NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Media is getting into another rough-and-tumble world — the weather.
The company is launching Fox Weather, a free streaming service and app that it expects will be used most frequently by customers on their mobile devices.
In preparation for the Monday start, Fox has been building a staff, plucking personnel from The Weather Channel and markets in New York, Houston, Phoenix, Miami, Charlotte, North Carolina, and elsewhere.
Advances in weather technology and interest created by climate change and more powerful storms has made weather news a popular area in which to invest, experts say.
“It’s all we talk about,” said Sharri Berg, Fox Weather president.
Fox Weather is moving into a market dominated by long-time players like The Weather Channel and AccuWeather — both of whom have been busy building their own new products — as well as aggressive niche players.
When Berg scrolls through weather apps, she said she sees many specialty services that concentrate on things like surf conditions or wind. Besides convenience and clarity, Berg said one of Fox’s chief selling points will be offering a single destination for people to get many things — local forecasts (with 3-D radar), severe weather warnings, weather-related news stories and a video stream that operates like a traditional TV network.
Byron Allen, owner of The Weather Channel, sounded almost giddy at the prospect of another challenger.
“I’m just a kid from Detroit pinching myself, to be in competition with Rupert Murdoch, one of the greatest media moguls of all time,” Allen said. “That’s an honor for me.”