Moving away from its structured "wheel" format,
The Weather Channel is launching a daily two-hour morning show next month that will have
its own dedicated anchors.
Your Weather Today, co-hosted by Heather Tesch and
Marshall Seese, will premiere in the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. time period, Monday through Friday,
starting Jan. 10.
TWC is trying to take advantage of the fact that it has the
highest morning viewership of any news and information network, and it has designed the
new show to try to keep viewers watching even longer.
In the third quarter, TWC averaged a 0.5 rating Monday
through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., according to Nielsen Media Research.
Patrick Scott, TWC's executive vice president and general
manager of programming, operations and distribution, said Your Weather Today is
just the start of a strategy of doing more stand-alone shows, rather than the structured
"clock" approach that has been the network's mainstay.
"Your Weather Today is a break from our
standard format," Scott said. "It will be something recognizably different. It
will have its own set and its own dedicated talent team. People are pretty much in and out
of our programming. But now we want to build audience loyalty. Our testing indicates that
this will increase our viewership."
He compared TWC's move as an evolution from a service
similar to CNN Headline News to one more like Cable News Network's format. "It will
be better television," Scott said. "It's more highly produced."
The next time slot TWC will likely put in a stand-alone
show is 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., he said, adding, "Eventually, primetime will be our next
Your Weather Today'steam will also include
Dennis Smith, who will report from the travel desk on how weather will affect the day's
commute and airline flights; and storm analyst John Scala, who will talk about which
weather systems are threatening.
The new morning show will have more digital graphics and
make greater use of animation. The program will also have its own signature look, as well
as an original music score.