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Alexandra Cranford

Abstract

Data on weathercasters at local television stations in all 210 markets in the United States were gathered through individual weathercaster biography web pages provided on television news station websites. The weathercasters’ genders, positions, and educational backgrounds were compiled and analyzed to determine women’s presence in local broadcast meteorology. While the overall percentage of females in the field increased and females were more represented in larger markets, females held fewer influential and desired positions in 2016 compared with previous studies. Women made up 29% of all weathercaster positions, which was higher than in earlier studies that showed the percentage at 25% or less over the past two decades. Females made up 8% of chief meteorologist positions and less than 11% of evening shifts, which were lower than numbers in previous studies. The proportion of female weathercasters who held meteorology degrees was lower than their male counterparts (52% of females compared with 59% of males). This difference was statistically significant (p < 0.01). Chi-squared tests revealed strong and statistically significant associations between males and chief meteorologist positions and between males and evening shifts. There was a higher percentage of weathercasters with meteorology degrees in smaller markets as opposed to larger markets.

Open access