Weather Channel Pioneers "We were the founders, the pioneers, the group of people who had devoted our minds, our lives, our hearts, our souls..."

by John Coleman and Joe D’Aleo

Many millions of viewers watch The Weather Channel today. You are probably one of them. Have you ever wondered how the channel came about and what it took to bring it from an idea to one of the most successful and well recognized names in cable today. The Founders and doers of the early days have written a book, Weather Channel Pioneers that answer those questions.

'Weather Channel Pioneers' is the entertaining ‘inside story’ behind what became one of the country’s favorite cable channel. The visionary was John Coleman who pioneered in the application of chromakey technology in local and network (Good Morning America) TV weather. John was frustrated by the weather show time limitations and the limited frequency of available TV weather. His dream was a 24x7 cable weather network.

This book captures for perpetuity the realization of that vision that became a shared vision of a large team of wonderful, courageous, and talented individuals. They were drawn from all corners of the country in many different disciplines to undertake something special and unprecedented. We like to call these unique people the “Weather Channel Pioneers”.

You will hear from many of us as we relate our experiences and anecdotes of a time like no other. It was a time when over 140 Pioneers, along with the idea makers, came together from all parts of the country to make a 24-7 cable weather network a reality. We were the Founders, the Pioneers, the group of people who had devoted our minds, our lives, our hearts, our souls and all the energy we had for the months or years that helped pave that long road to success. These are our stories and memories of that journey. We invite you to step back in time and experience what it was like to make that dream a success and imagine sharing this adventure.

We hope you enjoy the book as much as we did writing it.

The Weather Channel's First Night on Air

First airing of the weather channel
Weather Channel Pioneers group photo
John Coleman and Joe D’Aleo 1982
John Coleman and Joe D’Aleo 1982

THE FOUNDING OF “THE WEATHER CHANNEL” INTRODUCTION

When you look back at your life, does one special moment jump forward in your mind that puts a smile on your face? For 140 or more of us scattered across the United States, that very same moment comes forward and warms our hearts, fills our minds with memories and leaves us proud and smiling. That moment is 8:30 PM Eastern Daylight time on May 2, 1982. That is the moment The Weather Channel began its non-stop weather reporting for cable subscribers across The United States.

The road to that night and beyond was filled with many twists and turns. It was a road filled with many obstacles to block the way. We were the founders, the pioneers, the group of people who had devoted our minds, our lives, our hearts and soul and all the energy we had for months or years that helped pave that long road to success. These are our personal stories and memories of that journey. John Coleman and Joe D’Aleo, the primary authors of this book, had devoted four years to turning a vision into a reality. Another Pioneer, Pete Kouris, was also on the scene for the entire process.

Now, 36 years later the time has come to step back in time and tell the whole story before age clouds our memories and disables our ability to put the memories into written words. When Joe and John decided to proceed with this book, they let the other members of the founders’ team know of their plan and many of them leaped into action to share their perspective on it all. We thank them because their contributions give color and detail to the story. We invite the reader to step back in time and experience what it was like to make that dream a success and imagine sharing this adventure.

More Excerpts From the Weather Channel Pioneers

Regardless of what happened later to them and how the organization evolved, the words from Camelot rings in my ears when I think of the Weather Channel Pioneers in those very early days, “Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment…”

- Joe D'Aleo

Quote from Joe DAleo

Comments from Tom Skilling & Jim Wegner

Pioneer Eddie (E.T.) Terrill is a renaissance man – after his many years of graphical artistry and management responsibilities at The Weather Channel, he has established a successful retirement career as a sought-after extra for many movies. You may have seen his pictures with known stars on Facebook. He also is an accomplished musician/singer/impersonator. He had hoped to do a song for our last reunion but we ran out of time.

Eddie, as a rehearsal for the next reunion and a tribute to you his fellow Pioneers, did this spoof of an Elvis song (Memories) that honors our group’s Pioneer spirit and effort. We hope you enjoy it. To Eddie, we say “thank you very much".

Weather Channel Pioneers by John Coleman and Joe D’Aleo

Copyright© Weather Channel Pioneers All Rights Reserved.

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