The TV Weather Wars
I think I'm piecing together the WQAD weather story after reading about the addition of Eric Sorenson to their Morning and Mid-day news. Keep in mind nobody will ever really know, because some people will never be able to say, so at best my theory is only half-right. At best.
Swails' contract was coming to an end, Zahara wants out of the insane time commitment of Mornings and Afternoons (he has been the Chief Meteorologist [C.M.] since Neil Kastor left, and can probably request a shift in hours, and expect that after 5 years it would be honored.)
Knowing that they now had a morning position open (generally not the position for a Chief Meteorologist, so Zahara has been in the wrong slot for awhile, as a cool gesture to Swails' higher profile, at least 5 years ago) and that Swails salary would be higher than someone they likely could bring in and pay less, they decide to either honor Zahara's request or just decide to give him the rightful spot of higher-profile Evenings based on his title, and wish Swails all the best, knowing 1) KWQC won't need him back, after all they have the next best thing, a C.M. who was essentially trained under Swails, and 2) WHBF couldn't justify paying Swails half of what he's worth based on their place in the ratings. SO WQAD takes a calculated risk on a game of Credibility vs. Salary. vs. Chemistry.
Now, like I said, I am only guessing--and only because I've been asked by everyone I know, and many that I don't...what REALLY happened? But I've been working in Media for 30 years, and those are the pieces that fit in my head. Good Luck Terry!, And Welcome Eric Sorenson.