Weather Channel hires DC veteran John Goodwin as head of comms

Goodwin is replacing Shirley Powell, who exited the company amid its acquisition by IBM.

NEW YORK: The Weather Channel has hired John Goodwin as head of comms.

Goodwin will oversee all internal and external communications, including corporate and network media relations, public affairs, and social media for The Weather Channel TV network and properties for parent company The Weather Group.

"One of the primary things I want to do is bring more attention to the fact that The Weather Channel provides a vital service to the country [by disseminating] critical information during severe weather," he said. "We also have to educate folks about how this iconic brand is always moving with the times."

Goodwin said The Weather Channels sees opportunity in providing a hyper-localized experience through its streaming service, Local Now, which provides information about news, weather, sports, and traffic to customers.

Splitting his time between New York and Atlanta, Goodwin is reporting to CEO Dave Shull and managing corporate communications specialist Bailey Rogers, who has worked at the company since 2014. Greenwich Harbor Partners assisted in the recruiting process, Goodwin said.

Goodwin’s predecessor, Shirley Powell, exited the company in late 2015 while IBM was in the process of finalizing its acquisition of The Weather Company, around the time Shull joined the company. Powell is currently SVP of communications and community relations at Cox Automotive, a Cox Enterprises subsidiary.

IBM agreed to buy The Weather Channel’s b-to-b, mobile, and web properties, including weather.com, Weather Underground, and the Weather Company brand in late 2015. IBM said last year that the deal was part of the launch of its $3 billion Internet of Things division.

Before joining The Weather Channel, Goodwin was VP at The Herald Group, a Washington, DC, public affairs shop, and held comms roles for three congressmen: Reps. Raul Labrador (R-ID), Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Rob Simmons (R-CT).  He also used to lobby for the NRA. Goodwin started his career working for New Media Strategies.

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