|The Weather Channel|
|Launched||May 2, 1982|
|Owned by||NBC Universal|
Bain Capital (exact percentages unknown)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||"It's Amazing Out There."|
|Broadcast area||National, affiliated services available internationally|
|Selective TV Inc.|
|Dish Network||214 (SD/HD)|
|Verizon FiOS||119 (SD) 619 (HD)|
|Available on most other US cable systems||Check local listings|
|Sky Angel||Channel 320|
The Weather Channel (TWC) is a commercially-sponsored U.S. cable & satellite TV network that broadcasts weather forecasts & weather-related news 24 hours a day. In addition to it's cable TV programming, TWC also provides forecasts for terrestrial & satellite radio stations, newspapers & websites & maintains an extensive online presence.. TWC debuted it's high-definition simulcast on September 26, 2007.
On January 3 2008, it was reported that the family owned Landmark Communications, parent company of TWC, may be for sale. On July 7 2008, NBC Universal announced plans on purchasing the channel & assets for $3.5 billion along with private equity firms The Blackstone Group & Bain Capital. The deal was made & closed on September 12th, 2008.
TWC was founed by current KUSI-TV weathercaster John Coleman. TWC went on the air on May 2, 1982. TWC got regional forecasts from NOAA & local forecasts from the NWS. In 2002, TWC has done forecasts from their headquaters in Atlanta, GA; but current weather & forecast model data is still provided by the NWS & NOAA & UV Index/Air Quality Index from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. TWC has no local meteorologists outside of the Atlanta Area.
In May 2007, TWC celebrated 25 years on the air with past TWC commericals & a special TWC 25th anniversary logo.
In 2008, TWC was embroiled in scandal after rumors abounded about now former OCM Bob Stokes sexually harassing another former OCM, Hillary Andrews. Andrews filed a lawsuit through Cobb County district court against TWC alleging the abuse by Stokes (which included statements like "Will you lick my swizzle stick" & saying that 'TWC' "covered it up"). In May, 2008, Andrews won her lawsuit & was awarded an undisclosed amount of money. During the proceedings, it was revealed that Stokes' co-anchor before Andrews, Lisa Mozer, was also harassed.
TWC uses special proprietary equipment that inserts local weather forecasts & warning information if it's viewed on a cable TV system. The original WeatherStar technology has been upgraded on most cable systems to IntelliStar, including Vocal Local to announce the 3-day local forecast. Satellite viewers see a roundup of local TWC forecasts for major cities across the US, as well as satellite & radar images & severe weather watch & warning maps when active. For both cable & satellite viewers, smooth jazz music plays in the background during these segments.
TWC produces a service, based on modified versions of WeatherStar technology, called Weatherscan on which a separate channel constantly displays local & regional conditions & forecasts along with TWC's logo & advertisements.
TWC is headquartered in the Cumberland/Galleria area, immediately northwest of Atlanta, overlooking the "Cobb Cloverleaf" interchange from a high-rise in the Interstate North complex. TWC's sister channel in Canada is The Weather Network (TWN) in English & MétéoMédia in French, which use similar technology that is currently in use in the USA. TWC also runs websites in Brazil (Canal do Tempo), the United Kingdom (Weather Channel), France (Météo 123) & Germany (Wetter 123). Apart from it's stake in TWN/MétéoMédia, TWC only runs their US channel, although it does air a forecast for international locations.
A definitive history of the network, The Weather Channel: The Improbable Rise of a Media Phenomenon, by Frank Batten & Jeffrey L. Cruikshank, was published by Harvard Business Press in May 2002, on TWC's 20th anniversary.
On July 6, 2008, NBC Universal, Bain Capital & Blackstone Group agreed to purchase TWC from Landmark Communications. Currently, NBC Universal owns NBC Weather Plus, a rival service carried by & featuring content from it's local affiliates; if the purchase goes through, it will likely result in a consolidation of the 2 networks.
Over the years, attempts to broadcast international versions of TWC (apart from Canada's TWN/MétéoMédia & the Australian version of TWC) have failed. TWC also operates websites for online localized forecasts in Brazil, France, Germany, Latin America & the United Kingdom, but some of these sites appear to have not been developed further since 2003. TWC also shares radar & forecasts with the Canadian The Weather Network, particularly for TWC's Canadian forecasts.
A UK version of TWC ran from September 1, 1996-January 30, 1998, when it was closed due to low viewership. TWC also ran The Weather Channel Latin America, which operated in Spanish in Mexico, Puerto Rico & South America, this version of TWC is still on-air. The service's 3 original anchors were Paola Elorza, Sal Morales & Mari Carmen Ramos who left the channel within a year of it's launch & went on to work for Univision in Miami, Telemundo in Los Angeles & CNN International.
TWC's original & most recognized logo was a blue rectangular box that debuted on TWC’s first broadcast on May 2, 1982. This logo was revised in 1996, with the corners less rounded & the logo slightly flat (this is like a revised version of Burger King's logo when it happened in 1994). The URL text weather.com was permanently added underneath the logo in 1999. In August 2005, the logo was overhauled again; the blue rectangle’s corners are straight with no white trim on the edge & "The Weather Channel" text is now in title-case & left-justified, similar to TWN in Canada. A 25th anniversary logo used in 2007 featured a white rectangle edged in blue connected to the current logo with "25 YEARS" inside it in blue.
Local On The 8'sEdit
The Local on the 8's (also known as the "Local Forecast" or "LOT8's") is the part of TWC's programming where viewers see the current conditions & local forecast for their respective area @ times ending in "8" (e.g., 9:18).
Before this was implemented, the local forecast was seen about 8 times an hour @ various times, depending on the time of day (more in the morning, less @ night). The concept of Local on the 8's debuted in 1996, although it's initially implemented in mid-1995. TWC's Local on the 8's has confused some New York metro viewers & listeners into thinking it's owned by CBS Corporation, because WCBS-TV (CBS 2) & WCBS-AM (WCBS Newsradio 880) have a similar slogan for TV & radio broadcasts called "Traffic & Weather on the 8's" (TWOT8's).
Any cable company that carries TWC can install a Weather STAR unit in a cable headend & receive the information, which is then shown to viewers via local insertion.
As of 2006, the majority of cable companies use the IntelliStar (the network's latest STAR system), which is capable of generating graphics for Weatherscan. IntelliStar cable viewers can see current weather conditions for their location & surrounding areas, weather forecasts, doppler radars of the region, almanac (tidal information for most coastal locations), air quality conditions & in larger media markets, traffic conditions supplied by Traffic Pulse (which in turn gathers such information in real time from various intelligent transportation systems operated by the department of transportation in various US states). Some viewers also see forecasts for popular vacation destinations that are within "weekend getaway" driving distance. Some cable companies, on the other hand, continue to use the XL, 4000 or Jr. units.
Due to the unique circumstances involving satellite TV, things are different for it's viewers. During this time, the segment includes hourly forecasts for 20 major cities, 3-day forecasts for 40 US cities, satellite loops & composite radars of the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Northwest & Southwest. At :28 & :58 after the hour, the Northwest & Southwest satellite/radars are replaced by one showing the entire West.
DirecTV viewers do see an IntelliStar-generated "lower third" graphic @ all times except during TV commercials. This cycles through current conditions (sky & temperature only) & today or next-day forecasts for major US cities, as well as major airport delays. As of November 8, 2006, Dish Network viewers are now able to view local weather conditions & radar on TWC on DiSH Home Channel 100, based on their billing ZIP code, along with access to weather in other cities.
The Weather Channel released its own smooth jazz CD in 2007, The Weather Channel Presents: The Best of Smooth Jazz, based on collections of popular music played on the "LOT8's" segments. It peaked @ #1 on Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz charts in the same year. Artists included on this CD are Joyce Cooling, Dave Koz, Paprika Soul, Four 80 East, Jeff Lorber, Pieces of a Dream, Chick Corea, Jeanne Ricks, Ryan Farish, Mark Krurnowski, Najee & 3rd Force. In 2008, their second compilation CD containing their most requested music was released, titled The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz II. Artists on this CD include Russ Freeman & The Rippingtons, Jeff Lorber, Ramsey Lewis Trio, Bradley Joseph, Bernie Williams, David Benoit, Spyro Gyra, Norman Brown, Chris Geith, Joe Sample, Charlie Parker Quartet & Eric Marienthal.
Other artists that can be heard during this segment include Trammell Starks, The Rippingtons, Moby, Alter EKO & Chris Camozzi.
Radio & NewspaperEdit
TWC provides forecasts on Sirius & XM satellite radio in the US. They run regional forecasts on 1 station & a block of local weather & traffic for many metropolian areas. TWC also has content partnerships with a number of local radio stations in the USA to provide local forecasts, using announcers separate from the TV service. For some affiliates, TWC actually provides a limited amount of live coverage during local severe weather. Similarly, TWC also provides weather reports for a number of US newspapers, including a half-page national forecast for USA Today.
TWC provides numerous customized forecasts for online users, including home & garden & event planning forecasts. They also provide WAP access for mobile phone users, desktop widgets for quick reference by computer users & customized weather feeds for individual websites. They follow a two-tiered service model, with the free service bearing advertisements & their pay ("Desktop Max") service lacking ads & having enhanced radar & mapping functions. Cell Phone customers can even have their local forecast sent to their mobile handsets from TWC for a fee via SMS by sending a text message with their ZIP code to 42278 which spells 4cast. Other services include Yahoo!, in which the weather pages are produced by TWC.
On September 26 2007, DirecTV launched a 24-hour simulcast of TWC in HD. At this time, no programming was actually presented in HD except for a national "satellite" version of the Local On The 8s'. On October 1 2007, 2 new HD programs, "Epic Conditions" & "Weather Ventures" premiered. A new HD series, "When Weather Changed History" premiered on TWC on January 6, 2008.
Throughout the final months of 2007-early months of 2008, various cable companies had started to add TWC HD to their cable lineups, including the Boston, MA; Austin, TX; San Antonio, TX & Baton Rouge, LA markets. TWC in HD was added to DISH Network systems on May 13, 2008.
The very first LIVE broadcast of TWC in HD came on June 2, 2008 in a new studio facility built next to the current one. Dubbed the "Studio of the Future", it is powered by Cisco Systems technology that is entirely eco-friendly, echoing it's commitment to the environment via the Forecast Earth initiative. The complete transition to HD will be completed by the end of August 2008.
For the list of programs, please see List of programs broadcast by The Weather Channel
The following list is the current programming lineup provided by TWC (as of August 3 2010)
(All Times Eastern)
|5-7AM||Wake Up With Al (Cancelled on September 25th 2015)||
Al Roker & Stephanie Abrams
Sam Champion, Jim Cantore, Jennifer Delgado & Anaridis Rodriguez
|10AM-1PM||Weather Center Live||Jen Carfagno & Chris Warren|
|1PM-4PM||Weather Center Live||
|4-6PM||Weather Center Live||
Alexandra Wilson & Dave Schwartz
|6-8PM||WeatherUnderground||Mike Bettes & Sarah Dillingham|
|5-9 AM||AMHQ Weekend||Kait Parker, Reynolds Wolf & Greg Postel|
|9AM-12PM||Weekend Recharge||Paul Goodloe & Maria LaRosa|
|12-1230PM||WXGeeks||Dr. Marshall Shepard|
Current On-Camera MeterologistsEdit
Please See: List of meteorologists on The Weather Channel
- "We Take The Weather Seriously, But Not Ourselves" (1982-1984)
- "Weatherproofing America" (1984-1986)
- "You Need Us, The Weather Channel, For Everything You Do" (June 1986-March 1991)
- "Weather You Can Always Turn To" (March 1991-September 1995)
- "No Place on Earth Has Better Weather" (March 1996-March 1998)
- (no official slogan era) (March 1998-June 2001)
- "Live By It" (June 2001-August 15, 2005) (currently used by TWC in Australia)
- "Bringing Weather to Life" (August 15, 2005-early 2008)
- "The Weather has Never Looked Better" June 2, 2008-present (also slogan for HD broadcasting)
Hurricane and winter coverage slogansEdit
- "Keeping You Ahead of the Storm" (used occasionally since the late 1990s)
- "Hurricane Central" (August-October 2005)
- "Your Hurricane Authority" (October 2005-January 2006)
- "The Winter Weather Authority" (2006-2007 winter season)
- "The Hurricane Authority" (2006 and 2007 season)
- "Your Hurricane Authority" (June 2008-Present)