A poke in the ‘eye’

Can the Paul Douglas saga get any weirder?

Let’s review. Douglas Paul Kruhoeffer, popular weatherman with WCCO TV, is fired by Channel 4 while he’s on vacation. He’s asked to stay through the end of May. He declines and then, shall we say, doesn’t go out of his way to dispel the uproar from fans who reached the conclusion that he’d surely say goodbye to them if it weren’t for CBS.

Tonight he pops up on TV, this time on KARE 11, whom he left years ago in search of fame and fortune in Chicago. KARE 11 is going to make Douglas the centerpiece of its Extra segment on Thursday, giving it an opportunity for a ratings boost and a chance to rub the competition’s nose in it.

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune, which bumped then KARE 11 weather dude Ken Barlow from its weather page when Douglas returned from Chicago, gives Douglas a less-than-lukewarm reassurance that “for now,” Douglas’ weather column will stay. Where’s the love for Paul?

The attention seems to undermine the notion that the era of the “celebrity” newscast personality on TV is over, at least in the Twin Cities, which should, no doubt, make weathercasters at WCCO’s competitors nervous.

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