KDKA-TV dropped morning and noon meteorologist Valerie Abati from its staff today, less than a year after she began at the station.
Former WPXI meteorologist Dennis Bowman, who has been doing freelance fill-in work at KDKA for a few years, has been hired full-time for KDKA's morning and noon newscasts. He is expected to begin work on Wednesday.
KDKA general manager Chris Pike would not comment on the decision to fire Abati.
KDKA's morning ratings continue to lag behind those of the other stations even as the station shows dominance in most other news time periods. Abati was criticized on a local TV chat board last month after her coverage of thunderstorms on the 11 p.m. news on June 29. Some viewers on the same site also complained about her voice.
Abati did not return a call seeking comment. She joined KDKA from the Fox affiliate in Cincinnati and previously worked at WJET in Erie and stations in Clarksburg, W.Va., and Chatanooga, Tenn. Abati grew up in Conneaut Lake, Crawford County, and received a bachelor of science in meteorology from Penn State.