What if a Category Three Hurricane hit New York City? Could a history-making, catastrophic weather event happen in or near the same place years later?
On January 15, 2006, these and other questions were explored in the premiere of a new series, IT COULD HAPPEN TOMORROW on The Weather Channel. The series showcases science-based predictions of natural disasters, taking a close look at unbelievable acts of nature that, if they occur, could spell disaster in cities across America. Most importantly, with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the show looks at what is being done to prepare and protect the public, against these destructive possibilities.
To draw viewers to its premiere episode, “The Long Island Express,” The Weather Channel turned to us to book radio interviews with national networks and top stations across the country. Meteorologist Jim Cantore talked to a variety of radio reporters and talk-show hosts about the possible recurrence of the hurricane that hit Long Island, NY on September 21, 1938, the Category Three storm that left 700 dead and 63,000 homeless.
If the same type of storm hit tomorrow, Cantore foresaw a far more tragic impact, and that is one example of many scientific predictions The Weather Channel has complied for future episodes on possible weather disasters.
On Thursday, January 12, three days before the premiere episode, the news about The Weather Channel’s new series got out to more than eight million listeners through 14 radio interviews. There were a total of 1,788 airings on 1,779 stations and network affiliates across the United States, with interviews completed nationally on Metro Source, Westwood One and USA Radio Network; on the statewide network in Florida; and on #1 news-talk radio stations in top radio markets, among them Dallas, Miami, Orlando, and St. Louis.
Radio was one element in a comprehensive promotional campaign to support the launch of the new series. As a result of the overall campaign, the ratings achieved during the 9:30 p.m. premiere of IT COULD HAPPEN TOMORROW showed a 60 percent increase over the Sunday night household average for Quarter One 2005. For the 25 to 54-year age group, the program showed an 84 percent increase in tune-in, compared to the viewership average for that audience in Quarter One 2005.