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Fox News Launching Streaming Weather Service


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I'll summarize my thoughts from the Discord:   I don't think this is an attempt at a new OTA weather channel or anything close to WeatherPlus. I think this is a vehicle to enable the hubbing

FOX Weather:  First you didn't believe the news ... now you won't believe the weather!   -- Matt

Can't wait for the Trump Golf Course Forecast followed by a rundown of severe weather warning areas drawn on maps with magic marker.   In all seriousness, I wonder if this might move Accuwea

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Sharri Berg has been tapped to lead the new streaming weather service.

Berg is current COO of News and Operations for FTS & also EVP of News Operating at FNC.

The service is scheduled to launch with the debut of the "Fox Weather App" in 3Q 2021 and will also include a new website and streaming service featuring local/regional/national updates + live programs.

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Can't wait for the Trump Golf Course Forecast followed by a rundown of severe weather warning areas drawn on maps with magic marker.

 

In all seriousness, I wonder if this might move Accuweather to make their channel (if it still exists) an over-the-top streaming service, or if The Weather Channel will offer a more weather-focused version of Local Now. Also, can't think Weathernation's very happy about it.

 

I liked The Weather Network out of Canada's streaming offering they had a while back - it had TWC-esque local forecasts and everything - but it just up and disappeared one day from their app.

Edited by mightynine
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54 minutes ago, DENDude said:

Cool, I'll be curious to see how well it does.  (It will be NBC Weather Plus 2.0, with search lights 😂)

 

I'm pretty sure that they no longer own the rights to the search lights. That was sold to Disney. I mean, even The X2 Package doesn't belong on a Fox station anymore.

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I'll summarize my thoughts from the Discord:

 

I don't think this is an attempt at a new OTA weather channel or anything close to WeatherPlus. I think this is a vehicle to enable the hubbing of weather. The press release says "Fox Weather will feature local, regional and national updates... [Drawing] on more than 75 meteorologists across 17 stations and Fox News Channel’s news gathering teams." and makes no mention of affiliate stations. This is a project that involves only the O&O group.

 

Rebrand all the local weather departments under the "Fox Weather" banner (Which would be similar to WeatherPlus) and now you have a unified brand that anyone can appear in front of. Do you really need weekend meteorologists at both WITI and WFLD? Or can you just "regionalize" these markets and do both out of one station from time to time? Oh no! A Tornado warning has been issued on a Sunday morning, and nobody's at the station! Not to worry, the Mothership in NYC has somebody on duty, and they were going to cover the Tornado warning anyways, so they might as well just simulcast Fox Weather on the local FOX O&O.

 

I would not be the least bit surprised if midway through next year, they announce they're "streamlining" the O&O's and are taking advantage of "operational efficiencies" presented with a network of meteorologists and suddenly some stations lose their weekend/fill in mets. I've said for some time now that Weather and Sports were ripe for hubbing, and I think this might be the start of that.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Weeters said:

I'll summarize my thoughts from the Discord:

 

I don't think this is an attempt at a new OTA weather channel or anything close to WeatherPlus. I think this is a vehicle to enable the hubbing of weather. The press release says "Fox Weather will feature local, regional and national updates... [Drawing] on more than 75 meteorologists across 17 stations and Fox News Channel’s news gathering teams." and makes no mention of affiliate stations. This is a project that involves only the O&O group.

 

Rebrand all the local weather departments under the "Fox Weather" banner (Which would be similar to WeatherPlus) and now you have a unified brand that anyone can appear in front of. Do you really need weekend meteorologists at both WITI and WFLD? Or can you just "regionalize" these markets and do both out of one station from time to time? Oh no! A Tornado warning has been issued on a Sunday morning, and nobody's at the station! Not to worry, the Mothership in NYC has somebody on duty, and they were going to cover the Tornado warning anyways, so they might as well just simulcast Fox Weather on the local FOX O&O.

 

I would not be the least bit surprised if midway through next year, they announce they're "streamlining" the O&O's and are taking advantage of "operational efficiencies" presented with a network of meteorologists and suddenly some stations lose their weekend/fill in mets. I've said for some time now that Weather and Sports were ripe for hubbing, and I think this might be the start of that.

 

 

I do think you're onto something here. I think this could be one of those trends of the 2020s especially in this so called media consolidation frenzy. I think we'll see many more groups fall in line with Fox and streamline the weather and sports departments. I don't think Fox is going to be the only ones doing it, I think we'll start seeing other groups whether it'd be networks or local affiliate groups jump into the fray and do the same thing.

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20 hours ago, susquvalleywgal said:

FOX Weather:  First you didn't believe the news ... now you won't believe the weather!

 

-- Matt

 

Counter-programming the real effects of the Climate Crisis.

10 hours ago, Weeters said:

I'll summarize my thoughts from the Discord:

 

I don't think this is an attempt at a new OTA weather channel or anything close to WeatherPlus. I think this is a vehicle to enable the hubbing of weather. The press release says "Fox Weather will feature local, regional and national updates... [Drawing] on more than 75 meteorologists across 17 stations and Fox News Channel’s news gathering teams." and makes no mention of affiliate stations. This is a project that involves only the O&O group.

 

Rebrand all the local weather departments under the "Fox Weather" banner (Which would be similar to WeatherPlus) and now you have a unified brand that anyone can appear in front of. Do you really need weekend meteorologists at both WITI and WFLD? Or can you just "regionalize" these markets and do both out of one station from time to time? Oh no! A Tornado warning has been issued on a Sunday morning, and nobody's at the station! Not to worry, the Mothership in NYC has somebody on duty, and they were going to cover the Tornado warning anyways, so they might as well just simulcast Fox Weather on the local FOX O&O.

 

I would not be the least bit surprised if midway through next year, they announce they're "streamlining" the O&O's and are taking advantage of "operational efficiencies" presented with a network of meteorologists and suddenly some stations lose their weekend/fill in mets. I've said for some time now that Weather and Sports were ripe for hubbing, and I think this might be the start of that.

 

 

 

Completely agreed. I think that, creative and sales will be hubbed.

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I think the implications from such a service are far worse for those currently employed by FOX, and the future of local weather in these places.....as opposed to any "bias" that such a service may provide.

 

They need to look back at Sinclair's "News Central" failure, which botched severe weather in many places when it was operating at the time.

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NewsCentral was before its time. Technology has changed so much that it's impossible to compare with what we can do today. We have meteorologists working from home covering severe weather. What's the difference if they're 30 miles from the station or 3000?

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1 hour ago, Weeters said:

What's the difference if they're 30 miles from the station or 3000?

Butchering local town & landmark names while a tornado bears down on the viewing public. Anybody wanna take a crack at pronouncing "Schuylkill River"?

 

Yes, 3000 miles away they will still be able to harness the technology to pinpoint the path of a storm and give viewers pertinent information, but when they can't pronounce your town, I get the feeling that some folks will turn the channel. 

 

And this is even IF they actually start hubbing weather. I see it more from the angle of "well, there's CBSN, ABC News Live, NBC News Now... what news-y angle ISN'T someone taking a stab at?"

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17 hours ago, PhillyWatch said:

Butchering local town & landmark names while a tornado bears down on the viewing public. Anybody wanna take a crack at pronouncing "Schuylkill River"?

 

Yes, 3000 miles away they will still be able to harness the technology to pinpoint the path of a storm and give viewers pertinent information, but when they can't pronounce your town, I get the feeling that some folks will turn the channel.

 

That's when whomever remains in the local markets provides a "cheat sheet" of tricky pronunciations.

 

Or the met uses other landmarks to identify the path and avoids the one he's not sure of. It's not like a new local met in a new market wouldn't run that risk.

 

Now, where this becomes an issue is - with any hubbing efforts - is the fact the satellite met doesn't know the history of the area, where the trouble spots are, and how they've handled severe weather in the past - that good ol' fashioned "local knowledge".  A lot of executives seem to feel the appearance of news/weather/etc. is actually providing a service.

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18 hours ago, PhillyWatch said:

Butchering local town & landmark names while a tornado bears down on the viewing public. Anybody wanna take a crack at pronouncing "Schuylkill River"?

 

The Weather Channel has had no problem covering local severe weather remotely for what... 30 years or more now?  I'm sure this won't be a huge issue for whatever this is Fox ends up doing. 

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On 12/10/2020 at 3:10 AM, Weeters said:

Do you really need weekend meteorologists at both WITI and WFLD? Or can you just "regionalize" these markets and do both out of one station from time to time?

Please don't give me this nightmare.

 

On 12/10/2020 at 4:02 PM, Weeters said:

NewsCentral was before its time. Technology has changed so much that it's impossible to compare with what we can do today. We have meteorologists working from home covering severe weather. What's the difference if they're 30 miles from the station or 3000?

 

Efficiency. It's far easier to man severe weather coverage from the station. Plus, if the power goes down at meteorologist's home, well....

 

On 12/11/2020 at 12:13 PM, noggi said:

 

The Weather Channel has had no problem covering local severe weather remotely for what... 30 years or more now?  I'm sure this won't be a huge issue for whatever this is Fox ends up doing. 

 

Locals will still know the region much better. I also feel they would better keep the audience attention too.

 

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34 minutes ago, MidwestTV said:

Please don't give me this nightmare.

 

Efficiency. It's far easier to man severe weather coverage from the station. Plus, if the power goes down at meteorologist's home, well....

 

Locals will still know the region much better. I also feel they would better keep the audience attention too.

 

And I counter your argument with...

 

$$$

 

Nobody here is thrilled by such a possibility, but the fact is that the pandemic has shown just what's possible, especially on weather coverage.

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I hope this gives the FOX O&Os  something like the NBC O&Os it's own icons and it's own standard template and switching over to 1 unified weather system and the main font Neue Plak

Especially

KDFW

KTTU
KSAZ
WTTG

Definitely WOFL

WJBK

KRIV 

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There's one really big reason to keep weather coverage local - because local weather is the reason most people watch local news.

 

The Weather Channel is still an OK resource for a quick check of things - it could be even better if the local opt-outs were more than just Intellistar and an on-screen crawl during severe weather. I'm old enough to remember when they did not GAF and ran warnings full screen.

 

I imagine NBC had eyes toward a hybrid model utilizing the O&Os when they purchased The Weather Channel. Certainly few could have prognosticated a global pandemic when it was sold (I don't say none because a few scientists have said we were overdue for a while) but pandemics aren't permanent - and what may make sense for a single year won't otherwise.

 

So the question becomes, do the savings realized from centralizing weather outweigh any loss from the overall product of local news not having a local WX presence? For the FOX stations, it might - I don't know many O&Os currently that have an enormous investment in WX save for maybe Tampa. But for other stations and other owned groups who have firm stakes in weather - and the talent and tech to back it - that decision is much more difficult.

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1 hour ago, TSSZNews said:

So the question becomes, do the savings realized from centralizing weather outweigh any loss from the overall product of local news not having a local WX presence? For the FOX stations, it might - I don't know many O&Os currently that have an enormous investment in WX save for maybe Tampa. But for other stations and other owned groups who have firm stakes in weather - and the talent and tech to back it - that decision is much more difficult.

 
 

WITI came in with half of their branding around their weather and personnel, but the market's patterns justify the investment. Fox's O&O footprint outside Orlando, Milwaukee, MSP and Tampa right now (and to a smaller extent the Texas Triangle) doesn't really have the need for huge weather resources by design.

 

Also I'm in a market where TWC STILL has never put in an HD local unit, so I have to keep the SD channel on my channel map for local conditions (and the Milwaukee feed I get on the Spectrum app for some godforesaken reason advertises businesses from Cleveland on the local ticker). NBC basically ruined the network, and Allen's 'LOL Weather so funny!' clip shows from their library have not helped their reputation at all.

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2 hours ago, MidwestTV said:

Efficiency. It's far easier to man severe weather coverage from the station. Plus, if the power goes down at meteorologist's home, well....

 

Locals will still know the region much better. I also feel they would better keep the audience attention too.

 


I agree. For this to work, Fox would have to do the following:

 

1. Major weather graphics upgrade. What exists now isn’t going to cut it and a singular Fox Weather app that can be localized.

 

2. Create ‘regional hubs’, not 1-2 big ones.

 

3. Don’t cut your older, experienced Mets to try to save $$$. 
 

4. Sell the service to others (Fox affiliates, independent stations, etc...).

 

If they do this, maybe they can monetize this and create an ongoing revenue stream and be successful.

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