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#PRant: The Weather Channel's Hubris (or How Not to Be Humble)
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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Earlier last week, the DIRECTV satellite television provider (and quite possibly other service providers as well) took The Weather Channel off its offerings. DIRECTV replaced its former premier weather outlet with a new outlet known as Weather Nation. It remains to be seen how good the new channel is, but my wife already likes it.... “nothing” but weather reporting. What had vastly annoyed her was all the evening prime-time coverage on The Weather Channel that really had not an iota to do with weather.

What galled this blogger was comments by Jim Cantore and others on TWC that viewers were told to “call DIRECTV” and “to demand” the provider keep TWC in its channel listings! The Weather Channel's own website even got in on the act as well, with banners and information exhorting web users to do the same. My wife also thinks TWC got greedy and sought to ask for higher payments for its services.

As good as TWC is (and was) for providing weather programming for over 25 years, in recent years its owner (NBC Universal) apparently decided weather information and programming simply was “not interesting enough.” If that is the case, could that possibly be the reason for all the “reality” type programming that appeared on that channel in the last couple years?

According to the Online Dictionary, hubris is defined as “excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance.”

Well, according to the above explanation, that surely is what The Weather Channel has clearly been guilty of. For us flacks, appearing to have excessive pride or self-confidence is probably not a good thing to have when dealing with clients and potential customers. Confidence in one's abilities and skills? Of course, but tempered with a health dose of humbleness.... the one thing TWC seems to have forgotten... with disastrous results.


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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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