Landmark Communications retired chairman Frank Batten Sr., whose company created The Weather Channel, died Thursday at age 82 and is remembered in a lengthy obituary in Landmark-owned newspaper The Virginian-Pilot.
The article notes Batten, a Norfolk, Va., native, started as an errand boy at the Virginian-Pilot, rose to become publisher of it and built Landmark (now called Landmark Media Enterprises) into a media empire including newspapers and TV stations.
Landmark sold The Weather Channel and Weather.com to NBC Universal and private equity firms in 2008. When it was created, in 1982, it faced skepticism that a 24-hour weather-focused cable channel could succeed, but the enterprise was sold for a reported $3.5 billion, the article observes.
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