Kelly Named Weather Channel President, CEO

Former AOL Media Networks president Michael J. Kelly has been named president and CEO of the Weather Channel Companies, a unit which includes the flagship cable network and Weather.com.

Kelly replaces Lisa Gersh, president of strategic initiatives at NBC Universal, who has been serving as interim CEO of TWCC since February.

With nearly 30 years of media experience under his belt, Kelly was tapped because “he understands how to reach our viewers and users and partner with our advertisers in order to maximize the growth of the business on a cross-platform basis,” said Gersh, by way of announcing the hire.

Since 2007, Kelly has served as an adviser for private-equity fund Veronis Suhler Stevenson. Prior to that, he put in three years as president of AOL Media, where he worked to acquire digital assets such as Advertising.com and the mobile ad firm Third Screen Media. (The latter property was adopted as Platform A’s mobile ad-serving network.)

“This is a remarkable and exciting opportunity to be part of a powerful media brand which delivers consumers the information they want, where and when they want it, while offering advertisers cutting-edge cross-platform solutions,” Kelly said. “This multi-platform success will fuel our growth.”

Kelly began his career in publishing, taking a job at the Chicago Tribune in 1980. In 1983 he joined Fortune magazine, where he managed the Southeast and New York sales offices. He went on to help launch Entertainment Weekly, and went on to become publisher from 1996 to 2000.