.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Landmark Communications to sell 100 newspapers, including the Monitor

-A A +A
By Kelly LeVan

The Los Alamos Monitor may soon be in new hands.The Batten family, which owns Landmark Communications, announced today that it plans to sell the company, which owns the Weather Channel and nearly 100 newspapers across the United States, including the Monitor.Landmark has owned the Monitor since August 1978, said Monitor publisher Ralph Damiani.“Landmark has always been a company of high principals and a strong commitment to local communities,” Damiani said this morning. “I am confident that whatever new direction the ownership change takes, Landmark will ensure that these high ethical standards will continue.”Early reports speculate that the privately held, Norfolk, Va.-based company could be sold in pieces.However, “It’s all speculation at this point,” Damiani said. “LCNI could be broken up, but no one knows.”The Weather Channel very well may be sold “as is,” he said.The Weather Channel employs 800 employees and its website, Weather.com, ranks as the 18th-largest media site by traffic in the United States.The New York Times reported that the announcement has already generated interest from NBC, General Electric, the News Corporation (Fox), Time Warner, Yahoo and Comcast.JPMorgan Chase is advising the company on the sale of the Weather Channel, which is based in Atlanta and is one of the last privately owned cable channels in the United States. Lehman Brothers is helping with the sale of the company's other media assets, reported The Virginian-Pilot, Landmark’s flagship newspaper.Damiani stressed that the Monitor will remain “an important part of the (Los Alamos) community ... At the Monitor, nothing will change.”Landmark, which had $1.75 billion in sales in 2006, employs about 12,000. It owns three metro dailies and, through a division called Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., some 100 daily and weekly newspapers, as well as 30 specialty publications, such as real estate guides.In addition to The Weather Channel, Landmark owns television stations in Las Vegas, Nev., and Nashville, Tenn., and Norfolk-based Dominion Enterprises, a national chain of classified-ad publications.