WITI’s Rob Haswell: Weather Is ‘One Of The Very Few Parts Of Our Business That’s Growing In Size’

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By Merrill Knox Comment

Rob Haswell, a meteorologist at Milwaukee Fox-affiliate WITI, is profiled by OnMilwaukee.com, and the forecaster expands on why local news — specifically, local weather — is still necessary, despite the increasing access viewers have to local weather reports:

Every morning, I ask my iPhone what the weather will be like today, and it tells me. Why should I watch you on TV?

Rob Haswell: Actually, that’s pretty easy. Siri is probably getting “her” data from an out-of-state source, like AccuWeather out of Pennsylvania or The Weather Channel out of Atlanta. Her ability to forecast on a local level like we do and to know the local terrain like we do is pretty limited. On a day like today, when it’s sunny and 38, she’s probably 100 percent right. But when we start getting into severe weather season, particularly blizzards, you’re not going to turn to a phone to know what’s going on.

So being in a market where you know its intricacies has an effect on your forecasting accuracy?

RH: Absolutely. It’s one of the very few parts of our business that’s growing in size. At FOX 6, we’ve actually added a meteorologist, which I never thought would happen in a million years. We did it because the level of interest in what we provide is one of the few things you can’t get but on the local stations. Ultimately, I believe, people watch people.

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