Ban, Raymond, 2008-10-30
Scope and Contents
Oral history interview with Raymond Ban, 2008. Interviewed by Robert Henson. 2 sound cassettes (ca. 2 hrs.): analog, mono + transcript (23 pgs.). AMS 238-239; two physical versions (one master, one copy). Forms part of American Meteorological Society Oral History Project. Henson begins with asking about Ban’s childhood. Ban talks about his childhood in Pittsburgh, PA, how he became interested in weather, and when decided to become a meteorologist at Pennsylvania State University. Henson then asks about Ban’s job at Accuweather and Ban discusses how he got the job in 1973 and what he learned during his nine years there. He touches on aspects of small businesses, learning about sales and marketing and deciding on his management style. Henson then shifts to The Weather Channel and Ban talks about the beginnings of the company, being an on-camera meteorologist, and the difficulties getting viewers in the beginning years. Ban talks about John Coleman leaving the company in 1983 and then moves on to his career with The Weather Channel. Henson then asks Ban to discuss the principles of weathercasting and Ban touches on the philosophy of being a 24/7 weather resource and how The Weather Channel’s programming continues to evolve. Ban also discusses the meteorologist’s qualifications and diversity amongst the casters at The Weather Channel. Ban moves on to talk about how weathercasting has changed, the future of meteorology, the major points of his career and storm stories and long-form programming. He ends by commenting on the lack of synergy that he feels exists within the U.S. weather enterprise, and stresses the need of the industry to get out of its comfort zone and communicate the valuable service the weather community provides.
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