It was about 1979. Not the start of The Weather Channel, but a time when I was the meteorologist on NBC's Today Show and John Coleman was on ABC's "Good Morning America" in addition he was also the forecaster at the ABC station in Chicago WLS-TV. John and I met at a weather conference about the time I was moving from "Today" to join NBC here in Washington. John teased me with this idea he was working on that he thought would really be something different and huge. He also was working with securing funding and also working with the National Weather Service to distribute the NWS local forecasts through a system called Weather Star. John was sure an original thinker and TWC was launched 30 years ago today.
TWC had it's growing, and financial problems, in the early years and many young, and not so young meteorologists, such as the wonderful John Hope here giving an overview of thunderstorms rather than the tropical forecasts and hurricane discussion he was so well known for.
Alas by the time TWC got the wide cable distribution needed to financially survive, John had lost control and is now still being "John Coleman" at a local TV station in San Diego. There are still a few "lifers" left at TWC. It sure has been a major contributor to getting critical NWS warnings and forecasts to the public. A great partner to all we meteorologists leading to better understanding of weather by all our viewers and now helping the U.S. become a "Weather Ready" nation. Congratulations, The Weather Channel, and congratulations John even if today is a bit of a bittersweet day for some who were part of that first broadcast 30 years ago.