Champion's move from "GMA" part of larger story
When the Weather Channel announced it was adding a new show with ABC's "Good Morning America" co-host Sam Champion, it sent ripples through the media world.
With the overall decline in viewership of prime time programming on network television, the morning news shows have become the top on-air revenue stream for the likes of ABC, NBC and CBS. As it is, when changes hit the programs, they are watched pretty carefully as millions of dollars-worth of ad revenue is on the line.
It comes down to viewing habits. Just as the networks have had to adapt to fractured viewing among key age and gender demographics with the rise of cable, time-shifted viewing through DVRs and time loss to other electronic entertainment venues, they have had to change. When viewership loyalty is created because of a developed connection with the on-air personalities, a change can shake the foundation.
"With his commitment to understanding, predicting and explaining the power of weather in our lives, Sam perfectly embodies The Weather Channel brand's philosophy, 'It's Amazing Out There,'" the Weather Channel's president David Clark said on Monday.
Champion will be the host of a new show that will launch in 2014. In addition of leading the weekday morning broadcast, he will be the station's managing editor.
This move comes at a potentially rough time for ABC, which is reportedly negotiating contracts with the other hosts of the now top-rated morning show in the nation.
As "GMA" announced that the weather anchor was moving on, producers scrambled to put together memory segments of some of the best clips in Champion's 25-year history with ABC News. Many of those aired today, the weather chief's last day with the organization.
BADGERS LAND AT CLEAR CHANNEL: In a historic move, the University of Wisconsin Athletics multimedia rights holder, Learfield Sports, announced earlier this week that is has inked a deal with Clear Channel Entertainment and Media in Milwaukee and Madison.
Locally, that means Badgers football and men's basketball will have a standing home on the FM dial in the Milwaukee market for the first time since 1927.
"Our partnership with University of Wisconsin and Learfield's Badger Sports Properties has become a key component for us as local broadcasters, and our team is excited to be the new broadcast home for the Badgers for Milwaukee and all of Southeastern Wisconsin," Jeff Tyler, the regional market manager for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment for Milwaukee and Madison, said in a statement.
"Milwaukee and Madison both rank at or near the top for cities in the country where sports fans listen on radio. The Badgers are one of the finest programs in the country with high engagement for the fans, and a terrific marketing platform for our customers."
Tyler's statement rings true, as the station group converted WOKY-AM to sports talk radio station The Big 920 at the beginning of 2013.
Now oldies station WRIT-FM 95.7 and WOKY will both air the football and basketball games. In addition WOKY will air hockey, women's basketball games and coaches shows like "Badger Prime Monday" and the "Barry Alvarez Show." The weekday "Badger Daily Show" will air afternoons on WOKY and WISN-AM 1130.
This is one of the two radio groups that I predicted would get the Badgers radio deal. Find more background here.
BANGO IN SPOTLIGHT: For the first time in the website's history, Hulu will have an original production air on cable television.
"Behind The Mask," which features the on and off-court lives of costumed sports mascots, will air on Fox Sports Wisconsin. Episodes featuring Kevin Vanderkolk as Bango, the Milwaukee Bucks mascot, will air shortly after the Bucks game concludes this evening.
Find out more about the series on Hulu.
TRAGEDY HITS CABLE SHOW: Bill Beckwith, one of the three hosts on HGTV's "Curb Appeal," was killed in a motorcycle crash Monday night in San Francisco.
According to reports, the 38-year-old carpenter and contractor was riding the motorcycle when it was struck by a car.
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