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AccuWeather Advertises New Network in Weather Channel’s Backyard

With no end in sight to the Weather Channel-DIRECTV blackout, AccuWeather is taunting its competition with a billboard advertising its 24-hour channel in TWC’s hometown.

The billboard, which advertises “All Weather. All the Time,” is across the street from the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, where the American Meteorological Society is holding its annual meeting this week. AccuWeather Channel is set to launch in the third quarter of this year.

Weather Channel President: ‘I Intend to Win’

weather channel winter storm leonAs the feud between The Weather Channel and DIRECTV enters its third week, TWC president David Clark says his network’s coverage of the winter storm in the Deep South gives him confidence that they will ultimately win the battle.

In a note sent Thursday night, Clark thanked staffers for their work covering the severe weather in Atlanta and elsewhere, noting that many Weather Channel employees reporting on the storm were also affected by the storm.

I know people are tired. We are asking a lot of ourselves right now in general, even before we get to storm coverage. I don’t need to tell you what a critical time this is for this team and our network, and how many Americans are counting on us to pull through. The way we win and protect our future is by putting out great TV every day. And like all of you, I intend to win. It is easy to be confident when you work with this team.

In other Weather Channel news, Sam Champion‘s new show, which will debut in March, gets a name: “AMHQ,” short for “America’s Morning Headquarters.” Champion announced the news on Twitter this morning.

Clark’s full note is after the jump. Read more

Meet the Kid Who Got Kneed by Jim Cantore

This is Colin Marcelli, a College of Charleston student and YouTube star. Marcelli, you’ll recall (watch here), was kneed in the stomach — not the groin as it would appear — when he burst into Jim Cantore‘s Weather Channel live shot Tuesday evening. Nearly two million views later, it’s not quite.

“He got me good,” Marcelli told Charleston CBS affiliate WCSC. “I figured it would be one of those things that I was on the Weather Channel for a minute, maybe laugh about it, see the video on YouTube and then it would be over.”

Did it hurt? “Yeah a little bit.” Would he do it again? “100%” yes. “It’s my 15 minutes of fame, you don’t get this very often.”

Jim Cantore Knees A College Kid in the Groin

Here’s something 20 million DirecTV customers didn’t see. Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore, covering winter storm Leon from the College of Charleston, wasn’t going to let a troublemaker get in the way of his 5pm live shot. Cantore saw the kid coming. The kid didn’t see where Cantore’s knee was going. WATCH:

Jim Cantore Caught in the Middle of DirecTV-Weather Channel Dispute

CantoreJim Cantore got bumped from Dan Patrick‘s show because of the Weather Channel carriage dispute with DirecTV. DirecTV owns Patrick’s show (which also airs on NBC Sports Network) and the company didn’t think it was a good idea to have on one of the Weather Channel’s biggest stars in the middle of the carriage fight. Cantore was booked to give a Super Bowl forecast this week. The show will instead use Paul Douglas, a former local news meteorologist in Minneapolis who created WeatherNation, which DirecTV now carries in place of Weather Channel.

“We like Jim and thought, under the circumstances, that it may be a bit awkward for him to appear on a DirectTV-owned show so we let him off the hook,” a DirecTV spokesman tells the LA Times’ Joe Flint.

Meanwhile, the Weather Channel took out more full-page ads today, this time taking a shot at DirecTV CEO Mike White who said late last week, “I can assure you 99.9995% of our current customers have voted to stay on the DIRECTV platform.”

That would be about 100 customers. The Weather Channel figures about 190,000 DirecTV customers would commit to switching services over the loss of TWC.

DirecTV subscribers are entering their second week without the Weather Channel.

Sam Champion on DirecTV Spat: ‘You Should Give People the TV they Want’

ChampionWeatherAfter years of moving at the speed of “a giant cruise ship,” Sam Champion has become a sprinter.

“This is the most fun in the world, but I’ve never run so fast,” he says. “Information changes moment to moment. This organization is like a sprinter – it can change, bob and weave, and respond immediately.”

“This organization” is The Weather Channel, which Champion joined last month as managing editor and anchor. The “giant cruise ship” is ABC, where he was ‘Good Morning America’s’ popular weatherguy for seven years.

Labeled as “our No. 1 draft pick” by TWC chief David Clark, Champion will host a 7-to-10 a.m.  morning show, beginning in March. His on-air debut occurred far sooner, however, thanks to Winter Storm Janus last week.

“I knew there would be storms to cover,” Champion, 52, says. “While we’re building this [new] show, I would do work in the field. When this storm turned into more than a foot of snow during commuter rush times, it became a public emergency. We went around the clock.”

Had he been back at ABC, or at any major network, for that matter, Champion says he would have had to fight for airtime.

“I’d go to the News division and say, ‘I need to talk about this storm. I need resources.’ There’s a lot of other news that needs resources, too. That’s not a criticism, it’s just the way it works. … Then the story would be put in a lineup of other news, and I’d have to wait for the show [‘World News.’]”

At Atlanta-based TWC, “I’ve got 220 meteorologists and scientists watching that storm. We had crews covering it right away.”

Read more

Weather Channel: DirecTV Subscribers Should Be Able to Switch, Without Penalty

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 11.42.44 PMThe Weather Channel is ratcheting up the rhetoric in its fight to get back on DirecTV.

The leading weather TV channel, which begins a ninth day off the nation’s second-largest pay TV service, has taken out full-page ads in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal Wednesday that feature an open letter to DirecTV’s chairman and CEO Michael White from the Weather Channel’s Chairman and CEO, David Kenny. Kenny is asking DirecTV to return to the negotiating table, and its hoping viewer response will help make that happen.

The letter, which you can read in full after the jump, also asks DirecTV’s board to waive cancelation fees for customers who want to switch.

Your customers were never given a vote about DIRECTV’s decision to drop The Weather Channel. The least you can do is allow them to vote now with their feet by waiving termination fees for those seeking to switch to a provider that still carries The Weather Channel, as every other pay-TV company in the nation does.

The Weather Channel was seeking a 1 cent per month per subscriber increase from DirecTV. DirecTV was seeking to decrease what it pays the Weather Channel claiming the network was relying on “reality show clutter.” It replaced TWC with WeatherNation.

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Sam Champion to Make Weather Channel Debut

sam championAs a winter storm bears down on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, Sam Champion will make his debut on The Weather Channel today. Champion joined The Weather Channel in December and will debut his morning show in March.

Champion will be on from 4-8pmET from The Weather Channel’s Atlanta studios. He will be joined for coverage of “Winter Storm Janus” by Jim Cantore and Kait Parker from Washington, D.C., Mike Seidel from Plymouth, Mass. and Stephanie Abrams from New York City. The network, which says it will devote round-the-clock coverage to the storm through Wednesday night, will also have a special edition of “Wake Up With Al” tomorrow at 5 a.m. Al Roker will report from Boston.

The ramped-up storm coverage comes as the standoff between The Weather Channel and DIRECTV enters its second week.

Eight Percent of DirecTV Subscribers Would Switch Over Weather Channel Dispute

directv weather channelFresh data in the ongoing DirecTV, Weather Channel carriage dispute reveals a third of DirecTV subscribers would switch, or consider switching, if The Weather Channel were no longer available on the satellite service. In a new IPSOS poll, 8 percent say they would switch services, while 22 percent say they would “strongly consider” switching. But more than two-thirds, 70 percent, say while they wouldn’t be happy about losing Weather Channel, they “will stay with current provider.” IPSOS, commissioned by the Weather Channel, conducted the poll Monday afternoon to Wednesday morning. Weather Channel has been off DirecTV since Tuesday at Midnight.

Read on for results of the poll…

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Behind The Weather Channel’s DirecTV Replacement WeatherNation

WeatherNationTVThe Weather Channel remains off DirecTV with no return in sight. In fact, TWC chief David Kenny says the network may never return to the satellite service, cutting off TWC to 20 million homes. DirecTV replaced TWC with WeatherNation. What is WeatherNation? NewsBluesMike James spent an hour yesterday watching the network along with “a top TV weather professional.”

The company, the brainchild of former WCCO-4-CBS Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas, originates from a small studio in Excelsior, MN, a southwestern suburb of Minneapolis. The studio is tiny, made to look larger by occasional drop-in shots of a larger “virtual studio,” which exists only on a computer hard drive.

WeatherNation appears to use the Omni weather graphics system from Baron Industries of Huntsville, AL. The Weather Company, parent company of The Weather Channel, controls the two other primary weather graphics companies: Weather Services International and Weather Central.

WeatherNation does indeed seem to operate on 15-minute programming loops, some of which appear to be pre-taped and repeated during the day. On-camera talent, all of whom are degreed and highly qualified meteorologists, rotate in and out on staggered eight-hour shifts. Talent appears to control the switching of graphics and studio cameras, which are locked down.

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