AccuWeather Expands Into National Television Market With 24/7 Network Based in State College
by Michael Martin Garrett
State College’s “best kept secret” is getting harder and harder to keep.
AccuWeather founder and president Joel Myers says his company expanded into a major new market on Tuesday. Verizon’s FiOS television service dropped the Weather Channel, and picked up the brand new AccuWeather Network in its place.
“It’s amazing to think about a national network emanating from State College. Most other channels are based in LA or New York or other big cities,” Myers says. “Now, right here in State College, Pennsylvania, we have a 24/7 channel serving the entire country. In some ways, AccuWeather is the best kept secret in State College.”
Myers says the AccuWeather Network is his company’s major television debut. Until now, AccuWeather has served about 1.3 billion people across the globe through mobile and digital formats, and by providing content to newspapers and other media outlets.
The channel will come in a regular and a high definition version, and will follow major national and regional weather stories with live coverage. Most importantly, Myers says this is just the beginning, because the network will “constantly evolve to improve our service for our customers.”
In a statement released Tuesday, Weather Channel representatives say they are “surprised” and “disappointed” by Verizon’s decision not to renew its contract.
In an email sent to Verizon FiOS customers on Tuesday, Verizon says it is “pleased” to make the announcement about the AccuWeather Network. In the email, Verizon acknowledges the importance of digital and multimedia platforms for accessing weather in the modern day.
“This is the natural evolution of the company’s distribution channels. We’ve worked with radio, newspapers, digital and mobile service, but this was the one area we weren’t in,” Myers says. “The company is super pumped up about this.”
Myers says the idea for an AccuWeather channel was announced a year ago, but development and contract negotiations with Verizon were “kept under wraps.” He says the channel has added new jobs to the company’s headquarters in State College, as they had to bring more people aboard to run the network.
As proud as Myers is to see the way his brainchild has grown into an industry leader, he says much of the credit goes to his hardworking colleagues and employees. He also says Verizon was extremely helpful in making the AccuWeather Network a reality.
But for Myers, the focus is ultimately “all weather, all the time.” For him, providing an accurate forecast is a way to help people better plan and live their lives.
“I think this new reach will benefit a lot of people,” Myers says. “There are so many people who already benefit from the forecasts and the accuracy we provide.”
Editor’s note: Joel Myers is the father of Dan Myers, Onward State’s publisher.