NORFOLK, Virginia: Privately-owned media firm Landmark Communications has hung a 'For Sale' sign around its neck inviting bids of around $5 billion (€3.4bn; £2.5bn).

The company, which owns cable television station The Weather Channel, its associated website and a number of publishing ventures, was founded in 1904 by the Batten family.

Declares current chairman/ceo Frank Batten Jr: "Landmark's weather, publishing, broadcasting, interactive and information businesses all have leading positions in their markets and have strong growth opportunities."

The Weather Channel, launched in 1982 amid doubts as to its potential for success, is now beamed into 96 million homes and has vindicated the family's belief in 24-hour meteorological information.

Among those thought to be jostling to bid for the business are NBC and News Corporation.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff