By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Another Wyoming news personality has been fired over Gray TV’s vaccine mandate that implemented at the beginning of the month.
Cheryl Hackett of KCWY in Casper announced on her social media profile last week that she was leaving the station due to her vaccine exemption request being denied.
“Over the past six years, it has been my great delight to meet and interview so many wonderful people who are doing wonderful things in, and for, our community,” Hackett wrote. “I have been honored and touched when kind viewers have paid me kind compliments (usually at the grocery store, because–with a large family– that’s where you can usually find me!) about how much they love watching MomsEveryday.”
Since 2015, Hackett has been the host of “MomsEveryday,” a program where she would interview guests about a wide variety of family-related topics, such as community events, resources and health. She had previously worked as a reporter and news anchor for the station from 2003 to 2005.
But due to the vaccine mandate at Gray Television, Hackett was terminated from her position last week.
“While I disagree with the decision and outcome, and feel sadness for the good people across the county who lost their jobs, I have nothing but respect and appreciation for our local general manager, Jim Beck, our now-retired news director, John Ehrhart, as well as the rest of the staff at the station, who have all become my friends,” she wrote.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Hackett is now the director of development at the Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming.
This is at least the second instance of a Wyoming news personality losing their job over the Gray TV mandate.
Kerri Hayden of KGWN-TV worked her last day at the TV station on Saturday and penned a note to her viewers on social media afterward.
“After 25 years, my time at KGWN TV has come to an end,” Hayden wrote. “I value the freedom we all have to make our own informed decisions, however my right to choose was taken by a billion dollar company whose owners never even met me.”
She said that while she was neither for nor against the vaccine, she believed Americans had the right to decide what was best for them when it came to medical decisions.
Like Hackett, Hayden also submitted a vaccine exemption request that was denied.
According to PR firm Broadcasting+Cable, Gray TV sent out a memo to employees in August that they would be required to be vaccinated by Oct. 1.
These were not the only Gray TV employees to lose their jobs over the mandate. A Nebraksa meteorologist, a Mississippi TV news anchor and a Missouri reporter were all fired from the company due to their refusal to get vaccinated, just to name a few examples.
In September, President Joe Biden announced that federal workers, health care workers and employees at companies that employ more than 100 people will have to be vaccinated against coronavirus or be tested for the illness weekly. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be responsible for levying fines against companies that do not comply with the mandate.