Bill Burke Blows Out of Weather Post

The sun will soon set on Bill Burke’s day-to-day duties at The Weather Channel Cos.

The Weather Channel and The Weather Channel Interactive COO Debora Wilson will succeed Burke, who since February 2002 has been president and CEO at TWCC, which includes The Weather Channel Networks, The Weather Channel Interactive, and TWC Media Solutions.

Burke said he’s leaving to move to Maine, where he will spend more time with his family and pursue “new entrepreneurial opportunities.”

He will remain through June and then continue as a consultant to TWC’s parent company, Landmark Communications Inc., as well as TWCC.

During his tenure, Burke successfully broadened The Weather Channel’s programming content beyond traditional meteorological reports with the launch of several story-driven shows like Storm Stories. The one-hour series, which features dramatic reenactments of personal experiences during very inclement and dangerous weather situations, helped The Weather Channel increase its 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. time period by 14% in 2003, compared to 2002.

The Weather Channel finished 2003 with a primetime household rating average of 0.3, flat compared to 2002.

“Our businesses are hitting on all cylinders and I know this momentum will continue well into the future,” Burke said.

Landmark president and COO Decker Anstrom said in a statement that Burke “has been an exceptional leader for the past two years, and working with our senior team, he has helped strengthen and grow The Weather Channel businesses to a point where they are stronger than ever before.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.