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July 26, 2014

The Weather Channel celebrates 25 years of scaring the hell out of us

by Richard Keller, posted May 2nd 2007 9:01AM

The Wedding Channel celebrates 25 years on the airAnd 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.

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Karen Pennell

Yes, I listen to Local on the 8's - not only for the weather, but for the music, too. I wish there were an easy way to find out what's playing. I've been requesting playlists for a couple of years, but they usually don't have enough info on them to trace the artist, album and song. It's quite frustrating. I heard the vocals the other night too and wrote them a comment about it. Need to fade out with vocals, not cut off short.

May 15 2007 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Herb

Anyone Listen to the Local on the 8's now? The Muzak has changed for the 1st time there are vocals in it. not just instrumentals. First Vocal Song I heard was NICKELBACK Far Away VOCAL NOT Instrumental. Sign of the times?

May 07 2007 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

Because 3 inches of snow threatens the airports. If you ever went to CT in past years and watch NBC30 if they got more than 3-4 inches of snow in Hartford the news stays on all day to report it. They sadly didn't do it much this year. it's funny as hell when everything in CT is canceled and they report for 6 hours on 3 inches of snow.

"It's a mess out here! You shouldn't be out! The roads are terrible!"

They then show the roads and they are only wet and interview people and they all go "It's nothing for CT". Great fun.

TWC's 25 years of being wrong, great job!

May 02 2007 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Katie

As a fellow New Englander I couldn't live without my "Weather on the 8's". I love knowing at any moment I can turn on my tv and get the days weather. For my money its the most accurate to boot. I blame the local networks more for acting like Chicken Little anytime there's a significant or mores the case a not so significant weather event.

May 02 2007 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Carl

Not sure what it's like in other parts of the country, but weather reports leading off newscasts in the Boston-area are nothing short of fervent, yellow journalism.

The fact that it might snow three inches on a given weekday morning gets more airtime than a Moononite attack. We live in New England -- it's going to snow from time to time. Get off it!

Thanks for ruining my viewing experience, Weather Channel.

May 02 2007 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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