TV meteorologist responds to criticism for not using her married name

Abby Dyer, a meteorologist with an NBC affiliate in Missouri, said it was a "really personal" decision to use her maiden name on air.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

Television meteorologist Abby Dyer can understand getting some grief from viewers when the weather doesn't turn out like it was predicted.

However, she took issue when one anonymous female viewer criticized her for her decision to not use her married name on air.

Dyer, a meteorologist with NBC affiliate KY3 in Springfield, Missouri, responded with a Facebook post on Thursday after receiving an anonymous letter that scolded her for using her maiden name professionally instead of her married name, which she would like to keep private.

"I am happily married,'' she wrote. "Most of my posts and commentary are about the weather — since that’s my job — and not my personal life. But you don’t have to look hard through my posts to find photos of my family that I have shared publicly with the world.

"You may also have noticed that I wear my wedding ring proudly every day. I’m sorry you felt the need to write such a malicious note without ever considering I may have thought about this decision very carefully."

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Television meteorologist Abby Dyer has received a lot of attention for the response she posted after a viewer criticized her for going by her maiden name professionally. @abby.dyerkytv/Facebook

The anonymous letter she received cited two of her colleagues at the station who use their married names on air.

"Are you ashamed of your husband or just got an obsession with your maiden name?" the letter reads. "I know my husband would be irritated if I continued to use my maiden name.

"I bet the reason for this maiden name your (sic) obsessed with, is you want men to think you are hot and a single girl."

The letter ended with, "Have a great single day. SINGLE GIRL."

Dyer ended her response with, "Best, MARRIED GIRL."

Dyer got married to her husband, Joseph, in 2016, and she noted in her response that he supported her decision to use her maiden name.

"The decision was personal to me,'' Dyer told TODAY. "Not just because anchors use their name for continuity for their career, but for me it was really personal. At the time my husband had a dangerous public job. We did it mainly for safety so they couldn't connect the dots."

TODAY meteorologist Dylan Dreyer and anchor Sheinelle Jones, who both use their maiden name on air, said on the 3rd hour of TODAY Friday that they did it for the sake of continuity through their career and for privacy reasons.

"It's nice to keep your private life private,'' Dylan said. "For me, when your last name's Dreyer and you're a meteorologist, it just drives a little better than Fichera."

Dyer, who has been with KY3 for eight years, feels that the decision for women to use their maiden or married names should be up to them.

"In the letter it calls out a few co-workers who did change their names,'' she said. "It's like, we can both be right! This decision was for me."

Her husband was supportive of her response to the anonymous critic.

"He thought it was hilarious,'' she said. "He encouraged me to make the post because on the off chance that the writer sees it, I want them to know it did sting a little."

Correction: A previous version of this story identified KY3 as an ABC affiliate. It is an NBC affiliate.