CBS News launching weather unit, hires VP to head it up

Wendy Fisher has been named vice president of weather strategy for CBS News and Stations and will head up a new weather unit for the network.

Fisher’s new team will work closely with all CBS News programs and the more than 60 meteorologists and weather production teams across CBS News and Stations and CBS Media Ventures.

This central weather team will be the coordinating force behind bringing the division’s local and national teams together, using state-of-the-art augmented and virtual reality to tell critical weather stories each day. Fisher starts on April 22, 2024, and will be based in New York.

“Wendy Fisher knows how to cover stories with impact and how to lead teams to become reporting centers for excellence,” said Adrienne Roark, president of content development and integration for CBS News and Stations and CBS Media Ventures in a statement. “Every piece of research we’ve seen for decades points to weather as one of the biggest drivers in audience engagement. From life-impacting to life-threatening weather, audiences turn to us for community connection, context and clarity during these extreme events. Wendy is exceptionally well positioned to help build our new unified weather leadership team as we move to transform the coverage and super-serve audiences with this essential and urgent reporting every day.”

CBS News and Stations’ weather unit will transform its on-air look by utilizing augmented reality and other new technology pioneered in CBS’ San Francisco station. Fisher will work with Scott Warren, president and general manager of KPIX, as they roll out new features that will provide deeper and more comprehensive reporting across all CBS News and Stations programs and platforms.

CBS says it will continue its current partnership with The Weather Channel, what was first formed in 2022. Since then, CBS News has relied on Weather Channel personalities to provide weather reports across its broadcasts, including segments using virtual environments to showcase maps and clarify weather concepts. It will also leverage Weather Channel resources for breaking news related to weather.

The division is also expected to delve into coverage of climate change and related subjects.

“Weather is one of the top stories audiences look for on a daily basis and I am excited to join an organization investing in bringing together the strongest reporting teams, storytellers and technology to bring depth and innovation to weather coverage,” said Fisher. “I’m thrilled to lead this ground-breaking CBS News and Stations initiative.”

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Fisher joins CBS News and Stations after a more than 30-year career in newsgathering at ABC News. From 2020 to 2023, Fisher served as senior vice president of global newsgathering, where she managed coverage of local, national and international news stories, such as the war in Ukraine, mass shootings, major weather events and natural disasters. Fisher was also integral to ABC News’ coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, protests following the murder of George Floyd, political campaigns and terrorist attacks.

Fisher began her career at ABC News in 1989. She has served as vice president of newsgathering, executive editor, national editor and assignment editor. She also mentored and coached on- and off-camera staffers during her career. Fisher currently serves as a lecturer in advanced reporting in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at Rutgers University.

Fisher graduated from Amherst College and received her master’s in French Studies from New York University.

It does not appear Fisher has any formal meteorology training, though her career has included handling coverage for weather-related headlines.