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Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 10/26/2010

Weather Channel to reduce weather coverage

By Andrew Freedman

* Historic storm tears through Midwest | Severe storms for D.C.? *

The Weather Channel (TWC), which has been dedicated to live weather programming since its inception in 1982, is now moving further away from that formula in a bid to appeal to viewers of long form programming, such as reality shows. TWC, which is now co-owned by NBC Universal and private equity firms, is reducing its live weather coverage in favor of new shows, including one about Peter Lik, described by NBC Peacock Productions executive Sharon Scott as a "crazy" landscape photographer.

In a video interview posted to YouTube and subsequently removed, Scott said TWC viewers can get their weather information online and via iPad and mobile phone apps, and therefore have less of a need for a network that just focuses on live weather coverage.

Lik, who hails from Australia, also has a video describing his new series, entitled "100 Miles From Nowhere."

"They call it America the Beautiful, and I'm here to show you why," he says. Although he is out in the elements when he takes his pictures, it's not immediately clear from his video, or Scott's interview for that matter, what the new show is doing on TWC's schedule. At least "Storm Stories," which was another TWC foray into long form programming, was still about the weather.

By Andrew Freedman  | October 26, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Freedman, Media, News & Notes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Midwest storm may bring severe weather to DC
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I've been watching the short AccuWeather bits on channel 7.2 lately, since I don't have cable. How long until they lengthen those out until the local weather is, say, only on every 10 minutes?

Posted by: wiredog | October 26, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

wiredog, hey there. I haven't watched 7.2 for a while. And you are saying that the actually full-time local weather channel is starting to interrupt itself with long-form programming? that is pretty ironic, if that is the case!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | October 26, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I know that when I have turned to the Ch. 9 weather radar channel to find out where the rain is, they have had animal shows geared towards children on instead. Anymore, with my new HTC Evo, I go out on the web and look.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | October 26, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

They aren't doing long form yet, just quick 1 or 2 minute updates on the national weather, alerts, that sort of stuff. But I think there's a niche for them in doing 5 or 10 minute pieces.

Posted by: wiredog | October 26, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

In a world where the Sci-Fi Channel shows pro wrestling, anything is possible.

Posted by: kevinwparker | October 26, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The problem with the new Weather Channel format is they move away from what their true value is (reporting weather) and get lost in NBC's political agenda, campy/goofy showmanship, and weak "science-based" stories that push the Global Warming agenda without clearly going into facts.

For the most part is is now unwatchable.

Posted by: asdf9876 | October 27, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

@asdf9876 - the "goofy showmanship" wouldn't have anything to do with oh, say, what's on between 6-7am?

I honestly liked the Weather Channel better when they focused more on... weather. It's a shame that they feel they have to mix it up... I think they're going to loose viewership if they put shows up like this one mentioned - if they haven't already.

Posted by: MKoehl | October 27, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

@asdf9876 - the "goofy showmanship" wouldn't have anything to do with oh, say, what's on between 6-7am? (Or maybe that's just one example...) Some of the stuff they do during that hour I just don't get... almost doesn't seem professional.

Posted by: MKoehl | October 27, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Sorry - thought the first one didn't post...

Posted by: MKoehl | October 27, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

with their leftist bias, this is just another example of the lapdog main stream media doing the bidding of the democrats.

Posted by: funkey | October 27, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The problem with this country is TOO DARNED MUCH right-wing prattle on the airwaves to begin with!!! I have to keep the remote handy while watching TV nowadays just so I can blank out campaign advertising from all sources, not just from the Right.

As for TWC, let's just stick to basics, though we could add some of that nice quality American music [Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Perry Como, Steve Lawrence, Mitch Miller, Doris Day, Patti Page, Peggy Lee et al.] I grew up with, but which has gotten crowded off the AM airwaves by all that righty talk. Just in the last month one AM radio station started doing classic rock...only to be bumped off the airwaves by YET ONE MORE crummy right-wing talk outlet!

Honestly I wonder who in this area is listening to that stuff. I thought most folks here were Federal or Federal-contract employees whose jobs may well get threatened if the right-wing crowd wins this election and gets its way! The reason unemployment is so high is because the private sector is shedding jobs right and left while not hiring, and right-wing budget-cutting will only serve to exacerbate the problem.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | October 28, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

If they're going to be dropping weather coverage, I hope they go the whole way and change their name too. Like SciFi, oops, SyFy, they'll get away from their core but add stuff that doesn't relate. As it is, I get fed up with TWC doing news coverage. If I wanted news coverage, I'd watch one of the seemingly dozens of new channels. When I want weather coverage, in depth and detailed, I watch the Weather Channel. And I prefer that my news not slant in NBC's direction.

Posted by: weatherbuff | October 28, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

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