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August 16, 2011

Mary Ellen Iwata Joins The Weather Channel As Vice President, Original Content Development

The Weather Channel Companies(TWCC) today announced that Mary Ellen Iwata has been named vice president, original content development. In this role, Iwata will be responsible for the day-to-day oversight of development and production of non-scripted series and specials for The Weather Channel. She will also work closely with weather.com and Mobile platforms to create cross-platform opportunities within concepts being developed for the television platform.

Iwata will be based in New York and reports to Michael Dingley, senior vice president of content and development, The Weather Channel Companies, who is based in Atlanta. She joins the company on Monday, August 29. Dingley and Iwata have a long history of working together.

"Mary Ellen is a seasoned veteran who has helped launch and shape several leading content brands," said Dingley. "Her sterling reputation in the industry, both domestically and internationally, and close relationships with numerous production companies, will be a huge asset to The Weather Channel as we move to build and strengthen our original content across all platforms."

"This is such an exciting time to join The Weather Channel," said Iwata. "I can't wait to start meeting with producers and discussing the content we're looking for - I think they will be as inspired as I am by The Weather Channel's plans for the future."

Prior to joining The Weather Channel, Iwata served as vice president of programming and development for Scripps Networks International, where she oversaw original program development and production, acquisitions, and program scheduling. She was a key player in launching Food Network in the UK, EMEA and Asia, and continued to oversee the networks' content after launch. She was also responsible for strengthening ties to the international production community and for facilitating new programming ideas, and ensuring that network content was culturally relevant as Scripps Networks International launched additional services around the world.

Prior to working in Scripps' International division, Iwata was vice president of program and talent development for HGTV, a Scripps-owned network. She was instrumental in securing high-profile talent like Carter Oosterhouse (Carter Can), Steve Watson (Don't Sweat It) and Kendra Todd (My House is Worth What?). She developed numerous hit series and specials including HGTV's first high definition special, Extreme Homes of Europe, and the long-running spinoff series World's Most Extreme Homes. Iwata also created the popular series My First Place and What's With That House? and found new series such as the highly rated Property Virgins and The Stagers.

Iwata joined HGTV from TLC, where she was vice president of development and special projects. Previous roles at TLC included vice president of production and executive producer for multiple original productions - including the Emmy-winning special Killer Virus. Prior to working at TLC, Iwata was an executive producer for Discovery Communications' Discovery Channel.

A Baltimore native, Iwata began her career at WJZ-TV (CBS) in Baltimore, rising through the ranks to eventually become the executive producer for Evening Magazine. She holds a degree in fine arts from Towson University.


About The Weather Channel Companies
The Weather Channel companies (TWCC) are made up of The Weather Channel® television network, The Weather Channel digital properties, and WSI. The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta and is seen in more than 100 million U.S. households. TWCC also operates Weatherscan®, a 24-hour all-local weather network; The Weather Channel Radio Network; and The Weather Channel HD. The most popular source of weather news and information, TWCC properties reach 60 million monthly Web consumers (weather.com and Desktop) and 32 million monthly mobile users (mobile Web and applications) and offers the second most popular mobile app on all smartphones. WSI, headquartered in Andover, MA, primarily provides business-to-business weather services, particularly for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors. TWCC is owned by a consortium made up of NBC Universal and the private equity firms The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. For more information, visit www.weather.com/press.