Landmark Communications to Sell?

There's word Thursday on the possibility that the family that owns Norfolk-based Landmark Communications is selling the company's businesses, which include The Weather Channel and nine daily newspapers.

Frank Batten Jr., Landmark's chairman and CEO, said in a statement that the privately held company has hired JPMorgan and Lehman Brothers to help it look into possible sale scenarios. Batten said it's too early to speculate on "where this process will lead."

Landmark's vice chairman, Richard Barry III, said Batten would have no further comment, except to the Norfolk-based Virginian-Pilot, Landmark's flagship newspaper.

In an interview with The Associated Press Thursday, Barry declined to say why the sale is being considered. Barry says he doesn't know how much Landmark could make by selling its largest asset, The Weather Channel.

Landmark employs about 12,000, according to Hoover's, a business reference service. It is parent to nine daily papers, including The Roanoke Times in Virginia, and more than 100 nondaily newspapers and specialty publications.


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