The Weather Channel celebrates 25 years of scaring the hell out of us
And now, another chapter in the continuing story of how old we really are . . .
Today marks the 25th anniversary of The Weather Channel. Are you feeling old yet?
The basic-cable network was launched on May 2nd, 1982 and received a lukewarm reception from viewers and industry people who felt that its amateurish geekiness would be its downfall. However, as it began to shed some of that amateurishness and nerdiness, the Atlanta-based network became a stalwart figure on cable.
Scott Leth of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has written a piece on the history of the The Weather Channel which provides a lot of inside facts. For instance, only 1.5 million homes received the network when it was launched in 1982. Now, 93 million homes receive The Weather Channel. Only a hundred people worked for TWC when it launched. Now, the network boasts a staff of 800. Twelve staffers still remain from the original hundred, including on-air meteorologists Mark Mancuso and Bill Keneely.One of the things that Leth's article didn't mention was the way The Weather Channel made other news outlets look at the weather. Back when the network started the weather was placed somewhere between the consumer report and the sports, and nothing else would be heard from them unless there was a major weather event. Now, a normal day of rain merits the first story of the news night, even before something like a murder or the War in Iraq. In addition, The Weather Channel made weather scary. With show's like Storm Stories and It Could Happen Tomorrow, they made us feel that we were Mother Nature's whipping boy. I mean, there's reporting the weather, and then there's making us hide in our basements due to a thunderstorm. But, I guess that's success for you.