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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 05/12/2009

Around the World of Big Weather Media

By Jason Samenow

*Two days of beautiful sunshine: Full Forecast *

AccuWeather and The Weather Channel (TWC), two of the heavyweights in the weather reporting business, are bringing aboard new talent and management. And what would personnel changes in the media be without some irony and intrigue...?

Mark_Mancuso_194.jpg

*AccuWeather has snagged veteran on-camera meteorologist Marc Mancuso from TWC. In its press release announcing Mancuso's hiring, AccuWeather boasts Mancuso is "nationally-known" to "tens of millions of viewers". But in the same press release, Mancuso proudly claims: "[At AccuWeather] it's not about stars..."

*TWC, on the other hand, does not waver in flaunting its star power. In its announcement of its new program "Wake Up With Al" featuring the Today Show's Al Roker, TWC brags Roker is "widely recognized as America's favorite weatherman..." and that it "spent months coming up with the right way to integrate Al into The Weather Channel programming." TWC's own star, Stephanie Abrams, will co-host the show.

Keep reading for more weather broadcast industry news...

*Whether or not TWC has found a new CEO is up in the air, literally. The New York Post reports TWC's plans to hire Bill Bolster, former head of CNBC (NBC now owns The Weather Channel), hinges on whether or not TWC will give him use of a private jet. Bolster wants to be shuttled between TWC headquarters in Atlanta, Ga. and homes in Florida and St. Louis, Mo. according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

*TV Newser reports that TWC has hired Katy Tur, the girlfriend of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann. Tur, who is 25, will chase tornadoes as part TWC's coverage of the massive Vortex 2 field study. Olbermann strongly denies speculation that he used his influence within TWC's parent company (NBC) to help Tur get the job. Olbermann told TVNewser: "Anybody who suggests so is misinformed, and/or sadly unaware that in this time when the industry is collapsing around us, nobody gets a job based on 'influence,' only talent."

By Jason Samenow  | May 12, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Media  
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Comments

Has AccuWeather considered launching a cable/satellite competitor to the Weather Channel?

NBC and Channel 4 were in the process of starting a Weather Channel competitor, but the effort seems to have stalled like one of this spring's stationary frontal boundaries when NBC acquired TWC. Some of the female mets on the incipient NBC competition were more photogenic than their Weather Channel counterparts and I'm a bit surprised they didn't move over to TWC when NBC "cleaned house" a few weeks ago. It will be interesting if Marc Mancuso aspires to launch the "AccuWeather Channel".

Posted by: Bombo47jea | May 12, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Two more comments: Both soccer [GolTV and Fox Soccer] and horse racing [HRTV and TVG, despite the fact that horse racing is in a deep economic slump!] have competing TV outlets, so why is meteorology still a Weather Channel TV monopoly?

Actually, I'm somewhat surprised that Rupert Murdoch hasn't launched "Fox WeatherNews" featuring meteorologists and climatologists who lean to the right side of the sociopolitical spectrum. If he did, we'd have a real ongoing media debate over global warming, but I wonder whether Al Gore would ever show up for interviews on the Fox outlet.

One final note for those who haven't forgotten: David Letterman got his start as a TV weathercaster.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | May 12, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I thinking handing TWC to NBC is a big mistake causing layoffs for our classical TWC Meteorologist. But, thank God that Mark Mancuso now working for Accuweather. I hope other former TWC meteorlogist get hired as well anywhere in the US in a weather department.

Posted by: Stephon_D_Watson | May 12, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Yes, you can find more about the Local AccuWeather Channel at http://www.accuweather.com/local-television/

Posted by: weathermatrix | May 13, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

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