You’d think global warming and climate change would be topic #1 at the Weather Channel, but they’ve only just now announced that they’re going to make it the focus.
The Atlanta-based Weather Channel said it’s committed to tackling climate change with more vigor than it ever has.
In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nora Zimmett, The Weather Channel’s chief content officer and executive vice president, said they are “doubling down on climate. Climate and weather coverage are completely linked. It’s the most important topic of not just our generation, but generations to come. We have a front seat.”
She said the channel has been addressing the subject for years but not on a regular basis. “We intend to do that now,” she said. “American sentiment only recently caught up with the urgency of the issue. Years ago, our audience didn’t want to hear about it. They are much more interested in it now.”
I guess I’m not their audience, because I’d have liked to have heard more about it 40 years ago. Maybe they’re just now catching up with me?
I also immediately wondered why now, what’s changed, why weren’t they on top of this years ago? The reporter read my mind.
When Zimmett informed the owner and media mogul Byron Allen about the shift, he told her, “Why didn’t you do this sooner?
“He is the biggest advocate for climate coverage and environmental justice coverage,” she said.
Since Allen’s Entertainment Studios purchased the station for $300 million in 2018 from NBCUniversal, Zimmett has noticed his positive impact. “Byron rewards good ideas,” she said. “He’s not big on red tape and bureaucracy. This funnels down to every level. If you’re an associate producer with a great idea to shoot a story, you come up with a reasonable budget and schedule, we say, ‘Go do it!’ I’ve worked at places where they say, ‘Stay in your lane.’ Byron fosters an entrepreneurial attitude. It’s a really exciting place to be.”
You know, that doesn’t answer the question. Telling me the owner is also asking why they didn’t emphasize climate change sooner doesn’t explain why they didn’t.