If the winds are shifting around cable-news in the aftermath of the 2020 election, Fox News Media intends to cover them: The company plans to launch an advertising-supported streaming weather service in the third quarter of 2021.
Fox Weather will debut initially as a mobile app next year, accompanied by a website and streaming service that features local, regional and national weather updates, as well as live programming. The new outlet will make use of personnel from across Fox News and TV stations owned by its parent, Fox Corporation, including 75 meteorologists based at 17 stations and and Fox News newsgathering operations. The service will be based at a New York weather center and utilize the station’s radar network, the latest graphics technology and forecasting experts who will hone in on “every major weather event, as well as precise local updates,” the company said Wednesday.
Sharri Berg, currently chief operating officer of news and operations for Fox’s TV stations will shed her duties as head of news operations for Fox News Channel and take on the additional role of president of the new venture, Fox Weather.
“As Fox News Media continues to deliver the best in news content, it was only natural to expand our footprint to weather,” said Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News Media, in a prepared statement. “Sharri is an immensely talented executive with extraordinary leadership skills and a unique ability to collaborate and execute across multiple divisions.”
Fox News Media has expanded its purview in recent months, launching a subscription-based streaming outlet for international customers who want to watch content from its flagship cable-news outlet and a books imprint with HarperCollins, the book-publishing unit that is part of sister company News Corp.
Berg, who has been with Fox News since before its formal launch, has worked for both the cable-news business and the Fox TV stations since 2005. She was named to her two most recent roles in 2016. She has long supervised newsgathering operations and developed new business models including Network News Service, a joint venture between Fox News, CBS and ABC that pools local footage and an initiative that involves gathering on-the-ground footage via the use of mobile drones. She will continue to oversee NewsEdge, the Fox News service that provides content to 180 affiliates.
“Weather is a vital component to news and combining our trusted reporters and expert meteorologists from Fox News and Fox Television Stations nationwide, the Fox Weather products will be built to serve our audiences in a customized fashion,” said Berg, in a statement. ” I’m excited to get started as we continue to innovate and build new products from the ground up.”