Sorry WESH — NBC pulls plug on WeatherPlus

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Anyone with concepts for a new weather slogan or ideas on how to program digital channel 2.2 should contact WESH-TV.

NBC has decided to kill its WeatherPlus franchise and informed employees on Tuesday, TV Week reported. The operation will be phased out in stages over the next year.

WESH is among approximately 80 NBC affiliates who embraced the WeatherPlus brand and created digital subchannels devoted to weather. It was a great idea — until NBC Universal decided to buy The Weather Channel, leaving no need nor desire for WeatherPlus.

WESH was one of the first NBC affiliates to join WeatherPlus. And one of the first “stars” of the NBC WeatherPlus national feed had O-Town ties — Bill Karins. He previously worked for WOFL-Fox 35 before joining WeatherPlus. What will happen with him and other WeatherPlus employees remains to be seen.

“I’m a huge fan of Jeff Ranieri and Bill Karins and some of the other folks, and we’re going to look at everybody and make a determination about what we’re going to do,” NBC News President Steve Capus told TV Week. “There are some real superstars behind the scenes whom we’ll work to move into other jobs. That’s going to be difficult, given the general climate right now, but we’ll do the best we can.”

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Roger Simmons has been blogging about Orlando television since 2001. You can email him at roger@rogersimmons.com