Weather Channel HD gears for launch

The Weather Channel, after a $60 million upgrade and rehearsals this month from the four-story-high studio, will launch its first native HD shows on June 2. “Your Weather Today,” and “Evening Edition” will be shown on opening day, along with taped HD programs including “When Weather Changed History” and “Forecast Earth.”

The Weather Channel HD has reportedly reached agreements with top programming distributors including Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, Cox Communications, DirecTV, DISH Network, and Time Warner Cable. It seems the channel is gearing up for potential purchase. News Corp. or NBC Universal have been mentioned by analysts. CBS Corp., which just acquired CNET for $1.8 million may no longer be in the bidding.

The new studio which began construction eighteen months ago will vary from traditional studio technologies which include green and blue screening. Instead, news anchors will stand in front of a $400,000 high-definition screen.

The Weather Channel HD expects to have its full 24-hour programming schedule in native HD by the end of 2008.

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