Weather Channel on the auction block

The Weather Channel, one of the last privately owned cable channels, is being put up for sale and could fetch more than $5 billion, the “New York Times” reported.

The channel and its rapidly growing Web site,, are already attracting interest from some of the biggest names in media, including NBC, Comcast and the News Corp.

The sale of the Weather Channel, the “Times” reported, is part of a larger breakup of its parent, Landmark Communications, a privately held which also owns daily newspapers and other media properties.

JPMorgan Chase is advising Landmark on the sale of the Weather Channel, and Lehman Brothers is advising the company on the sale of its other media assets.