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Technology Good News, Oil Companies! Fox Is Launching a Weather Channel

00:12  07 july  2021
00:12  07 july  2021 Source:   gizmodo.com

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Opinion: What the programming list for Fox ’s new weather channel will look like. America is doing much better than other stations would have you believe! (iStock). Little did I know that Rupert Murdoch hung on my every word and that Fox was in the process of starting a weather channel where people will get the best , most correct weather news out there — fair and balanced in a way no weather news has been yet!

Fox Weather ’s impending debut opens a new front in the media wars, but Byron Allen, the comedian-turned-media-baron whose Allen Media Group bought the Weather Channel for 0 million in 2018, insists that he welcomes the competition. “Rupert Murdoch is very smart; he is the best of the best ,” Mr Fox is hiring a throng of meteorologists and weather data analysts for the venture, which includes a flashy multimillion-dollar studio at its Midtown Manhattan headquarters. The service will cover major national weather events and integrate dozens of local forecasters from Fox ’s regional affiliate stations.

News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch experiencing some weather.

Rupert Murdoch holding a blue umbrella: News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch © Photo: Kevork Djansezian (Getty Images) News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch

We’ve reached the final boss level of climate irony. The New York Times reported Tuesday that Rupert Murdoch, the media tycoon whose News Corp. owns Fox News, plans to launch a full-time channel focused on the weather called Fox Weather.

Apparently, viewers are hungry for weather content—the Weather Channel’s viewership was up 7% in the first half of this year, while viewership fell for big cable networks. And looking at the historic heat waves gripping much of the country this summer—caused partially by stalled climate action aided by Fox News working in tandem with oil companies and the Republican Party to spread climate misinformation—it’s not hard to see why.

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Fox News Media is launching Fox Weather , a new ad-supported streaming service covering and forecasting the weather , next year. Sharri Berg will move from her current position as executive vice president of news operations at Fox News Channel (FNC) to oversee the new weather service as its president. “As Fox News Media continues to deliver the best in news content, it was only natural to expand our footprint to weather with the launch of our eighth platform, Fox Weather , and there is no one better to lead this new venture than Sharri Berg,” Scott said in a Wednesday statement to press.

The company will launch Fox Weather in the third quarter, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott says. “ Weather is a vital component to news and combining our trusted reporters and expert meteorologists from FOX News and FTS nationwide, the FOX Weather products will be built to serve our audiences in a customized fashion," Berg says. The rollout will include an app accompanied by an integrated website and streaming service with local, regional and national updates alongside live programming.

The irony of Fox creating a weather channel, of all things, is as deep as the rapidly heating ocean and as wide as our swiftly overheating country. As much of the rest of the world ponders how to dig ourselves out of this mess we’ve made, Fox News is still clinging desperately to denial. Last month, star Tucker Carlson used his show to allege that climate activists want to “experiment to make children smaller” to fix global warming (spoiler alert: that is, uh, not true), while in May, climate denier Steve Koonin was invited to not one, but two Fox News programs to promote his book claiming that other scientists are getting too worked up about this global warming thing. Even the supposedly nonpartisan evening news show hosted by Brett Baier has a distinct denier slant: A Media Matters analysis of Baier’s climate coverage from 2009 to 2021 found that a whopping 88% of it ran the gamut from misleading to promoting bad-faith narratives to flat-out lies.

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"As Fox News Media continues to deliver the best in news content, it was only natural to expand our footprint to weather with the launch of our eighth platform, Fox Weather , and there is no one better to lead this new venture than Sharri Berg," Stone said in a statement. The streaming weather service will have a dedicated Fox Weather app, and an integrated website and streaming service featuring local, regional and national updates as well as live programming. Fox Weather will also take advantage of 75 meteorologists across 17 Fox stations and Fox News Channel 's news gathering units.

Fox News is a news channel and abbreviated as FNC. Known by its common name Fox . The channel broadcasts mainly from studios on 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City. The station was set up by the Australian-American media entrepreneur Rupert Belfast to cater to a conservative audience by recruiting former Republican communications strategist and CNBC executive Roger Ailes as its founding CEO. It launched 17 million cable subscribers on October 7, 1996. the station expanded in the late 1990s and 2000s to become the largest television streaming network in the U.S.

“It’s not just the bigger climate denial,” said Allison Fisher, the director of the climate and energy program at Media Matters. Fox News, Fisher said, “specifically use[s] weather to push climate denial. That is a long-worn tactic of Fox News, even before Trump was tweeting out, like, ‘where’s your global warming now?’ during a snowstorm. That’s a very classic Fox move.”

Fisher pointed out that as recently as this year, Fox News contributors used an April cold snap to claim climate change was a hoax. “They’re emphatic about dismissing the relationship between climate change and weather, whether it’s during a megastorm or the wildfires last year or the record-shattering heat this week, and then also mocking the idea of global warming during moments of abnormally cold weather,” she said. “They’re the ones who have made weather political.”

News Corp owns the denier-friendly Wall Street Journal and New York Post, as well as several right-wing outlets in Murdoch’s home country of Australia. While Murdoch claims not to be a climate denier himself, there’s no question that his companies have made money—and powerful allies in the fossil fuel industry—perpetuating damaging climate “coverage.” A Greenpeace survey released last year found that News Corp’s coverage of the devastating 2020 Australian wildfires drove a “viral misinformation campaign” intended to spread misinformation on the causes of the fire and protect the coal industry in Australia. The company’s explicit and implicit endorsement of climate denial has even led to a fracture in the Murdoch family: during the wildfires, Murdoch’s younger son, James, issued a rebuke of the company on its handling of climate, and he stepped down from the company last summer.

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Oil prices rose slightly on Tuesday after the previous day's rally, supported by expectations of a tighter market as output talks of OPEC+ nations were called off, but concerns that members may start to increase production capped gains. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2021 FOX News Network, LLC.

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According to Fisher, Fox News has meteorologists on staff who report on the weather, but they mostly do “straight reporting” of what is going on. “They’re not contextualizing” that weather, she said—despite the fact that other networks are letting their meteorologists discuss how extreme weather is shaped by climate change. “That contextualization of these events as climate is what makes Fox’s entry into this space really suspect and troubling.”

All of this raises the question of how, exactly, Fox is planning to go about reporting the weather when it keeps getting more extreme thanks, in part, to a mess they helped create. As Deadline reported a few weeks ago, Fox has tapped at least six meteorologists from different local markets—Britta Merwin, Jason Frazer, Craig Herrera, Bridgit Mahoney, Stephen Morgan, and Nick Kosir—to flesh out the basis of its news team. Earther was able to find just a few tweets from three of them that mentioned climate change.

“Climate change is real and it is a fact,” Merwin, a future Fox morning host and formerly of KPRC-TV in Houston, responded in February to a Twitter user using Merwin’s report of snow on the beach to claim climate change was a hoax. “It is about science,” she wrote. Her future morning cohost, Frazer of WKYC-TV in Cleveland, thanked a meteorologist in 2017 for “sharing ... expertise on climate change” and mentioned climate change in 2018 when discussing the size of a tropical storm. (“You could argue Climate Change but I am not touching that hot potato,” he wrote.) Meanwhile, Herrera, who covered weather for Seattle’s KING-TV and will serve as another coanchor, tweeted about climate in 2013 and 2014, when he covered an IPCC report and did a piece on California’s drought. “We have a long way to go but education and facts are key,” he responded to one user thanking him for his coverage. “Can’t dispute the science or numbers.”

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Earther reached out Frazer, Merwin, and Herrera, along with another of their future coworkers, to ask how they planned to handle climate coverage. We will update when we receive any responses.

According to the Times, Fox is dipping a toe into this space because it’s so profitable; it quotes a TV executive saying that “climate change and the environment will be the story of the next decade,” while a spokesperson for Fox told the Times the network will offer “in-depth reporting surrounding all weather conditions, and we are excited to showcase to viewers what a full-service comprehensive weather platform can deliver beginning this fall.” Some of Fox’s future competitors making hay out of the climate crisis could goad the network into figuring out ways to cover it: The Weather Channel, the Times reported, has a whole host of climate change programming planned, including a show about miners looking for minerals in Greenland exposed by newly melted ice (sorry, what?).

But Fisher sees a darker possibility for the new weather service.

“It’s the content they’re producing that’s going to get amplified,” she said. “If they bring on a denier like Marc Morano, if he starts to get a platform there—that content is going to go on his website, it’s going to go into other right-wing media infosphere, it’s going to bounce back on Fox, it’s going to go on social media, and they’re going to push that out in moments when everybody else is saying, ‘this is climate change’–they’re going to be able to tell this right-wing media bubble, it’s not.”

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