Thursday, June 01, 2006
Settlement apparently reached in former KODE reporter's lawsuit against Weather Channel
It appears a settlement has been reached in the age discrimination lawsuit filed by former KODE reporter Marny Stanier against The Weather Channel.
Documents filed April 25 in U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia indicate the case has been dismissed with prejudice and that the dismissal was agreed to by both parties.
The Turner Report noted in a February 2005 post that Ms. Stanier's attorneys had indicated in court documents that a settlement might occur once the discovery process of the case had been completed. That happened earlier this year.
Marny Stanier Midkiff, now a real estate agent in Georgia, claimed that she was fired from her job as an on-camera meteorologist at the Weather Channel because of her age and gender. She had worked there since April 13, 1987.
In her petition, Ms. Stanier claimed that her boss, the Weather Channel's senior vice president of programming and production Terry Connelly "openly expressed animosity toward older female OCMs. He spoke freely of his goal to 'young up' The Weather Channel. At one point, Connelly announced, 'we're old and we can't be...our ratings are going down.' "
Connelly used terms such as "matronly" and "dowdy" to describe the older female OCMS, according to the petition. In June 2003, he hired an image consultant to "help the women look younger and sexier," the petition said.
In the fall of 2003, a "reorganization" of personnel took place. Both of the female OCMS in their 40s, Ms. Stanier and Terri Smith, were fired. Their supervisory duties were turned over to a man. "He turned over their on-camera work to the younger males and females he had been hiring and continued to hire during the 'reorganization," the petition said.
"He did not consider Ms. Stanier for any of the OCM openings, although she was dramatically more qualified than the younger individuals he hired." Ms. Stanier was 41 when she was fired.
(Photos: The KODE Weekend Crew from the 1980s, Marny Stanier, weather; Steve Tommey, news; Russ Riesinger, sports; and MaryAnn Croce, news; at right, Ms. Stanier during her days at The Weather Channel)