The Weather Channels Senior VP of Live Programing Helen Swenson is leaving network to become a GM at a local station.
No word yet on which station she is headed to. Swenson is a longtime veteran of TV news, working in news management positions in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Miami, West Palm Beach.
Here is the internal email sent out to the staff at the Weather Channel from President David Clark, announcing her leaving:
It’s with mixed emotions that I share with you that Helen Swenson, senior vice president of live programming, has decided to leave The Weather Channel. Helen is taking a position as the president and general manager of a local station which, while a tough loss for us, is a great opportunity for her. She will be with us until August 23 and we will begin the search for her replacement immediately.
Helen joined Weather in 2009 with the mission of producing compelling and engaging content and delivering coverage that illustrates how the weather and forecasts affect people. A major focus of hers has been changing how we cover severe weather and under her leadership, we have delivered the most comprehensive severe weather coverage of any media outlet. This has been consistently demonstrated during hurricanes, tornado outbreaks and winter storms and was recognized when we were awarded Weather’s first ever national journalism award, the National Headliner Award, for our 2011 coverage of the Joplin tornado outbreak.
Helen put her more than 30 years of television experience to work making our network better, with a focus on turning a weather center into a newsroom and weather coverage entity. She drove the creation of our assignment desk, instituted editorial meetings and shaped our staff to be one of meteorologists and journalists working together with a common goal. In addition, she expanded our coverage of severe events so along with hurricanes, tornadoes and winter storms, we are covering earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding and wildfires as well. All of these efforts have resulted in our live coverage being stronger as a result of her hard work for which I am personally grateful.
Following Helen’s departure on August 23, Jennifer Rigby will report to me and serve as interim head of live programming with Bryan Norcross, Craig McMahon, Chris Samsury and Scott Tufts reporting to her. In the meantime, please join me in thanking Helen for her contributions to the network and wish her well in the future.