WCCO cuts meteorologist, six others

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — WCCO-TV has parted ways with its popular meteorologist Paul Douglas in a restructuring aimed at reacting to a sluggish economy and dwindling ad revenue.

The cuts, which also claimed weekend anchor John Reger and five other WCCO employees, were spread between CBS’s 29 owned-and-operated TV stations and resulted in the termination of high-profile names in many markets.

Douglas also serves as a Star Tribune weather columnist and is chairman and co-founder of a company that provides weather information through cell phones. He wrote in an e-mail to friends that he made no attempt to negotiate a lower salary and only regretted he wasn’t able to say goodbye on the air.

"Times are tough, many people are losing their jobs, and I am not exempt from this troubling trend," Douglas wrote, according to the Star Tribune . "I was the target at a time when there are systemic, long-term challenges."


Douglas has served in the Twin Cities market for 22 years, starting with a lengthy stint at KARE. He left for a time to work in Chicago, a decision he came to regret, and joined WCCO in 1997. He wrote in his letter that he planned to stay in the area.

"We are dedicated to Minnesota," Douglas said. "Our Chicago experience proved to us that bigger is not necessarily better. Minnesota is an extraordinary place and we are here for life."

Douglas has been successful in other areas. Last year, he sold his wireless weather-information provider, Digital Cyclone, to Gamin, an international communications-devices corporation. Star Tribune executive editor Nancy Barnes said his future at the paper is yet to be determined.

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