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Fox Weather Has Not Launched Yet, But Is Already Feuding With The Weather Channel

Jeff Kotuby

Fox Weather hasn’t even launched and it’s already feuding with its biggest competitor.

According to a report by the New York Times, The Weather Channel is already firing shots across the bow ahead of Fox Weather’s official launch later this year.

“They couldn’t even get a headline right about Tropical Storm Bill,” said Nora Zimmett, the network’s chief content officer, referring to a FoxNews.com article that some meteorologists criticized because it claimed that a relatively benign storm posed a “massive” risk to the Eastern Seaboard.

“I applaud Fox getting into the weather space, but they should certainly leave the lifesaving information to the experts,” said Zimmett, who worked at Fox News in the 2000s. She called climate change “a topic that is too important to politicize, and if they do that, they will be doing Americans a disservice.”

Fox Weather hit back, saying through a spokesperson, “while the Weather Channel is focused on trolling FoxNews.com for unrelated stories, Fox Weather is busy preparing the debut of our innovative platform to deliver critical coverage to an incredibly underserved market.”

Despite the contentious words thrown around by those involved, the two men at the top certainly don’t seem to be anything short of acquaintances or even friends. Fox’s Rupert Murdoch and Byron Allen, whose Allen Media Group owns The Weather Channel, apparently met for about an hour at Murdoch’s office in Los Angeles and, “had a great time together” according to Allen.

“Rupert Murdoch is very smart; he is the best of the best,” Allen said in an interview. “I am not surprised he’s coming into the weather space. Honestly, I would have been disappointed if he didn’t. Now the world will understand how big of a business the weather business is and how important it is,” Allen said to the Times.

Fox Weather Background

As fewer people tune into 24-hour news stations, Fox is looking to expand its horizons by covering something that transcends demographics or political leanings — the weather. Fox has invested heavily into its new weather arm, hiring a multitude of meteorologists and weather experts to populate a multimillion-dollar Midtown Manhattan studio. Talent includes Shane Brown, a former Weather Channel meteorologist who left for Fox last month. The stable of on-air and behind-the-scenes talent will no doubt be credible, but Fox Weather will have to contend with what’s being said on its sister networks, particularly Fox News.

Conservative outlets like Fox News can directly contradict the information that will be disseminated on Fox Weather’s airwaves, especially regarding climate change and other happenings.

“How do you address the fact that weather changes are caused to some degree by humans when you have a media property with a history of challenging that fact?” said Brian Wieser, lead analyst at GroupM.

Fox Weather, Fox’s 24-hour weather streaming channel, is set to debut later this year.

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