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October 1, 2005

The Weather Channel Increases Captioned Hours

From: VITAC - Oct 1, 2005

For Immediate Release
Heather York, VITAC
703-807-2763 or

Dedication to closed captioning lauded by deaf community

October 1, 2005 -- The Weather Channel, long dedicated to deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, will increase the amount of programming it captions effective October 1st, 2005. Working with VITAC, the nation's leading closed captioning company, The Weather Channel will caption 21 hours of regular programming per day, exceeding the hours the FCC requires networks to caption. In addition, The Weather Channel and VITAC will provide captioning for breaking weather emergency broadcasts sent to local affected areas as part of TWC's WeatherStar system.

"We deliver information that helps people prepare for and understand the weather and how it may affect their lives," said Debora Wilson, president, The Weather Channel Companies. "There are millions of Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing and we are fully committed to bringing them ready access to the reliable, expert weather information that consumers expect from The Weather Channel. We are delighted to work with VITAC, offering closed captioning of that information, along with our high quality maps and graphics."

Most of The Weather Channel's programming is broadcast live, meaning captions must be created on the spot by highly trained realtime captioners. Popular primetime programming like "Storm Stories" will be captioned in advance of air, providing 100% accurate captioning for the Weather Channel and its viewers. VITAC, which captioned over 70,000 hours of programming in 2004, will provide both services as part of a contract to begin at 5:00 a.m. on October 1st, 2005.

"VITAC has provided quality captions for broadcast and cable networks for 20 years," said Pat Prozzi, President and CEO of VITAC. "We're thrilled to have been chosen as the new caption provider for The Weather Channel and look forward to sharing our expertise with their viewers."

Deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers across the country will benefit from increased captioning on The Weather Channel. "When I want in-depth information on the weather, that's where I look," says Carl Jensema, Vice President of the Institute for Disabilities Research and Training.  "When a hurricane threatens, we keep our TV continuously tuned to the Weather Channel.  Without captioning, deaf people would lose this critical source of information.  We really appreciate the Weather Channel's efforts to caption their material."

About The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel, a 24 hour weather network, is seen in more than 89 million U.S. households. Its Web site,, reaches more than 25 million unique users per month. Its content is currently ranked among the 10 most popular Websites in the U.S. by Nielsen//Net Ratings. The Weather Channel also operates Weatherscan, (a 24 hour, all local weather network available to almost 22 million households), The Weather Channel Radio Network, The Weather Channel Newspaper Services, and is the leading weather information provider for emerging technologies. The Weather Channel is owned by Landmark Communications, Inc., a Norfolk, VA-based, privately held media company.

VITAC, a WordWave company, is a leading provider of captioning, multi-language subtitling services, and video descriptive services with offices in North Hollywood, CA, Arlington, VA and Canonsburg, PA. VITAC provides closed captioning for broadcast networks, cable TV, home video, DVD, teleconferences and Internet programs worldwide. Among the company's largest clients are BBC, BET, CBS, CNN, Court TV, Discovery Networks, ESPN, FOX, FSN, HSN, MTV Networks, NBC, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros. Verizon and the Federal Aviation Administration. WordWave is a privately held, global provider of litigation support, captioning and subtitling, digital recording and transcription services.