Iowa Meteorologist Leaving TV After Receiving Threats [VIDEO]
People come and go from the business of television frequently. Most of the time due to that person moving on to a bigger and better job, or retiring after decades in the business. Just recently, TV-9 meteorologist Kaj O'Mara left for a new job opportunity and anchor Nicole Agee announced she too is leaving television at the end of June. But a meteorologist at KCCI TV in Des Moines is leaving the airwaves for a much different reason.
Chris Gloninger is the chief meteorologist for KCCI television in Des Moines. The Washington Post reports that last June he got an email that read in part, "getting sick and tired of your liberal conspiracy on the weather." More emails began to arrive on a daily basis, some asking for Gloninger's address and some threatening violence. The Post reports that Gloninger, an award-winning meteorologist, often spoke about the effects of climate change on local weather. Later last year, he shared some of the threats that he had been receiving.
The Post reports that before coming to Iowa Gloninger grew up in New York and became fascinated with weather after going through Hurricane Bob in 1991. He was just a second grader when he found his calling. As a reporter, he covered Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. He then launched a weekly program on climate change while working in Boston. The show won him a regional Emmy Award in 2019. He moved to Iowa and KCCI in 2021.
The Post reports that pushback on climate change was constant, but Gloninger pushed through, always trying to demonstrate the practical ways climate change could affect KCCI viewers. But when the threats became violent, Gloninger says he lost focus at work. He saw a therapist for PTSD. And eventually came to a life-altering decision. The decision to walk away. He made the announcement on KCCI earlier this week.
The Post reports that the violent threats were traced by law enforcement officials to a 63-year-old from Lenox, Iowa. He was sentenced to pay a fine. Gloninger says the decision to step down wasn't easy, but that he is grateful for his 18-year career as a meteorologist. The Post reports that Gloninger hasn't shared his next career move, saying only that he is "dedicated to helping solve the climate crisis."