- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - The Weather Channel has a new chief executive, and he’s forecasting expansion overseas.

The Weather Channel Co. said Tuesday it was appointing veteran digital executive David Kenny as its new chairman and chief executive. Kenny succeeds Mike Kelly, who will be a special adviser to the company.

Kenny is on Yahoo’s board of directors and most recently has been president of Akamai, a cloud platform serving mobile and Internet users.

He said he’d like to see the company move more swiftly to establish its websites and mobile applications in overseas market where it is now a small player. That takes precedence over trying to establish a television presence overseas, he said.

The U.S. television network currently has two hours of weather-related reality programming in prime time _ high seas rescues and the like _ that supplement the live weather coverage it airs at most other times. Expect that direction to continue.

“There will be a real focus on programming,” Kenny said. “The television channel itself will have more room for long-form (programming) given that we have other ways of giving information about the weather.”

The Weather Channel is owned by a consortium of Bain Capital, The Blackstone Group and NBC Universal.

The consortium, in a statement, said Kenny “has a deep understanding of the TV and digital business, and he has the leadership experience and vision to drive global initiatives across all platforms.”

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