Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Major Shake-Up At The Weather Channel

Sam Champion
Viewers Will See:
  • Fewer Reality Shows
  • Return To Weather Coverage 101
  • Some familiar faces departing
  • Favorites In New roles
The Weather Channel is canceling Sam Champion's morning newscast, replacing reality shows with more weather coverage, cutting TV production costs and laying off some staffers in a sweeping adjustment to changes in the cable business.

CNN Reports the channel shared a detailed plan in a memo with staffers on Wednesday morning. About 50 of the channel's 1,400 employees will be leaving.

The plan calls for a singular focus "on our unique strength -- and that is the weather."

That means paring back its original programming investments (shows like "Prospectors" and "Fat Guys in the Woods") and lifestyle coverage. The priority is essential, live weather coverage -- particularly during periods of severe weather -- and local information. is increasingly the front door for the company's customers. In the second quarter of 2015, for the first time, its digital business had higher revenues and profits than its TV business.

Stephanie Abrams
Wednesday's shakeup is a direct result of discussions with distributors, advertisers and audience focus groups.

Dave Shull, the president of the Weather Company's TV division, said distributors are "only going to carry channels they have to carry in the future."

Champion's three-hour morning show, which launched just last year, will end on October 30. The show includes the kind of lifestyle and entertainment segments that the channel is now moving away from.

With last week's announced end of “Wake Up With Al” at 5 a.m., Stephanie Abrams will return to Atlanta.  The memo does not mention Jim Cantore, who joined the “AMHQ” show earlier this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment