Bohnak announces departure from TV6
Longtime weatherman cites corporate vaccine policy
MARQUETTE — Longtime WLUC-TV6 weatherman Karl Bohnak has announced his departure from the station.
Bohnak announced the move in a Facebook post Wednesday after more than 33 years of employment with the station.
“(Today), it is with a heavy heart, I announce after over 33 years, I am no longer employed at TV6,” the post read. “I am sad, but to borrow a quote from a famous ballplayer (Lou Gehrig), ‘I’m the luckiest man on the face of the earth,’ because I had a dream as a kid to be a weatherman. That dream came true and to top it off, I got to broadcast weather for one of the most challenging, beautiful spots in the United States. As an added bonus, the people I broadcast to all across Upper Michigan were so kind and encouraging.”
Bohnak cited WLUC’s corporate owner Gray Television and its mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy as the reason for his departure.
“I am leaving TV6 because the station’s corporate owner, Gray Television, has mandated vaccination against COVID-19 for anyone entering a property owned by the company,” Bohnak stated in the Facebook post. “Since I chose not to take one of the shots, I was fired. Many of you have taken one of these injections, and that is absolutely your right. It is also my right to choose the medical options I feel are right for me. I have authority over my body.
“I have decided against the vaccine option, first and foremost, because the manufacturers of these injections have absolutely no liability if injury or death occurs after the shot. I asked myself, ‘Would I buy brakes for my vehicle if the brake company had no liability if the brakes failed? No! So, I will certainly not allow a medicine in my body from a company that does not stand behind its product.’
“Now, if the risk of death from COVID would be significant, I might take a chance and get injected. However, for a normally healthy adult not housed in a nursing home or not suffering from serious comorbidities, the chance of surviving COVID is well over 99 percent. I will take the chance and go without a shot. I choose not to risk serious side effects.”
Vaccine hesitancy has been an issue public health officials have been trying to resolve throughout the year. According to statistics from ourworldindata.org, just 54.6% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, or 179 million people. In Michigan, 51.3% of the population is vaccinated, or 5.12 million people.
The idea of vaccine mandates and vaccine passports have caused controversy across the nation, as entities attempt to grapple with what stance to take on the matter to protect their employees.
Bohnak is originally from Milwaukee. Prior to joining WLUC, he worked as a weather forecaster for WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee. He joined WLUC in 1988 and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, earning a bachelor’s degree in meteorology.
The Mining Journal reached out to WLUC for comment, but a phone call was not returned ahead of press time Wednesday night.