A 28-year veteran of Quad-City weather forecasting has parted ways with his most recent television home.

Terry Swails announced on his Facebook fan page Thursday night that his contract was not renewed with WQAD, where he had been the nighttime meteorologist for the past five years.

"When I arrived at work, I was asked to pack my personal items, turn in my key and leave," wrote Swails, who had just returned earlier this week from a 2,800-mile, six-state storm chase. 

In his social media post, Swails said he was unsure why his contract was not renewed.

"I wish I knew. I asked but was never given a reason. I am extremely disappointed," he wrote.

Swails could not immediately be reached for comment.

WQAD general manager Jim Kizer said he could not comment on Swails' departure since it is a personnel matter.

An Iowa City native, Swails was the chief meteorologist for KWQC-TV in Davenport from 1986 to 2008.

In his Facebook post, Swails said similar cutbacks have taken place at TV stations across the country and that he will continue to deliver weather forecasts through his website, TSwails.com.

"It's who I am, it's my passion and that's what I will continue to do ...," he wrote. "I am going to get a little out-of-the box by doing some video weather casts similar to what you see on television. I've got some other ideas, too. It may take a few days to implement some of this, but I'll get it done."

(37) comments


not from the QC but ALWAYS watched terry swails accurate weather reporting...dixon,il appears to get the same weather as QC... now the weather is being reported inaccurately & buy a guy I really don' t care for...no more watching WQAD


I hope they replace him with James Zahara.

Lou Ford
Lou Ford

I for one am glad to see him go. I have watched WQAD for years, and got annoyed when they brought him on after KWQC. Its not like he's your friend or anything. He reads the computer generated weather reports.

Terry W

What A..........holes. Terry was the ONLY one I watched.....done with that station........looks like it's channel 4 for me now. VERY sorry to see him go and how they treated him........after vacation........major A...holes. Guess they would rather have/keep the morons that nobody wants to watch. Good luck Terry and SO SORRY to see you go. YOU will be missed!!


Contrary to belief, all it comes down to is ratings. WQAD is continually dropping ratings. In the last few years, KWQC has soared. Why overpay a talent that can't produce the revenue to pay his salary? Cut your losses and move on. Simple as that. Case closed!

Geneseo Jan
Geneseo Jan

Terry is the individual in the QC that you could trust for a no fail weather report. This will be the last of WQAD for me too.


I can't believe Terry was dumped in such a cowardly way. His weather reporting was far and away the class of the quad cities. I will take my viewing of local news and weather elsewhere.


Terry is very knowledgeable and honest. Much more than I can say for those who sacked him.


Terry is a straight off the top guy! Hard to find anyone with such great character. Terry there is better and more challenging roads ahead for you. Channel 8 seems to be somewhat screwed up. I won't be watching it anymore and I know their ratings will drop as several feel the same way. You get a great guy and they drop them.


It sure seems gutless of WQAD-TV not to even mention Swails leaving. Couldn't they come up with a plausible explanation? I know I won't be watching Channel 8 any longer.


Well let's watch the golden ratings drop.....


He's no Greg Dutra


He's no Greg Dutra


Sad to see this happen to Terry. To the clowns at the top it`s all about money and it`s my guess that`s the bottom line here. Some young kid will be on the air that can`t tell a cloud from a jet stream.


I was on the WQAD website and they are already advertising for his old position.


Its time to change channels.


Terry Swails is very professional and has dedicated himself to weather forecasting. Unfortunately, this is a very cut-throat outfit and the management probably just decided to hire someone fresh out of college for less money. This station after changing ownership few years ago went around and without asking what position anyone had, or what they did, pointed out employees for termination. When the big cats in the ivory palaces aren't making enough money or getting enough awards, they slaughter their employees- as if that helps them in any way.
The viewers won't even notice the fat cats say.. give it a week or so....WRONG. I'll never watch your station again!!!
Swails has forgotten more about weather than most of the other weather people know!


Totally agree, well said.


Sarar - You say he was so happy to report bad weather?? Have you taken a look around at other meteorologists on other channels? I know you probably don't get the channels, but you should listen to those in other areas, such as Cedar Rapids. Dear Gawd, they foam at the mouth when bad weather is coming in! They get so excited I swear they're wetting themselves! They add drama like there's no tomorrow. I always found Terry to report it like it is, take cover/prepare when need be and very straight forward. In addition, a very kind and sincere gentleman whenever we were lucky enough to meet him and his lovely family at book signings, etc.

Channel 8 - you screwed up.


Interesting that Swails is released in the typical corporate slime way, but on the same note they keep Jason Fechner who recently received a DWI. In terms of a companies image, does that make sense to anyone?


Yeah I thought it was pretty tasteless that Denise had to air personal business, of Jason Fechner, over the air. It was almost as though she was gloating about it. As far as them releasing Swails, yeah, it was pretty crappy the way they did it, but his contract WAS up....I wish him well in whatever he decides to do next...


Terry Fails


This stinks of back room office politics. Terry Swails is a wonderful man and great at his job. It is true that he is too good for the QC market, but he stayed so that his daughter,could attend the great Riverdale schools. The management of WQAD should be ashamed for treating him so shabbily. He wasn't even allowed to say goodbye to his coworkers or to his fans. Sad.


You will be greatly missed. You were the best. Good luck in the next chapter of your career. God Bless.


He belongs on a bigger stage anyway then this one horse buggy, i actually thought he'd be gone from the area by now, farewell my friend.


This meteorologist has worked with all the contraception queens......


Look what they did to Neal Kaster!!!! Jim Kazer must be terribly jealous of Meterologists!!!


I really don't like him, he is so happy to report bad weather, but what Channel 8 did to him is terrible. Denise H whatever can't even pronounce half the words she says. At least Terry knew his stuff. What a terrible feeling for him. I wondered why James was on last night.


It's sad when a company can just dismiss you and it's sadder when they come up with that cut backs mess . I wish you well Terry Swails you will be sadly missed.


I will go to 8 like to know were he goes


I agree that when a company treats their dedicated employees this way, they would not hesitate to treat the customers (viewers) even worse. I usually watch the news that comes on the channel I am watching, but I will make 100% sure to watch channel 6 or 18 from now on. Mr. Swails is a local icon!


6 did the same thing to him 6 years ago. And 18 is 6 doing their news for them. And don't watch Gary, can't get marbles out his mouth, on 6.


Good to know...thanks!

retired engineer

I worked with Terry for many years, you can't find an more dedicated person to his craft, sorry to see him go, he was "large market" meteorologist in the QC.


What a very kind remark!!!


Its disturbing that companies use "downsizing" for laying off dedicated workers. Personally companies want employees to be loyal and trustworthy in their positions. But, it don't seem that they do that for their employees in return. Companies have the right not to extend contracts but it seems pretty dirty not to inform the person involved a head of time so they can find new employment. Sorry this had to happen to Terry Swails.


When an organization refuses to discuss the rationale for its actions, and they always have "stock" excuses, one is left to conjure up their own "reasons", be they whatever. For me, it's always difficult to place any trust in that organization going forward. I wonder if sponsors feel the same? Regardless, tonight at 5,6,10, Channel 8 will not be on. (Sorry, I missed your message, advertisers.)

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