Madison Square Garden and Fuse executive David Clark is trading in his music notes for a weather map after being named president of The Weather Channel.
Clark, who served as executive vice president of sales and partnership development for MSG, will now oversee all live and long-form programming for Weather, which has recently struggled in the ratings.
And what a situation that Clark, who starts on Nov. 12, is walking into. On Oct. 29 — the day superstorm Sandy made landfall — Weather delivered an average audience of more than 2 million total-day viewers, making it the network’s thirdhighest total day average in network history. Viewers also beat an online path to Weather’s servers, as the company’s various mobile and online offerings drew 450 million page views on Oct. 29, nearly doubling the prior record of 254 million on Feb. 1, 2011.
“Coming off of the week of coverage that we had with Sandy, given the complexity of covering a storm that was spread out over the whole Eastern Seaboard, as well as the response from the audience, I look at that and say that the network is at the top of its game, but there’s always room to get better,” Clark told The Wire on Thursday.
“Our theme or focus is going to be serving weather enthusiasts. We’re going to take a hard look at all of our programming decisions through the lens of whether it’s helping to serve our mission.”
While Clark will focus on the television side of the newly renamed The Weather Co., he said the value of the company is tied to its ability to reach hard-core fans on a number of different platforms.
“As far as media companies go, it’s really powerful in terms of its media presence — we did a lot of work blending the digital and TV world under Fuse and serving the audience cohesively under both platforms,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what we can do with that experience in an environment like The Weather Co.”
Wolf Blitzer: ‘President’s’ Fan
CNN lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer provided the intros to several of the politically themed movies that aired on Turner Classic Movies on Oct. 26, but did not say which flick in that genre was his favorite. Inquiring Wire minds wanted to know.
He told The Wire, through a CNN spokesperson, that it is the Watergate film All The President’s Men, because of its “intersection of journalism and politics.” He also said Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were two figures that helped inspire him to be a journalist.
The film is one of those for which Blitzer provided the intros, along with Ben Mankiewicz. The others were Advise and Consent and Seven Days in May, in a wrapup of a month-long look at political films in advance of Election Day on Nov. 6.
But Wolf is doing more than just talking about the movies.
According to CNN, he is doing some intersecting of journalism and celluloid with a cameo in Skyfall, the latest installment of the James Bond series, in which he plays himself. It will be the second big-screen appearance this year for Blitzer, who had a credited appearance in the Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis comedy The Campaign, also as himself.
— John Eggerton