Weather Channel nixes "Forecast Earth", including Cullen

UPDATE: 11/25 I now have word from a reputable source close to TWC that Cullen was indeed part of the layoff. – Anthony

I’ve been following this story since yesterday, but the details kept being somewhat nebulous. Since WaPo has it, I’ve decided it is safe to consider reasonably accurate now. It looks like TWC has ditched their entire environmental unit, and possibly also host Heidi Cullen, who once said:

“If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming.” “Meteorologists are among the few people trained in the sciences who are permitted regular access to our living rooms. And in that sense, they owe it to their audience to distinguish between solid, peer-reviewed science and junk political controversy.” “If a meteorologist can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn’t give them a Seal of Approval.”

Needless to say, I and many other current and former TV meteorologists took exception to the issue. I posted on it almost two years ago here.

weather_channel_heidi_cullen.jpg

TWC’s Heidi Cullen

From the Washington Post: (h/t to Jason Samenow)

NBC Fires Weather Channel Environmental Unit

Some on-camera meteorologists also let go

*A very cold evening: PM forecast update*

NBC Universal made the first of potentially several rounds of staffing cuts at The Weather Channel (TWC) on Wednesday, axing the entire staff of the “Forecast Earth” environmental program during the middle of NBC’s “Green Week”, as well as several on-camera meteorologists. The layoffs totaled about 10 percent of the workforce, and are the first major changes made since NBC completed its purchase of the venerable weather network in September.

Keep reading for more on The Weather Channel cuts…

The layoffs affected about 80 people, but left the long-term leadership of the network unclear, according to a source who requested anonymity due to the continuing uncertainty at the station.

Among the meteorologists who was let go was Dave Schwartz, a Weather Channel veteran and a viewer staple due to his lively on camera presentations. USA Today reported that meteorologists Cheryl Lemke and Eboni Deon were also let go.

The timing of the Forecast Earth cancellation was ironic, since it came in the middle of NBC’s “Green is Universal” week, during which the network has been touting its environmental coverage across all of its platforms. Forecast Earth normally aired on weekends, but its presumed last episode was shown on a weekday due to the environmentally-oriented week.

Forecast Earth was hosted by former CNN anchor Natalie Allen, with contributions from climate expert Heidi Cullen. It was the sole program on TWC that focused on global climate change, which raises the question of whether the station will still report on the subject. Cullen’s future role at the network is not known.

By Andrew Freedman |  November 21, 2008; 5:00 PM ET

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Novoburgo

Gee, I’m going to miss Heidi. Heidi who?

Anthony, has TWC contacted you about filling in their credibility gap, now that Cullen’s hubris has been sent packing and the New & Improved Ice Age is just around the corner?

Leon Brozyna

Here’s a shocking thought.
Perhaps they’ll quit the propaganda areana and start presenting useful weather information and forecasts.
And in this tough economy perhaps the greenies will discover that they’ll be the first to be let go. We can only hope.

Robert in Calgary

I’m hoping it includes Heidi. She’s earned it.
I also won’t be surprised if there’s someone higher up who’s sweet on her and saves her.

Pete

Perhaps this means they are going replace the group with some naturalists.
I seriously think that TWC could really get some interest and make some money with a educationally oriented natural climate cycle program.
They don’t need to focus on CO2 to have an extremely interesting program. Also, by being the 1st to change gears they would take any early ratings lead and add tremendous credibility.
This is a no-brainer automatic winner for them and I won’t even ask for a commission fee.

barbee butts

In this context, I believe it is time that we educate ourselves and the rest of the population as to what the definition of the word “Science” is.
Lately it seems that we are confusing Science with Science Fiction (made-up-stuff) and Fantasy (wishful-thinking).
The work Anthony has done has opened my eyes. In the case of climate records and such…specifically the Severonson Screen placement limitations as a RESULT of ‘certain’ improvements.
It appears that they (GISS) had embraced a new and improved technology that has ultimately proved to produce less accurate results than the more primitive, old-fashioned technology. From what I have read here, this is a fact and GISS has admitted it as fact.
It’s what happened next that annoys me most. Does GISS ditch the faulty data gathering technique and return to the more reliable technique? NOPE!!! Not a chance.
In response, they start massaging the data, adjusting the data, re-reporting the data and even go so far as the alter the data compiled from the earlier and more accurate and reliable methods. This is mind-boggling to me. I believe that this is entering into the realm of Fantasy.
Not to pick on GISS exclusively…where it comes to sun spots, we seem to be having difficulty counting to “ONE”. (FYI: ‘one’ is more than zero yet less than TWO.)
Who am I? I am a know-nothing, nobody peasant of the realm. But what I do know is that I would PREFER to get my daily dose of Sci-Fi and Fantasy from the likes of Orsen Scott Card or Terry Goodkind… Not GISS, NASA et al.
Thanks for the chance to rant-but who can we trust? What can we trust?

Andy Schlei

Dave Schwartz? He was my favorite anchor. A sad day.

Martin M

As a private pilot I would tune into TWC to get the overall weather picture prior to calling in for a formal briefing. I was subsequently turned off by all the AGW propaganda. It’s really to bad too. Since I live in Southern California, where we don’t have real weather, when traveling I need the information. As Joe Friday used to say “just the facts mam”. Is that really too much to ask?

Bob B

Maybe now I’ll start watching the Weather Channel again.

Tom

Heidi Cullen is gone. Long live the first ammenment. This is the fraud who wanted to have all TV meteorologist who didn’t profess allegiance to her version of the Global warming hoax have their AMS Seal Of Approval yanked.
What goes around, comes around. Dr. Cullen, learn civility in the unemployment line. The real world is getting very tough and people have little patience for sanctamony.

Kate

I’ll miss Dave Schwartz. When he got graveyard shift duty he was always a pleasure to watch. Not exactly a gentleman’s gentleman (he would on occasion say some racy stuff) but he always presented the weather with a style that was all his own.
Now all the up and comers at TWC are a bunch of stiffs with no character. Who could ever forget all those priceless moments on TWC when Santa visited John Hope, a man that must be turning in the grave right now….
The weather on TWC was always fun to watch. Now if they’re not trying to scare you with global warming they’re playing endless drivel such as epic conditions, or when weather changed history or storm stories. That’s what ruined the weather channel. Just like MTV diverting away from music and involving themselves exclusively in pop/’urban’ culture. Why flaw a thriving business with distractions? The weather channel was just that. Weather. Now you’re lucky to even catch the weather while watching.
I’ll also never forget earlier in the year when TWC had a hurricanes 2008 discussion forum with Steve Lyons, Jim Cantore and ‘Abrams and Bettes’. Stephanie Abrams said something absolutely assinine when the conversation moved to global warming and hurricanes. It went something like this:
“Imagine if a hurricane went over 100 degree waters in the Gulf of Mexico, went across Florida then up the East Coast and hit New York City as a category 5?!?!”
I was watching that show with some interest until that little hallucination upon which I quickly turned the station. Absurd.

John Goetz

Turnabout…an alarmist lost her job?

Apparently Dennis Smith who anchored the very first segment on TWC when they premiered in 1982 was also let go, which was very sad to hear.

George E. Smith

Maybe with Heidi out of the picture, the Oakland Raiders might be able to score touchdowns; Heidi was their undoing.

A very well respected British weatherman died recently, his name was Jack Scott. He didn’t engage in gimmicks, just did his homework and presented the results in a clear, informative and friendly manner.
It is said that one day he was accosted in a corridor with the words “Jack, I’m due to play golf this afternoon, what’s the weather going to be?” Jack walked to the window, looked out at the sky and replied “It looks fine to me.”
Forget hocus-pocus, forget being Nostradamus and always rely on the best possible evidence – observation.
REPLY: Observation and measurment trumps theory any day of the week and twice of Sunday. Which is why I travel to remote places to get photos of weather stations for quality control assessment. – Anthony

Patrick Henry

Apparently they took her literally when she said “weather isn’t climate.”

INC

Kate, my thoughts are similar to yours. I used to avidly watch the Weather Channel until Heidi and “Forecast Earth” took over. It also seemed as if every time I wanted to see what was actually gong on with the weather, instead there would always be a special program on.
Dave Schwartz is personable and entertaining. I seem to remember when some newbie (was it Eboni?) first started, she was on with Dave. The newbie was so nervous, but Dave seemed to be especially trying to put her at ease.

Heidi Cullen Got Culled. Yay!!!
PS. Normally I’m not happy when someone loses their job, but in this case I’ll make an exception.

JP

NBC didn’t buy TWC unless TWC could be a decent profit center. The downturn in the capital markets, increased unemployment, and a recession that will last at least another 12 months mean that every advertising dollar must count. AGW or Climate Change (as it has morphed into the last 24 months) is a loser as far as advertising revenues are concerned. Most people who periodically tune into TWC are not in the least bit interested in meteorology or the cat fights concerning Climate Science. The kind of contention that Heidi Cullen created a few years ago is a killer for ratings and advertising dollars. With the Internet and instant weather that can be relayed to one’s Internet devices, the TWC is under increasing competition.
Such large scale lay-offs only mirror lost revenue that the TWC either has incurred or wil incur in the near future. The Alarmists have over played thier hand – both in academia and in the market of public opinion. The entire Green Movement does not automatically equate into revenue, as many like NBC are finding out. When one considers that much of the Green Agenda will be painful to many( mandates forced on an unsuspecting public), it could end up being a sure way to shut off revenue.

Mike McMillan

Tom (15:42:10) :
Dr. Cullen, learn civility in the unemployment line.
Unemployment? Not a chance –
“And that’s it fer the commodity prices on KLOD TV’s ‘Farm Report with Abner Ferkle.’ Now here’s KLOD’s own Doctor Heidi Cullen with the weather. Still good fer plantin’, Doc? You been predictin’ warmer weather fer a long time, now.”
A switch to the anti-AGW side by TWC would generate huge controversy, and controversy is good for ratings. NBC shareholders would appreciate it.

JP et al — I wouldn’t count on ‘fair and balanced’ programming from NBC. Leap not to wishful conclusions. Their track record is what it is.

Mike Kelley

If there is a God, Heidi Cullen will end up giving blizzard warnings on some little tv station in Grand Forks or Duluth. Maybe the Weather Channel will become watchable again.

MattN

Glad to see Heidi was shown the door. Too bad about Dave. He was one of the better ones.

Brooklyn Red Leg

She got canned? Good. Couldn’t have happened to a more vile Luddite. [snip] If only someone at NASA would have the cajones to fire Hansen and then toss him to the wolves to be torn to shreds in litigous court battles.
REPLY: it is uncertain yet if she was part of the layoff. – Anthony

Jack Simmons

George E. Smith (16:08:58) :

Maybe with Heidi out of the picture, the Oakland Raiders might be able to score touchdowns; Heidi was their undoing.

Come on George, seas rising 20 feet in two weeks, our children perishing in clouds of dust from global warming, but … Oakland Raiders scoring a touchdown?
I have to draw the line somewhere between plausible scenarios and outright fantasies.
Just tune in this Sunday and watch the game and see if the Raiders can score a touchdown.
Go Broncos!!!!
It’s a little sad to see the Raiders where they are today. In the old days the word was, “Here come the Raiders, lock up the women and children and hide the hubcaps”.
Now?
Sad.
Soon, we will feel the same way about the alarmist.
If they don’t wreck the economy first.
Except the economy has already been wrecked. With a bunch of people who had their own little computer models of derivatives and computer calculations of the value of all those junk loans and so forth.
So it doesn’t matter.
A little sense of irony here isn’t there?
Isn’t computer science wonderful?
I really long for the days of the giant electronic brain.

Bill Illis

TWC was good when we didn’t all have ready access through the internet to real-time weather data like local radar.
It became bad when it stopped doing weather and took on more of the MTV mode of not actually reporting on weather/providing music videos and more on global warming specials/Paris Hilton’s My New BFF.

Robert Wood

On another positive note, World Climate Report has become active again. Pay a visit http://www.worldclimatereport.com/
Two years ago, I wondered at my luck to discover this site; “I was not alone” I thought. Then it went quiet. Idly, I popped over today to discover it has become active again, for a month or so.
It has Patrick Michaels contributing. Worth the time.
What is it about Canadians and climate that makes Canadians so contrarian WRT global warming? Could it be the Canadian climate? Here it is where I live http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/caon0512 … an dit’s still mid-November … grrrrr

Jeff L

Surprising as NBC is a sub of GE – major supplier of wind turbines – ie they have a stake in the green game. I really assumed when they bought TWC that was the whole play – as propaganda arm for their green businesses. Apparently not. Bravo NBC & GE!
I am encouraged by this. I think this is telling. Here’s my interpretation : the average Joe could give a rat’s a** about “climate change” (ie the ratings sucked with current programming) – if they turn on TWC – they want a forecast & weather info. Period. I think it follows that although popular media makes it appear that everyone is on the green bandwagon, the reality is that most aren’t. This is good. Not that I am for trashing the planet – I am just for a reasonable dialog on costs & benefits. If the majority (this is still a democracy) believe the benefits are worth the cost (and of course assuming a legitimate & open debate of the science says there is any benefits at all, in the case of AGW), then that’s the way it goes. But, this whole shove it down your throat, no debate, ad hom attacks if you disagree with me, all politics, no science approach just doesn’t work for me – whether is AGW or any other scientific subject that the average Joe probably cant begin to comprehend.

tarpon

OK, got to say it, is it getting too cold to keep the hot hoax going?
Does anybody even care about global warming anymore? When surveys are done, global warming doesn’t even twitch the meter. People seem to have figured out it’s just a tax scam, like the tobacco settlement was.

Robert Morris

Sit by the river long enough…

Dr. Cullen still has her link with Climate Central, http://www.climatecentral.org/team.html . The site says “Look for our full site coming in 2009” so maybe she’ll be working more with them, whatever they are.

Brian D

Hey, now Mike Kelly, don’t be wishing for Heidi to come my way. We may be northern rednecks, but were not into that kinda of kinky stuff. LOL
If she did end up here, she’d be rethinking Global Warming pretty fast with a couple Winters under her belt.
Local met said we’re about 4 weeks ahead of schedule for this weather we are having. December, and January are going to get rough around here.
Yah, sure, you bet! Toivo, throw another log on the fire, ayy!
Take off, ayy!
Yah, to the Great White North, ayy.
We already live there, ayy.
Yah, sure, you bet!

Graeme Rodaughan

Have they run out of money to publicise AGW or What? Don’t tell me that Al Gore has already spent his $300M of propaganda funds???

Tom

Bingo Jeff! In a nutshell…Also, Al gore won’t take an official role in The Obama administration. in theory, this would be perfect, with direct contact with the EPA circumvented by executive authority by Obama and immediate access for GOre. But then, hmm, what would be the hangup?..Oh yes , he would have to divulge his personal finaces and his participation in the green venture capital firm that just happened to be held by shearson Leaman and invlved swap credits. BTW I’m a formet Weather channel on air met. You should investigate what we call “The Penn State Mafia” and the connection to Sarbaines of maryland.

OT: from solarcycle24.com
Solar Update
11/22/2008 by Kevin VE3EN at 03:00
The sun remains blank for the fourth day in a row and solar activity will remain at very low levels.
The month of November has a sunspot number average of 6.7. Although being small, this is the biggest average since March and consists of only Cycle 24 activity.

Tom

The AOis negative and we have weak la Nina and low solar. Also a west QBO.
The Northeast gets crushed by a three day noreaster next week, after being twenty degrees below normal this weekend. Then , arctic air returns and huge Greenland block inverts and noses down east of Hudson Bay. the entire east Coast becomes vulnerable to a December blizzard. I hope Obama is greeted by blowing and drifting snow, 10 degrees f with a howling northwest wind.
Tom

Frank K.

I wrote an e-mail to the Weather Channel after the Heidi Cullen “if a meteorologist can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn’t give them a Seal of Approval” debacle. They never responded and so I stopped watching them on TV and visiting their website. I get my weather forecasts from the internet now anyway, so TWC is largely irrelevant. Plus, with Anthony and WUWT, who needs Forecast Earth??!!

evanjones

I got zinged a couple of times for quoting the Heidster last March.

I’ll miss Cheryl Lemke..heard she got the ax, too…
Good riddance to Heidi…wasn’t a Forecast Earth fan at all….
http://www.cookevilleweatherguy.com

NBC is losing money because their audience is declining and I am sure their advertising dollars are falling so as a result TWC takes a hit. Their owner GE is also in trouble with poor leadership. I was turned off by Heidi’s droll delivery of balderdash and never watched again!
I wonder if she’s hedging her AGW theology with heavy winter clothing and inspecting possible sled dogs for transportation. She wouldn’t dare purchase a polluting snowmobile.

Mike C

Think about it folks, Joe 6-pack sits on his recliner, his back sore from shoveling snow… and here’s Heidi yapping about the Earth boiling… up comes the remote and down go TWC ratings.

evanjones

Hey, Anthony. Another honorable mention for your scrapbook.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/21/the-killer-frost-for-global-warming/

Louis Hissink

Anthony,
Welcome to 1984.

Frederick Davies

Once again the financial crisis saves us from AGW nutters; there might be something good to say about all these banking mess after all 😉

Pierre Gosselin

Well, the US East seems to be in a cold spell, Western Europe is getting snow. In the flatlands of northern Germany we woke up this morning with 3 inches of snow…last time I recall a snow this early was 18 years ago.
Seems like the table has turned on Ms Cullen. Looks like she’s been on the junk science band wagon, and not us sceptics.
GOOD RIDDANCE to ideologue driven science!

Pierre Gosselin

SC 23 speck
on the right side of the sun?

JimB

Unfortunately, I don’t believe this action had much to do with people not tuning in for the ACC agenda, as it did with people just not tuning in, period.
As many have posted, they just can’t compete with other sources that are delivered in an “on-demand” fashion, and tailored to a specific individual’s needs. This is the same battle printed media are facing. I’m always amazed when I hear a headline “Readership is down at the ____ Daily Times for the 3rd consecutive quarter!” Of course it’s down. How could it NOT be down, with more and more people turning to the convenience of other sources?
The only reason left for people to tune into TWC is to witness first hand major storm damage. Without that……who cares?
Jim

MattN

Is this a sign of the beginning of the end (of AGW alarmism)?

hunter

If this report holds up as accurate, this could be a good example of how to unwind from AGW:
Breakup the propaganda groups that inflame and and manipulate public opinion.
Neutralizing the real profiteers, like Gore and Hansen, will be much more challenging.
A good next step would be to do strong looks at why the GISS product is crap.
It could be done as an expose on wasteful government spending.
Another would be to explore how people who are selling ideas can easily manipulate numbers to rationalize to others why what they are selling should be bought.

M White