Agreement reached for Weather Channel sale

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Jessica Sabbath

Norfolk-based Landmark Communications has reached an agreement to sell The Weather Channel and its related properties to NBC Universal and two private equity firms.

News services, quoting unnamed sources, reported the purchase price is $3.5 billion. NBC Universal will manage The Weather Channel as a separate subsidiary in Atlanta. The Blackstone Group LP and Bain Capital LLC joined NBC in the deal.

“When Landmark launched The Weather Channel more than 25 years ago, we could never have imagined that it would become the multiplatform leader, which 120 million people use monthly,” Landmark Chairman and CEO Frank Batten Jr. said in a statement. “While we are extremely proud of how far we’ve come, I know that as part of the NBC Universal consortium, The Weather Channel and its employees will have increased opportunities for growth.”

The deal includes the Weather Channel, its companion Web site,, and a mobile forecasting service, Weather Services International. The transaction, expected to be completed by year end, is subject to regulatory approvals.

“This will further position NBC Universal as the leading provider of news, information and weather, both online and on television,” NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker said in a statement. “Joining with The Weather Channel properties plays to our strengths in developing and programming cable networks, and in producing and distributing high-quality content across multiple platforms.”

Landmark announced in January that was considering sale of its assets, but bundled its newspaper and television stations separately from The Weather Channel.

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