Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Weather Channel Turns 30 Today

May 2nd, 1982 was the debut of The Weather Channel across cable television...and how times...and technology...have changed.

If you have the time to watch the "intro" to TWC in 1982, the hour's worth of video shows some promotions of TWC, information from the launch press conference, and the first half hour of live coverage on TWC.   The first half hour featured Bruce Edwards (who was at TWC for quite a while) and Andre Bernier.

Gotta love the low resolution graphics of that first half hour, especially given what they can do now.

Technological revolution will be televised, tweeted, "apped", and facebooked....and TWC has evolved with the times.

While weather purists like myself will quickly point out that showing weathermentuaries like "Storm Stories" or "Cantore Stories" isn't pure weather information, TWC has become a profitable enterprise and has bridged the various nuances of media rather seamlessly.  Their apps on Droid and iPad are well put together and successful...their website generates large levels of traffic...and they have been able to bridge into radio and newspaper as well.   Granted their coverage isn't perfect for a hardcore weather nut like myself...their miss in national coverage during a tornado outbreak in May 2010 was pretty bad, as is the occasional forays into "weathertainment"...but when it comes to hurricanes and tropical cyclones they have always been a pretty good source for I would tend to think that there's a ratings motive behind showing a landfalling hurricane.

The Ike Bear (although not shown on TWC) would agree.

Despite the pros/cons/in betweens of TWC, it is still the biggest weather resource in the country.  It is known in all corners of the country, including places where Accuweather has no presence, and has a larger web presence than anyone else who specializes in weather...including six times as many unique page views as   TWC, in some form, will be around for quite some time to come...and in thirty more years we will likely laugh at 2012's technology as "old fashioned".