The Power Of Two

OMW hears that yet another local TV type is about to leave his station, due to a contract non-renewal.

We hear that Scripps Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS/5 “NewsChannel 5” weather forecaster Jeff Mackel will exit the station soon, after the station declined to renew his contract.

We don’t know when Mackel’s last day is, but as our subject header hints, his exit will leave the station’s weather department with just two forecasters – Mark Johnson and Jason Nicholas.

WEWS made a similar move in the sports department recently…declining to renew the contract of sports reporter/anchor Sue Ann Robak, which also left that part of the “NewsChannel 5” operation with just two on-air members…sports director Andy Baskin, and anchor/reporter Terry Brooks.

We understand the timing of contracts, but this would appear to be a particularly bad time to reduce your weather staff to two people watching over that “Power of 5” radar. It’s been a fairly calm spring for severe weather in Northeast Ohio, but that can change in a hurry here.

And with the station’s focus on, umm, “disruptive” weather, it’ll stretch Johnson and Nicholas to the limit. “NewsChannel 5” is not the kind of operation that sits by and watches when severe weather breaks out. And unlike in its sports department, WEWS offers weather segments in all newscasts, including mornings.

OK, so Mark Johnson, especially, seems to enjoy it…it seems to us that he’s disappointed if he’s not pointing out a funnel cloud north of Mansfield, or a big storm system in Chicago that has Northeast Ohio “under the gun” in a few hours.

But unlike the other day, when the station deployed both Jason Nicholas and Jeff Mackel on “Good Morning Cleveland” when that storm system in Chicago headed for Cleveland, the move means we’re certainly not likely to see two forecasters on the air on “NewsChannel 5” at the same time…


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