December 23, 2013 - 7:38 AM
By Alan Pergament
You might think that local news devotes enough time to local weather, especially after all the warnings about flooding, rain and freezing rain the past few days from Channel 2's Kevin O'Connell, Channel 4's Don Paul, Channel 7's Aaron Mentkowski and their backups.
But be prepared for constant weather reports from Channel 2 on one of its three digital channels.
Starting by the end of the end of this year or in January, local and national weather will be the primary focus of a digital channel that also will air repeats of the station's 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts and University at Buffalo sports programming.
The news of the arrival of "Storm Team 2 Weather Nation" comes several weeks after Time Warner Cable announced in a legal notice that Channel 2 was adding a new digital channel, 2.3, after already using 2.2 to carry classic television programming from Antenna TV.
Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner has confirmed that the plan now is to air a 24-hour weather channel on 2.2 except when it is preempted by local programming.
The local programming will include a replay of Channel 2's 6 p.m. news at 7 p.m. and a repeat of the 11 p.m. news at midnight on 2.2. In addition, recorded local weather segments featuring Kevin O'Connell, Andy Parker and the station's entire weather team will air every 10 minutes.
UB sports programming, including several men's basketball games, also will appear on 2.2, which is carried by TWC and can be received over the air on newer TV sets without it.
Antenna TV fans shouldn't worry. "Mr. Ed," "Bewitched," "I Dream of Jeannie" and all the old movies are just moving to 2.3, the new digital channel.
The importance of weather is undisputed by news consultants but in my view the best part of this realignment is the replay of the local newscasts on 2.2, especially at 7 p.m. There are times when many people get home from work too late to catch the 6 p.m. news and likely would be happy to get the 7 p.m. alternative.