Those Paul Douglas fans are upset. They are not only flooding me with e-mails, but they are also resorting to snail mail to vent their outrage and disappointment that the meteorologist lost his job in the CBS-mandated budget cutting. And they are as paranoid as some WCCO-TV insiders about the possibility that another high-profile name may get dropped along with Douglas and anchor/reporter John Reger.
•••They love him ...
"I can't believe that I am sending you a note, but I don't know how else to express my displeasure with the departure of Paul Douglas on WCCO-TV. My husband and I have enjoyed both his knowledge and presentation. We recognize that there are some difficult economic times, but does it make sense to fire someone who is significant at the station? We also know that we are of the demographic group that does not have influence -- we are both 65 and are not considered significant for both the TV stations and newspapers. Yet, we are the ones subscribing to the newspaper and loyal to a TV station. How do we make our voices heard? It was helpful to at least be able to voice my opinions to someone. I do read your column, even at my age!" --
Dianne Saari, Mora
"This is just one more reason why I won't be watching WCCO News. Paul was one of the only reasons I tuned in. No more. I will be switching over to Channel 11 for good now." --Jeanna C
"I think it is dumb. I mean how [can] they lay off WCCO's main weather guy. I think they are losing talent." -- John
"I just saw your story regarding John Reger. And before that I just finished reading the story about Paul Douglas. I'm REALLY disappointed in the way things are going. My wife and I had several reasons for being true followers of WCCO 4 news. Don, Amelia, Paul, John were but a few of the easiest answers I could give you. Sure there are more -- but the station just is going down into the pits. Paul's humor with Don was absolutely great!" -- Lyle & Christine Malecha, Prior Lake
"What was WCCO-TV thinking?" -- Tim Brown, Minnetonka
"I was shocked and sad. He is the best weatherman we've had in the Twin Cities in a long time."-- Lyn B. Sandeen
"I do hope the backlash takes WCCO down a few notches in the ratings. I won't be watching them anymore, it's off to Channel 9 and Ian Leonard for me. I will miss Paul. Weathermen don't have to be right, they just need personality, and Paul had plenty." -- Darcelle Hannaman
"Last time I wrote you, awhile back, you needled me [about] being in love with Belinda Jensen (after which I needed some Pepto). Anyway, I am honestly shocked that Douglas is leaving WCCO. I thought he was the only good one 'CCO had." --Keith Jacobson
"I'll make this brief, unlike your voice mail [greeting on 612.332TIPS]. I'm calling because of the article on John Reger. I just thought you'd like to know that I think his dismissal is disgusting. I have just called WCCO and told them I have watched my last newscast on WCCO." -- K. Johnson
•••... they love him not
"I may actually become a WCCO viewer, now that I don't have that awkward, Pinocchio-looking goofball to deal with. I don't doubt he is a very nice person, and understand how successful and innovative his technological designs are. ... He isn't even that accurate."--Ruth
"Good riddance. I'm sick of Weather Terrorists who rely on fear mongering to keep the masses teetering on their every word. And Douglas was by far the worst offender. Hey, Paul, feel free to interrupt my movie so you can tell me that Mankato is getting gusts of wind. Hey, Paul, feel free to scare the daylights out of senior citizens and other paranoid residents who would rather believe you than step outside and see the weather for themselves. Take your millions and fade away, Weather Terrorist."-- J. Gambert
•••Rosie's still there
Pat Thomas, Larry Baumgartner and Jane Saja sent me frantic e-mails about Mark Rosen's bio disappearing from the WCCO-TV website.
Ah, Rosen is listed -- right at the top -- among "Anchors," not down below with the sports guys.
Bona fide scoop
My "minor scoop" was challenged by Paul Schmelzer, managing editor of minnesotamonitor.com. "With all due respect, I'm wondering if maybe you didn't break news about Paul Douglas' bio being scrubbed from the 'CCO website. Maybe Strib time stamps don't work properly (or maybe the time stamp changes when you make updates?), but I mentioned it at 2:45 Friday (yours says 4:47)."
Schmelzer is right about how our time stamps work. I told Schmelzer not to worry -- my detractors around here make sure I don't take credit for scoops that are not mine. At 1:22 p.m., my Douglas scoop went into the StarTribune.com system. It went live at 1:25 p.m., baby!
XXXOOOO to my confidential source on that item.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or firstname.lastname@example.org.