Skip to main content

Weather Channel founder Frank Batten Sr. remembered

Frank Batten Sr., founder and chairman of Landmark Communications, one of the country's largest privately held media companies, died Thursday in Norfolk, Va. He was 82.

Batten, an avid sailor, was a publishing magnate and visionary who launched The Weather Channel, among many other accomplishments. His Norfolk-based Landmark Media Enterprises - successor to Landmark Communications after a partial breakup - owns Dominion Enterprises, the parent company of Soundings Trade Only.

Frank Batten Jr. has run the company since his father stepped down in 1998.

Batten was 27 when he became publisher of The Virginian-Pilot in 1954, leading the newspaper and its sister publication, the Ledger-Star, through decades of steady growth. His publishing empire eventually included nine daily newspapers and more than 100 other specialty publications.

In 1982, he launched The Weather Channel, selling it last year for more than $3 billion.

Batten was also well-known as a philanthropist, giving more than $220 million to educational institutions, most notably his alma mater, the University of Virginia. He donated $60 million to the university's business school in 1999 and later gave $100 million to create the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, according to reports.

"He could very easily have just led the good life and not dealt with the problems of the city and the state," Harvey Lindsay, a Norfolk real estate developer, civic leader and friend of Batten's for nearly 60 years, told The Virginian-Pilot. "But he chose to become very involved and to do things that have helped so many people."

"I think he was certainly one of the great Virginians of the century," Lindsay added.

Click here for the article on Batten.


TPG Adds to Marine Portfolio

The hospitality and marina management firm acquired Conanicut Marina and Taylor Point Boat Yard in Jamestown, R.I.

Trade Only Today Returns Jan. 18

The daily e-newsletter will not publish Monday, Jan. 17, in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday weekend.

ECONOMY REPORT: Omnipresent Omicron

The year closed with an uptick in consumer confidence, but the latest coronavirus variant threatens to derail progress

Mixed Reactions

Though generally positive about market conditions, many dealers report they won’t be attending boat shows.

Sportsman Boats Hires CFO

Greg House was previously chief financial officer with Sea Star Solutions and Dometic.

NMMA Reports Strong Boat Sales in 2021

Annual new powerboat sales are expected to exceed 300,000 units for the second consecutive year.

Lowrance Releases Software Update

The software release enables a new sonar feature and autopilot compatibility for Ghost trolling motors and Ghost-compatible MFDs.

Keeping the Sales Team Motivated and Sharp

Here are some strategies from the “Undisputed King of Motivation,” Zig Ziglar, for sales success before, during and after the transaction.

Retired CG Officer Joins Commonwealth PR

Chad Saylor, who served as a public affairs officer, is an account executive with the Virginia-based public relations and marketing firm.