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TWC founder tirades what it is today

Coleman calls The Weather Channel 'a huge disappointment'
Not everyone loves The Weather Channel. In fact, one of its biggest critics is the former Chicago weatherman who helped create it.
[...]
"Their Web site is horrendous. Their channel is horrendous. They're all wrapped up in animals, health, gardening and traffic now. They've lost the focus on covering the weather," he said. "(The station's) being run by people who clearly don't understand the mission or the vision."

Coleman's vision is what started the 24-hour weather station in 1982. He knew weather had a profound impact on people's lives, so his idea was "to let people live in the ever-changing, exciting weather of the moment."
[...][/b]

Coleman has no kind words for TWC starting after its first 15 years. TWC isn't weather, MTV isn't music, CNN isn't news (Ted Turner not happy with the channel he started).
 
That guy sounds like some of the chasers! LOL

Let's add how badly G4 fracked up TechTV when they merged with it.

I have gotten to where even with satellite I hardly EVER watch TV any more. 52" widescreen sitting here in the living room and it's probably on maybe 10 hours a week if that, mostly to watch DVDs. I get my local news from the website of the station I chase for, and other news online. Watch a couple of shows on Sci-Fi and the kid loves Animal Planet, but for the most part TV SUX.
 
I can agree as well....I guess TWC is hard-up for attracting the General public like most other aforementioned cable channels (and some websites) Back in the day when internet was not so widely available and not many people had it, me and my cousin would call my dad, bother, whoever, from a payphone to get nowcasts from TWC..Now all there is is storm stories and P Allen smith ect....I get my weather info, and chase forecast battle plans from the mostly college and government websites (college of Dupage, NCAR RAPP, Oklahoma weather roundup, SPC..(you get the idea) TWC is full of non weather crap that is diluted with commericals (Dave Schwartz is cool though). Rant over. ;)
 
Wow.... I had no idea John Coleman was still around; in fact I vaguely thought he might be deceased. All in all, I dont think he could have said it better. "They're all wrapped up in animals, health, gardening and traffic now."

HOWEVER -- I know in 1986 they were already starting the "Weather And Your Home" segments... now was that during the Coleman era?

Originally posted by David Drummond
I have gotten to where even with satellite I hardly EVER watch TV any more. 52" widescreen sitting here in the living room and it's probably on maybe 10 hours a week if that

I can top that. I got DirecTV back in mid-January. I've had the TV on a total of 2 HOURS during the past 10 weeks. I was going to use it to fill in boring stretches, but I haven't had any at all. If anything I listen to XM Radio.

Tim
 
I'll bet that John Coleman never thought his experiment would be the twisted mangled mess it has become. Local stations mostly do a much better job, (even as bad as some of them can be), in keeping people informed when severe weather threatens. Thank god for the internet, and NOAA Weather Radio when I need the straight story! Yes, I know, even NWR may not be perfect all the time, but at least it doesn't have commercial breaks every few minutes, and it sticks to the subject at hand, local breaking severe weather.

Damon Poole
 
I haven't even had TWC on my TV for almost two years now. I dropped DirecTv when my business closed in 2004. All I've had is rabbit ears, and I hardly ever even watch TV, unless there's a Broncos game on or something.

When I'm chasing, and the day is over and I've settled into a motel room, I generally fire up the computer and turn on TWC. After about 45 minutes of surfing, I realize that I've looked at TWC playing on TV, audio muted, no more than 15 seconds, think to myself "Why do I even have this on?", and shut the TV off.
 
I do have to thank TWC for spurring me on to get an unlimited data plan for my phone. I could not deal with them being my only source of weather while traveling. So I guess TWC was good for something. Plus, I COULD NOT BELIEVE it when I passed by TWC during some of the recent outbreaks and they were playing Storm Stories. It is pretty sad.
 
Back in 1990-92 (when I was 10-12 years old), I'd be glued to the television watching TWC. I was fascinated by the coverage during severe weather outbreaks. I miss seeing Jim Cantore reporting live from the field during those events. That's how I initially became interested in weather. And, if severe weather threatened my local area, I always made sure my parents knew about it. I would also go crazy if I saw the red watch/warning scroll on TWC. Besides afterschool cartoons, TWC was pretty much all I watched back then.

Unfortunately, times have changed. I do not watch TWC at all, anymore. I now rely on local news and internet resources for weather info. Mr. Colman is exactly right. There is too much 'fluff' on TWC. 3 minute 'Weather and your Home' segments were tolerable. However, now there is a 'Home and Garden' channel, so there is no need for home improvement/gardening segments on TWC. As for Storm Stories, that can be moved to Discovery or The Learning Channel. TWC needs to revert back to the type of coverage that they carried back in the early-mid 90s.
 
I think The Weather Channel is great for the general public that has no meteorology experience (besides common sense like "I see dark clouds extending towards the ground, that can't be good.") For anyone with some meteorology experience, it seems like they're treating you as if you have no meteorology knowledge, thats because TWC is geared towards those people. Personally, I always like to turn on TWC and see what their forecasts say, especially severe weather. Interestingly enough their severe areas follow pretty close to SPC outlooks. :)
 
I do have to thank TWC for spurring me on to get an unlimited data plan for my phone. I could not deal with them being my only source of weather while traveling. So I guess TWC was good for something. Plus, I COULD NOT BELIEVE it when I passed by TWC during some of the recent outbreaks and they were playing Storm Stories. It is pretty sad.
[/b]
That's nothing new...they started that back in 2002 during the Nov 10th outbreak.
Unfortunately, Friday I was having to use TWC to attempt to nowcast for my young one back in E TN (no internet at work). Seemed like once the storms left the more populated areas (like the Nashville metro), they weren't that important and it was much more important to show over and over and over the same video of the damage. About the only thing I use TWC for anymore is to take a quick look at the temperature (and to see Seidel's deer in the headlights look when they send him out in the weather).
Angie
 
I can't argue with him on any of the points. TWC is just a shell of what it once was. But that seems to be what the current management at TWC wants. They seem to prefer attracting viewers who watch documentaries more so than actual, live weather. Therefore I don't watch much anymore. If I want documentaries, I'll just watch Discovery, TLC, or National Geographic, all of which do a better job with those types of programs.
 
You know, really, it's kind of the same thing as with every other company that thinks you have to always change things and evolve and grow, etc.

Coca-Cola sells water (and probably 100 other products besides Coca-Cola), Domino's Pizza sells salads, Porsche sells SUV's, and the list goes on forever.

I personally hate it. "Back in the day", a company was known for a product. Now, every damn company is run by marketing idiots (and lawyers) who believe every company should sell 1000 different products, until they screw up all of them, instead of concentrating on what they're good at.

I guarantee that's what TWC is all about now. RATINGS and CASH FLOW.

grrr.

Have a nice day, LOL!

Bob
 
I guarantee that's what TWC is all about now. RATINGS and CASH FLOW.

Bob [/b]

TWC is a business, just like other businesses. If they aren't concerned with cash flow, they wouldn't be a very good business. Now, I'm NOT saying that I like their home improvement or gardening segments, but I don't see any reason they'll change unless (a) they get new management or (B) their ratings drop. That said, I do know that they are making an effort to cover more severe weather this spring. They hired a reported solely to cover severe weather events from the field, and they've sent out other anchors to areas in the 'risk area' to cover local preparation, response, etc. I even saw that they tapped into the live coverage of a Nashville station the other day. Again, I'm not saying they haven't degraded, and I think the comments by the founder says a lot.

In the end, I think the majority of folks go to their local TV station when looking for information on local weather. I think the chances are high that the average viewed in New Hampshire doesn't care about a severe thunderstorm warning in rural Idaho. They tune in to see their weather. If they don't get it there, they won't tune in. Now, the severe weather outbreaks are a different animal, since those tend to be 'captivating' and interesting to many citizens.

Companies diversify in order to sell more products or service (or to provide stability when the future market is uncertain). Coke probably sells WAY more now than they did when just sold Coca-Cola (or if they just sold Coca-Cola now). This seems to be true of most older companies. More markets, more revenue potential. Ofc ourse, as you noted, the products or services must be good enough to generate revenue. There are many companies that still sell products or services in one market/industry (e.g. Nokia still primarily sells cell phones, etc)...
 
One thing that I know ALOT of people watched on the TWC (particularly in the northern states) was the winter weather updates with Paul Kocin. The guy was very good and knew what he was talking about - I would rather watch his forecast versus the local news media stuff for winter coverage... He was good at telling it like it is, and not trying to pull an Accuweather and save their ass (i.e. "we called this hurricane 20 days ago").

It's just too bad they fired him... :rolleyes:
 
Wow.... I had no idea John Coleman was still around; in fact I vaguely thought he might be deceased. All in all, I dont think he could have said it better. "They're all wrapped up in animals, health, gardening and traffic now."

HOWEVER -- I know in 1986 they were already starting the "Weather And Your Home" segments... now was that during the Coleman era?[/b]
About a year after the channel launched, Landmark and Coleman became embroiled in a contentious legal battle for control of the then-fledging station. Coleman ultimately opted out of the partnership.[/b]
Looks like he didn't last long there.

I can top that. I got DirecTV back in mid-January. I've had the TV on a total of 2 HOURS during the past 10 weeks. I was going to use it to fill in boring stretches, but I haven't had any at all. If anything I listen to XM Radio.

Tim
[/b]
I can remember back in the late 80's when they used to run ads making fun of the "inferior" local wx casts. I can't help but remember those and think where they and most local affiliates have ended up. The internet is definitely a life-saver for the wx geek these days.
 
I don't know if anyone has ever read "The Improbable Rise of a Media Phenomenon", but it tells the story of TWC's start-up straight from the source, former Chairman and CEO Frank Batten. The main thing that made (and still makes) TWC a viable money-maker is the Local on the 8's forecasts. People tune into TWC because they know they will receive the local forecast within ten minutes. It was a huge technological leap when the satellite transponder technology was developed to transmit the local forecast to specific areas in the early 1980's, but it also nearly ended any chance TWC had of getting off the ground due to the immense R&D costs and the difficulty of obtaining cable television operators to carry the channel during the early days of cable TV.

Coleman is probably not the most credible source to view opinions of TWC in its current state because he left the original investment group on horrible terms in its early stages. With Landmark (the parent company of TWC - a media conglomerate with newspaper and television stations) $32 million in debt on the project, Coleman was given an option to find a new investor to take the project off of Landmark's hands. After messy court litigation and an unsuccessful attempt at finding other backers Coleman was forced to give up his share of the company and all association and ties with TWC. Landmark was able to steady the ship and turn TWC into the profitable production it is today out of the depths of near-bankruptcy, a pretty impressive entrepreneurial story!

Jeff - The only reason we saw severe weather coverage during the Nashville event was because Landmark (TWC's parent company) owns a local affiliate there. Most of Landmark's television affiliates are located on the east coast so don't expect to see live cut-ins of events on the central and southern plains anytime soon.

I don't really have an opinion either way on TWC, other than we are definitely not their target audience, nor the audience that will bring them millions in revenue. The biggest threat to TWC currently is the advent of HD-television. The multiple frequencies that local television affiliates now have at their disposal allow for them to broadcast 24-hour weather information (NBC has been at the forefront of the movement - i.e. WeatherPlus) This directly combats TWC's local forecast advantage, so like many other companies they are looking at other arenas where they can gain a foothold such as internet and cell phone weather information.
 
I do know that in my line of bussiness that we have to count on the weather. My boss is so trusting of weather.com that I laugh when I ask "Can we get this done today?" And he says "hang on and let me pull up weather.com." I already know the answer but you do have to get the bosses approval. Their forecasts are absolutly terrible. And he thinks they hung the moon.
 
One thing that I know ALOT of people watched on the TWC (particularly in the northern states) was the winter weather updates with Paul Kocin. The guy was very good and knew what he was talking about - I would rather watch his forecast versus the local news media stuff for winter coverage... He was good at telling it like it is, and not trying to pull an Accuweather and save their ass (i.e. "we called this hurricane 20 days ago").

It's just too bad they fired him... :rolleyes:
[/b]
They fired Paul Kocin?????? :eek: Who's going to be next?....Steve Lyons or Jim Cantori?????
Get rid of the real mets and keep the blondes I guess.
(Off topic, probably.....sorry, mods :) )
Angie
 
I liked TWC in the early days when weather was it's hallmark. Today, they can have some interesting documentaries but sittting through an hour long show consists of 45 minutes of ads. It's the same way with most of the Satellite and cable stations now.
 
The only thing that really keeps TWC going is advertising and the hurricane season. I'm betting someday a more scientific and public safety channel will come along.

Mike
 
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