The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore in 1991 (l) and 2011 (r)
On Wednesday, The Weather Channel will celebrate 30 years on the air. The channel is planning a celebration on-air online and in the real world.
For starters, the Empire State Building will be decked out in “Weather Channel Blue” lights for the anniversary.
On-air, there will be a retrospective looking back on 30 years of coverage, as well as interviews with key players, employees and on-air personalities. Celebrities and prominent figures will offer congratulations, and a blooper reel will be played.
Online, Weather.com will be getting a site overhaul (more on that Wednesday) and will also have a look back at 30 years of weather fashion, including Jim Cantore with hair (pictured above).
More information, after the jump.
The Weather Channel Celebrates its 30th Birthday on All Screens
Leading Weather Provider and Digital Giant Marks Day with Special Programming On-air and an All-new Look for weather.com
ATLANTA (April 26, 2012) – The Weather Channel® companies (TWCC) turns 30 next week, having aired its first broadcast 30 years ago on May 2, 1982. To celebrate, the weather leader will air special programming across platforms – television, online and mobile – including a look back at the first 30 years of The Weather Channel, how technology and weather forecasting has changed, coverage of the most significant severe weather events, and bloopers through the decades.
While The Weather Channel recognizes its first 30 years, the company will also celebrate its future with a complete relaunch of its suite of local pages on weather.com starting May 2. The all-new site will offer a more personalized weather experience to help consumers better forecast and plan their lives, with a simpler design and interface, more localized news content, increased social integration, enhanced maps, and more. With the relaunch, 95 percent of weather.com’s 1 billion monthly page views will have a new look.
On May 2, special 30th anniversary content on The Weather Channel and weather.com online and on mobile includes:
· A look back at the first 30 years – changes, significant weather events, brand evolution, and more as well as a look at the significance and historic nature of The Weather Channel
· Decades of style – Check out weather.com for a review of fashion. Think big hair, shoulder pads, and Jim Cantore with hair
· Interviews – perspectives from the original meteorologists from the first 1982 broadcast, Andre Bernier and Bruce Edwards, CEO David Kenny and other experts
· In their own words – some most memorable moments and reflections from current on-camera meteorologists and TWCC employees
· Well wishes – Celebrity birthday wishes and congratulations
· Bloopers – On-air goofs, mistakes, and funny moments
· The next chapter – a look ahead at what we expect for the future of forecasting, television and The Weather Channel
· Social media integration – birthday wishes and photos via Twitter and Facebook. On GetGlue, anyone who checks in to The Weather Channel on May 2 will receive a limited edition sticker celebrating 30 years of The Weather Channel.
From its first broadcast in 1982, many said The Weather Channel would not last. TWC almost shut down within its first few years, but has grown to be one of the most trusted, well known media brands and an industry and technology leader with scale that is second to none. TWCC reaches 168 million unduplicated consumers each month, is the most-distributed cable network, and offers the No. 2 most popular app across all smartphones and tablets. It is a top brand with international direction, while still being a relevant local storyteller to an engaged audience. Through its transformation, an adaptable team of risk takers and experts has succeeded in making The Weather Channel an expected and desired name on any device.
The Weather Channel brand has evolved into a very different company than what began in 1982. The future is bright, with a focus on digital and mobile dominance, international growth, and a new era in original content.
On May 2, help celebrate its first 30 years by tuning in to The Weather Channel and visiting the new weather.com. For more information, follow The Weather Channel on Twitter (www.twitter.com/weatherchannel) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheWeatherChannel).
About The Weather Channel Companies
The Weather Channel companies (TWCC) are made up of The Weather Channel® television network, The Weather Channel digital properties, and WSI. The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta and is seen in more than 100 million U.S. households. TWCC also operates Weatherscan®, a 24-hour all-local weather network; The Weather Channel Radio Network; and The Weather Channel HD. The most popular source of weather news and information, TWCC properties reach 60 million monthly Web consumers (weather.com and Desktop) and 32 million monthly mobile users (mobile Web and applications) and offers the second most popular mobile app on all smartphones. WSI, headquartered in Andover, MA, primarily provides business-to-business weather services, particularly for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors. TWCC is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. For more information, visit www.weather.com/press.
SIDEBAR: THE WEATHER CHANNEL INNOVATION TIMELINE
Launch of The Weather Channel – the first 24-hour network devoted to weather, and the first national television network to automatically customize content based on viewer location
9.4 million TV households
25 million TV households (upgrades on-air talent; adds anchors & more video footage)
27 million TV households (1st long-format programming)
37 million TV households (begins breaking news coverage)
50 million TV households
1ST experiment with social media, as customers submit questions that are later answered on TV and online
Weather forecast innovation offers updated forecasts available every 15 minutes on TV and online
Mobile content launches (Palm PDA) – the first ubiquitous availability of content on TV, online and wireless
Mobile content launches (phones); 73 million TV households; Launched custom forecast tool; Launch of Weatherscan, a 24-hour local weather station
Launch alert products – first provider to deliver custom weather alerts to desktop, mobile and landline phones
85 million TV households; Enhance social involvement by inviting viewers to upload their own videos, to be shared online
Launches paid mobile applications; first availability of customized weather information for OnStar mobile services
Launch first primetime series Storm Stories; Launch patented HIRADtm system for unsurpassed accuracy of weather condition information and increasing frequency of updated forecasts.
25 million monthly unique users on weather.com; Nielsen-rated top 10 online site
89 million TV households; ratings record during Hurricane Katrina (2.2 total day rating); participate in MobiTV launch (wireless)
90 million TV households; introduce more long-form programming; begin to customize advertising content by target audience and launch weather-triggered advertising opportunities on all platforms (TV, online, mobile)
96 million TV households; launch Weather Channel HD; weather.com reaches 35 million monthly unique users; weather mobile averages 6 million users/mo (#2mobile website behind Yahoo!); Launch geo-targeted advertising based on weather maps on weather.com; Integration with Electronic Arts games enables real-time weather integration with live gameplay (NCAA Football, PGA Golf, NFL Football games)
98 million TV households; ownership change from Landmark to consortium owned by Blackstone Group, Bain Capital, NBC Universal; add video advertising availability on mobile web
99 million TV households; launch of Wake Up with Al, morning primetime show; first availability of segmentation targeting for advertisers on mobile web
100 million TV households; first launch of private cross-platform ad exchange
50 million cumulative mobile app downloads
Launch of Weather Social, incorporation of social media inputs to programming online & on TV
75 million cumulative mobile app downloads; 60 million monthly users on digital properties (PC and desktop)