Frank Batten Sr., the retired chairman of Landmark Communications (now Landmark Media Enterprises), died Thursday at age 82 in Norfolk, Va., says the New York Times.
Batten started as a copy boy at his uncle’s newspapers and soon was named publisher of his Virginian-Pilot newspaper. Over the years he turned owner Landmark Communications into a TV station and newspaper empire. In 1982, he braved considerable industry skepticism with the launch of a 24-hour cable channel devoted to nothing but the weather.
His instincts proved right; Landmark sold the Weather Channel and its Weather.com Web site to NBC Universal and two private equity firms in 2008 for a reported $3.5 billion.