Weather Channel’s HD Studio Goes Green

Aug 23, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The Weather Channel’s new studio, designed to accommodate its transition to all-high-definition, will be the first of its kind to be certified by the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) organization as part of the channel’s many “green” initiatives, the network said.
“Green is really the new black,” said Weather Channel Executive VP and General Manager Wonya Lucas. “We look at the world through the lens of weather, and now we’re also looking at it through a lens of green.”
The new 5,000-square-foot studio is being built according to LEED guidelines. All landscape irrigation will be provided by an underground stormwater retention pond. Products that are low in volatile chemicals will be used for painting and more than 50 percent of all disposable items will be sorted and hauled to recycling centers. In addition, the network will take measures to reduce fossil fuel emissions, plant new trees and conserve energy.
“Originally I was skeptical, because bringing in natural light and reducing energy use seems to be counter to what a studio environment is,” said Ross Kalber, VP of engineering and IT technology. “But we persevered and we will have a very effective building.”
Some 50 to 70 elements contribute to qualifying a building as green, Mr. Kalber said.
After it made the decision to launch an HD network last year, the Weather Channel determined that its existing studio wouldn’t work for the technical demands of high-definition broadcasting.
Ms. Lucas wouldn’t comment on the exact amount the endeavor is costing, but she said it’s in the millions.
“It’s a good investment,” she said. “It seems like the world is converting to HD. We want to be leaders and not wait until the very end.”
Mr. Kalber believes weather is perfectly suited for high definition.
“Some may say why weather in HD? It’s pretty intuitive,” he said. “Weather graphics look good in high definition.”
Construction on the studio is expected to be completed in February, with the actual on-air date in June.
When the Weather Channel HD launches Oct. 1, it will premiere two original long-form series in pure HD: “Epic Conditions,” a show about perfect weather meeting perfect sports, such as big-wave surfing in Hawaii, and “Weather Ventures,” which highlights dream weather destinations.
The network says it will be upconverting content for a while, but hopes to eventually shoot 90 percent of its programming in high definition.
DirecTV is the only carrier that has announced it will carry the new high-def channel.
The Weather Channel wouldn’t comment specifically on other prospects, but did say it is in talks with major distributors.


  1. Weather Channel in HD….A very good idea as we draw ever closer to being able to pin point weather problems through the eyes of various electronic devices, our ability to “see” dangerous weather cells in relation to the local geography, will enable the necessary specific warnings to be issued that will result in the saving of lives.

  2. The Weather Channel to HD will be a huge jump, not only for the looks of all the programs, but also viewers. I believe that this will come out with great results, and is a Great Idea! I can’t wait until Jun 2008.

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