Ronchetti quits KRQE, signals run for governor

Ronchetti quits KRQE, signals run for governor

Now former Chief Meteorologist Mark Ronchetti has submitted his resignation to KRQE, the station announced Thursday.

Ronchetti apparently quit abruptly, citing that he planned to run for governor next year.

The abrupt resignation could be due in part to reports that Ronchetti’s campaign website went live while he was on the air Thursday evening. Progress Now New Mexico tweeted a screenshot of what appears to be Ronchetti’s previous campaign site featuring a new logo with the word “governor” beneath his name.

The tweet posted around 6:30 p.m. Thursday. By the time KRQE announced Ronchetti’s departure during its 10 p.m. newscast, the campaign site was no longer online.

Earlier this month, Ronchetti was the center of controversy when the Democratic Governors Association warned KRQE that Ronchetti’s on-air presence could subject the station to equal treatment provisions under federal communications law if Ronchetti decided to run for governor.

Following a failed bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2020, Ronchetti returned to his job at KRQE. In January 2021, the Society of Professional Journalists, Rio Grande Chapter called on KRQE and Ronchetti to denounce dangerous rhetoric against members of the press in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Neither Ronchetti nor the station replied.

You can read the SPJ statement here:

Full disclosure: Chile Street’s Ryan Lowery is the current president of the SPJ-RG, and has served on its board for three years.

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