Kelly Bates is a former meteorologist for WJAR-10 in Rhode Island who recorded a TikTok video announcing she was leaving the station, sparking a petition drive from angry viewers who want her back on the air.
Bates announced she was “no longer employed” by NBC10 on her Twitter page and declared “today my career ended” in a TikTok video that you can watch later in this article. WJAR-10 is an NBC affiliate broadcasting out of Providence, Rhode Island.
Bates wrote on Twitter on September 7, 2021, “So friends. This is it. I wanted to let you know that I am no longer employed by NBC10 Thank you for everything over the nearly 20 years of having the privilege of being a trusted person in the community. It has been one hell of a ride!”
She also shared a picture of her cat the same day, writing, “Ack! It’s one of those days where I have a million things to do and completely lack the will to get in the shower. Halp!”
However, Vic Vetters, the General Manager of the Providence-based Sinclair Broadcast Group affiliate, told Go Local, “The WJAR team is saddened that meteorologist Kelly Bates is leaving the station after nearly 17 great years together. Kelly ultimately decided it was time to move on and elected not to renew her contract with us. We thank Kelly for her dedication to WJAR and her commitment to keeping our viewers informed with critical weather updates throughout the years. We wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors.”
Go Local noted, “The station did not say if the contract was equal in terms of her previous agreement.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Bates Announced Along With a Tear-Filled TikTok, ‘I Am No Longer Employed by WJAR’
@kellybatesriI am no longer employed by WJAR. Thank you so much for tuning. Sorry I can’t do this thank you video without crying. I have tried. No go. ##gratis
Bates’ TikTok video was emotional, with tears filling her eyes. She wrote on the video, “Since 1995 I have been broadcasting the weather in New England, the past 17+ years at the same station.
“So today, today was an interesting day,” she says in the video. “I honestly didn’t think this day would go this way. But here I am,” said Bates, thanking supporters for their messages. “I can’t wait to see what’s coming next, but right now I need a minute to breathe. Sorry, it’s just a lot.”
She captioned the video, “I am no longer employed by WJAR. Thank you so much for tuning. Sorry I can’t do this thank you video without crying. I have tried. No go. #gratis.” She also wrote on the video, “Today my career ended.”
Her bio page on WJAR-10’s website is now deleted. It had said “Kelly Bates joined Storm Team 10 in August 2004, forecasting weather for NBC 10 News” and noted she was a 2004 and 2005 Emmy nominee.
Fans Have Started a Petition to Get Bates Back on the Air
@kellybatesriThis is nuts!
More than 4,600 people have signed a petition to get Bates back on the air.
“Tell WJAR – NBC 10 that unless they return Kelly Bates to her normal Meteorological time slots and renew her FULL TIME contract, we will no longer be WJAR – NBC 10 viewers,” it reads.
“Kelly Bates has been doing the weather since 1996 and was just voted ‘Best Female Meteorologist’ by RI Monthly Magazine, and yet the younger, significantly less expeirenced Kelly Love was hired to replace retiring meteorologist Gary Ley, and Kelly Bates was given only part time, weekend duties. Kelly Bryant – Love has only been doing weather since Fall 2009, as indicated on her Linkedin account. Tell WJAR – NBC 10 you won’t be force fed a replacement just because she’s a younger version!”
Comments on the petition showed strong support for Bates:
“We love Kelly she’s family as much as Frank Colletta! Channel 10 shame on you!”
“I will not watch WJAR TV news until they return Kelly Bates with a big apology and a big raise. Sinclair does not respect her professionalism and her appealing personality. Sinclair is a Fox wannabe. Well, they have lost this viewer. I love and respect and always relied on her expertise.”
“This is a horrible decision by WJAR. I have been a faithful viewer my whole life. Because of this action by WJAR I will no longer be a viewer. Channel 12 here I come.”
“We will miss you Kelly. You were a big reason I watched Channel 10. I am sorry for all of us.”
“Absolutely sickening. I will never tune into your news casts ever again, what a shame. Kelly is the best you have, what was the problem? Because she’s plus sized? Good bye 10 news. Turn to 10 up your A&& ”