Yesterday, during the launch presentation for The Weather Channel’s new show Wake Up With Al (WUWA!), we had a chance to speak with Geoffrey Darby, the Executive VP of Programming at the network.
On the programming end, “WUWA!” could be just the first of several changes for the channel and possibly for your local NBC weatherman (or, rather, weatherperson).
We asked Darby if NBC is looking at replacing locally-produced weather segments at NBC’s 10 owned & operated stations, with segments from Weather Channel meteorologists in Atlanta.
“We do that now on the radio. You can feel local on the radio,” Darby said. “On TV, it’s different. It’s hard to feel local when you’re not there. Weather is local. Weathermen you can send to the state fair.”
Currently, the channel has one product in place, Weatherscan, but that’s a long way from replacing local meteorologists. “We’re examining it. We have to figure it out,” Darby says. “We haven’t yet. But there is clearly the opportunity to do that. I can tell you we’re looking at that opportunity.”
Darby said viewers can expect more tie-ins with NBC Nightly News and increased presence at sporting events including the Super Bowl and the Olympics, “Weather is a big deal with the Olympics and we will be a part of that.”
Of course, Al Roker’s new show is the first step. “Right now, this was our first priority, because Al does weather. I don’t think there’s another Al.”