New Exec High on Weather Brand

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The Weather Channel said last week it is hiring Turner Broadcasting System Inc. marketing veteran Wonya Lucas, who will join the network as executive vice president of marketing on July 15.

Lucas, currently senior vice president of strategic marketing for the CNN domestic network, also brings a history of packaged goods marketing, having worked on such brands as Minute Maid orange juice and Clorox bleach.

"I've always worked on established brands with strong reputations," Lucas said. She said she was looking forward to taking the established Weather Channel brand across multiple media, including the Internet and personal digital assistants.

"Singularly focused but multidimensional brands are very strong," Lucas explained, adding that it would be more difficult to port a general entertainment brand across different media platforms.

Lucas said her job would entail going after the network's multiple target audiences, which include cable operators, advertisers and consumers. She noted that advertisers should be attracted to Weather's strong, relatively upscale viewing audience, especially business travelers who can be somewhat difficult to reach in other ways.

"We are thrilled that Wonya has chosen to join us as we continue to build one of the strongest brands in all of media," Weather president Bill Burke said in a press release last Thursday.

Lucas credited Burke's strategic vision and the strength of Weather's brand with helping her decide to change jobs. She added that rather than going in and shaking things up, she expects to work closely with Burke to support his vision for the brand.

Lucas said her first priority was to learn through research how consumers view the brand, and then to see how best to continue to evolve the brand over time.

"The best brands evolve," Lucas said.

She added that reinforcing a strong consumer connection to a brand is more about providing a consistently positive experience rather than just running new advertising and on-air spots.

"Better brands are experiential by nature," Lucas said.

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