Looking to bulk up its weather prowess, WCBS New York has signed cable weather specialist the Weather Channel to be its on-air forecasting partner.
The deal gives WCBS meteorologists access to Weather Channel's data, meteorologists and experts. In exchange, the station will give Weather Channel access to its radar and local weathercasters.
WCBS used Sept. 5, the night of Katie Couric's debut as new anchor of The CBS Evening News, to debut its new weather brand, dubbed CBS 2 Weather Channel Forecast and the station promoted the partnership heavily on-air.
“This unprecedented partnership assures CBS 2 viewers that they are getting the most advanced technology, top weather experts and the best weather coverage in the business,” said WCBS President/GM Peter Dunn said in a statement.
Such a deal is unusual for the Weather Channel, which has been trying to build its own local businesses. In several markets, Weather Channel has launched a second channel called Weatherscan, carried on cable systems, that provides local forecasts and traffic updates. On the Weather Channel's own air, local forecasts air six times per hour.
But partnering up with local media outlets is not unprecedented for the Landmark Communications-owned channel. The Weather Channel Radio Network provides weather information to 530 stations throughout the country.