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Me, The Weather Channel and Direct-TV

It takes a lot to make me angry. Case in point…

I had Time-Warner cable forever. I kept it because I was too lazy and traumatized by them to deal with changing it. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. They rarely answered the phone, were usually rude, but so is everyone, so I folded. Then, late this summer, they got in a fight with CBS and SHOWTIME. The first week I thought, “Oh, well this sucks. How am I supposed to watch Dexter?” I love Dexter and was hoping he’d start killing people on other TV shows. OK, I’ll watch it on my iPad. Oh, no, I won’t because they shut iPad access down. I have no idea how they got in my house and did that to my iPad, but in my mind, they did. If that stuff can be done by remote buttons, I’m super scared and would prefer to think a person entered my house and did it manually even though technically that is a burglar.

The fight went on for weeks. I remained calm, thinking they would work it out. Like a child whose parents are fighting I stayed out of the fray, hoped for a nice chicken pot pie dinner where all went back to normal and we all acted like nothing happened. They finally resolved the fight after several more weeks and then I got angry. I thought, “That was just uncalled for. If they did it once, they can do it again.” As always, I’m never the quickest to react, but finally I did. I called Direct TV. My friends that have it love it and I also wanted all the football games. What could go wrong here? Well, nothing, so it seemed. They came over, installed the thing on the roof and presto, I had all my dream channels. I read what channels were available aside from the basics and high priced movie channels and saw my two favorite channels—Discovery ID (lots of murder) and The Weather Channel were listed. Perfect. Life will be perfect now because with weather and murders, I’m never unhappy.

A couple weeks ago, I turned on the Weather Channel because I was flying to the east coast and wanted to see what I was flying into. The screen was black and it said, “The Weather Channel is no longer available. Please tune into Weather Nation.” OMG. Did my TV weather pals get attacked and I didn’t read about it? What about Jim Cantore? Surely that would have been on Twitter. What does this mean, “no longer available?” Are they hurt? Did they all quit? I called my friend with cable. No, my TV weather pals were alive and fine and the Weather Channel is most definitely available. He still had it. Direct TV couldn’t come to an agreement with them. I don’t care what the problem is because there’s nothing I can do about it so I don’t want to hear whose fault it is. I mean, unless it’s like a matter of a $500 difference, then I’d be glad to chip in. And no, I won’t blame The Weather Channel because I didn’t make an agreement with them. I made it with Direct TV.

I tweeted that I was outraged. Ok, that’s a bit of an overstatement for humor’s sake, but I really was pissed. I LOVE THE WEATHER CHANNEL. If I understood any science AT ALL, I’d have been a behind the camera, weird, weather nerd lady. Nothing fascinates me more than an incoming hurricane or anything to do tornadic activity. Yeah, I just threw that out there. Awesome word, tornadic. But alas, not all dreams can come true and we should stop telling children they do. I’d also like to be an FBI profiler but that too involves science so again, dream crushed, move on. I’ll have to live vicariously through others. I’m ok with that. I had a lot of people tweet me back in agreement with loving The Weather Channel and a lot making fun of my love of The Weather Channel.

I am exhausted from explaining to people why I love The Weather Channel. I just do. I love that Jim Cantore will stand in the middle of a hurricane. That’s actual ‘reality TV’ and probably the only real ‘reality TV.’ He doesn’t have hair or makeup. No script. No wardrobe because he’s usually in a poncho. It’s just live and whatever happens, happens. Maybe he’ll get smacked by a flying refrigerator, maybe he won’t. Here’s a great sample of what you are missing if you think this is all lame.

Jesus. He’s more of a superhero than I thought. Catlike reflexes, quickly addressed it and bam, move on. I’ll let that clip do the talking. I could ramble on about seeing reporters get hit with flying objects, that old guy who reads the maps and never leaves his desk, the waves that have swallowed reporters whole and so on but I think that clip says enough.

So, I was at the Tonight Show doing a show and was bored backstage waiting, so I checked my Twitter feed. I was shocked the @theweatherchannel tweeted me back. I didn’t write my tweet in the hopes they would, I just felt that way. And it wasn’t just a programmed thank you tweet. It was really them. I really haven’t been that excited since I got an Irish setter puppy for Christmas in 5th grade. OMG. My TV friends are real. Holy crap. I was supposed to go on stage and somehow had to corral my excitement and answer them later. I’ve been on a million TV shows, met famous people and all that, but I usually don’t care either way and certainly don’t get like a 13-year-old who just got a tweet from One Direction.

I finished the show and again checked my feed. A bunch of the guys from the weather channel tweeted thanks for support AND did this:

What other channel ON earth would do that? So awesome. Proving my love of them and their channel to be on point and real. Then, @directtv tweeted me. Clearly a standard reply to everyone who complained. They said, “We understand it can be disappointing to lose your favorite channel. Why don’t you try @weathernation.”

I tweeted back, “No. Because I didn’t agree to @weathernation. Why don’t you try me paying you in candy? No, because you didn’t agree to that.” You can’t just change the agreement mid-deal. So, when the bill comes, I’m sending them candy corn. The exact amount of pieces the bill adds up to. They did not respond to that tweet because I’m sure no human tweeted their initial response. And, btw, I didn’t “lose” The Weather Channel. You, DirectTV, refused to pay them. I don’t care what it costs, that’s the deal you offered me.

For the record, I did try @weathernation. It’s great if you don’t have Lunesta. Boring maps, weird bad background music and no action. Perfect for a nap or when a nervous breakdown starts. And that’s why I’m sure it’s cheaper. You get what you pay for. Jim Cantore isn’t free. And he shouldn’t be. He has crazy people running at him while he’s trying to work. You try and work at your desk with that going on. Not easy. Last night, there was a huge ice storm in Atlanta. They mayor and governor are actually saying they didn’t get enough warning and didn’t realize how bad it would be. I’m assuming they also must have DirectTV. And they really have no excuse because The Weather Channel is based in ATLANTA. They could’ve walked over and asked them what was going to happen.

So, now I must decide who to switch to. Does anyone have strong feelings either way about DISHTV? It’s the only one I haven’t tried. I also will be going to Atlanta sometime this year to tour The Weather Channel. Maybe they’ll let me be an unpaid intern who lives there and then I won’t have to make any decisions except how to get food and beer money.

 

 

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44 Responses to Me, The Weather Channel and Direct-TV

  1. Teri says:

    That’s very cool! That’s how you know you’ve hit the big time, when the Weather Channel gives you your own personalized forecast.

  2. Lauren Kirshner says:

    Let’s just hope you DON’T get on the Discovery ID channel.

  3. Tonita Wilbur says:

    Yes, go Dish! Love it and if you use my name, we can both get $50 off!! How cool would that be if YOU actually answered me like TWC answered you?? Wishful thinking! But I have been a fan of yours since I heard you on Sirius about 5 or 6 years ago! And I really enjoyed reading this blog as I could actually hear your voice and sarcasm. :)

  4. Frank says:

    A knee to the “boys” was great, but Cantore should tossed an elbow to his jaw. BANG! Mess with the “Hurricane” and you go down, frat boy!

  5. Susan Lucas says:

    I’m holding out for TWC and DirecTV to make up. Weather Nation is SO lame. But here in Charleston, Dish service isn’t good. They go black during weather events that don’t shut down anything else. Sadly there are so few options. In the meantime, Twitter and weatherchannel.com give me a taste of what’s really going on in the world.

  6. Jay Sellner says:

    Kathleen-are you able to get Verizon(Fios)where you live ? They are pretty good…

  7. John Hall says:

    Dish Kathleen!! Have not had anything negative happen with them, not even a knee to the groin!! Love your comedy, looking forward to your first forecast on The Weather Channel!!! lol

  8. Kip Bracy says:

    We’ve had Dish for eight years now. No complaints. It does go out briefly if it rains too hard but it always comes back and living in TX, we really don’t have to worry all that much about rain.

  9. Douglas Boyle (@douglas_boyle) says:

    I had Jim Cantore favorite a tweet of mine about him. I about lost it. Love you Kathleen!

  10. margaret says:

    DISH Kathleen! You may not get this much publicity out of it because it is so good ,but it won’t make you angry. :-) I love it.
    Love your last show on Netflix! You are my favorite comedian. Thanks for all the laughs.

  11. Larry K says:

    I have had DISH for about three months and truly love the service. I haven’t had anything go wrong yet, so I can’t comment on how they will handle problems in the future, but the services provided are great. I can record six stations at same, major networks record every night without having to program, I can move from room to room and even watch TV from home on my iphone/ipad. I really recommend that. I won’t ask you to use me for the contact to get the $50, I just think you would like their service.

  12. jennifer says:

    i have dish network and i have no problems with them…they have the weather channel…lol….dish has always been good to me…once in a while the dish goes out due weather but as long as you keep it cleaned off…I love it! i preferred it over cable except for high speed internet. that is where cable is better.

  13. Sharon Bridges says:

    Kathleen, I have had AT&T UVerse for a few years and I totally love it. I just started working for them- so I am also giving AT&T a plug I guess:)

  14. Basrich says:

    If you do get rid of Dirrect TV, don’t try to use the satellite dish as a wok. It gives off a funny smell.

  15. Tom Measday says:

    Kathleen, They are all equally bad. You go to get a beer, or two and come back to find you channel is gone or even worse gone and the price doubled too!

  16. todd robson says:

    Kathleen, I have been a fan of yours for so many years. but I have never been a fan of the satellite networks. I had primestar for many years then direct tv bought them out. that’s when the problems started. they never upgraded the line to the house, which caused frequent little problems. finally the system went down. I called for service and they told me it would be 4 day before someone could get out to fix it. 4 days without tv,NO WAY!!!!! I called dish network and they said they could have a new service in in 2 days. I said ok. it was better than direct tv but still had problems. I cant remember who had the comedy channel, but that is where I first saw your hbo special, so there is a little good in any tv provider.i cant wait til you come to jrs last laugh or the warner in erie pa.

  17. Ryan Richardson says:

    Don’t do Dish, they go black when it rains. Verizon is better. There is a small lag when you try to change channels though.

  18. Charlotte Lee says:

    Comcast is the way to go if it’s available. Get all the channels (2 weather channels including TWC)Discovery ID (my favorite bedtimes stories) and it NEVER goes out – even when it rains.

  19. Norma says:

    I really loved reading this blog. Fun.

  20. Bill Smith says:

    Kathleen,

    First off, I enjoy your shows and humor. I may not always agree with some of your views, but you always find a way to make me laugh.

    I understand your frustration with DirecTV dropping the The Weather Channel (TWC). I began watching that network on the second day of its operation on May 4, 1982. I was visiting friends in Kansas City, MO, after just completing my masters degree in meteorology at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. On that day there was major thunderstorm activity. I found TWC quite by accident while channel surfing and was spellbound by what they were broadcasting. There were live radar displays, upper air charts, synoptic charts, and the on camera meteorologists (OCMs) knew what they were talking about. It was a weather geek’s paradise. When I got my first apartment, I made sure I had TWC when I signed up for cable.

    From that point on, I enjoyed TWC for many of the same reasons you do, as well as for professional reasons. They were also known for playing “doctor’s office” music while displaying local forecasts. TWC often received mail asking for a playlist since some of the tunes were popular with the public. Their ads were entertaining as well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWNy-SdVIKk&feature=share&list=FL60eko00QkpDyX7UEd0CjXg&index=97

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqj6lA7670k&list=FL60eko00QkpDyX7UEd0CjXg&feature=share&index=86

    However, in July, 2008, NBC Universal (which also owns Comcast, which competes with DirecTV) bought the network. After that, I began to notice some degradation in the quality of their broadcasts. In November, 2008, there were massive layoffs. Some of the regular OCMs were replaced with personalities that lacked weather backgrounds. TWC also began televising a “green” agenda. I soon lost interest, especially when I tuned in to for weather info and instead found “Coast Guard Alaska,” “Hawaii Air Rescue,” “Highway Thru Hell,” “Hurricane Hunters,” “Lifeguard!” or “Prospectors.”

    The last straw is their silly practice of naming winter storms. Which is wrong and just a marketing scheme by TWC.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/MAweatherboy1/why-twc-is-wrong-to-name-winter-storms

    Media outlets like TWC, Accuweather and Weather Nation get their data mostly from one source, The National Weather Service. The Governor of Georgia and The Mayor of Atlanta were briefed by The National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in Atlanta that the recent storm was coming the afternoon before it hit. They also issued warnings in the early morning.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/01/29/are-meteorologists-to-blame-for-snow-disasters-in-atlanta-and-birmingham/

    To state that the officials in Atlanta had no warning is ludicrous, and had little to do with DirecTV not carrying TWC.

    • Bill Smith says:

      There are rumors that TWC may be bought by The Weather Network, a company started by former TWC OCMs. Stat tuned.

  21. Chris Edwards says:

    OMG! that is hilarious! We too rely on the weather channel and weather nation stinks! What the weather channel guys did for you was priceless!

  22. Matthew Mac Isaac says:

    I have Directv & for the most part think they do a great job, but I agree with you about the TWC/ Weathernation thing. Weather Nation looks like the High School AV team is producing it. When I had TWC, I could hit a button and get my local forcast, now I could sit for two hours and just see the weather of Topeka (living in Poughkeepsie, NY may not be great but at least it’s not Topeka). Directv better get this shit straightened out quickly or they will get tons of my annoying emails until they do. Side note: Come play somewhere near Poughkeepsie so I can see you perform again. You have been great every time.

  23. Cyndie Story says:

    Loved you in Nashville last Friday! Next time we will bring out the orchestra and you can string along! Get Dish. I hear learning new tasks helps prevent dementia.

  24. Jo Anne White says:

    Dish is okay. The fact is that if you like to record movies and like more HD television than any other place, Dish has it. They have real customer service that actually speaks our language for the most part but occasionally you will get someone with a bad attitude and an accent thinking that everyone who calls Dish must be subjected to his/her power trip. Dish does read feedback if you leave a message about bad behavior so they do try . The Hopper and Joey are good. Check out Dish and make up your own mind. Good luck.

  25. Carol says:

    your blog was hilarious! I could just hear you speaking while I read it. love your humor. but the comments, OMG! even better! Stay away from DishTV – goes out when the sun goes behind a cloud…Comcast is the best and EXPENSIVE as all get out.

  26. Steve Davis says:

    We had Direct TV about 9 years ago. We weren’t happy with them and switched to Dish TV. We have been with Dish TV ever since. Between the 2, I would take DishTV everytime.

  27. Mark Kane says:

    Kathleen, once again you had me laughing and laughing! I just love how your write, and I too could hear your voice in my head as I read this.

    My lovely wife Madeleine is going to love this as well. Keep em coming!

  28. Key West Kathy says:

    Jim Cantore rocks! However, we are happy that he’s never been down here in Key West when a hurricane is heading for us, because he always seems to be exactly where the storm hits. If he ever does show up, the entire island will evacuate.
    Bummer that you can’t get TWC anymore, but you can still get weather.com.

  29. Mar says:

    Dish is great, but same thing happened with them a couple years ago with AMC right before The Breaking Bad season happened!!! But they gave us a free Roku and bill credits to pay to stream it. They eventually got them back.

  30. Hannah says:

    Kathleen, I love your comedy as much as I love the weather channel! This makes me so sad, too. Especially in the midwest (and everywhere except California, really) that is having to deal with the polar vortex this winter. If it wasn’t for the weather channel, I would not have known that it was colder in OHIO all of last week than it was in Antarctica, for crying out loud. BRING BACK THE WEATHER CHANNEL!

  31. s. ruber says:

    I’m with the candy corn idea or maybe a coupon you’re not going to use. Worth a try!
    (Imagine a headline–”DOW reporting a rise in candy corn dividends!”)

  32. Wonderfully funny post! I could definitely hear your voice throughout.

    Mark and I still have fond memories of you and the rest of the wonderful comics on both Lewis Black cruises.

  33. David Lemke says:

    Holy Crist,,,, just peed my pants multiple times from laughing while listening to KM again, again an again. I then spent a hour trying to find a contact email so I could drop a note to say thank you or making my night. Then I realized that it is not possible because a contact cannot be found,,, after multiple searches I came across this blog… hey great job, like 1 post a month…lol Any way, I read the tyrant on the weather channel and thought I would try and drop a note fully realizing that I might et lucky and hear back from you sometime in 2015. Why cant real people find friends like you with a wicked sense of humor to hang with>>> Not only stunning….but smart too. Please come to DFW and do a show.

  34. Max Nelson says:

    Hey Kathleen, wanna go out some time?

  35. allen weston says:

    Kathleen, I was also traumatized by no Weather Channel on Direct TV so I’ve decided to Craiglist for a text weather buddy in Birmingham Alabama. I figure whatever they get there we’ll get in a few hours. My friend in Birmingham can text me to take an umbrella or take shelter if tornadic activity is heading my way. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to help him/her unless the earth reverses it’s spin…or flips upsidedown.

  36. sherry says:

    Aliens ……just as you thought.

    • Obscurenoun says:

      Is this where you go to express your hero worship? I can’t remember my Twitter password but I had to put it out there somewhere. Kaththleen, you are the shit! Your life belongs to the public now that we know your talent. Please do a sitcom as a public service. Fill the hole left by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. (This coming from black lesbian recovering Catholic/alcoholic. You’d be surprised how many of us there are.)

  37. Jennifer Dotson says:

    OMG too funny!!! Ok so personally, they all suck lol so you should just create your own network that shows “dead people” shows and weather channel all day. Is that asking too much? BTW what’s wrong with Dallas? Just checked your tour schedule and well, nothing in Texas! I’d be willing to travel to see you but geez the closest one is like 900 miles away!! :)

  38. Tonya says:

    Hidy from DFW! We’d sure like to see you in Texas: DFW, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Waco-even Shreveport, LA are all easy drives. Since it’s been a few months, you probably found an alternative for your TV. FYI anyway: Around here, every year it seems all the known cable providers except Uverse have contract problems & lose popular stations which puts many people in a similar situation as yourself: either change providers or lose favorite channels. We live in the country & satellite is our only option. It’s my understanding that all the satellite providers rent time from HughesNet which actually owns the satellite, so we went to the source. We’ve had no problems, but only use the internet part. We get free broadcast TV & we don’t miss the 500 channels we’d never watch anyway. We just link our new pad/laptop to our newish but not-so-smart TV. AT&T Sales says we can have Uverse, but AT&T Tech says they only lay the fiber optic line along the highway 2 miles from us, then use existing ancient wiring (cloth covered thick copper strands from over 50 yrs ago!) to get to the house. That wiring can FAX but can’t send enough data fast for today’s TV. Most of all: YOUR COMEDY MAKES US LAUGH TIL WE CRY! Thanx so much!

  39. Karen S. says:

    Hello Kathleen,

    Hello from Springfield, VA. I just realized we missed your show at the Birchmere tonight and am so bummed. I’m sending you greetings from a Navy soldier I am dating named Bob O. who escorted you in Afghanistan around the base there. He told me all about your visit and how he gave you a personal 45 minute tour;) He was impressed by your support and sincerity. I wish I could have surprised him with tickets to your show but I didn’t see it until just a little while ago. Maybe next time you are close by. I did see you were coming to Baltimore in October. Thank you for all you do for the soldiers. It is very much appreciated!! Be well.

  40. Lori says:

    First off… I am big fan of yours! I love your comedic style.

    Second… I’m so glad that finally there is at least one more weather fanatic out there. All my “friends” call me the crazy weather lady. I usually get no recognition so at least they do acknowledge me in some fashion.

    As far as a choice in satellite or cable or whichever to use, I have no opinion other than they don’t even deserve candy corn. They should be paid in black jelly beans or DOTS.

    Also, Max Nelson, that was real ballsy of you to ask that on this blog. Maybe you should try meeting live people, like in person, face to face and stuff.

  41. Kathleen! Hope you DO visit Atlanta though didn’t see it scheduled. My l’il sister was a Mktg. Mgr. @ The W.Ch. Her NYT best sell.book was funny. U 2 c/swap laughs! Laine Crosby (medium) Pls. Schedule a show in ATL. Joanne C.

  42. You’re funny as hell, beautiful, and have a tone of voice that could stop wars. I can listen to you all day and laugh and be happy. Thank you for that.

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