or


[07/06/08 - 03:42 PM]
NBC Universal, Bain Capital and the Blackstone Group Sign Agreement to Acquire the Weather Channel Properties from Landmark Communications
"This will further position NBC Universal as the leading provider of news, information and weather, both online and on television," said NBC's Jeff Zucker.

[via press release from NBC]

NBC UNIVERSAL, BAIN CAPITAL AND THE BLACKSTONE GROUP SIGN AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE THE WEATHER CHANNEL PROPERTIES FROM LANDMARK COMMUNICATIONS

NEW YORK � July 6, 2008 - NBC Universal, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire The Weather Channel properties from Landmark Communications. The Weather Channel will be operated as a separate entity, based in Atlanta, with management services to be provided by NBC Universal. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The transaction includes The Weather Channel Networks, the third-most-distributed cable network, seen in more than 97% of cable television homes in the U.S.; The Weather Channel Interactive, which includes weather.com, the nation's leading weather website, with nearly 40 million unique visitors per month, and a leading mobile business; and Weather Services International, a global leader in weather forecasting, with more than 5,500 clients worldwide. The transaction is expected to be completed by year-end, and is subject to receipt of customary regulatory approvals. NBC Universal, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group announced on June 13, 2008, that they had entered into exclusive negotiations to purchase The Weather Channel properties.

Commenting on the planned acquisition, Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal, said: "This will further position NBC Universal as the leading provider of news, information and weather, both online and on television. Joining with The Weather Channel properties plays to our strengths in developing and programming cable networks, and in producing and distributing high-quality content across multiple platforms."

Ian Loring, a Managing Director at Bain Capital, said: "We are delighted to have the opportunity to join our partners in acquiring the premier franchise in weather information. The Weather Channel is a true pioneer and innovator in the space across a variety of delivery platforms. We are extremely excited about the growth potential of the business, and strongly believe the partnership among the team at The Weather Channel, the management at NBC Universal, and private equity firms with deep media industry experience will continue to develop this unique media asset."

Michael Chae, Senior Managing Director at The Blackstone Group, said: "This is a premier media asset with a unique position across all three screens � television, PC, and mobile � and exciting growth prospects in each of them. We are looking forward to working toward its continued success with the management of The Weather Channel, the team at our corporate partner NBC Universal and our colleagues at Bain Capital."

Landmark Chairman and CEO Frank Batten, Jr. commented: "When Landmark launched The Weather Channel more than 25 years ago, we could never have imagined that it would become the multi-platform leader which 120 million people use monthly. While we are extremely proud of how far we've come, I know that as part of the NBC Universal consortium, The Weather Channel and its employees will have increased opportunities for growth."

Landmark President and COO Decker Anstrom added: "The Weather Channel team has built an iconic cable network and brand, a top 15 website, the No. 1 mobile content provider, the world's leading B2B weather business and the No. 1 weather radar provider, generating consistently outstanding financial results and wide recognition as a model employer and leader in diversity. We deeply appreciate the terrific support that the cable industry has provided, both at our creation and throughout our development, and we look forward to a smooth transition with NBC Universal, which has a great track record in building and growing high-quality news and information businesses, and its partners."

Upon completion of the transaction, NBC Universal's news and information assets will include NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, The Weather Channel, and their highly trafficked websites. With the addition of weather.com, NBC Universal and its affiliated websites have a total unduplicated reach of nearly 70 million visitors per month, ranking No. 7 against all U.S.-based Internet properties. In addition, NBC Universal will be the leading provider of news and information on the web, with sites including msnbc.com and cnbc.com.*

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. acted as the lead financial advisor for the consortium with Allen & Co. and Credit Suisse also providing financial advice. Weil Gotshal & Manges and Ropes & Gray acted as legal advisors for the consortium.

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., GE Commercial Finance, GSO Capital Partners and Sankaty Advisors, LLC will provide the debt financing for the transaction.

JPMorgan acted as Landmark's financial advisor. Landmark was represented by the Norfolk, VA firm of Willcox & Savage and the Atlanta firm of Kilpatrick Stockton. Venable and Skadden, Arps advised on tax and other specialty issues.

The Weather Channel Properties

The Weather Channel Networks are made up of television networks and products for radio, newspapers, digital cable services, and interactive television. The Weather Channel is received by more than 96 million U.S. households. Weatherscan, The Weather Channel's all-local, all-the-time service, is distributed primarily on digital cable. The Weather Channel HD is a service for subscribers with High Definition TV capability and includes programming content shot in native HD.

The Weather Channel Interactive includes weather.com, and products for broadband and wireless platforms. The No. 1 destination for weather information on the web, weather.com reaches nearly 40 million unique users each month, ranking it among the top 15 most popular websites. In addition, the company operates the No. 2 mobile business in the U.S., with more than 6 million unique visitors per month.

Weather Services International primarily provides business-to-business weather services, particularly for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors, serving over 5,500 clients in 45 countries. For more than 25 years, WSI has focused on becoming the best in the world at predicting, detecting, and visualizing disruptive weather.

The Weather Channel also holds a minority interest in Pelmorex, a Canadian weather company.

NBC Universal

NBC Universal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

Bain Capital

Bain Capital, LLC (www.baincapital.com) is a global private investment firm that manages several pools of capital including private equity, high-yield assets, mezzanine capital and public equity with more than $75 billion in assets under management. Since its inception in 1984, Bain Capital has made private equity investments and add-on acquisitions in over 300 companies around the world, including investments in a broad range of companies such as Warner Music Group, AMC Entertainment, Burger King, Toys "R" Us, Cumulus Media, Dunkin' Brands, DoubleClick, Ameritrade and ProSiebenSat1 Media. The firm has a team of over 300 professionals dedicated to investing in and supporting its portfolio companies. Headquartered in Boston, Bain Capital has offices in New York, London, Munich, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The Blackstone Group

Blackstone (NYSE: BX) is one of the world's leading investment and advisory firms. Blackstone seeks to create positive economic impact and long-term value for its investors, the companies it invests in, the companies it advises and the broader global economy. The Firm accomplishes this through the commitment of its extraordinary people and flexible capital. Blackstone's alternative asset management businesses include the management of corporate private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge funds, funds of funds, debt funds, collateralized loan obligation vehicles (CLOs) and closed-end mutual funds. The Blackstone Group also provides various financial advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions advisory, restructuring and reorganization advisory and fund placement service. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com.

Landmark Communications

Based in Norfolk, VA, Landmark is a privately-held diversified media and business services concern with interests in cable programming, newspapers, broadcasting, specialty classified advertising products, interactive marketing, and information, broadband and data services.

Landmark's subsidiaries include The Weather Channel, weather.com, WSI Corporation (provides B2B weather services); CBS-TV affiliates NewsChannel5 Network in Nashville and KLAS-TV in Las Vegas; Q Interactive (a leading Internet-based direct marketing company); a number of franchise recruitment websites; and Continental Broadband. Landmark's newspapers include The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot, the Greensboro (NC) News & Record, The Roanoke (VA) Times, The Capital (Annapolis, MD), and Landmark Community Newspapers, which publishes more than 50 community newspapers. Landmark also owns Dominion Enterprises, a media and information services company serving employment, real estate, automotive, recreation and industrial markets.

* Source: comScore Media Metrix unduplicated audience report, May 2008





  [july 2008]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
  


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)





[09/19/14 - 11:03 AM]
Get Ready for an "Awkward" Binge Sesh When MTV Airs the Hit Series in Its Entirety Beginning on Monday, September 22 at 8:30 AM ET/PT
Said marathon concludes with the premiere of the second-half of season 4 on Tuesday, September 23 at 10:00/9:00c.

[09/19/14 - 11:00 AM]
"Justified" Arrests Sam Elliott and Garret Dillahunt
The series returns for its sixth and final season in January 2015.

[09/19/14 - 10:06 AM]
"CMT Instant Jam: Kenny Chesney" Premieres Saturday, September 27 at 10 P.M., ET/PT
Viewers can get a sneak peek of Chesney's "American Kids" performance exclusively on the CMT Artists App beginning tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. ET.

[09/19/14 - 09:15 AM]
Cartoon Network's Hit Series "Regular Show" Is Back for a Not-So-Regular Sixth Season Premiering Thursday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT)
The Emmy-winning series was created by JG Quintel and produced by Cartoon Network Studios.

[09/19/14 - 08:40 AM]
"The Biggest Loser" Ranks as the #1 Non-Sports Telecast on the Big 4 Last Night in Every Key Measure
NBC spins the numbers for Thursday, September 18.

[09/19/14 - 08:31 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Dominates with "Thursday Night Football"
The Eye easily wins the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[09/19/14 - 08:01 AM]
"The Graham Norton Show" Returns to BBC America Saturday, October 4, 11:00 PM ET
In the premiere episode, Denzel Washington, Peter Capaldi and Gemma Arterton will join each other on Graham's infamous orange sofa.

[09/19/14 - 07:42 AM]
CNBC's "The Filthy Rich Guide" Series Premiere on Wednesday, October 8 at 10PM ET/PT
The five-episode series is "a fun, fast-paced guide that catalogues the ways in which the .01 percent spend their money."

[09/18/14 - 04:56 PM]
Fall Premiere of OWN's "For Better or Worse" Delivers 1.2 Million Viewers
OWN spins the numbers for Wednesday, September 17.

[09/18/14 - 02:50 PM]
"90 Day Fiance" - TLC's #1 New Series of 2014 - Returns October 19, 2014
In the second season, six new couples decide to take a chance on love and bring their spouses-to-be stateside.

[09/18/14 - 01:17 PM]
NBC Announces Partnership and Integration with Nissan as Exclusive Automotive Sponsor of Emmy Award-Winning Hit "The Voice"
"The Voice Official App" will further enhance the viewer experience across the show from the blind auditions, battles, knockouts all the way to the live playoffs as well as giving fans, for the first time, the ability to use the app to vote for their favorite artists live during the broadcast of the show.

[09/18/14 - 01:15 PM]
Hallmark Channel's "Cedar Cove" Ranks #1 in Primetime Among Households, Women 25-54, and Total Viewers in Live+3 Performance
The Hallmark Channel spins the numbers for Saturday, September 13.

[09/18/14 - 01:06 PM]
National Spotlight Shines on Jeter's Final Series on FOX; Pirates' Playoff Push on FOX Sports 1 to End MLB Regular Season
Today, FOX Sports announced unprecedented, side-by-side national coverage of Major League Baseball's final regular season Saturday with two compelling games side-by-side on the FOX broadcast network and FOX Sports 1.

[09/18/14 - 01:00 PM]
Central Perk Pop-Up Creates "Friends" Fan Frenzy in Lower Manhattan
The store (located at 199 Lafayette Street, on the corner of Broome) officially opened to the public Wednesday, September 17.

[09/18/14 - 12:20 PM]
John Legend and Lee Ann Womack Make Musical Magic on "CMT Crossroads"
Said installment premieres Friday, September 26 at 10:00/9:00c on the cable channel.