Fox News launching its own mobile-friendly weather service

Media Fox Weather

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. “We might as well build a platform for it.”

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.

“It's not so much reinventing the way you tell the weather story, it's just improving upon it,” said Steve Baron, Fox Weather senior vice president for digital products and strategy.