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Prelim Bids Due for Weather Channel

March 14, 2008 12:20 PM

Today is the deadline for preliminary bids for Landmark Communications’ Weather Channel and its popular Web site, weather.com. The company expects to sell those properties for a cool $5 billion, a figure industry analysts think is too steep.

Given the economic climate, and the dearth of M&A activity, I’m voting with the analysts here. CBS President-CEO Les Moonves, speaking at the McGraw Hill Media Summit this week, expressed his interest in the Weather Channel, if the price were right.

Was he signaling just what the right price was when he told attendees that CBS had a couple of billion dollars and a “pristine” balance sheet?

If so, that would be less than half of what Landmark is looking to fetch.

I’m placing my bet on NBC emerging as the winner. Published reports said interested parties include CBS, NBC, the Walt Disney Co., Time Warner, Comcast and Liberty Media.

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