Byron Allen has turned to NBCUniversal and Nexstar alum Tom O’Brien to serve as president of the Weather Channel, the cable stalwart that Allen’s Entertainment Studios acquired for $300 million last March.
O’Brien replaces Dave Shull, who left the company in October after serving as president-CEO of the Atlanta-based company since 2016. O’Brien will oversee all television and digital operations for the cable channel and its Local Now streaming service (the Weather Channel-branded digital app service was acquired by IBM in 2015).
O’Brien has also been appointed exec VP of Allen Media LLC, the parent company of Entertainment Studios, which is privately held by Allen.
“I have known and worked with Tom for 25 years, and he is a phenomenal addition to the Weather Channel and our Entertainment Studios family,” said Allen, who is founder, chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios. “Tom’s extensive corporate leadership experience across broadcast, cable, and digital platforms makes him the ideal executive to join our team as we continue to grow our global media and technology company.”
O’Brien comes to Weather Channel after spending the past six years with TV station owner Nexstar Media Group as exec VP of digital media and chief revenue officer. Before that O’Brien worked at NBCUniversal for 14 years. He served as general manager of NBC–owned stations in Dallas, Connecticut and New York, and then became exec VP and chief revenue officer for CNBC.
“This is a unique opportunity to help lead the most trusted and number one weather news brand in America,” O’Brien said. “The Weather Channel’s track record of success as an industry leader in innovation, advanced science, and technology is simply the best. Our primary goal is to protect and save lives as we continue to reach new audiences and provide an integral service to people across this country.”