Controversy Follows Meteorologist Cliff Mass' Departure From KUOW/Seattle's 'Weekday'
May 23, 2011 at 3:48 AM (PT)
The departure of meteorologist CLIFF MASS from UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON noncommercial KUOW/SEATTLE's "WEEKDAY" show has led to controversy, as the show's host said that MASS' exit was due to the weatherman injecting opinion and commentary into his weather and science segments.
"WEEKDAY" host and Exec. Producer STEVE SCHER told the SEATTLE TIMES that MASS was dropped from his unpaid segment because SCHER "wanted to do a segment that focused on science and weather ... and CLIFF didn't want to do that," preferring to add conversation about other topics. The final conflict, MASS said, came after MASS defended the University's admission policies after a report in the TIMES said that some straight-A local students were being passed over in favor of out-of-state applicants, who pay higher tuition. "They basically read me the riot act, saying I could only talk about weather, and if I talked about anything else they would kick me off," MASS told the TIMES.
The termination of MASS' segment has led to a barrage of e-mails to the station and two FACEBOOK pages dedicated to bringing MASS back to the station, prompted by postings by MASS on his blog. MASS, who said he first experienced pushback when he discussed the debate over math textbooks in the SEATTLE school district (over which MASS and others have sued the district), noted that frequent KUOW contributor RICK STEVES, the travel expert, is permitted to discuss his advocacy of the legalization of marijuana on the station. SCHER said that the decision to let MASS go was his alone, not the University's.