Patt Morrison for March 19, 2012

Are you smart (or hot, qualified, young or female) enough to be…a weatherman?

American Giving Awards Presented By Chase - Red Carpet

Christopher Polk/Getty Images for American Giving

TV personality Jackie Johnson arrives at the American Giving Awards presented by Chase held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on December 9, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

In the world of nightly news weather personalities, being male, experienced, and older is a liability when it comes to getting a job - at least that’s what a lawsuit filed by veteran Los Angeles weatherman Kyle Hunter alleges.

Hunter, an award-winning newscaster with 23 years of experience, believes that he was passed over for two positions at major Los Angeles TV news organizations in favor of young, attractive female candidates.

“Within the past few years, KCAL and KCBS decided to hire young attractive women as weathercasters in prime time rather than men in order to induce more men to watch their prime time newscasts," Hunter claims in his lawsuit.

Since the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle, network newscasts have had to compete for viewers with everything else on the tube, and it would be hard not to notice the trend of having more women who look like models talking about the next cold front on the 11 o’clock news - especially in cities like Los Angeles, where image is king.

WEIGH IN:

More gender parity in the news business isn’t a bad thing, but should it come at the expense of more qualified candidates?

Guests:

Gloria Allred, lawyer representing Kyle Hunter

Todd Gitlin, professor, journalism and sociology; chair, Ph. D. Communications program, Columbia University


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