Hurricane Irene Bumps Up Ratings, Web Traffic for The Weather Channel
The network is blanketing coverage of the East Coast storm on TV, online, Twitter and their Facebook page.
The Weather Channel is pre-empting its usual coverage to focus on Hurricane Irene "24/7 for the foreseeable future," a rep for the network tells The Hollywood Reporter.
While locations may change as the storm develops, there are currently five correspondents spread throughout the East Coast. Mike Seidel and Stephanie Abrams are in Outer Banks, N.C., Eric Fisher in Norfolk, Va., Adam Berg on the Jersey Shore area and Jim Cantore in the New York City area.
Cantore broadcast live from NYC's Battery Park City -- an area Mayor Michael Bloomberg has recommended evacuate -- on Thursday from 7 to 11 p.m.
On Thursday, Sirius XM Radio began airing The Weather Channel TV feed on channel 184 and XM channel 1. Advisories with extended coverage and local updates from The Weather Channel air hourly on SiriusXM’s First Traffic and Weather, channels 132 to 140.
TWC Radio meteorologists will be farmed out to radio affiliates all up and down the East Coast with updates on the storm's progression.
Weather.com has launched Hurricane Central, which features hurricane-related content, videos, maps, forecasts and analysis. It also includes news and information on current tropical systems, an interactive hurricane tracker map, hurricane preparation tips, and historical data on past storms.
The website is hosting live chats with TWC experts meteorologists, and local affiliates will also blast alerts via text message to those who sign up. Experts have said that text messages are more likely to go through if the storm causes cell phone lines to become jammed.
In addition, TWC is gathering Twitter reactions, such as what NYC residents are saying now. They've launched hashtags and a Hurricane Twitter account: @TWC_hurricane. Hashtags: #hurricane, #Irene. If evacuation is necessary, evacuees can provide their own updates using #Ireneevacinfo.
They'll also livestream on their Facebook page.
The blanket coverage is paying off for the network.
The Weather Channel Social initiative is seeing an increase in weather-related Tweets. Significant weather events can generate more than two million Tweets on Twitter, the rep says.
The Weather Channel ranked No. 1 among television news competitors over a three-day period (8/21-8/23) among P25-54, according to Nielsen Media Research.
TWC mobile web saw more than 9.7 million page views on Wednesday and 8.1 million on Tuesday.
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