Launches to Build on Already Successful Year
Following the recent news of Al Roker joining the network for his own weekday morning program debuting July 20, The Weather Channel (TWC) announces additional series, specials and programming planned throughout the 2009-2010 television season. The announcement comes at a time of recent achievements for the all-weather network, including the successful spring relaunch of popular series Storm Stories that prompted the network to renew the show and begin production on its next season.
As announced April 29, Al Roker, widely recognized as America’s favorite weatherman, has been named host of Wake Up With Al, a new weekday morning program on TWC. Roker will join TWC’s Stephanie Abrams, who will serve as his co-host on the one-hour program which will air weekdays from 6-7 a.m. ET and premiere July 20.
Along with the launch of a new morning show, several of TWC’s most popular personalities will be moving to new times on the daily schedule. Stephanie Abrams, slated to begin her new show with Al Roker July 20, will move to mornings June 22 with her current co-host Mike Bettes to host Your Weather Today from 7-10 a.m. In addition, Storm Tracker Jim Cantore will return to evenings June 22, when he and Alexandra Steele will co host Weather Center from 7-10 p.m. weeknights.
Long-form series and programming remains a popular part of The Weather Channel day, and new programs for the 2009-2010 season will include:
- Cantore Stories – Storm Tracker Jim Cantore visits the most extreme weather environments in America to meet the people who thrive there. New episodes will feature climate extremes such as the Louisiana bayou; the Hawaiian rainforests; and International Falls, Minn. The 2008 pilot introduced viewers to Barrow, AK , residents, and its ratings demonstrated a 23 percent average increase over lead-in. Coming to The Weather Channel in late 2009.
- Weather Proof – Explore the “what ifs” of extreme weather conditions. Viewers will see the science behind the weather in a fascinating, entertaining way while “weather testers” put everyday items through extraordinary weather conditions and answer questions like, “can lightning knock a plane out of the sky?” or “can I drive out of raging floodwaters?” Coming to The Weather Channel in late 2009.
- Breaking News Specials – As the weather continues to make headlines, these timely news specials will be produced within 10 days of major U.S. weather events to reveal how people prepared for and triumphed over nature. Coming to The Weather Channel in late 2009.
- America’s Worst Weather: Caught on Camera – Witness the most dangerous storms to strike the United States, as captured by the people who barely survived them. Coming to The Weather Channel in spring 2010
- Tornado Chasers – The Weather Channel mixes forecasting with storm chasing while embedding viewers within an army of brave scientists for action-packed adventure. Coming to The Weather Channel in fall 2010.
- Storm Stories – New Season - The most-watched series on TWC has been renewed and returns with an all new season of episodes narrated by Jim Cantore. Viewers will see more compelling stories of survival and eyewitness accounts of rescuers as they battle Mother Nature at her worst. Season 3 premiering in late 2009.
- Hurricane Force – Wednesday, June 24, 8 p.m. ET - The definitive hurricane hour, this documentary goes inside the hurricane with 3-D graphics to show what it is, how it forms, and its accompanying dangers. The episode looks at past U.S. hurricanes, future possibilities, and stories from survivors, experts and storm chasers and is a part of the network’s Hurricane Week programming.
Programming at The Weather Channel has already seen great success in 2009. With the February re-launch of Storm Stories, the premiere episode grew the time period 60 percent among A25-54.1 Since that time, Storm Stories ( Sa-Su 8-9pm) is averaging +38% higher than the same period a year-ago. 2 In addition, TWC’s weekend primetime block (Sa-Su 8-11pm) is up 34% from a year-ago. 2 Already the number one brand in reach in the news and information category,3 The Weather Channel also has the youngest audience among all cable news networks.4
1 TWC Consumer & Strategic Research/StarMedia/NPower/Live Coverage Ratings/Storm Stories Premiere: 2/22/09/Total Day: 6am-6am/Q109TD: 12/28/08- 2/21/09/3 Minute Qualifier/Q109TD Duplication 2 TWC Consumer & Strategic Research/Galaxy Explorer/Live Total US A25-54 Delivery, 2/22-5/31/09/Year-ago Time Period Averages: 2/24-6/1/08 3 Nielsen Fusion. Average Monthly cable-only duplicated viewer 2+ and online audience of June-August 2008 4 Nielsen Media Research via Startrak, Median Age; 2009td - (12/29/08-05/31/09), TWC (tied) with HLN
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.