Weather Channel Cancels Al Roker’s Show Amid Rumors He Pushed For Coverage on 10th Anniversary of Katrina
Al Roker’s Weather Channel show has been cancelled. Since 2009, Roker has done double duty as weather man for the popular Today Show on NBC, as well as hosting his own show, Wake Up WIth Al, on the Weather Channel.
The decision to cancel the show may have been caused by Roker’s disagreement with management over their decision not to cover the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. News Blues reports that Roker had a heated exchange with Weather Channel management via email. Roker questioned their decision to focus resources on Tropical Storm Erika in Florida over New Orleans.
“I don’t understand why Steph [Abrams] and I aren’t together on the actual anniversary day of Katrina’s landfall [in New Orleans]. There is nothing happening Saturday in Florida,” said Roker in an email printed by News Blues. “We will have a phalanx of people talking about a storm Saturday that our graphic will show is not possibly making landfall till Monday… if then. Viewers aren’t stupid. They can see when potential landfall is, assuming it holds together. In the meantime, there are a lot of stories to tell about Katrina while pivoting to Erika.”
Roker also took a swing at management in his email.
“The reason we are in the trouble we’re in is an intransigence of management when it comes to a decision and an unwillingness to pivot,” Roker said in an email.
The Weather Channel seems to be going through some internal problems. Meteorologist Vivian Brown recently announced she was leaving after 30 years with the channel.
“It is with great disappointment that I have to announce that this is my last TV broadcast on the Weather Channel. I don’t know exactly where I’m going next,” Brown said. “I am saying goodbye, for now.”
Some news sources say the reason Roker’s show was axed may have more to do with the fact that it’s based in New York, but most of the Weather Channel’s operations are based in Atlanta. According to CNN, management said producing the show in New York was extremely costly.
Roker has a full plate of activity.He also has a production company, writes books and has been experimenting with a show on the social media platform, Meerkat.
“I’m proud of what our ‘Wake Up With Al’ team brought to the Weather Channel and completely understand the decision to move all shows to Atlanta,” Roker said. “I look forward to continuing to partner with the Channel on-air and through my production company on future traditional and digital projects.”
The Weather Channel has recently seen a huge drop in its valuation.
“As of June 30, Comcast valued its stake in the Weather Channel at only $86 million, down from $335 million at the end of last year,” reported The Wall Street Journal.
According to The WSJ, The Weather Channel’s owners, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, are looking to sell the company as changing technology threatens its business model. The Weather Channel has been dropped by Verizon’s FIOS TV service, who claim users are going online and turning to apps to find weather information. Nielsen also reported The Weather Channel had lost 11 percent of its subscribers. The number of subscribers has dropped from 100 million to 89.7 million households who subscribe to pay TV.