Weather Network Looking To Defy Forecasts

No matter how far-fetched breakout success might be -- or even getting off the ground -- media entrepreneurs should generally be applauded. Where would cable TV be without Ted Turner and Bill Rasmussen (the ESPN founder) gambling all those years ago?

So, why not appreciate the dreams of a group looking to challenge the Weather Channel by focusing on, well, weather? No programming about the Coast Guard in Alaska or guys hunting icebergs. Apparently, the emphasis will be on just reporting the weather – what’s happening and what’s coming.  



Though, plans call for an “engaging, informative and entertaining” presentation style.

Details are murky and the forecast doesn’t look great, not with a fledgling cable channels having difficulty in obtaining carriage these days on cable systems. But, what’s tabbed as Network Weather is scheduled for an October 2014 debut.

Perhaps smartly, the founders have located the channel in Atlanta, about 10 minutes from the Weather Channel operations, all the better to hire talent. The founders look to be twin brothers Steve and Mike Smith, whose family owns a publishing operation in an area north of New York City. A representative for the venture, Randy Davies, declined to release details about investors.

Network Weather has hired former Weather Channel meteorologist Dave Schwartz and Mark Mathis, who has served as meteorologist and an entertainment reporter at the NBC station in El Paso.

“Weather is such a rich topic that even on a so-called ‘slow weather day’ we'll show you how exciting and compelling it can be,” Schwartz said in a statement.

NBC Weather Plus faded as NBCUniversal took a stake in the Weather Channel. AccuWeather is still in the weather game. But perhaps there is an opening for another entrant.

There are openings for meteorologists. Network Weather says on its Facebook page “we are looking for a few passionate meteorologists with on-camera experience,” while offering contact info.

Perhaps there’s a reality show to be found in the recruitment process. But that might fit better on the Weather Channel.



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