KXAN TV has reportedly axed longtime morning weatherman Shawn Rutherford and the station has erased his bio from their website.
Rutherford had been with KXAN since 1998. He started out doing weekends, and then moved up to weekday mornings.
His firing comes on the heels of the sudden departure of weekend morning anchor Catenya McHenry.
KXAN has also recently shown a number of others to the door:
- Investigative reporter Nanci Wilson
- Weekend morning weathercaster Rhonda Lee
- Traffic reporter Debra Wynn (KXAN news director Michael Fabac’s wife!)
Seems like KXAN is either cutting back on expenses, taking a new direction, or both.
Media blogger Jim McNabb got a tip that Rutherford’s firing was told to staff in a newsroom meeting:
In a newsroom meeting Friday (January 6, 2012), management informed the staff that Rutherford was no longer with the TV station because of “business reasons.”
Business reasons: That could mean a lot of things. Rutherford’s contract was up for renewal at the station in a couple of months. So, “business reasons” could mean that Rutherford and the station could not agree on a new contract, if one was offered.
Business reasons could also be derived from research. KXAN retains Magid Consultants. If Rutherford didn’t score high enough in their research perhaps that is the reason he is gone. In years past Magid research was considered, but since “they ain’t from around here,” decision were not always made on what they said. After all, Rutherford had been on the air in Austin for close to 15 years. Austin is not a cookie-cutter market conforming to research norms.
Prior to being scrubbed, Rutherford’s KXAN TV bio said:
Shawn Rutherford is a team member of the 2010 Winner for Best Morning Newscast as voted by the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters. Shawn joined the KXAN News First Warning Weather Team in November 1998 as weekend weather anchor and is now the weather anchor for the weekday morning show, KXAN News Today and KXAN News At Noon.
KXAN’s recent spate of firings has to have other on air staffers on edge. The question at KXAN is not what’s next, but who is next?