WPIX Axes Weekend Weathercaster Chris Knowles

There has been a casualty of the newly formatted WPIX newscasts.

Chris Knowles, the WPIX weekend weather anchor, was fired and replaced by Lisa Mateo.  She began her new role on Saturday night.

“WPIX is an organization that has been going through transition and financial reorganization for some time,” Knowles tells FishbowlNY exclusively. A WPIX spokeswoman tells FishbowlNY that Knowles’ per diem agreement came to end. “He opted to not continue with this on a per diem basis.”

Knowles spent six years at Fox News Channel before joining WPIX in June 2007. Knowles is married to Kiran Chetry, co-anchor of CNN’s Anerican Morning. The couple met while working at a TV station in Erie, Pa. “I am looking forward to a permanent situation where I can continue to do what I love–anchoring and using my meteorological skills,” Knowles says.

As for Knowles’ replacement, the station spokewoman says, Mateo, who has been going to school for meteorology, will maintain her face time on the PIX Morning News with news and feature reporting three days a week.

The Knowles termination comes as the PIX News at Ten moves into its second week following major changes. Jodi Applegate took over for Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong on the weeknight 10 p.m. newscast. The broadcast originates directly from the newsroom without those TV news staples–desks and chairs.

“I’ve heard from many co-workers who are shaken up over the whole thing, and I really appreciate their reaching out to me,” Knowles says.