The World: New York - Landmark puts The Weather Channel up for sale

The Weather Channel, one of the last privately owned cable networks in the US, is being put up for sale by its Landmark Communications owner.

Landmark is said to have slapped a $5 billion price tag on the channel and to have retained JP Morgan and Lehman Brothers to "assist in exploring strategic alternatives".

Frank Batten, Landmark's chairman, said: "At this early stage, we cannot speculate on where this process will lead."

Possible buyers are believed to include NBC Universal, News Corp and Comcast. All could benefit from the network's growing ad revenue and the heavy traffic on its website, which attracts more than 35 million unique visitors a month.