Meteorologist Kurt Schmitz Settles Lawsuit With WTVM, Joins Rival WRBL

By Merrill Knox 

Veteran meteorologist Kurt Schmitz has settled his lawsuit with WTVM, the ABC-affiliate in Columbus, GA, and is set to resume forecasting this weekend for rival station WRBL, the CBS-affiliate in the market.

Schmitz was cut loose at WTVM in April after 22 years. He called his departure “sudden and unexpected” at the time, noting he had recently signed a contract renewal that lasted through 2014. In June, Schmitz filed a lawsuit against WTVM, accusing the station, and general manager Lee Brantley, of terminating him with the knowledge that his opportunities in Columbus “would be very limited due to several factors,” according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

The terms of the settlement are protected by a confidentiality agreement, but Schmitz has been released from his non-compete clause — he will be permitted to join WRBL, where he will work Sunday nights and occasional other shifts.

“I would have liked to have the whole story come out in public to get it all out in the open,” Schmitz told the Ledger-Enquirer. “But when you consider what goes into a trial — how long and drawn out it can be and costly — I can live with the settlement that we got.”