The Weather Channel was sold to Entertainment Studios, a media company that includes several networks, including Cars.tv, Pets.tv and Recipe.tv.
Entertainment Studios is owned by a media entrepreneur Byron Allenwho got his start on television as the teenage co-host of the early 1980s NBC reality show Real People.
“The Weather Channel is one of the most trusted and critically important cable networks, with information vitally important to the safety and protection of our lives,” Allen said in a statement. “We welcome The Weather Channel, which has been seen in American homes for nearly four decades, to our cable television networks division.
Allen said the acquisition was not the last, as his company plans to invest “billions of dollars over the next five years to acquire some of the best media assets in the world.”
Allen acquires The Weather Group from The Blackstone Group, Bain Capital and Comcast/NBCUniversal. The price would be $300 million.
In 2008, NBC Universal, along with private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, acquired The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications for $3.5 billion. Over the next few years, the channel restructured, downsized its staff, and added long-form programming.
In 2015, IBM acquired the company’s digital assets for $2 billion, including mobile and cloud-based web properties, weather.com and WSI which provides forecasts to clients such as local TV stations and government agencies. The TV station is reportedly going its own way, with potential suitors looming.
“We are thrilled to join Entertainment Studios, and we are especially proud to be part of one of the largest emerging global media companies,” said Dave Shull, CEO of Weather Channel. “Byron Allen’s purchase of our innovative, forward-thinking organization will increase the value we deliver to our viewers, distributors and advertisers.”
With three devastating hurricanes last year, 2017 was the Weather Channel’s most-watched year since 2013. It also consistently topped the Harris Poll’s list of top TV news brands.