.

She writes this, quoting Paul: "Both KARE11 and KSTP-TV "graciously allowed me to say goodbye on their air, but I didn't think that was appropriate"...now there's a story!
and then later (this was in th 4/7 Trib)"And there are conflicting rumors in local broadcasting circles that another big name is about to be dropped at WCCO."

Yeah, I think Paul is just too smart for mainstream media--and the trend towards automatons, and cute stories about puppies (un-strangled puppies!)

By the real cmf (not verified) on 10 Apr 2008 #permalink