Timing is everything.
So NBC Universal must not have been too surprised when it found its decision to dismiss a few score staff – including on-camera meteorologists and apparently its entire environmental unit – raised a few eyebrows.
It was, after all, the network’s “Green is Universal Week,” and it had just finished celebrating having sent its “Today” show big four – co-anchors Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, meteorologist Al Roker, and news anchor Ann Curry – globetrotting to places far-remote to do their broadcasts.
Off with their heads, or something like that, the message came down, prompting a flurry of blogosphere hate-mail bashing TWC and its weekend “Forecast Earth” for being just too green and too in-synch with the prevailing view of most climate scientists.
Along with the eyebrows raised in irony, word of the dismissals also led to a flood of blogosphere vitriol.
Blogging on the Washington Post‘s Capital Weather Gang blog, Andrew Freedman wrote that “the vast majority of those who commented said good riddance (conveyed along with a large dosage of vitriolic hatred) to the now defunct ‘Forecast Earth.'”
Freedman acknowledged his own role in freelancing for the program’s website, but nonetheless rejected the criticisms as unfair.
“As so often happens in online forums,” Freedman wrote, “blind rage” dominated commenters’ often blistering remarks.
The layoffs are part of an ongoing cycle of severe financial challenges facing most print, online, and cable news organizations as part of their own internal dollar problems compounded by the ailing U.S. and global economy.
More about all that … regrettably … in coming issues, no doubt.