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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Christopher Nance Update (with a reference to Michael Burton)
Thirteen days ago, I started writing about eharmony.com and ended up writing about the bad behavior of former KNBC weatherman Christopher Nance. For example, I quoted this:

At NBC4, according to numerous current and former employees, Nance has developed a reputation for profane and menacing off-air behavior, marked by sexual innuendo and violent outbursts. In an incident now legendary at the station, he once called a technical director a "cunt" in front of the morning crew, reducing her to tears. He had the same effect on a well-known anchor, telling her "fuck you" as she sat at the news desk. On yet another occasion, he shouted down the station's vice president--also female--vowing to "shove my foot so far up your ass you're going to taste shoe polish." The most frightening allegation involves a woman who became romantically involved with Nance near the beginning of his NB[C.sub.4] tenure, sometimes meeting him at the station for their trysts. She later accused Nance of attacking her, first with punches and kicks, then by squeezing his hands around her neck....

Eventually, Nance was fired:

Popular Los Angeles weatherman Christopher Nance was fired shortly before the new year after developing "a reputation for profane and menacing off-air behavior, marked by sexual innuendo and violent outbursts," reports Los Angeles magazine.

KNBC President and General Manager Paula Madison fired the station's only African American weekday anchor over what Nance claimed in the Los Angeles Times were unfounded allegations of sexual harassment involving an intern.

Well, it turns out that there's an update to this story. According to L.A. Observed:

Former channel 4 weathercaster Christopher Nance alleges that the station, which fired him in 2002, discriminated on the basis of race (he's African American) and subjected him to ridicule for his religious practices, which included reading the Bible. He filed in L.A. Superior Court on Tuesday.

To radio listeners, this may sound a tad (pardon the unrelated pun) familiar. Although the complete story of Michael Burton's lawsuit against KROQ may no longer be available, I did find this short summary:

12. What happened to Michael the Maintenance Man?
He sued KROQ for racial and religious discrimination after they fired him (the firing was possibly a joke that he took seriously). It appears that it has been settled out of court already. See the web site at http://shuster.com/kroq/ for a very complete page about the whole subject.

A visit today to shuster.com yielded this important information:


Of course, if you had asked me about this on November 27, 2003, I could have provided you with more extensive information from laradio.com:

Burton, Michael: KROQ, 1990-95. Michael "the maintenance man" left the Kevin & Bean morning show in the fall of 1995 and filed a wrongful-termination suit charging the station with racial and religious discrimination. The suite was settled in late 1996 with both parties prohibited from revealing financial details.

However, Burton was never accused of behaving badly. I actually met him at a KROQ appearance years ago, and he seemed like a nice guy. For those who don't recall, he got his start by rapping the weather to a musical track from Tone Loc's "Wild Thing." His best (?) moment was his cover of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing." At some point he became a Muslim (man, I have more Muslim news than Serial Blogonomy has Mormon news), and got into some sort of argument with Kevin and Bean at some remote (was it at the O.J. trial? I can't remember).

Back to Nance - here's the Reuters/Hollywood Reporter version, which again fails to mention the well-documented allegations against Nance:

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Former KNBC-TV weathercaster Christopher Nance has sued his former employers in Los Angeles and NBC Inc. for allegdly firing him to cover up the fact that he was subjected to racial and religious discrimination at work.

KNBC officials said the case was without merit and that they expect to prevail.

After being fired Dec. 27, 2002, Nance filed a discrimination complaint with the California Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing. That agency granted him the right to sue in January.

Nance, who is African-American, filed the claim Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that he was discriminated against on the basis of his race and subjected to ridicule for his religious practices, which included reading the Bible at work.

Even on the weatherdude.com site, Nance shows a...um...bit of non-sunny bitterness:

Some of you have called and mailed to tell me that the L.A. Times did not mention me or my booth in any of their publications this year. Now you know why I take the Daily News. I don't know why the L.A. Times left me out but that has happened to me before....

I will not be doing the BOOKS BY THE BAY in San Francisco in the future. There is a reason why that event is not drawing large crowds and I'm sorry to say I discovered first hand the reasons why.

In closing I must say many of you have shared with me very mean and negative things about my former employer NBC. This is not God like nor is it what I expect from Fans, Friends or Family. There is poor management in many businesses but calling them names won't fix things. With the exception of my law suite (sic) against that network, I am done with NBC and I had 18 good years there but I am happier with my life now than ever before and like the path God has put me on. I don't need to learn about negative calls or letters you have addressed to NBC on my behalf. Thank you for caring but understand my life is very good....

Nance apparently continues to provide speaking services, including a speaking engagement entitled Being a Christian Today:

Do you feel invaded by Shock TV and Shock Radio. Are you fearful of sitting down with your family to watch television, with concern that your children will be bombarded with partial nudity and foul language? You do have rights that will give you power. You can put the networks on notice that you are fed up with their loose morals and shameless behavior. They need you more than you need them. You will love this assembly!

Now, before we all guffaw at the apparent hypocrisy of Mr. "C@nt/F@ck You/Shove My Foot Up Your A@@" speaking against foul language, or make comparisons to Mr. Family Values David Dreier, we have to be honest and admit that WE do not always practice what we preach. And, as Tone Loc would say, "Funky cold medina" (whatever that means).

For recent discussions of Christopher Nance in this blog, click here.
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