Pat Robertson Might Bid for Va. Paper

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Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson probably won’t try to buy the pricey Weather Channel but might make a bid on The Virginian-Pilot, a newspaper also owned by Landmark Communications, the newspaper reported Friday.

Landmark, of Norfolk, Va., has said it is exploring a sale of assets, notably The Weather Channel and its weather.com Web site. "Although the price for The Weather Channel is a little rich for my blood, I am considering a potential bid for the Pilot and have asked my attorneys to look into it," Robertson told the Pilot“in an e-mail forwarded by his personal assistant, G.G. Conklin.”

“It would be particularly helpful to provide internships for Regent University journalism students," Robertson said in the email, the paper reported. Regent is a private school he founded in Virginia Beach, the paper said.

Robertson founded the Christian Broadcasting Network, hosts The 700 Club and was chairman of the company that owned The Family Channel when it was sold to News Corp. in 1997, the paper noted. (News later sold it to Walt Disney Co., which renamed it ABC Family Channel.) He’s also attempted to buy other news operations, including United Press International in 1992, the Pilot report said.

The paper said Robertson “has objected to articles in The Pilot that he has said unfairly characterized his pursuits. Most recently, an article last month said Regent's counseling program has experienced an exodus of nearly half of its faculty members. Students, the article said, have been punished for voicing concerns. Robertson wrote a letter to the editor saying the article ‘left out critical facts that were provided to the writer’ " the paper reported.

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