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Landmark Media Enterprises, LLC (a spinoff of Landmark Communications, Inc.) is a privately held media company headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia specializing in newspaper publishing, Internet publishing and software.

History

Norfolk Newspapers was founded in 1905 as a holding company for the newspaper properties of Samuel L. Slover. They included papers which would eventually become today's ''Virginian-Pilot''. Frank Batten, Slover's nephew, took over the company in 1955, and changed its name to Norfolk-Portsmouth Newspapers Inc. in 1957 (reflecting the merger of the Norfolk ''Ledger-Dispatch'' and ''Portsmouth Star''), then to Landmark Communications in 1967. It became Landmark Media Enterprises in 2008. Landmark is controlled by the Batten family.

Properties

Landmark owns more than 50 community newspapers and special-interest publications in 11 states. That includes seven publications that cover college sports at Florida State University, University of Florida, Indiana University, University of Iowa (Voice of The Hawkeyes), University of Nebraska, University of Kentucky and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and two daily newspapers: ''Citrus County Chronicle'' of Crystal River, Florida and ''The News-Enterprise'' of Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Landmark owns Dominion Enterprises, which runs classified advertising websites for real estate, vehicles, travel, franchises and businesses for sale. Dominion also provides software as a service products to real estate agents, auto dealers, and motorcycle dealers.

Former properties

One of Landmark Communications's holdings was TeleCable Corporation, a cable television service that began in a small Virginia town in the late 1950s. Landmark was able to obtain franchise licenses to operate in about two dozen cities, mainly throughout the eastern half of the U.S., including Overland Park, Kansas; Plano & Arlington, Texas; Bloomington, Illinois; Racine, Wisconsin; Springfield, Missouri; Wytheville, Virginia; Princeton, Virginia; Selma, Alabama, as well as a number of other cities. TeleCable was a progressive company, with the concept of HBO 2, Disney 2, Showtime 2 being created in Overland Park, Kansas. Prior to the 1980s, technology only enabled subscribers to get 12 channels on a CATV system. TeleCable built two CATV systems over each other in Overland Park when the franchise was granted in the late 1960s. Customers had A/B switches at their TVs so they could select a separate set of channels on each. This gave TeleCable of Overland Park twice as many channels (24) as other CATV companies. With advances in technology, TeleCable of Overland Park was able to offer 48 channels instead of 24. In the early 1980s, there were very few satellite offerings, and the pay cable channels signed off the air before midnight on weeknights (later on the weekends). Customers complained to TeleCable of Overland Park that they missed the starting of the 7 p.m. movie because of late working hours, dinner, children's activities, and so on. The management contacted HBO, Showtime, and The Disney Channel to ask permission to receive the Eastern Time Zone satellite feed of their programs for its Central Time Zone operation. TeleCable officials were going to charge the customers that wanted this expanded service another 50 cents per month. The movie channels dismissed the idea, believing no one would pay extra for that feature. After several months, management had the full attention of the networks, as thousands were signing up. All this did for customers was provide a one-hour earlier start for movies and other programs. But HBO and Showtime soon decided to create completely separate services for those channels. Disney followed suit a few years later. Landmark's predecessor, Norfolk Newspapers, first entered broadcasting in 1930, when it bought Virginia's oldest radio station, WTAR. It later added Virginia's second television station (and Hampton Roads' first), WTAR-TV (now WTKR) and an FM station (now WVKL). It acquired WFMY-TV in Greensboro as part of its purchase of the Greensboro, North Carolina newspapers in 1965. However, U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cross-ownership rules forced Landmark to sell off WFMY in 1976 and WTAR-TV in 1981. Under the rules then, Landmark could not own both a newspaper and a television station in the same market. Landmark was an owner of KNTV in San Jose, California from 1978 to 1990. During its 12-year ownership of the station, KNTV (then affiliated with ABC and serving the Monterey / Salinas media market) was its only station that was not an affiliate of the CBS network. Landmark also briefly owned WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, but was forced to sell it immediately due to FCC restrictions. Landmark owned The Travel Channel from 1992 to 1996, when it was sold to Paxson Communications. The company owned ''Chicago'' magazine from 1990 to 1995, when it was sold to Primedia. At one time, Landmark owned a minority share of the ''Washingtonian'' magazine, until its rights were traded to Eleanor Merrill, widow of its publisher Philip Merrill, in exchange for full ownership of the ''Annapolis Capital'' and five other Maryland newspapers. Landmark owned the hobby publisher Antique Trader Publications until its sale to Krause Publications in 1999. In December 2001, Landmark announced it would close its subsidiary Church Impressions, based in Greenville, North Carolina, which published church directories, portraits, and other print and web media products. Landmark once owned four career training schools that focus on health-related career education: Glendale Career College, Certified Careers Institute, Nevada Career Institute and Virginia Career Institute. On September 19, 2007, it was announced that Continental Broadband (CB), a Landmark Communications (Landmark Media Enterprises) company, sold its South Florida business unit, WebUnited, to Host.net, the leading provider of data center (colocation) and managed network services in Florida. On May 15, 2009, it was announced that CB sold its Chicago business unit, ANET, to Cogent Communications, a global Internet service provider. On January 23, 2010, it was announced that CB sold its Richmond Business Unit, NET Telcos, to Cavalier Telephone, a full-service provider of telecommunications solutions. In early 2008, the Landmark confirmed that it was exploring the sale of the entire company. Two separate investment banks, JPMorgan Chase and Lehman Brothers, were hired to help with the sale of The Weather Channel and the newspapers. Landmark's best-known media outlet was the Weather Channel, based in Atlanta, Georgia. As part of its divestiture, the company announced in July 2008 the $3.5 billion sale of its Weather Channel properties, which included its share of The Weather Network and weather.com, plus Weather Services International and MétéoMédia, to NBCUniversal and the private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital. Landmark and NBC Universal completed the sale on September 12, 2008. On July 14 of that year, it was announced that WTVF in Nashville, Tennessee would be sold to Bonten Media Group, but that sale did not close. Landmark eventually sold the station to Journal Communications in 2012. In October 2008, the company announced that it was suspending the sale of most of its properties, citing the ongoing credit crisis, with the exception of ''The Virginian-Pilot'' newspaper. Landmark sold the ''News & Record'' newspaper in Greensboro, North Carolina to Berkshire Hathaway on January 31, 2013. In May 2013, Landmark sold the ''Roanoke Times'', the metropolitan newspaper serving Roanoke, Virginia, also to Berkshire Hathaway. Landmark sold its Maryland newspapers to ''The Baltimore Sun'' Media Group on May 1, 2014. CBS affiliate KLAS-TV, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, was acquired by Landmark in 1978 from a trust left by Howard Hughes upon his death. On November 21, 2014, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it planned to purchase KLAS for $145 million. The sale closed on February 13, 2015. In 2016, Dominion Enterprises sold Dominion Marine Media (BoatTrader.com, YachtWorld.com, Boats.com) to funds advised by Apax Partners. The company is now called Boats Group. In 2017, Dominion Enterprises sold Dominion Web Solutions (CycleTrader.com, RVTrader.com, CommercialTruckTrader.com, EquipmentTrader.com) to Eurazeo and West Street Capital Partners VII, a fund managed by the Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division. The company is now called Trader Interactive. On Sept. 12, 2017, CoStar Group announced that it had agreed to purchase the ForRent apartment advertising division of Dominion Enterprises. In May 2018, Landmark sold ''The Virginian-Pilot'' and its associated publications and websites to Tribune Publishing. In October 2019, Landmark sold Expedient Data Centers to AMP Capital. In November 2020, Landmark sold all seven of its remaining Colorado newspapers -- Brighton Standard Blade, Fort Lupton Press, Commerce City Sentinel Express, Metro Advertiser, Canyon Courier, Clear Creek Courant and 285 Hustler to Colorado Community Media. In April 2021, Landmark announced the sale of Homes.com, a unit of its Dominion Enterprises subsidiary, to CoStar Group Inc. for $156 million. The Virginian-Pilot

Financial news

In 2008, Landmark announced that it would terminate its pension fund, which covered some of its retirees and current employees. The plan was fully funded. The pension beneficiaries were able to choose between a lump-sum distribution or an annuity provided by an insurance company.


External links



Who Owns What: Landmark Communications
from the ''Columbia Journalism Review''
LCNI buys Pageland paper
a June 2005 article about Landmark's purchase of the ''Pageland Progressive-Journal'' {{The Weather Channel Category:Mass media companies of the United States Category:Newspaper companies of the United States Category:Privately held companies of the United States Category:Companies based in Norfolk, Virginia Category:Publishing companies established in 1905 Category:1905 establishments in Virginia