Weather Channel Music Programmer, Steve Hurst

Today we wrap up our discussion with Steve Hurst, the guy who makes you look back at the television screen during the local forecast on The Weather Channel and ask, "Is that... Moby?" If it weren't for him, we'd still be listening to the Windham Hill New Age library during our local forecasts. But instead, Steve has mixed it up and given us something a little more interesting to listen to while we evaluate our weather-conscious wardrobe for the day. Recently however, the music has been getting drowned out by the addition of an automated voice-over reading our forecast to us. Gothamist isn't a big fan of the voice, but we asked Steve about it as well as come other questions about the on-air personalities, security, and his favorite things about our wonderful city.

TWC is adding more and more of that voice over to the local forecast which drowns out the music. . Does that make you bitter?
At first, I was like “what the heck is this…it’s killing the music.” Then my brain kicked back in and I remembered that we do weather…not music.

We find it annoying although it's good news for the visually impaired
That is one of the positives of the voice.

Who is your favorite on-air personality (or Met as you call them)?
All of our OCM’s (On-Camera Met.) are really great to work with and are about the smartest people I have ever met. I work with Melissa Barrington quite a bit, and we both just had our first child last year. All we talk about is baby stuff, to the irritation of our co-workers. Melissa is the best but they are all cool, Bill Keneely, Kelly Cass, Hillary Andrews, Bob Stokes, Kristin Dodd, Mark Mancuso, Mike Seidel. You could not ask for better people to work with.

Dave Schwartz is Gothamist's alltime fav. I've never seen someone get so excited about weather and fronts.
Schwartz is a crazy man. He has also turned me onto some great music for the local forecast. One of his buddies, Ken Gregory, is a jazz musician, and the guy is very talented. I will be using a lot of his music in the future. Just an FYI, Dave used to be a social worker in Atlanta and decided he wanted to be an OCM. He went back to school and achieved his goal. He is one of our best.

Rumor has it security is ridiculously tight there... ever get accosted or have a story to share?
I have never really had anything weird happen to me, with the exception of some strange calls at home. Most people are really nice. As far as the security at The Weather Channel goes, I’ll put it to you this way: If you are not meant to be in the building, then you are not getting into the building.

So for having no interest in meteorology, you are certainly getting alot of press in the weather world... what's up with that?
I have no idea why there is so much press, but it is really nice. To me, it’s not that big a deal. However some seem to think it is.
[Ed. You can read a couple of other past stories about Steve at the St. Petersburg Times and Jambands.com.]

What do you want to do next after TWC (hypothetically of course)?
Right now I have it made. I think I’m going to ride this one out as long as I can.

Ever been to New York?
My wife is from Staten Island, and I have been to New York quite a few times. In fact, I saw my first methadone clinic on Staten Island. Now take in mind, I’m from Smyrna, GA, so our family get togethers are very interesting. My wife, Lara, has also taught me the ways of the native New Yorker and would like to see me implement them into our life here in Atlanta. For instance, I did not know that it is actually legal to threaten to kill someone if they do not use the proper turn signals while driving, and who would have thought that the Olive Garden is not real Italian food? Oh, the sheltered life I have led. In all seriousness, New York City is the center of the universe and an amazing place. I can’t wait to take my son to NYC and show him where the other half of his world came from.

What is your favorite thing/place/restaurant/street/etc about the city? Feel free to expand alot on this if you like.
Favorite Restaurant: Gino, It’s an Italian place and it’s between 60th and 61st on Lexington, a block north of Bloomingdales. It’s the anti-Olive Garden. [Ed. incidentally, Gothamist was just there to celebrate the ending bachelorhood of our friend G and the food was incredible (so was the wine)]
Favorite thing to do: Cab rides. We have something similar in the South…they’re called roller coasters.
Favorite place: see Gino
Favorite street: Wall Street. Those folks take care of my 401k. Thanks Guys. Also, my mother-in-law worked on Wall Street for 17 years.
Favorite thing about the city: The people. In the South, everyone is expected to be polite at all costs, so you never really know what someone is thinking. However, a true New Yorker will shoot you straight…good or bad. Also, my smoking-hot wife came from New York City.

Here is your chance to say whatever you like to the NYC Gothamist readers. Don't screw it up. Ready? Go.
Check out one of New York’s best jazz artists. Yonker’s own Jeanne Ricks is one of the most talented musicians I have every heard. Her web site is www.ricksofacto.com. She just had a song featured in Robert Duvall’s Assassination Tango and Aretha Franklin is preparing to sing two of her songs on the diva’s cd.

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Gothamist really wants to thank Steve for taking the time to talk to us and have some fun and the people at The Weather Channel who helped make it happen. It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, we couldn't fly Steve back to Atlanta, so we put him in a cab, he should be home in a few days. The Weather Channel posts the current and past music playlists on their site for your enjoyment. Also of interest is TWC Classics, an independently run fan site that has archives dating back to 1988 (and a website design feel of the same).
Check out part 1 and part 2 of the interview with Steve Hurst, Music Programmer for The Weather Channel.