After the firing of meteorologist Sven Sundgaard last Friday, the KARE 11 morning show was back to work Monday with Laura Betker filling in Sundgaard's place.
The team from KARE 11 Sunrise, which is live Monday-Friday from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m., did not go into detail about the situation but did briefly address Sundgaard's absence at the opening of the 5 and 6 o'clock hours of the show.
"We have a bit of news to share about the KARE 11 Sunrise team," said anchor Gia Vang in the opening of the 5 a.m. hour, "Sven Sundgaard is no longer with KARE 11."
Co-anchor Kris Laudien added: "For now, you'll be able to get all of your weather from Laura [Betker], who is joining us back in studio this morning. Laura, as many of you know, is a great meteorologist and scientist – also has a green thumb and you're going to look at the stuff in the back yard that needs something to grow, right Laura?"
At 6 a.m., the same reference to "for now" was used to introduce Betker.
"Happy to kind of step in and talk about the weather here this morning, so we'll just kind of get right to that," Betker replied.
KARE 11 announced the firing of Sundgaard in a Facebook post last Friday, citing "continued violations" of news ethics, which came days after Sundgaard shared a post from a rabbi that referred to those protesting coronavirus Stay at Home orders as "Nazi sympathizers."
"Due to continued violations of KARE11's news ethics and other policies, we have made the decision to part ways with Sven Sundgaard. We hope you turn to KARE 11 for your news, traffic, weather and more," it said.
BMTN asked KARE 11 if it would be sharing more information about the "continued violations" it referred to in its statement, but the station replied: "Not at this time."
Sungaard had been with KARE 11, the Twin Cities NBC affiliate, since 2006, having previously worked as KBJR-TV in the Northland for two-and-a-half years.
Betker has been the 11 a.m. weather anchor and Belinda Jensen's producer since May 2019, having previously worked as the weekend morning meteorologist prior to the arrival of Jason Disharoon.