Cable television’s Weather Channel and its popular Web site weather.com are being put up for sale and could bring more than $5 billion.
The offering has attracted interest from big names in the media, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., NBC, and Comcast, sources who have been briefed on the Weather Channel auction told the New York Times.
The sale of the Weather Channel — one of the last privately owned cable channels — is part of a larger breakup of its parent company, Landmark Communications, a privately held Virginia-based firm that also owns daily newspapers and other media properties.
The cable channel, founded in 1982, has seen its viewership increase in recent years thanks to expanded coverage of hurricanes and other storms and its programming about climate change.
Its Web site weather.com ranks as the country’s 18th largest media site by traffic, with more than 32 million unique visitors in November, according to the Times.
The Weather Channel has 800 employees, 125 of them meteorologists.
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