EVANSVILLE – A formerly well liked meteorologist, Patrick Cirrus, was fired last week from Channel 3 News for rogue broadcasting behavior. He was caught on tape drawing clouds on maps to warn locals of severe storms when there were no such weather systems moving in. It was his twelfth offense.
“I thought there were tornadoes or ice storms for the last week,” said one resident. “That guy kept drawing squiggly lines all over the place and yelling, ‘Get beans and take cover!'”
This is the most recent action taken by executives of the parent company, StarCast, that bought the small affiliate in September of 2018.
StarCast executive Red Rurner stated, “We’re cleaning house and raising the bar. We’re taking out the bar and putting in more news desks. It’s a quality thing.”
Before StarCast acquired Channel 3 News, the small affiliate in southern Indiana had the nickname Channel 3 Snooze due to low ratings and laughable news content while neglecting important issues such as presidential elections or wars.
One resident felt duped. “We didn’t even know there was an election until we were at a friend’s house a couple months later. Trump was on TV and I said to my friend, ‘I thought they cancelled his reality show.’ My friend looked at me and then said I couldn’t have another beer.”
Before selling out, and in an effort to boost ratings and become more popular, Channel 3 News hired models to present stories. Many of whom had no experience in journalism.
Former station manager Clark D. Umpto defended the decision. “That’s what all the big networks are doing. I think they clone them in a warehouse. It’s what our station was all about… uncovering that conspiracy. I mean, have you seen people who look like that?”
However, since StarCast purchased Channel 3 News, the effort to improve the quality of their broadcast journalism has been tangible. Some report there are even discussions to hire unbiased reporters.
“The whole community can sense it,” said resident, Joe. “They did a story about another country the other day. I can’t remember which country, but it wasn’t the US of A.”
Red Rurner commented on Patrick’s termination. “[Patrick] was a good employee. For a while. But then he went rogue. It can happen with meteorologists. I mean, they have their heads in the clouds.”
Incidentally, a freak tornado swept through Evansville yesterday, taking out two trees and an entire ice sculpture of a goose.
Channel 3 News had no comment.
by Dan Plighter