Sinclair Station Caves, Dumps "Code Red"


Last week, FTVLive told you that WICS (Springfield, Illinois) Meteorologist Joe Crain called out his station’s owner on the air over a corporate mandate as to how Sinclair stations handle weather forecast.

Crain took issue with the station issuing “Code Red” on the weather forecast on days when nasty weather might be moving into the area.

“So we want you to know it’s not us,” Crain said during a morning broadcast on a day that actually would see severe weather later. “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, to try something else that’s less controversial to the viewers.”

Crain has not been seen on the air since he called out Sinclair and his job status remains a mystery?

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But Yesterday, WICS General Manager Rick Lipps went on the air said the station was caving and ditching the stupid “Code Reds.”

This is the statement that they issued and of course he basically ignored what was happening with Crain?

“It is our policy to not comment on individual personnel matters and we will continue to adhere to that policy out of respect to Joe Crain. The events of the last few days do, however, require us to address and clarify what appears to be wide misunderstanding over the facts of the situation.

We have worked hard to gain the trust of our viewers over the years. One reason is that, to the maximum extent possible, we provide early warning of severe weather. Weather is an inherently predictive science. Our commitment is to do our best to make sure the public is informed, and forewarned, so that they can take appropriate precautions.

Code Red alerts were developed because we believe they enhance the community's preparedness for severe weather. To reiterate, the decision on if, and when, to issue Code Red weather alerts is made at the local level. Our alerts from last week were no exception.

We live and work and have families and friends in this community -- safety is deeply personal for us. 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. As such, we are changing the name of our early warning alert to 'Weather Warn.' In addition, we will continue to work to more precisely define the specific geographic areas of greatest concern.

We appreciate all our viewers and advertisers and, as someone who lives in, works in, and loves this community, I thank my fellow neighbors for your feedback.”

Now, we don’t know if all Sinclair stations are dumping “Code Red” or just WICS. We also still don’t know the job status of Joe Crain. Some say he was fired and others say we was suspended. But the fact that Crain called the station out and the fact that they basically admitted he was correct, the man deserves his job and a big fat raise.

Just saying…

Here’s the video of Lipps statement”