SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The meteorologist who was taken off the air after he called out his television station on the unpopular "Code Red" weather alert has been fired.

Joe Crain was dismissed from WICS-TV in Springfield after 15 years. That's according to Rob Ford. He's a spokesman for WICS owner Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Ford declined further comment.

Crain was absent from the air after live criticism June 5 of Sinclair's "Code Red" weather-alert brand. Crain acknowledged widespread community complaints that it was alarmist and imprecise as to a storm threat's location.

Crain assured viewers that it was a "corporate initiative" and "not us." He did not comment Thursday.

The station did agree to replace "Code Red" with "Weather Warn" and improve geographic specificity of alerts.

Sinclair posted a solicitation for a WICS meteorologist on its website Tuesday.

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