WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Weatherman Sees Red over Code Red Alerts

Jul 2, 2019

A central Illinois TV weatherman lost his job after he criticized the station’s "Code Red" weather alerts for failing to align with the storm warning language used by the National Weather Service.  WICS meteorologist Joe Crain called "Code Red" a corporate initiative.

CNN reported Crain also slammed the "Code Red" alerts for failing to "recognize that not all storms are created equal."  His criticism came after viewers complained that repeated "Code Red" severe weather warnings caused needless panic and were getting old.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss what they think about the “Code Red” alerts and Crain’s on-air criticism of the alerts.

Editor’s note:  In the time since we recorded this program, WICS and Crain issued a joint statement to announce they have resolved their differences, though the statement indicates the station did not rehire him.

Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues.  This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier; Patrick Johnson, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at WIU and advises Western’s student radio station WIUS/The Dog; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.