For more than two decades, Kerri Hayden has been the face of the nightly news in Cheyenne, Wyoming. But when she refused an edict imposed on her local television station, KGWN-TV, by its corporate owner to take the COVID-19 vaccination, she found herself canceled — literally. Gray TV, the broadcast behemoth that owns KGWN and 149 other affiliates, fired her. “I wanted the decision to be my choice, not a billion-dollar company’s,” she said. Hayden “became part of a small wave of TV journalists who have resigned or been dismissed in recent weeks over their opposition to vaccination requirements,” a wave cresting from Mississippi to Michigan, The Washington Post has reported.
The broadcast industry is far from alone: Stories of hundreds of workers leaving airlines over vaccine mandates have snared headlines nationwide. But the airlines differ from most other private-sector industries in one significant way: Companies like Southwest Airlines say they are subject to an executive order from President Joe Biden, which requires federal contractors to impose vaccine mandates on their employees.