Weather Channel Ends Its Rumspringa, Decides It Wants to Focus on Weather After All

That’s hardly enough time for introductions, let alone a serious, illuminating discussion on big topics of the day. Jeff Masters, as well as a cadre of other experts and meteorologists employed by both the network and the website.

A replacement show for Wake Up With Al, as well as those time slots presumably to be vacated by reality programming, have yet to be announced.

[Top Image & FGitW: The Weather Company | Video: The Weather Channel | WxGeeks Photo: author | Corrected to reflect that AMHQ is not canceled, but it will continue without Sam Champion while he moves on to another role with TWC. | Edited to remove a sentence fragment missed on proofreading and to correct the spelling of Brian Stelter’s last name.]. Marshall Shepherd–former president of the American Meteorological Society and director of the atmospheric sciences department at the University of Georgia–to host a Sunday afternoon talk show called Weather Geeks, commonly stylized as WxGeeks.

WxGeeks is like the weather version of Tim Russert’s time at Meet the Press; it’s an incredible show that does its best to get deep into issues that affect the weather community and, subsequently, the global community at large. The network now spends 62.5% of the weekday–15 out of 24 hours–airing weather programming, beginning with (for now) Wake Up With Al at 5:00 AM and ending with Weather Underground at 8:00 PM Eastern.

A New Era (?)Weather Channel Ends Its Rumspringa, Decides It Wants to Focus on Weather After All

The first positive step The Weather Channel made on the long corrective arc back to its original focus was to hire Dr. It’s a lose-lose situation–they hurt their credibility and anger longtime fans by airing shows like Scruffy Huffing Woodsfest over live weather coverage, but it makes more financial sense to tone down live weather coverage–with a shelf life of, say, two hours–in favor of reality programming, which has lower overall costs, attracts more eyes, and has the shelf life of a mythical Twinkie.

The Weather Channel’s first long-form program was Storm Stories, which was a pretty good fit for the network at the time. The former is geared toward turning a profit, while the latter is expected to help deliver that profit by straddling a fine line to accurately and effectively relay weather information in a way that doesn’t make people fall asleep or turn off the TV.

How do they pay the bills and turn that profit? Reality programs. The program needs to be expanded to 45 minutes (or, better yet, an hour) to really reach its full potential.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the network took another leap toward its renewed weather geek identity with the premiere of Weather Underground, or WUTV for short, a show named after the wildly popular weather observation/forecast website it obtained back in 2012.

The two-hour program stars meteorologists Mike Bettes and Sarah Dillingham, founder Dr. Wake Up With Al lasted considerably longer–more than six years, in fact–but Roker’s popularity is so inextricably linked to his ongoing role at NBC’s Today Show that his star power never seemed to fully transfer over to his program on The Weather Channel.

The Shift

While most news stories will cover the fact that Sam Champion and Al Roker lost their shows, the biggest story buried in the news of the shake-up is that The Weather Channel plans to complete its shift back to a near-complete focus on the weather, a long-awaited move both in the weather community and among the general viewing public that just wants to know tomorrow’s forecast.

When the network began back in May 1982, the premise was simple: weather, whenever you want it. The show will continue in its morning slot without Sam Champion, who will go on to work in primetime and other roles.

Roker will likely remain associated with the network in some capacity in the future.

The cancellation of Wake Up With Al and Champion moving on from AMHQ isn’t too much of a surprise.

Wake Up On Your Own From Now OnBoth Al Roker and Sam Champion have seen their morning shows cancelled** in the past week, with the last airings for each scheduled within the next month or two. The History Channel slowly went from history to Hitler to the Harrisons, and The Weather Channel–once a force so powerful in America that it was the authority on weather–followed that same misguided path, eschewing the perpetual map briefings that turned them into a powerhouse to begin airing reality programs about pudgy beards, people anxiously ogling at rocks, and the foibles of a buncha rushin’, cussin’ truckers.

Though they weren’t the first cable network to stray away from the theme that’s in their very name, it seems that they’re going to be the first network to come back home to focus on what made them big to begin with.

Brian Stelter over at CNN reports that The Weather Channel is undergoing a “major shake-up” that involves show cancellations, a 3% layoff, and most importantly, a renewed focus on what they do best: the weather.

Email: | Twitter: @wxdam

If you enjoy The Vane, then you’ll love my upcoming book, The Extreme Weather Survival Manual, which comes out on October 6 and is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

The movies ended the following month, but the reality shows were just getting started.

Satellite FightThe Weather Channel is acutely aware of how much longtime viewers are annoyed by the network’s devotion to reality programming, and if they weren’t before, DirecTV sure as hell made them aware of it.

The satellite carrier replaced The Weather Channel with Denver-based competitor WeatherNation for a couple of months back in 2014 during a carriage dispute over the amount of fees The Weather Channel demanded in order for their network to appear on DirecTV’s lineup.

In the year or two before its dispute, The Weather Channel seemed to devote an obscene amount of time to non-weather programming. The Weather Channel’s slow decline in popularity began as the internet rose, and when smartphones took off, the network was faced with its first “adapt or die” moment.

The television channel’s new direction was sealed in the late 2000s when NBC Universal–along with several venture capital firms–purchased The Weather Channel and shook things up. Whether you were on your lunch break or awake at 2:30 AM with heartburn, you could flip to The Weather Channel and see a friendly, familiar face both presenting and explaining the day’s weather forecast.

This formula worked for years, especially during the channel’s peak in the 1990s, when it was the best thing on television. DirecTV CEO Mike White directly referenced this everything-but-weather era as a major reason they were holding out on a contract renewal:

A growing number of customers have complained that The Weather Channel devotes 40% of its programming day to reality shows, preempting the hard weather news they really want. Roker’s Wake Up With Al and Champion’s America’s Morning Headquarterswere somewhat analogous to the morning shows you’d catch on the big networks, with weather forecasts and information interspersed with lifestyle/human interest stories.

**Correction: David Clark, President of The Weather Channel, informed me after the publication of this post that America’s Morning Headquarters is not cancelled. Over the past year, Dr. Business Weather Channel naturally has different goals from Weather Weather Channel. During a severe weather outbreak on April 30, 2010, the network decided air a movie as scheduled instead of using the slot for live coverage of a tornado outbreak in the central United States. Despite the fanfare that surrounded Champion’s March 2014 arrival from ABC, America’s Morning Headquarters has struggled to attract viewers for most of its run. Shepherd and his dozens of guests have discussed topics like tornado sirens, the polar vortex, the role of social media in weather communication, and President Obama’s science agenda.

I say WxGeeks “does its best” to dive into these issues because the show limited to 30 minutes, which is more like 15 minutes when you account for several breaks for commercials and the Local on the 8s. The network got rid of numerous on-camera meteorologists who had been there for decades in a mass firing mournfully referred to as “The Purge.” Many of the very men and women who built the network’s image and lent the company decades of integrity suddenly found themselves out of a career, either for financial reasons (you build up a good paycheck working in TV for 20+ years), or, though they’ll never admit it, simply because they wanted to bring in fresh (read: younger) faces.


That was just the beginning.

Scruffy Huffing WoodsfestWeather Channel Ends Its Rumspringa, Decides It Wants to Focus on Weather After All

The battle for the soul of The Weather Channel comes down to the usual executive vs. Understandably angered by this decision, Jim Cantore publicly and loudly criticized his own network for what was likely the first (and only) time since he started there in the 1980s.

Weather Channel Ends Its Rumspringa, Decides It Wants to Focus on Weather After All

Weather Channel Ends Its Rumspringa, Decides It Wants to Focus on Weather After All

Years ago, The Learning Channel dumped learning in favor of Honey Boo Boo and a family led by a couple that doesn’t know how to just sit and talk at night. Over the next couple of years, they would add shows like Full Force Nature and It Could Happen Tomorrow before the sale to NBC Universal; both of these were good, weather-related programs that filled the gaps during slow weather days or when viewership was traditionally low.

In 2009, a year after NBC Universal took over the company, they made the decision to begin airing weather-themed movies on Friday nights, a shocking move at the time that was (correctly) called-out by viewers as a cheap ratings grab.

The movies didn’t last very long. editorial clash that any media company endures. Why should you pay for 100% weather information, and only receive it 60% of the time?

The jabs between the two companies got worse from there.

After a long and ugly public relations battle, The Weather Channel ultimately relented, agreeing to halve the amount of time it devotes to weather-adjacent programming

Teams That Could Win The Brazil 2014 World Cup

Some say that Messi did not do much in the 2010 edition of the World Cup, but I saw it differently. As of July of 2013 the country isranked number 3 in the world ahead of the continents powerhouses Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Think of Gotze, Ozil, Marc-Andre, Hummels, Muller, and Schrrle. Belgium has never won the World Cup and they will probably not be able to beat the top names on the list this time around, but their team is young and extremely talented; they are so talented that I would not be surprised if they reach the semi-finals and if they win it all in Russia in 2018. That was club play, but it shows you that Germany is a force for a reason.

Another reason Germany may take it all is that they are still loaded with young players that will keep them winning for a long time. The rest of the team has international playing experience so coach Alejandro Savella will have plenty to choose from.

If you feelsurprised by Belgium being on the list, then you have not been paying much attention to soccer lately. They still have players that could make a big difference like Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder.

You can never count out the Italians in international competition and next year will be no different. There is no real weakness in the team and the home fans will not have to go that far to cheer for them.

Belgium. This will also be the biggest international event for Neymar and the entire countrys hopes are on his shoulders. The team was mostly young in 2010 and they got really close to the finals. Other players to watch include Luiz Gustavo, Hulk, Filipe Luis, Marcelo and Daniel Alves.

As the World Cup picture begins to take shape, it becomes a lot easier to see which teams are the ones to watch in the biggest stage in international soccer competition. They have a generation of players with international experience and they are not afraid of the big teams.

Some of the players that soccer fans around the world will recognize are Mario Yepes, Pablo Armero, Fredy Guarin, Abel Aguilar, James Rodriguez, Camilo Zuiga, Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, Carlos Bacca and Luis Muriel and of course Radamel Falcao. Some of the players for Spain now include Xavi, Iniesta, Mata, Casillas, Torres, Villa and others. He was not scoring goals, but he was always getting involved in almost every goal opportunity for Argentina. They have a team that may not have a Messi or a Ronaldo, but they are a team that others fear. A healthy team is almost unbeatable. As of 2013 they are number 5 in the world and they were the runner ups on 2010. They could pull a surprise win, though the odds are not in their favor. Brazil is full of experienced and young superstars and they just beat Spain in the Confederations Cup Final. They have one of the best keepers in history with Buffon who is now 35 but is still expected to be the keeper next year. European soccer is known as effective and strong, but Brazilian play is almost like a dance on the field. Brazil is down to number 9 in the world rankings as of July 2013, but if you think that will mean much by the world cup, then you have another thing coming. The audience world-wide dwarf the audiences for the Super Bowl, the Major League Baseball World Series and the NBA Finals combined; even with those audiences only 32 teams will make it to the World Cup and here are the ones that you need to tune in to watch.

Other Teams With A Chance


Though the Spanish team number onein the world today, I believe that if a European team is going to win the World Cup in South America, then that will be Germany. Today they have a lot more experience and Bayern and Borussia Dortmund made the Real Madrid and Barcelona look like amateurs at the Champions League. Some of the best names in the team are Van Buyten, Vincent Kompany, Vermaelen, Nainggolan, Lukaku and Mirallas.

The Netherlands is the country that has been closer to winning the title without ever doing so. A team of youngsters is enough to get the Germans to the semi-finals, but when you add Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Beck and the rest of the squad they just become too dominant.


The Netherlands


Colombia is not a team with a lot of history in World Cup matches. Also joining him are very talented veterans like Maggio, Aquilani, Pirlo, De Rossi and bright young star Mario Balotelli.


Spain is the defending champion and ranked number one by FIFA and with good reason. That bad history could disappear nextyear as they have what experts call their best team in the countrys history. The reason that is important is that both teams went with their first squad to it and the Confederations Cup was held in Brazil, just like the World Cup 2014 will be.

Another reason the home team will be one of the better ones to watch is that their style of play is one of the most entertaining ones. Argentina

If you are playing in South America, and you have LionelMessi in your squad then you automatically become one of the favorites to win it all. Clearly if the Argentinian team is going to get back to its glory days their captain needs to score, but he will have a great cast around him for 2014.

Messi will have with him players like Mascherano, Angel di Maria, Benega, Biglia, Augusto Fernandez, Sergio Agero, Gonzalo Higuan and Cristian Alverz. It is no wonder that they are the favorites to win every game, but the question in peoples minds is how they will get to the World Cup. They have never won it all; in fact they have not even qualified since 1998. The one thing to remember however is that as good as the Spanish team is never has a European team won a World Cup played in the Americas.Brazil

A lot of people are saying that Brazil is not what it once wasand to a certain degree they are right

How to Say Happy Birthday in French

And while France had a little colony here and there in all parts of the world, their most important colonies were in Northern Africa, which was their biggest stronghold.

Even today, we see traces of the French culture in these countries, (notice how the country Ivory Coast has a French name – Cte d’Ivoire?) and a lot of their names are still French. Now I have some good news and some bad news. Due to France’s aggressive colonization of several parts of the world, their language was imposed on many people in many parts of the world. Add to that, the French language remains one of the most widely taught languages in the world, due to their impeccable education system, and the French culture remains one of the most looked up to cultures as well. And, as is the case with any language, it is also a very enriching experience.

~ (bahn anni ver say aa twa)

Joyeux Anniversaire!

Twisted, isn’t it! It’ll take you a good part of an hour to wrap your head around these words. I’m sure that at the end of it, you’re going to say jaw ey yux anni ver sae re, which is completely wrong! Now, this will confuse your French friends to no end and make you look pretty silly in front of them. A little crazy tip. It is also one which is delightfully rich in those little regional variations in grammar and composition, colloquialisms and pronunciations, which makes it more fun to learn and explore. And at the end of it, you’ll end up saying something ridiculously different. This phrase is actually pronounced as jho yu ani ver say. But, let’s not lose sight of our goal here. If you want to really get the right twang in your French pronunciations, just picture Jacques Clouseau or Arsene Wenger (if you’re into English soccer) speaking! But for now, here are a few more ways on how to say and pronounce happy birthday in French.

Bonne Anniversaire! ~ bahn anni ver say Bonne Fete (Canadian French) ~ bahn fet Birthday Song

Now, let us learn how to sing the birthday song in French!. Anyway, here are different ways of wishing someone on their birthday in French.

Bon Anniversaire a toi,

Bon Anniversaire a toi,

Bon Anniversaire (name of your friend),

Bon Anniversaire a toi

French is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. The bad part is that pronouncing them can be a teeny-weeny bit of a hassle. My point is that you will definitely come across a French person or someone who speaks French at some point in time.

As you can see, French is a language pretty difficult to learn. Good news is that learning the words to Happy Birthday in French is remarkably easy. Now, if you’ve seen the movie Pink Panther starring Steve Martin, you will realize that the French have particularly wonky pronunciations

Report: Juventus Ready To Accept Manchester United Player In Swap Deal For Arturo Vidal.

According to the Daily Express, the Serie A title holders are ready to let Arturo Vidal go in exchange for Juan Mata in a straight swap deal.

“Against Roma he [Vidal] was on the bench because I needed, with the return of [Andrea] Pirlo, a more tactical player like [Claudio] Marchisio. Apart from the fine for his actions, this might lead Manchester United manager van Gaal to take the change to persuade the Italians to sell the Chilean. They need to understand what they cannot afford to do, especially nowadays with cell phones and photographers everywhere,” Allegri said according to ( Caught Off Side . . The Chilean has fallen out with Juventus after he was fined for arriving late for training because he spent the night before in a nightclub with his cousins up to 5:30 am.

With his behaviour, Vidal is set for an imminent exit and Juventus is willing to make a direct swap for him after his boss, Massimiliano Allegri has publicly chastised him according to the Daily Star.

According to ( Gazetta Dello Sport , Vidal wasn’t dropped because of the incident and Allegri is already over the issue despite rumours intensifying the possible transfer of Vidal.

Arturo Vidal was dropped by Allegri for Juventus’ key battle with title rivals AS Roma.

Juventus has given Manchester United the clear go to have a swap deal if and only if Louis van Gaal is willing. Thus far, the Chilean midfielder continues to recover from a recent knee injury.

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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.

Copyright 2014 Gale, Cengage Learning. Over the course of his three seasons in Turin, Vidal has been a key performer during which time Juventus secured three consecutive Serie A titles, but evidently those stats do not save him from being punished for breaking the rules of the club. All rights reserved.

It is no secret that the Manchester United boss, van Gaal has been interested to take Arturo Vidal in his team and this deal could be his chance. Every now and then boys do stupid things