The Weather Channel: The End is Near

Comcast, the new owners of The Weather Channel, made a decision recently to change the nature of this important service by adding programs, scripted or reality is not clear, to its lineup in an effort to get a bigger audience. Moms need no longer listen in first thing the morning to learn how to dress their children for school. Now they will have the opportunity to guide their eyes to the same junk seen on every other channel. Being unique on cable no longer matters to program chiefs, Programmers are similar to lemmings. They follow each other over the cliff to audience oblivion. Should I now look forward to “The Real Spouses of Overworked Weather Persons,” or “Breaking Bad Weather: Survival in the Age of Climate Change?” It would sadden me if that were the direction The Weather Channel is headed.
Take a step back for a moment and recall Hurricane Irene and the role that The Weather Channel played in my life, as I am sure it did in many other lives. And, as I am sure, it is playing as other storm systems churn their way toward and across the United States.
The wind is blowing. The rain is falling. New York City is ready for the impending weather. I am sitting safely in my 11the floor apartment in Manhattan. For help I turn to Channel 49 on my cable system and I get the Weather Channel’s pure and unadulterated look at the weather in my area. There is nothing better on TV to watch, especially in bad weather. During Hurricane Irene, Channel 49 was my frequent and reliable companion. It provided just the facts. It came across nice and clear. Never judgmental. Within a few minutes, among other things, I get the 5-day forecast, the local forecast, and the evening forecast. I learn about visibility, water temperatures, pressure, humidity, wind, air quality and the pollen count. And there is more. Tune in and find out. With that information, I switch to Channel 119 for The Weather Channel show where real anchors, though bland and not showy, preside over maps, radar screens and switch frequently to experts to explain everything you need to know about the weather. During the hurricane, there were experts whom I actually understood. Not to demean local TV reporters, but the field reporters for The Weather Channel simply excel at what they do. They are brave and resourceful. They understand the weather better than local reporters and they report the weather news without hype.
There you have it: my take on an important part of TV before a storm, during a storm and afterwards. The Weather Channel did a terrific job. Now along come people in programming and probably in sales who want to change how The Weather Channel does business. No one ever said programmers are smart. Baseball players fail more than 70 percent of the time. Programmers probably fail at least 90 percent of the time. It is only money, after all. I am safely on the sidelines from where I can watch Comcast destroy an excellent service as it crashes and burns in the hunt for more profit. Before Comcast makes a move, it should remember that The Weather Channel had the highest ratings of any cable channel during Hurricane Irene. Enough said.

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3 Comments

Filed under Cable

3 responses to “The Weather Channel: The End is Near

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  3. There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well

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