03/18/15: The Weather Channel


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BEHIND THE SCENES at the Upfronts
The People! The Parties! The Buzz!a

The winds of change keep blowing at The Weather Company. The net has been adding original series to its lineup for the last several years, and in 2014 grabbed Good Morning America weather master Sam Champion to serve as anchor of morning show AMHQ and managing editor. In January, popular weather tracker Jim Cantore joined Champion as co-host of AMHQ, and a weekend edition was added. With “a great story to tell,” TWC is skipping a party and hitting the road to talk to marketers this Upfront season – and Jeremy Steinberg, Head of Sales, forecasts clear skies.


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How is Weather positioning itself?
“Our pitch will be very different this year,” says Steinberg. “We’ve invested heavily in products, and we’re making enhancements to them. We’re coming to market with the ability to connect marketers to consumers through behavior and emotions, with leading industry ad products and successful content franchises.”

The company’s ad product, data and technology and creative group, WeatherFX, promises to be a big talking point with marketers. “We don’t just look at the temperature to predict how a consumer will behave,” says Steinberg. “We correlate third-party sales data with conditions and weather activity. We work with our marketing partners to drive awareness, drive interest and drive sales. We’re in the business of helping marketers solve their biggest problems.”

New categories you want to break?
“This Upfront, we are seeing a lot of opportunity for growth with our largest, and most endemic, categories of auto, insurance and pharma,” said Steinberg. “We also have a keen focus on expanding the CPG, QSR and retail categories, where we have seen tremendous success in activation via our WeatherFX data and analytics platforms for a variety of brands.”

How you stand out from your competitors:
“Marketers are trying to deal with consumer behavior shifting to mobile data, and we’re one of the largest cross-screen media companies,” says Steinberg. “We’re investing heavily in online video and coming out with our first ever mobile show. We’re getting really good at curating content on Facebook. We have a huge web site, huge mobile platforms and consumers connect with us on those platforms.”

What Weather Company clients are saying:
“Most of our clients are interested in unique integrations tied to our severe weather coverage, our morning and prime time programming, and our new tentpoles,” Steinberg tells Cynopsis. “We are one of the few companies able to provide solutions across all four screens with differentiated ad products such as branded backgrounds. The weather has a strong influence on consumers’ moods, which in turn influences consumer behavior – for example: mothers baking with their kids on a rainy day, or when it’s too hot and humid to be outside – and we have the proprietary technology to leverage weather data that is informed by these consumer actions, which makes our weather targeting superior on every screen.”

Count State Farm in. “In 2014-2015, State Farm partnered with The Weather Channel to create a unique integration with ‘The Lab,’ Weather’s on-air expert desk and headquarters during major weather events. Both State Farm and Weather’s mission is to protect what’s important to people, so that was a perfect fit for us,” said Edward Gold, Advertising Director, State Farm. “These days we’re looking to go far beyond the 30-second spot, and Weather’s been a great partner in helping us find opportunities to put our brand front and center on-air, on-line and on the go with mobile when consumers need us most.”

The Buzz
Which will be the success stories this Upfront season? “The networks that can focus on driving solutions that drive results,” says Steinberg. “It’s not just about reach.”



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Just Asking…
Weather Channel stars Sam Champion and Jim Cantore took a breather from a very busy weather season to answer our burning questions.

Sam Champion:
What’s your favorite social media platform?
“Twitter is my main social media go-to for breaking news and for putting out weather information.For personal use, it’s still Facebook first, then Instagram second.”

Can’t-miss TV shows?
“I’m not big on watching TV because I go to bed at 7 p.m. every night, boring I know, but Game of Thrones is the one show I can’t live without.”

Jim Cantore:
What’s the job you’d most like to have but know you never will?
“Major league baseball player.”

Most challenging weather event you’ve covered?
“Hurricane Katrina.”
On the Radar
“We’ll be announcing new shows with compelling characters and stories,” says Steinberg. “We’re investing in a mobile show, an important franchise. Mike Bettes will start hosting a new evening program in late March, and Maria LaRosa is getting her own show. We’ve worked hard to find the right sort of content that, at the end of the day, entertains our audience.”

Quote of The Day
“People are coming to us not just to plan their lives, but to be amazed. People are truly inspired by the weather.” – Jeremy Steinberg

Coming up in “Backstage at the Upfronts” hitting your mailbox at 6pm

HGTV is "arguably the hottest network in the country right now," Jon Steinlauf, President of National Ad Sales and Marketing for Scripps Networks Interactive, tells Cynopsis. What’s the how-to net’s secret?

Note: We had an incorrect subject line in last night’s “Backstage" edition. It was covering UP, not GMC. We apologize for the error.

Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey, Editor
Roberta Caploe: Editorial Director @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group 

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480

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