NEW YORK — NBC Universal and two partners said Sunday they have reached a deal to buy The Weather Channel from Landmark Communications Inc., ending a drawn-out process that had attracted interest from several major media companies.
Financial terms weren't disclosed, but a person familiar with the matter who insisted on anonymity said the purchase price was $3.5 billion in cash. NBC was joined in the deal by the private equity firms The Blackstone Group LP and Bain Capital LLC.
In addition to The Weather Channel, which can be seen by 97 percent of U.S. cable subscribers, the deal also includes several related assets such as weather services for newspapers and radio stations and the widely used Web site Weather.com.
Nevermind the fact that the amount of cash that NBC is getting ready to throw down for The Weather Channel is not only going to buy the cable channel, but don't you think that NBC could have bought something better?
The Weather Channel?
Sure, Storm Stories can be pretty interesting, maybe even a little cool, but all I'm seeing with this purchase is more fuel for the Fox"News'" fire. And by that, I'm speaking about Bill O'Reilly.
He's made it his mission to try and pin everything from fluctuating stock prices, media bias, and bad goings-on in the alleged "war on terror" on Jeffery Immelt - who happens to be the CEO of GE.
So, what does this have to do with NBC buying The Weather Channel and the whole 'liberal bias' title of this blog?
Well, that's because GE owns NBC, who is the 'parent' of MSNBC, home of O'Reilly boogie-man du jour Keith Olbermann.
From the Washington Post.
Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News star, is mounting an extraordinary televised assault on the chief executive of General Electric, calling him a "pinhead" and a "despicable human being" who bears responsibility for the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq.
On the surface, O'Reilly's charges revolve around GE's history of doing business with Iran. But the attacks grow out of an increasingly bitter feud between O'Reilly and the company's high-profile subsidiary, NBC, one that has triggered back-channel discussions involving News Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, NBC chief executive Jeff Zucker and General Electric's CEO, Jeffrey Immelt.
Ailes called Zucker on his cellphone last summer, clearly agitated over a slam against him by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann. According to sources familiar with the conversation, Ailes warned that if Olbermann didn't stop such attacks against Fox, he would unleash O'Reilly against NBC and would use the New York Post as well.
Both Fox and the Post are owned by Murdoch, who complained about Olbermann's conduct in separate calls to Zucker and Immelt.
The high-level appeals failed, and O'Reilly has escalated his criticism of GE in recent weeks, declaring, "If my child were killed in Iraq, I would blame the likes of Jeffrey Immelt."
None of this really has to do with Immelt, Iraq, Bin Laden, Terrorism, or NBC. It all revolves around the infated ego of Bill O'Reilly and his seething hatred for Olbermann. But, in reality this could have been anyone. The reason is that O'Reilly fancies himself a 'journalist' and, well, he just isn't.
So, there is another media entity for O'Reilly to attack now. But, I have a feeling that people are going to have have a hard time following O'Reilly's 'logic' if he sets hi sites on The Weather Channel.
I'll let Olbermann sum this up as only he can: