Field of Buyers Shrinks for Weather Channel
May 16, 2008 12:02 PM
CBS and NBC, once thought to be the lead dogs to acquire the Weather Channel from Landmark Communications, priced at a steep $5 billion, probably are out of the race now.
At least I think so. Just this week, after his $1.8 billion acquisition of CNET Networks, CBS czar Les Moonves said there were no other large acquisitions ahead for the company.
Then General Electric, the parent company of NBC, confirmed its appliance division was on the block. GE honcho Jeffrey Immelt hopes it will fetch $5 billion to $8 billion.
The 100-year-old appliance division, a mere sliver of the company, is probably one of several divisions that are likely to go on the auction block, say Wall Street analysts. GE is suffering from severe cash flow problems. That doesn’t bode well for the Weather Channel.
So that leaves Comcast, the multiple-system operator that desperately needs a strong network to buoy its sorry stable of cable networks.
Also still in the race is Time Warner. And that’s my horse in this race.
That because Time Warner owns the Turner networks. And according to one of my sources, Turner has tried many times to buy the Weather Channel, for a much lower price, because it would complement CNN perfectly.
Also the Turner networks are based in Atlanta, as is the Weather Channel and its seasoned forecasters.
So who’s your horse in this race?