Stormy Skies: The Weather Channel Buys Weather Underground, Wunderground Fans Unhappy
Yesterday The Weather Channel Companies (TWCC) announced its upcoming acquisition of the rival online weather service, Weather Underground, which is also known as Wunderground, but fans of Weather Underground are less than thrilled.
Weather Underground president Alan Steremberg was positive about the merger with The Weather Channel, stating “Weather Underground users can expect to see more of the same. But we’ll have a lot more resources to do fun things.”
Current users of Wunderground, however, are not so enthusiastic about the acquisition of the service by The Weather Channel. As Mike Tucker, a computer professional in New Hampshire, exclaimed on Facebook, ”Nooooooooooooooooo! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”
As reported by The New York Times, Tucker elaborated on his initial disapproval over the acquisition of Weather Underground by The Weather Channel in a telephone interview:
“I’m looking at the site [The Weather Channel] right now, and it’s laden with ads, and promotional things for their shows. I don’t really care about all that stuff. I only care what the weather is.”
In comparison to The Weather Channel website, Tucker calls Weather Underground “simple and somewhat elegant.”
The Weather Channel has been trying to buy Weather Underground for years. However, until recently Wunderground always politely declined.
As Steremberg insists, “This will be a better change, a good change.”
The Weather Channel Companies chairman and CEO David Kenny also added in response to concerns that the merger would have a negative impact on Weather Underground:
“I think that once they [the naysayers] see that we’re only investing in the product, not changing it or dumbing it down or altering it in some way, then I think that will go away.”
Before getting rid of cable last year, I used to watch The Weather Channel for hours on end. I loved the weather shows that were played in between forecasts, and I also really loved the music for background noise. However, I also appreciate the simplicity and speed of Weather Underground. Hopefully this merger can combine the best of both weather services.
Are you optimistic that the acquisition of Weather Underground by The Weather Channel will be for the better?