Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Washington Weathercaster Churn Continues

As noted earlier, the Washington weathercaster revolving door has recently brought Justin Drabick to WRC, Channel 4, as a weekend substitute. Following the appearance of Devon Lucie at WUSA, Channel 9 late last year, Lynnette Charles has been spotted on the station doing the midday report today as a substitute for Howard Bernstein. Charles has formerly appeared on WDEF, Channel 12, in Chattanooga. She is currently listed as a morning meteorologist at WPMT, Fox 43, in York, PA. A bit of moonlighting, perhaps? A report at dcrtv indicates that Charles and Emily Gracey, who previously appeared on WMAR, Channel 2, in Baltimore, have been hired as freelancers while Howard Bernstein recovers from successful back surgery. Bernstein is reported to be aiming for a return to the air next week.

Speaking of WUSA-TV, an anonymous poster to the mailbag at dcrtv reports:
WUSA-TV 9NewsNow lied to us. It sneaked in a pre-recorded weather segment with Topper Shutt during the late newscast that followed Friday's NCAA basketball games. What an insult to viewers and ripoff to advertisers. The recorded forecast aired about 12:38am Saturday. The failed atttempt at a seamless transition from the news anchors was awkward and there were no current weather conditions presented. WUSA's obvious effort to hide its little secret shows very poor management judgment and only serves to hurt its image as a trusted source, if it had one. Topper never should have agreed to record a forecast for broadcast and anchors/producers should have objected to being part of it. I hope sponsors that probably never counted on taped weather when they paid big bucks for their ad time raise hell with their account execs on behalf of viewers. If Gannett/WUSA-TV can't afford to pay a live weather talent it should be honest with their customers and audience . A live news anchor should have presented the weather segment instead of attempting this lame deception. Could you blame advertisers and viewers for running to the competition now?

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