THE FORECAST looks like unemployment for John Bolaris.
The Fox 29 meteorologist, who two years ago survived an encounter with a Russian and Eastern European organized-crime group, could not survive the storm winds of office politics.
Bolaris had been suspended since Dec. 22, but yesterday a Fox spokeswoman confirmed: "We mutually agreed that it was time to part ways." She declined to comment further on the parting.
As we reported on PhillyGossip.com on Dec. 23, Bolaris was suspended indefinitely just days after Playboy magazine published an article about his being drugged and scammed by two European hotties in Miami Beach in March 2010, a story first reported by the Daily News last May.
In Playboy, Bolaris was quoted as saying that he had gone with the women because "I'm a guy. There was the thought I might get laid," and he discussed his reputation as a ladies' man. He also shared nude photos of women on his cellphone with writer Pat Jordan.
Station sources told us that Fox 29 management was upset at how Bolaris came across in the story - the latest occasion in which he upset them - and that he had clashed with GM Patrick Paolini.
Several months ago, sources say, Bolaris came to work, argued with management, then announced that he was sick and went home. The spat stemmed from management not wanting him to interview his friend Lenny Dykstra. Bolaris had offered an exclusive interview with the disgraced ex-Phillie.
Sources close to Bolaris said that the station had accused him in May of leaking the Miami story to the Daily News and that management was upset that he was participating in the Playboy profile about his Miami saga.
The Playboy profile didn't paint Bolaris in a positive light. The article described him as saying that he has "some girls I call filler" to keep him from being lonely.
Bolaris, 54, also was quoted by Playboy as saying that he liked to do "regular blue-collar things" like "watch football naked with my lady and a bottle of wine. Then, the next morning, make breakfast for her, turkey Hot Pockets with egg whites in the microwave."
When the naked football quotes were mentioned on Twitter by Daily News Assistant City Editor Josh Cornfield on Dec. 27, Bolaris tweeted that he "never said that period, that's ridiculous."
"Don't sit back, read and assume, that is the problem with journalism today," he added in another tweet. "You guys can say anything, w/o a clue, lazy."
Fox management and Bolaris' agent, Richard Leibner, discussed his status after his suspension. Sources close to Bolaris said that he wanted to get back on the air. Bolaris declined to comment yesterday and referred us to Leibner, who echoed the statement from Fox 29 that both parties had agreed to part ways. When we asked Leibner whether that meant that Fox had bought out Bolaris' contract, which runs until 2014, Leibner responded that in 50 years as an agent, he has "never talked about contractual terms."
Bolaris reported for work Dec. 22, only to learn that he was suspended. He has not been on-air since, although commercials in which he was featured continued to air. Last Thursday, a Fox 29 employee emailed the Daily News asking that Bolaris' photo be removed from the Fox weather forecasts on Page 2 of the newspaper.
Bolaris joined Fox 29 in January 2008, after five years at New York's WCBS. Local viewers were introduced to Bolaris in 1990, when he arrived at NBC10 after his first stint at WCBS.
Bolaris worked at NBC10 until November 2002. He's still mocked in some circles for his blown March 2001 forecast of "the Storm of the Century," predicting that the region would be mercilessly pounded by a snowstorm that barely affected the area.
The Daily News' story last May about Bolaris reported that in March 2010 he was drugged twice in Miami Beach by two Latvian women in their 20s - once at the Fontainebleau Hotel and later at the Oyster Bar, according to federal authorities. A few days later, Bolaris said, he got a phone call from American Express asking about the $43,000 he had just spent on booze and caviar in South Beach.
Last April the feds busted 17 members of an Eastern European ring that relied on "bar girls" from overseas who targeted wealthy out-of-towners at South Beach bars.