In the first NAB since The Weather Company (TWC) purchased Weather Central last year, TWC will be highlighting some of the advantages of the combined operations, demoing a number of major upgrades to its products, and unveiling a new logo, said Mark Gildersleeve, president of WSI: The Professional Division of The Weather Company in a pre-NAB interview.
As part of their efforts to combine the operations, Gildersleeve noted that WSI will become the lead brand at TWC for professional weather products and that they have launched a new logo. But he stressed that the Weather Central brand is not going to immediately disappear and that TWC is committed to supporting and significantly improving products from both WSI and Weather Central.
“Last August when we announced WSI and Weather Central coming together, we promised our clients – those on the Weather Central platforms, and those on the WSI platforms- not only that we would continue to support and develop on both platforms, but also that we would carryover the best data and features from each platform across to the other platform so that they would have the best of both worlds,” he noted.
As an example of their commitment to supporting and improving both platforms, he noted that they’ve taken the best technology from each company to enhance all their products.
“At NAB, we are showing Max Studio- which leverages all the great advantages of the Weather Central platform in terms of interactivity,” he said. “Likewise, we are showing social on Weather Central Fusion - leveraging WSI capabilities.”
He also noted that they have drawn on technologies from both operations to introduce new products.
One of them is Max Studio, a new interactive solution allows on-air talent to interact with graphic content, data video and maps while remaining on-air in chromakey or using a touchscreen device.
In addition, they were demoing Fusion Social, a new tool to strengthen social media efforts for the Fusion platform.
In terms of overall strategy, the company is pushing to provide broadcasters with more tools to strengthen their online, mobile and social media operations.
“Over 90% of adults consume weather at least weekly- for most adults, it is content they consume multiple times per day on various devices,” he noted. “Broadcasters have done a great job maintaining, and in fact growing share of the weather audience on TV. But the average broadcaster only has around one third of that TV audience share on web, and around 12% of that TV share on mobile. As eyeballs have shifted from TV to digital and social platforms, the typical broadcaster has lost share of the total weather audience in their DMA. Our mission is to help broadcasters gain back that share.”