It looks like Tegna found their way out of an expensive talent's contract.
O'Connell has been at the station for 25 years and was one of the highest paid people at the station. His contract was coming up this month and negotiations are believed to have ended shortly after O'Connell testified in a case for a law firm he had endorsed on the firm's website.
The station said it violated the company policy and it appears that they used that to push the weatherman to the exit.
The Buffalo News writes that WGRZ General Manager Jim Toellner announced O'Connell's departure in an email to the staff in which he thanked O'Connell "for his many contributions to our station and city."
Toellner added O'Connell "has been a big part of our long and consistent ascent from last place to the top-rated station for the last several years."
Toellner said the station is planning an on-air tribute on Monday that O'Connell will attend. He did not give a reason for O'Connell's departure.
The lawyer that O'Connell "endorsed" and testified for, tried to help the weatherman out, but it was to late. "It was just a quote, it was never an endorsement by Kevin O'Connell. It was just a quote," lawyer Robert D. Berkun said.
But Tegna already had their excuse to send O'Connell packing and save a ton of money. O'Connell will be replaced by someone that we'll likely never, ever be paid close to what he was.
Toellner said the station is planning an on-air tribute on Today that O'Connell will attend.
25 years and you get a few minutes on air and some cake.
Is this a great business or what?