MIAMI BEACH, FLA. — In the early 1980s, Byron Allen was best known as one of several commentators on the NBC comedy talk show Real People.
Now, he’s a media mogul that just acquired The Weather Channel and its Local Now streaming service through his Allen Media LLC.
Allen Media’s Entertainment Studios Inc. is the official party acquiring what is the parent company of TWC and Local Now, The Weather Group.
The sellers are private investment partners The Blackstone Group and Bain Capital, and Comcast/NBCUniversal.
Entertainment Studios Inc. has emerged as one of the largest independent producers and distributors of film and television, with 41 shows on the air. It also owns eight 24-hour HD cable television networks. Allen is a ubiquitous presence at the NATPE Miami conference and expo in Miami Beach each January.
Allen’s acquisition of The Weather Channel and Weather Now marks a new chapter for a network that has evolved dramatically since the 1990s, when the network gained a cult-like following for its continuous weather coverage and series of anchors.
Pressure to build ad sales led to docu-reality series with weather themes added to prime-time slots, bumping the continuous weather coverage that made the cable network a staple for viewers seeing weather forecasts and current conditions.
Most recently, famed meteorologist Bryan Norcross exited The Weather Channel to return to Miami, where is now a part of the team at Warren Buffett-controlled ABC affiliate WPLG-10.
Allen called The Weather Channel “one of the most trusted and extremely important cable networks, with information vitally important to the safety and protection of our lives.”
A sale price was not disclosed.
Byron Allen’s acquisition of The Weather Channel through his wholly-owned Allen Media LLC was represented by the law firms Sklar Kirsh, Nelson Mullins, and Loeb & Loeb.
The Weather Channel was represented in the transaction by the law firms Ropes & Gray and Jones Day.