Kelly replaces Lisa Gersh, president of strategic initiatives at NBC Universal, who had been serving as interim CEO of TWCC. NBC Universal purchased The Weather Channel -- along with Bain Capital and Blackstone Group -- a year ago in July for $3.5 billion.
Since 2007, Kelly had been an advisor at Veronis Suhler Stevenson, a private-equity fund specializing in the media. Kelly had been assessing digital-media investment opportunities. He also was on the board of a number of digital media companies: Eyeblaster, Visible World and American Town Network.
From 2004 to 2007, Kelly was president of Time Warner's AOL Media networks. He was instrumental in changing AOL to more of a media and advertising-supported service. Previously, Kelly was president of global marketing at Time Warner, putting together cross-platform marketing deals for major advertisers.
Earlier in his career, Kelly had held senior executive positions at Entertainment Weekly, Fortune and the Chicago Tribune.
Kelly will also oversee Weather Channel Interactive and weather.com, the third-most-visited news brand with 41.5 million monthly unique visitors, and the Weather Channel Mobile, the largest content provider on the mobile Web. The Weather Channel continues to be one of the biggest cable networks, available in 99 million homes.