Nearly two months after announcing it had signed six on-air meteorologists to lead morning, daytime and evening coverage, Fox News Media’s Fox Weather streaming service is now adding three on-air correspondents and five multimedia journalists to its team. The correspondents—Nicole Valdes, Steve Bender and Max Gorden—all hail from the local news world and will provide live, breaking news coverage on developing weather events from around the country. Multimedia journalists joining the Fox Weather streaming service are Will Nunley, Robert Ray, Katie Byrne, Mitti Hicks and Hunter Davis.
Fox Weather president Sharri Berg shared the news on Wednesday.
“We are excited to welcome this group of first-rate journalists to the Fox Weather team. Their specialized skills in meteorology, in-depth reporting and storm chasing will be an important component of our coverage as we launch and grow the platform,” Berg said in a statement.
Valdes will serve as a field correspondent based out of Nashville. She joins the platform after a stint as a reporter at KNXV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Phoenix. Prior to her stint in Phoenix, Valdes covered hurricanes and other major weather events for CBS affiliate WINK-TV in Fort Myers, Fla.
Bender joins Fox Weather as a Miami based reporter. Most recently, he served as the morning meteorologist at KRNV-TV, the NBC affiliate in Reno, Nevada where he covered major weather events since 2018, including the recent California wildfires. Previously, he anchored a morning news program in Shreveport, La., at NBC affiliate KTAL-TV and served as an evening meteorologist in Greenville, Miss., at the ABC/FOX affiliate WABG-TV.
Gorden will serve as a Los Angeles based field correspondent covering the West Coast. Previously, he served as a reporter and multimedia journalist at CBS affiliate KPHO-TV in Phoenix, where he worked for the past three years. Prior to that, Gorden was a multimedia journalist at WAOW-TV, the ABC affiliate in Wausau, Wisc., before moving to Austin as a reporter for Spectrum Cable News.
On the multimedia journalist front, Will Nunley joins Fox Weather, and will be based in Nashville, along with veteran reporter Robert Ray who is returning to Fox News as a multimedia journalist and storm specialist based out of Atlanta where he was a freelance reporter for The Weather Channel. Katie Byrne joins Fox Weather as a multimedia journalist based in Philadelphia while Mitti Hicks joins in the same capacity based in New Orleans, and Hunter Davis will be stationed in Oklahoma City, in the same position. Byrne, Hicks and Davis were all part of Fox News’ Multimedia Reporter training program, which is run by Berg.
As previously noted, Fox’s well-funded venture has signed on-air meteorologists and producers away from local stations in various parts of the country, and as well as from The Weather Channel in preparation for its scheduled Q3 launch.
Entertainment Studios/Allen Media Group chairman and CEO Byron Allen (whose company owns The Weather Channel) remarked to The New York Times last month that he was unbothered by Fox’s poaching of some TWC talent. “Business is a contact sport,” he told the Times. “So they took a couple of our producers. That’s OK. What I’ve always found is that whenever we hire new people, we usually get better.”
Rivalries, he added, can be mutually beneficial.
“There’s no Ali without George Foreman,” said Allen. “I just love the fact that one of the best to ever live in the business of media [Rupert Murdoch] wants to be a partner in this space with me.”