In recent years, a lot of cable channels have tried to delve more deeply into the original programming game. One of these unlikely players happened to be The Weather Channel, which created new webseries, including one about athletes called I am Unstoppable, and even other early morning originals. This morning, The Weather Channel has changed its mind and decided not to delve into a bunch of non-weather related originals, anymore. Instead, The Weather Channel would like to place its focus back on the weather.
So, The Weather Channel has decided that it wants to be all weather, all the time. This means the channel will no longer be focusing on originals that lack a weather component, which means programs with big headliners like America’s Morning Headquarters with Sam Champion and Wake Up With Al starring Al Roker are no longer a part of the lineup, effective immediately (although both personalities will stay on with the channel in other capacities). The transition is being made as The Weather Channel moves all of its production from the wildly expensive New York to Atlanta. The memo from the higher-ups does mention that some jobs will be lost in the process. In addition, no long-form programming will be produced by The Weather Channel as it moves forward into this new phase. Here’s why The Weather Channel says the company is making changes.
Based on the Nielsen ratings generated, our investments in original shows have been successful. However, in a world where everyone is chasing new original shows, we need to approach the world differently. We need to focus on our unique strength — and that is the weather.
Deadline says the changes are being made as parent company NBC Universal begins thinking about selling the channel. The company has apparently been thinking about selling since last year, although the digital component for the channel may be sold over the cable component.
It’s hard to believe that people still head to The Weather Channel for their weather-related needs when the internet is so much easier and offers so much valuable information right at your fingertips. As much as I love watching Al Roker in a yellow slicker, checking the weather online is much less of an overall distraction.
The good news for The Weather Channel is that it owns weather.com, which is probably where most of us figure out whether it is boot or sandal weather in the morning, not to mention how thick of a coat to put on. The company at least has one majorly lucrative side to the business, but we’ll have to wait and see if The Weather Channel will survive in the cable world when it’s just bringing us the latest on tornadoes in the Midwest and hurricanes on the coast. We’ll keep you updated, no emergency sirens needed.