The Weather Channel’s Marvin Renaud Leads Hyper-Local Streaming News Service

by Edward Cates

Marvin Renaud is Senior Vice President of Digital for Weather Group, parent company of The Weather Channel television network and Local Now. Renaud admits leading a successful digital media network is not the career he envisioned growing up. He thought he’d be a researcher. Turns out, he’s a natural business leader with a penchant for up-and-coming technology to help organizations reach specific

audiences. As a Clark University sophomore, Renaud joined INROADS, a nonprofit that helps minority youth get involved in business through internships. He was excited about getting an interview with Cingular Wireless/AT&T but wasn’t sure he was ready for corporate America. He didn’t even own a suit to wear to the interview. So, he borrowed a suit and landed the internship. At AT&T, Shawn Toombs took Renaud under his wing and taught him how to best operate in the corporate world. He even took him shopping for work clothes. Toombs saw a lot of potential in Renaud and knew, with proper guidance, he could grow into a successful professional. When the internship ended, Renaud got a part-time job at AT&T while in school. He gained more experience and supported innovative projects, such as Wireless Number Portability, cutting-edge at the time, enabling mobile number transfers to new carriers.

AT&T offered Renaud a full-time, entry-level role upon graduating, but he opted for a management consultant position at Accenture Strategy. Interestingly, his first project was with AT&T, due to his industry knowledge. He did a good deal of M&A work. He also helped start the Customer Experience Strategy group and became the go-to resource for new product and startup launches for clients. Subsequently, he was asked to spend a year in Southeast Asia to help build Accenture’s Strategy practice, assisting C-suite clients across the region launch new products and businesses. He returned to the U.S. and got married, then he left Accenture after 10 years and went on to join CNN.

Hired by Karen DeGrammont, a “rock star” in the business world, he helped build out CNN Digital’s Product Strategy group. After convincing CNN’s Chief Product Officer to expand into the emerging and off-platform space, he was tasked with building the team necessary to do so. Renaud helped CNN launch on Apple News, Snapchat, Google Play newsstand, Snapchat Discover, several messaging apps and more, reaching approximately 70 million users per month.

In 2017, The Weather Channel’s Chief Operating Officer Freddy Flaxman asked Renaud to join the company. There, he built out the new Digital team and helped re-launch Local Now, the network’s new OTT (over-the-top) product. Local Now is a streaming video service providing viewers with hyper-local weather, traffic, news and sports video reports across a portfolio of mobile and television consumer platforms, including mobile apps, streaming devices and more. Powered by high-quality content providers, such as The Weather Channel, the Associated Press, Foursquare, American City Business Journals and more, Local Now delivers real-time information when and how viewers want it. Local Now’s mission is to inspire and inform people through stories and data to build better communities. Renaud’s goal is to help make Local Now the most widely distributed local video service in the country. Targeting diverse and community-minded audiences, Local Now aims to deliver higher-quality video content than local news providers and more locally relevant than national news providers.

“The Weather Channel is an innovative network, and Local Now is an innovative product,” says The Weather Channel’s Chief Human Resources and Compliance Offi cer Melody Smalls, named one of Savoy’s 2018 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America. “It’s critical for us to have a powerhouse of talent to take The Weather Channel to the next level and stay ahead of the ever-changing media landscape. Marvin brings unique skills and leadership that will surely help us maintain our status as leaders in the industry.”

Renaud says the biggest impact on his career has been mentoring by talented colleagues who helped mold him into the successful businessman he is today. May we all continue to do our part to mentor youth and help create a pathway for them to be leaders of the future.

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