Weatherman Who Criticized 'Code Red' Alerts Has Been Fired

By Bill Galluccio

June 14, 2019

A popular weatherman at an Illinois TV station was fired after he blasted the "Code Red" weather alerts that were being sent out during severe weather. On June 5, Joe Crain spoke out against the scary sounding warnings during a weather forecast on WICS-TV.

"When you hear 'Code Red,' you think, as they say, the feces is about to hit the fan. We understand your concerns," Crain told viewers. "It's not us. This is a corporate initiative, the 'Code Red' alert, and behind the scenes, many of us have tried to dissuade it for the last few months."

His critique did not sit well with his bosses at Sinclair Broadcasting Group, and he was pulled off the air following his rant. A few days later, he was fired, which upset people in the community, many who agreed with his critique of the 'Code Red' alerts.

While numerous people voiced their displeasure on social media, advertisers took action as well, suspending their ads in support of Crain. Some of Crain's fans even created a Change.org petition demanding that he get his job back.

After the controversy over the alerts, the station decided to change how they are branded.

"We firmly believe in the need to provide an early warning alert and will continue to provide this potentially lifesaving information, but we have come to understand that the words 'Code Red' may no longer be fitting," WICS-TV General Manager Rick Lipps said in a statement. "As such, we are changing the name of our early warning alert to 'Weather Warn.'"

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