March 15, 2012 6:15pm PT by Matthew Belloni
L.A. Weatherman Sues CBS Stations For Hiring Young, Attractive Women
A Los Angeles weatherman has filed a lawsuit claiming he was passed over for jobs at two prominent stations because he wasn't a young, good-looking woman.
Kyle Hunter, who has worked as a meteorologist in various southern California markets during a 23-year career, filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against CBS Broadcasting and its owned-and-operated Los Angeles stations KCBS and KCAL on Thursday. He's represented by Gloria Allred.
Hunter alleges "that 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," according to the suit. That means there was no place for Hunter, an over-40 male meteorologist with impeccable credentials, he says.
Hunter claims he learned in 2010 that KCBS' longtime weatherman Johnny Mountain would not have his contract renewed, so he informed the station that he would like to be considered for the job. But according to the complaint, the station wasn't interested in him and instead brought in a younger female, despite Hunter being "far more qualified, and far more experienced, [than] the female hired to replace Mr. Mountain."
The woman that replaced Mountain was brought in from KCAL, according to the suit, so Hunter assumed a position would be open at KCAL. But again he was turned down and the job went to a younger woman, "whose age and gender were key considerations in the hiring decision," he claims. The female hired didn't even have a certification from the American Meteorogical Society (Hunter does).
Hunter says he later asked a manager at KCAL why he hadn't been considered for the job and he was told that the station aired a lot of sports broadcasts aimed at male viewers and "You wouldn't be the type men would want to look at," the complaint alleges.
Hunter is seeking unspecified damages.
UPDATE: CBS provides us with the following statement: "The complaint is frivolous and based on gross misstatements of fact. There was no need for the stations to interview someone we were already well aware of. The forecast calls for a vigorous defense by CBS and an early dismissal of the complaint."