Changes in the Weather
Yes, more changes in the weather are coming at WLWT-TV (Ch 5). Weekend morning meteorologist Marina Jurica abruptly left the station Thursday, and chief meteorologist Jim O’Brien has been told his contract will not be renewed when it expires in a few weeks.
As posts on my blog yesterday noted, Channel 5 quickly removed Jurica’s biography from its Web site. She was hired from
"It’s a personnel issue that will receive no further comment. Keisha Kirkland will be filling in (for Jurica) while the search for a permanent replacement continues," Channel 5 GM Richard Dyer told me today.
Dyer and O’Brien refuse to talk about O’Brien’s status. He was told in the fall his contract would not be renewed.
"There’s no announcement regarding Jim O’Brien at this time," Dyer says.
When O’Brien debuted here in 2004, he was the fifth chief meteorologist in eight years. After Tom Burse was fired in 1997, he was followed by Dave Fraser, Angelique Frame, Byron Webre and O’Brien.
Someday Ch 5 folks will figure out that the way to increase ratings is to keep the same anchor team together for a long time. Not only has weather been a revolving door for years, but his departure is the second (of 4 people) in a year at 11 p.m., Sherree Paolello replacing Dave Wagner on the late news.
Another thought: With O'Brien leaving, and Rich Apuzzo fired by Channel 19 in October, that means Steve Raleigh -- with 18 months at Ch. 9 -- will be second in tenure among the chief meteorologists here.