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Report: Tampa ABC Affiliate Fires Morning Meteorologist

In ABC, Firings, Florida, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Weather on May 16, 2012 at 9:55 am

Stephanie Roberts (Courtesy: Tampa Bay Times)

It’s a “personnel matter.”

That’s what WFTS-TV general manager Rich Pegram called last week’s firing of morning meteorologist Stephanie Roberts.

The Tampa Bay Times reports station management at the Tampa, Fla., ABC affiliate will only say Roberts no longer works there.

But could a DUI arrest in October 2011 have been the motive behind it?

While weekend weathercaster Wayne Shattuck will fill in until a replacement is found, the reason for the dismissal has not been made clear at all.

It’s also unusual for big market stations to fire during a ratings period.

From the article:

The firing comes at an odd time; in the middle of May’s important “sweeps” ratings period, the action removes Roberts from the station’s growing morning show. [General manager Pegram] shrugged off any concerns about May sweeps, saying “the show is bigger than one person.”

Pegram also disagreed with suggestions that the firing may have been a result of contract negotiations or salary disputes.

Roberts was arrested for driving under the influence on Oct. 2, 2011. The charge was later reduced to reckless driving, and she pleaded no contest.

Roberts’ attorney told the Tampa Bay Times he could only confirm she was no longer an employee at the station.

The 39-year-old joined WFTS-TV’s morning show in October 2008.

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