- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2019

An Illinois weatherman is out of a job after his on-air criticism of his station’s “Code Red” weather alerts went viral.

Joe Crain, who has been a meteorologist at WICS in Springfield for the past 15 years, rose to fame last week after he slammed his station’s management for mandating the alarmist alerts without recognizing that “not all storms are created equal.”

“As far as myself goes, I don’t take myself very seriously, but I do take my job seriously, and my responsibility to the public,” Mr. Crain told viewers. “We want you to know that it’s not us. This is a corporate initiative, the Code Red Alert. Behind the scenes, many of us have tried to dissuade it, for the last few months, to try something else that’s less controversial to the viewers.”

Mr. Crain, who hasn’t been on air since the June 5 speech, sparked a wave of support by people who are now “livid” by his absence, a source from the station’s parent, Sinclair Broadcast Group, told CNN.

“Joe was let go,” a Sinclair spokesperson confirmed to CNN.

The company posted a job listing for a WICS full-time morning meteorologist on Tuesday.

WICS, a CNN affiliate, said Monday that it will change its “Code Red” warning alert to “Weather Warn,” similar to other Sinclair-owned stations.

“We live and work and have families and friends in this community — safety is deeply personal for us,” WICS said in a statement. “We firmly believe in the need to provide an early warning alert and will continue to provide this potentially lifesaving information, but we have come to understand that the words Code Red may no longer be fitting. As such, we are changing the name of our early warning alert to ‘Weather Warn.’ In addition, we will continue to work to more precisely define the specific geographic areas of greatest concern.”

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