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Weather Channel Founder Frank Batten Sr. Dies at 82

Sep 11, 2009  •  Post A Comment

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.

–Elizabeth Jensen

One Comment

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