Hearst Embarks On Weather and ‘Climate Impact’ Initiative


The second-deadliest tornado in history barreled through Kentucky through the wee hours of Saturday, December 11. The death toll is unconfirmed but believed to be above 100. The town of Mayfield was among the hardest hit communities.

For those seeking the most information associated with this devastating weather event, local television delivered, with “Local 6” in Paducah, Ky. — owned by Paxton Media Group LLC — and Marquee Broadcasting’s WNKY-40 in Bowling Green, Ky. among the standout media sources that have covered the tornado outbreak for the past 72 hours.

Given the importance of “Forecasting our Future,” Hearst Television on Monday said it is moving forward with a group-wide initiative “to address issues Americans face in navigating changing weather patterns and their impact on local communities and economies.”

The initiative bears the title “Forecasting our Future,” will include contributions from companywide resources, including Hearst’s Washington News Bureau, its national investigative and consumer reporting units, and commitments by Hearst’s stations across the country.

While studies from Pew and other organizations “consistently find that the large majority of consumers rely on local television for their news, ahead of all other sources, and that they consider weather the most important local-news topic,” Hearst says, the Kentucky tornadoes are the latest demonstration of how broadcast TV rises to the occasion when weather events occur.

Barbara Maushard, Hearst Television’s SVP of News, comments, “Preparing our audiences for weather events and changing patterns, and protecting them throughout, has always been a top priority for Hearst Television newsrooms. This 2022 initiative dives deep into weather’s impact on all aspects of life in our markets: business, health, household finances and lifestyle.”

Specifically, “Forecasting our Future” will include group-wide and local special programs with content driven by the expertise and important insights from Hearst Television’s team of more than 100 meteorologists and weather experts from around the country. Teams from Hearst stations will also develop local educational offerings for schools and community organizations that focus on the impact of local and regional weather events.

“Our teams will deliver fact-based, data-driven, in-depth information on not only the impact weather has on local viewers’ lives, but also the impact viewers can have in protecting their communities now and into the future,” Maushard adds. “From town halls and partnerships with local educators to our national correspondents Jeff Rossen and Mark Albert delivering stories on the consumer and public-policy impacts of weather, we are prepared to tell the compelling stories of weather’s impact in 2022 and beyond.”

Among Hearst’s television stations are CBS affiliate WLKY-TV in Louisville.