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Posts Tagged ‘Weather Channel’

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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Weather Channel Lays Off 7% Of Workforce In Restructuring

The Weather Channel laid off dozens of employees today as part of a mass restructuring of the company. TVNewser hears that as many as 75-80 people were affected by the changes, with Weather’s Atlanta headquarters hit hardest.

In a statement, a spokesperson for The Weather Channel confirmed that it was eliminating positions across the company, and that approximately 7% of the workforce would be affected.

“In late September we began an effort to reorganize of our company into business units based around our customers and the products and services we create and deliver to them,” the statement says. “This effort was recently concluded and has resulted in the elimination of positions in several divisions of the company. With these organizational changes and our new structure, we are better positioned for future growth. Employees who are directly affected by this position elimination or reorganization are being informed and we are working closely with them through this period of transition.”

Weather last laid off employees in November, 2008, not long after NBCUniversal acquired a controlling stake in the company alongside private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. In the past few weeks a number of on-air meteorologists announced that they were leaving the company, including 14-year employee Adam Berg and 27-year employee Jeff Morrow. It isn’t clear if their departures are related to the wave of layoffs that hit the channel today.

We will update the story with any new information, as we get it.

2012 also marks Weather’s 30th anniversary on TV, as we noted earlier this year.

Weather Channel Mobilizing Correspondents For Election Day

The Weather Channel plans to get in on the 2012 election coverage, focusing on something it hopes the traditional outlets ignore… but something that could have a serious impact on the election. It is, of course, weather.

If the weather is crappy on November 6, you can expect a lot of people who might otherwise vote to stay home, and Weather Channel is planning to be all over it. Weather published a study that determined that 35% of undecided voters say weather could factor into whether they vote on election day.

The channel will be monitoring weather in swing states closely, up to and through election day, and plans to send meteorologists and correspondents to some of those places on November 6. The AP notes:

The Weather Channel will base reporters in swing states on Election Day. It will decide closer to the election whether to pre-empt its regular programming, as is often done during major weather stories, said Jennifer Rigby, the network’s multimedia content director.

Icy road conditions will affect potential voters more than any other condition, the survey said.

Former CNN Meteorologist Reynolds Wolf Working for Weather Channel

Former CNN meteorologist Reynolds Wolf has been in the field for the Weather Channel the past couple days reporting on Isaac. This morning, before a liveshot from Miami, Weather Channel anchors re-introduced Wolf to the audience: “He’s reported from all kinds of natural disasters and hurricanes. He’s covered the gulf oil disaster. He’s worked for CNN, and in St. Louis, Orlando and Detroit as a local meteorologist.”

Wolf and CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras both left CNN at the end of May. Jeras has since joined WJLA in Washington, DC.

Weather Channel Acquires Weather Broadcasting Provider Weather Central

The Weather Channel’s Weather Services International has acquired its chief competitor, Weather Central, in a a deal that changes the landscape of weather presentations for broadcasters. Both WSI and Weather Central provide professional weather services to a variety of industries, including the TV and broadcast businesses.

They both provide forecasts, software and graphics, among other products, to customers like local TV stations and cable channels, which use them to inform viewers about local and national weather. WSI and Weather Central are by far the two biggest players in the field.

The acquisition is a wonky one, but it underscores the lengths Weather Channel is going to try and dominate the weather media market, a market that is used by essentially everyone in the U.S. If someone gets their forecast from an iPhone app, a website, a local TV station or a national cable channel, Weather Channel wants to be providing them with that data, either directly through something like Weather.com, or indirectly through WSI. Weather Channel acquired the popular independent weather company Weather Underground earlier this year.