Newsplex forecasts: 24-7 weather channel
Not content with four channels– CBS, ABC, Fox and the nostalgia-based MyC'villeTV– the Gray Television-owned Newsplex plans to launch a 24-7 weather channel in mid-August.
The new channel "will mirror what you see on the Weather Channel with a lot more regional and local news," says Roger Burchett, Newsplex general manager. National and international weather will cover hot spots favored by traveling Charlottesvillians, like New York, London, and even Atlanta, where Gray Television is headquartered.
Burchett promises frequent local weather on the twos or on the fours– the exact intervals TBD– but there will be catchy slogans to help remember when to catch local weather.
Officially named the CBS19 News Weather Authority, the new channel will have local news updates and constant crawls with news and sports.
Burchett doesn't know what number the new station will occupy, but he says it will go out digitally and on cable.
A 24-hour weather station seems pretty ambitious for a lowly number 182 market, but according to Burchett, "Gray Television set the tone. Gray already has eight stations that do 24-7 weather. It's new ground for this region and market size. For a small market, it's a pretty big pop."
So with 24 hours of weather to fill, does that mean meteorologists suddenly will be in high demand? The Newsplex already has four, and could hire another, says Burchett, but will also use AccuWeather talent for national and international weather.
What about the snappy jazz that the Weather Channel favors– will the CBS19 News Weather Authority have a similar groove?
"I don't know," says Burchett. "It could be local bands. We'll take a look."
And this weather channel– the fifth Gray channel here– isn't the last new channel we'll be seeing. "We're about halfway where we're going to be in two years," says Burchett.
Holy Toledo. What could possibly be added for our viewing pleasure that we already don't watch on cable and satellite? Burchett lists a Spanish-speaking station, a 24-hour entertainment station, music stations, and financial news networks.
Get those TiVos ready.