Sunday, June 27, 2010

What Happened to the Weather Channel?

What happened to the Weather Channel?

Over the decade, I would consider myself a weather-head.

Do you recall the commercials in the late 90’s for the weather channel? It depicts 2 guys in a sports bar setting, one was rooting for the warm weather, the other for cool weather. As weekend outlook begins, they are cheering the forecast outcome, like a couple of face painted football fans on opposite teams. I loved that commercial.

Here it is on you tube:

Something has changed in the Weather channel programming in the last 5 years., In my opinion, the overall functionality of the channel and its programming are not effective. Ever since some of the best weather anchors they had, left for on site assignments, it's gone downhill. Now its like listening to small metropolitan news anchors, and very little actual radar coverage. Of course, I'm tuning in to get the latest developments on Tropical Storm Alex, and just had to express my disappointment at actual weather coverage, of the ENTIRE United States and outlying areas.

Why? Well everyone need advertisers and sponsors, and I am aware of that and its what fuels our tv and internet today. Selling commercials on the Weather Channel, should be like catching raindrops in a bucket during a thunderstorm. The drowning of the channels content, has diminished the purpose of the weather channel , hasn’t it? Half of the hour, goes to telling us about the channel, what it covers, who covers it and what even may happen soon. Less than 15 min of the hour, shows the actual radar or forecasted weather for the country. So my irritation, beyond the local on the 8’s, has driven me to “timeline” half an hour for you. (granted that is Sunday and the format is lacking on the weekend anyway) Let us start at the Local on the 8’s… with commentary.

2:38 – Local on the 8’s some love jazz makes it watchable.

2:43 – Disaster in the Gulf… anchors open Ann Thompson's story, fly over of the oil gulf. Shows the spill, and barges in the area working on the spill and relief wells. Interviews with Oil Chief on the ship. Graphic of the Relief Well proposal. One of the outside reporters, who I really admire. Comprehensive and engaging, ending with the possibility of the storm hitting the area and destroying the mission.

2:47 – 15 secs of graphics reminding us that we are watching the channel, and what they will cover.

2:47 Back to Michigan Radar, a quick shot of storms in Boston. Never any really close radar looks. Obvious its storms and lightning near Detroit. But moving out of the area. They also don’t show area NORTH of that, still in the storms. Its like only Detroit exists there.

2:49 – One shot of TS Alex, with a fade out to commercials. (of course they mention that they cover the Tropical Storm News and they have coverage of that. (cause we may not have known)

2:49-2:52 Proactive Commercial, Texas Workforce Commercial, Louisiana Tourist Commercial, weather channel beach party promo.

Actual time is 2:53- but Local on the 8s came back on….. ?

2:53 – Tropical Update. Adam covers it.. his head blocks the biggest part of the storm intensity. Winds 35mph now, he mentions it was intensifying yesterday. Same Radar image loops, short low pressure graphic. Models show the possibilities. His statement is “Last thing we need is that oil going in ever which-away direction” He is showing the timeline and says “We are worried about somebody somewhere”….

10 secs again for Kim to tell us that the weather channel is coming up…..

2:55 – Michigan storm damage. Just a text list, showing damage done in some areas.

2:55 – Live webcam of Detroit.. its just lightly rainy and humid on the video. Once again radar shown for 5 secs, of Michigan.

2:56 – FINALLY, another weather radar of Ohio Thunderstorm Line. No more than 20 secs of it.

2:58 – Oh another Promo of the Weather Channels Beach Party

2:59 – Commercials for Sherwin Williams, M&M’s, Subaru, and Off Clip On

2:59 - Another 15 secs, that weather channel is the authority on Weather

2:59 Local on the 8’s again….. different modern music.

3:00 – You are watching the weather channel. – Graphic.. thanks for the reminder

3:00 – TS Alex, 5 secs of the Radar. Beach cam shown in Belize.. Most is not really visible, but the storm will move out of the area shortly… not really anything to see.

3:01 – Adam again showing the same radar he showed at 2:53. Now pointing and saying that it intensified yesterday. Same graphics , the issue is it will hit land. Yes it has to hit land, Alex. Heavy Rain and Potential track shown again. Intensity will of course change this track. FINALLY they show the rest of the Trop Atlantic. Nothing Forming there.

3:02 – New Information coming from Ntl Weath Svc at 5pm eastern. Kim tells us what is coming up, and that the Weather Channel has continous coverage of it.

3:03 – Michigan Weather, text shown only, some damage and reported Tornado.

3:04 – Kim shows that same Michigan Radar, Moves to Ohio Storm again. (hail Damaging Winds. She mentions the county names. Goes to Southeast, some storms moving southo f Atlanta.

3:05 – Thunderstorm Forecast Graphic

3:06 – Alex at the desk. He says stay tuned for the weather channel, and that we can count on them for the very latest… same TS Alex radar shown.

3:06 – Commercial Dr Scholls, Omnaris allergy med, Crazy Critters for your dog (these are a rip off, btw! Made in china and my dog tore it in the first 10 min)

3:08 – 30 secs of that the weather channel covers, and that they are the authority of Hurrican Season. It looped again at the end.

3:08 Local on the 8’s.

How long can I go on? I didn’t realize how much dictation that would be. But if you read it you get the point. There is only a few minutes, focusing on MI, OH and a very tiny part of the Southeast. Then the TS coverage, unchanged in the last hour, and Local on the 8’s. its almost like the rest of the country doesn’t have weather. Only one graphic shown of the entire US, with a thunderstorm forecast.

ARGH 3:10 – Back to Alex, showing the TS Storm Radar, and repeating things. He gives us too much of a geographical lesson. As if we are in 5th grade and don’t know where Mexico or the Gulf of Mexico is. It would be effective, if he gave us small talk, about Hurricanes, or something about the storm winds, water temps, or something else!!

3:11 – Back to Gulf. Tarballs on Beach in Jackson County , Miss. Not shown, only a text list.

3:12 NBC's Cary Sanders. Ntl Story shown about the Rigs and possibility of the storm gets into that area. Oil is going to contaminate that whole area. Not just the beach.

I just get fed up watching the weather channel now. Unless Dr Steve Lyons, or Dr Forbes, or one of the other “actual metorologists” come on briefly to give us more comprehensive information. Otherwise, they could just have a robot there, pushing the button that says “replay that” and lets run a bunch of 15 sec promos about how we cover the weather. These promos actually make your realize, how little weather the show actually covers. They just dont actually show a lot of weather in the US. A few main storms, the Tropics, and then lets run some news stories.

Am I the only weather-head that misses the old weather channel? I don’t even know whats going on in the West, Northwest, South, Southwest, The Plains. Its like that part of the US, is just not weather worthy for them. Only Bad and highly repeated Weather Stories Channel. Thank God for the Internet. I can use, forecaster statements, local news sites, and weather sites, to get more up to date information and more useful weather information on the Heat and Cool, the Rain and Snow, the Hail or Tornados, the Radar composites, and the Tropical Season of Hurricanes. My local WOAI meteorologist, gives me 5 times more US weather information in his 10 minutes, than the weather channel peeps shows me all day long!! I think the guys on the commercials, at “The Front” bar, prolly stopped going there to watch the Weather channel. The face paint faded and now they browse the internet for weather. I just drove myself nuts for 30 minutes, watching the Weather Channel, and documenting the lack of programming and actual weather coverage. Why would I put this content on my smart phone, or embed it on my website? It doesn’t give me any information on the latest weather. I can google better weather information.

Thank goodness at the end of this story, Dr Forbes, does get 1 minute or so to tell us about US Weather and Storms. With actually good graphics. I have to change the channel now. Im on team Lyons, but Forbes really presents the weather issues well.


Real Weather can be found at:

Also posting this at:

- Citizen Journalist section


  1. I totally agree. What happened is that MSNBC took over and that's why we have Al Roker, and their sad, goopy attempts at programming ideas. They are evidently trying to position themselves as a player with other cable channels, rather than up-to-the-minute weather news and information.

    (I totally LOVED that commercial, by the way - thought they should have made lots more like it.)

    I can't tell you how many times I have tried to get important information about severe weather in our area, only to have to put up with HOURS of Jim Cantore strutting around; or the inane faux-terror of Weather Stories.

    While I am ranting here (thanks for the opportunity!), I want to register my extreme dislike of how they are positioning weather to be some kind of sly, terrorist enemy. The hyped up graphics, dramatic music, and undercurrent of pending disaster 24/7 are so unnecessary and distorted. Once again, Nature is our foe -- something to fear and control .. or else!

    Phooey. I used to love TWC, but it has dropped, like so much else, to the lowest common denominator.

  2. Thanks for reading and replying. You really did describe it perfectly. "Cantore, strutting around". LOL I mean i like the guy, and admire his bravery but sometimes they do market him like a steed, dont they?! I still try to stay tuned in for the Hurricane Season, but find myself again, taking deep breaths, when they over indulge, in THEMSELVES and not the weather.

  3. NBC RUINED The Weather Channel. Dr. Lyons is gone for good, truly unfortunate for anyone in a hurricane prone area--that man was comfort in the eye of the storm. Then I saw Mark Mancuso on AccuWeather. All my old faves! I grew up with these people and I want them back. They weren't there for entertainment, something NBC seems not to be able to grasp. I mean, GOD, you're NOT FUNNY, Stephanie, just give us the weather, please, and if I want to watch Al Roker, which I don't, I'll change it to Today.

  4. I have been TRYING and the important word here is TRYING to follow Hurricane Earl since I have some friends due to fly out of the country from the NE. It has been an experiment in torture. I'm not sure they could gather a more idiotic group of people on a television program if they had tried.I finally resorted to my beloved mute button and watched the graphics. If I see know it all Cantore with waders on in a blowing wind I think I will just throw up.Beyond absurd ! I too do not watch TWC any longer. They lost me as a dedicated viewer when they had the wholesale firing of long time forecasters last fall. I knew when NBC got in involved "church was out" as we say in the South. It was. Big Time !

  5. I know I'm WAY late to this party, but I agree wholeheartedly with all the comments & the blog post. Watching TWC is painful since NBC took over. Darn it, I tune into TWC for WEATHER, not disaster shows or "When Weather Made History." I can find that stuff out on Wikipedia, for pity's sake...I want to see the weather when I watch TWC.

  6. I think the fact that : Global High Altitude Chem-trails showed up on Doppler Radar and was far to " Exposed" for the general public.
    So they pulled the Channel. If you notice you'll very rarly see Sat imaging of overhead cloud structures anymore on any weather station. Coinscidence ? I think not

  7. I don't know if Cooksterz is still out there, but I was going to write a similar story this evening when I happened across this post.

    I bet Cooksterz is really boiling with the 'new' Weather Channel of the past 60 they've even screwed up the Local on the 8's with this squeeze play taking it to just :60...never detailing upcoming local weather past the current weather...never showing the current temperature after the initial pane...using some incomprehensible new graphics and fonts...and my new personal favorite (okay, for about a year now), naming winter storms as they move across the nation!!

    I used to be able to tune in at any time and get briefed on weather across the country; regular 7 day forecasts; detailed 36 hour local forecasts and no political agenda shows and commentators and NO Stephanie Abrams strutting her non-stop arrogance!!

    They have a monopoly and ruined it...the door is now open for a Fox Weather Channel....

  8. WOW!! Im kind of glad that I no longer have the Weather Channel on Television. With the internet, i can be my own comprehensive weather "guesser" but every once in a storm, ill go to the website and become disappointed very quickly! I cant agree with you more. Something is still happening with the weather channel, and that something is a downward spiral of commercial appeasement of the corporate giants. Thanks for the comment "itsmeuguys"