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Weather Channel names new CEO

Kelly was former topper at AOL Media Networks

The job forecast has turned sunny for Michael Kelly.

Kelly, the former topper of AOL Media Networks, has been named president-CEO of the Weather Channel. He will be responsible for strategic direction for the network, website and mobile content.

“What I bring is the perspective on how to harness digital going forward,” Kelly told Daily Variety. “I wouldn’t be interested in the job if I didn’t think there was room for growth.”

The network — along with popular supporting website Weather.com– was bought by NBC Universal and a group of private equity companies in July 2008 for $3.5 billion. The Peacock is slowly incorporating Weather Channel programming into the fold.

Monday morning the net launched “Wake Up With Al,” starring “Today” show weatherman Al Roker. Weekday series, co-hosted by Stephanie Abrams, will examine local weather scenarios, as well as feature stories based upon an area’s meteorological forecast.

“Suffice to say, there is terrific traction with the NBC-Weather Channel relationship,” Kelly explained. “NBC is growing this audience, and they’re very passionate about it.”

Weather Channel is available in 99 million homes, and the website attracts 41.5 monthly unique visitors.

Kelly served at AOL from 2004-07 and was most recently an adviser to a private equity fund. Previously, he worked on the sales side at Time Inc. for 17 years.

Lisa Gersh, president of strategic initiatives at NBC Universal, was running Weather Channel before Kelly’s hire.

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