Protestors gathered on Thursday to protest the dismissal of WICS-TV meteorologist Joe Crain, the same day that the Springfield, Ill. station confirmed his departure.
“Joe Crain is no longer with the station,” WICS general manager Rick Lipps confirmed to TheWrap. Lipps did not state which day Crain left, but the weatherman last appeared on air June 5, when he criticized the station’s “Code Red” graphics in a lengthy diatribe, which readers can watch via the video above.
“When you hear ‘Code Red,’ you think, ‘The feces is about to hit the fan,'” Crain said while standing next to the bold graphic. “We want you to know it’s not us. This is a corporate initiative … behind the scenes many of us have tried to dissuade it for the last few months,” he told viewers, urging them to speak up with their concerns to Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns the station.
Crain’s bio was removed from the station website on June 6. He never appeared on WICS again.
150 fans gathered to protest Crain’s dismissal at the Illinois Products Farmers’ Market at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, according to the State Journal-Register. Protestors wore red shirts with slogans such as “I Support Joe Crain” and “#CodeRedIsDead,” referring to the station’s widely disliked weather alerts which Crain openly criticized. In the weeks before Crain’s firing, many local viewers complained to the station about the alerts, according to The Washington Post.
Crain’s plight even got the attention of Stephen Colbert, who featured his dismissal in a segment on “The Late Show.” Watch below:
Crain has been silent on social media, but many fans have written messages of support on his Facebook page.
Though Crain is still out of a job, WCIS has since changed the “Code Red” alerts to the less-dramatic “Weather Warn,” according to CNN Business.