TV Meteorologist Stepping Down After Death Threat

Chris Gloninger of Iowa's KCCI says messages last year left him with PTSD
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2023 9:45 AM CDT
Updated Jun 25, 2023 4:10 PM CDT

Meteorologists around the world are facing increasingly aggressive pushback due to their coverage on climate change, with some cases turning outright abusive. Now, the chief weather forecaster at Iowa's KCCI is stepping down from his post for just such a reason. Chris Gloninger, a Regional Emmy winner for his environmental reporting, offered a surprise "quick goodbye" Wednesday on Twitter, where he said he was leaving TV after 18 years, per the Des Moines Register.

KCCI notes that Gloninger will be pursuing a career in climate consulting, and in his tweet, he explained why. "After a death threat stemming from my climate coverage last year and resulting in PTSD, in addition to family health issues, I've decided to begin this journey *now*," he wrote. In his 6pm newscast Wednesday, Gloninger added that leaving his TV job would also allow him and his wife "to help our families in their time of need." Gloninger had previously detailed the death threat, writing on Twitter last year that the threat was "followed by a flow of harassing emails" from the same person.

"The threat of course was concerning, but the stream of harassing emails is even more distressing," he wrote. "It means he is thinking about it constantly. He is angry about it and filled with hate." Gloninger called the experience "mentally exhausting," adding that "at times I have NOT been ok." He tells the Washington Post that now, "I'm trying to put it behind me. But at the same point, I think it brings awareness to what journalists face day to day bringing the news." The last day on the air for Gloninger, who was with KCCI for two years, will be July 7. (Read more meteorologist stories.)

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