May 22, 2011
Petition to 94.9 KUOW regarding the firing of Dr. Cliff Mass
Dear distinguished member of KUOW’s Board of Directors,
Steve Scher’s announcement of his decision to terminate Dr. Cliff Mass’ Weekday weather segment on Fridays is disappointing and difficult to understand. The reasons for the firing shared by Mr. Scher in his note to the public and email to Dr. Mass are unclear and seemingly illogical.
Dr. Mass is a highly esteemed local scientist whose insights on meteorology, science, education, and other related topics are relevant and timely. Other regular and occasional Weekday contributors, including Rick Steves, Robert Horton, Vaughn Palmer, and Thierry Rautureau, freely offer their personal opinions on a variety of subjects without facing retributions. Mr. Scher himself often veers and asks guests questions that are not directly related to the main topic.
The releasing of Dr. Mass calls into question the integrity of Weekday’s staff and appears to be an act of censorship. KUOW listeners are intelligent, well-informed, and able to judge the quality of on-air content without guidance from Steve Scher. We value Dr. Mass' opinions regardless of whether we personally agree with them or not, much as we value the opinions of other Weekday contributors.
Because public radio is a critical part of protecting democracy and freedom of speech in this country, we ask KUOW’s Board of Directors to:
1. Immediately reinstate Dr. Cliff Mass into Weekday’s regular Friday programming without putting any restrictions on what he is allowed to say on air,
2. Make all prior segments with Dr. Mass accessible again on KUOW’s webpage,
3. Formally investigate Steve Scher’s personal decision to release Dr. Mass, and
4. Publically apologize to Dr. Mass.
KUOW and Weekday listeners