Frank Batten, MBA 1952

Weather Channel

Interview conducted in February 2000

Frank Batten, HBS 1952, started his career in his uncle’s newspaper business. He later earned his spurs—and a Pulitzer—for championing desegregation. Frank discovered that many people purchased newspapers primarily to read the weather forecast for the day—a fact that had major relevance for his future. In 1979, the family company expanded into cable, buying the first in a series of cable operations. In 1979, Frank, a nonsmoker, suffered from throat cancer and had to learn to speak again. After recovering, he began exploring opportunities to develop original programming for the booming cable industry. Putting his experiences in newspapers and cable together, he launched the Weather Channel in 1982. By 1996 the Weather Channel had expanded internationally, with interests in Europe and Latin America. Its companion website, Frank talked about his prolific career in a video interview at his office in Norfolk, Virginia, in February 2000. Interviewer: Amy Blitz, HBS Director of Media Development for Entrepreneurial Management. Frank Batten died in 2009. 

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