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Posts Tagged ‘James Spann’

Weather Channel Plans Programming Revamp

First on TVNewser: At a company town hall meeting after its reorganization last week, The Weather Channel outlined a new name for its parent company and a revamp of its TV morning, dayside and primetime programming.

The Weather Channel will be changing its corporate name to The Weather Company. Brian Stelter in the NY Times has more details on that, though it is also worth noting that the company appears to have struck a deal with meteorologist James Spann, who works for a pair of ABC affiliates in Alabama. Spann’s private company was called “The Weather Company,” and he tweeted: “All parties are very happy… And we will have NO changes in our operation. Just a new name.”

As for the new TV programming: Weather is readying a new-look for its entire morning lineup later this year. The new shows begin with a program called “First Forecast” at 4 am followed by “On the Radar” at 5 with “Wake Up With Al” moving up by half an hour to 5:30 AM. From 7-9 AM will be a show called “Morning Rush,” which will lead-in to a revamped dayside lineup.

The details on the dayside lineup are scarce, but Weather acting head of TV Sharon Scott said at the meeting that the network will be moving to a new talk show format during dayside early next year.

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‘World News’ Reports on Tornado Warnings, Without Acknowledging Criticism of Previous Incident

After being publicly criticized yesterday for a report stating Monday’s tornadoes hit Alabama residents with “no warning,” “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer backpedaled last night, saying the death toll “could have been far worse” without the tornado warning system.

The report noted the contributions of local forecasters — including James Spann, chief meteorologist at ABC-affiliated WBMA, who was the most vocal of Sawyer’s critics — but did not include an acknowledgement of the previous night’s report:

After Criticism From a Local ABC Meteorologist, ‘World News’ Will Clarify Report on Tornadoes

ABC News is responding to criticism from a meteorologist at an ABC affiliate in Alabama after a report on “World News” implied Monday’s tornadoes in the region touched down with no warning.

On yesterday’s “World News,” Diane Sawyer introduced a report saying, “Something terrifying took the South by surprise last night — no warning. 25 tornadoes striking in less than 24 hours.”

Chief meteorologist James Spann of WBMA in Birmingham — who TVSpy reports was on the air for eight hours during the threat and aftermath of the tornadoestook to his blog on the station’s website to challenge Sawyer’s claim. “NO WARNING? Get a clue,” Spann wrote. “This event was forecast days in advance, and the average lead times for the entire event were 20 to 30 minutes. That is plenty of time to get to a safe place.”

“The report that aired Monday was referring to the fact that many families were surprised because they were asleep when the tornado hit in the middle of the night,” an ABC spokesperson says. “‘World News’ will cover the latest on the aftermath of the tornadoes tonight and will clarify the warning and advance forecasts given.”

Spann will also be interviewed by ABC this afternoon.

Watch Sawyer’s report after the jump.

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