Weather Channel Plans Programming Revamp

By Alex Weprin 

First on TVNewser: At a company town hall meeting after its reorganization last week, The Weather Channel outlined a new name for its parent company and a revamp of its TV morning, dayside and primetime programming.

The Weather Channel will be changing its corporate name to The Weather Company. Brian Stelter in the NY Times has more details on that, though it is also worth noting that the company appears to have struck a deal with meteorologist James Spann, who works for a pair of ABC affiliates in Alabama. Spann’s private company was called “The Weather Company,” and he tweeted: “All parties are very happy… And we will have NO changes in our operation. Just a new name.”

As for the new TV programming: Weather is readying a new-look for its entire morning lineup later this year. The new shows begin with a program called “First Forecast” at 4 am followed by “On the Radar” at 5 with “Wake Up With Al” moving up by half an hour to 5:30 AM. From 7-9 AM will be a show called “Morning Rush,” which will lead-in to a revamped dayside lineup.

The details on the dayside lineup are scarce, but Weather acting head of TV Sharon Scott said at the meeting that the network will be moving to a new talk show format during dayside early next year.

Scott, who is also the head of NBC’s Peacock Productions, is filling in until Weather names a full-time TV chief.

Then there is primetime. Weather Channel took some flack when it announced a move away from Weather programming and towards more entertainment programming. Now, the channel is backtracking on that a bit.

Scott said at the meeting that that Weather needed a “tightening of the mission,” noting that “We need to be weather-centric but we need to compete against every other channel too.”

The reality shows won’t all be going away, but the themes of the primetime programming will all be weather or science-focused. There will also be documentaries, like the channel’s upcoming 2013 special on climate change.

(Spann details via NewsBlues)