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Paul Douglas’ New Weather Startup: WeatherNation

According to local tech blogger and surfer Graeme Thickins, former WCCO weatherman Paul Douglas is working on a startup called, WeatherNation that will provide weather reporting to mid-size markets.

Very interesting concept. Douglas offers some more details on his LinkedIn profile:

This summer we launch WeatherNation, syndicating, “central-casting” weather reports for web sites, cable channels and broadcasters from a new studio in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities.

If mid-size stations don’t have to staff locally for weather, they could certainly save a ton of money. But what happens to the farm team of weather personalities who work through the mid-sized markets on their way to the majors?

The Freakonomics blog had a recent column about the accuracy of weather forecasts by TV stations in the Kansas City market. The stations admit to hiring as much for presentation as accuracy, and none of them track the accuracy of their weather presenters. Could a centralized teams to top-notch meteorologists do a better job for mid-sized market TV stations than someone with a local knowledge? And how does this effect the presentation vs. accuracy balance?

4 thoughts on “Paul Douglas’ New Weather Startup: WeatherNation”

  1. Syndicated weather forecasts has been going on for almost 30 years, at least on the radio level. WJJY in Brainerd uses the same service now (AccuWeather) that was used in 1982 by a station I worked for in Vermont. I’m curious to know how Paul will package his forecasts though, especially in the event of severe weather occurring at the same time in more than one market.

  2. I was at the Presentation that Paul gave and he is not talking about replacing all Weathermen in mid markets, but with his service they could eliminate one or two weathermen (most stations have to have at least three to cover mornings, afternoons, evenings, and weekends). So you would not be eliminating the way people move up thru the business.

  3. He gave a good presentation at MHTA yesterday, and Jeremy sums it up on the nose.

    According to him and his description in the MHTA documentation, he’s also working on another, secret, project called NoozMe (LLC) which is supposed to change the way news is delivered.

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