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Sunny Skies

Weather fans now can read about the station they watch.
Weather Channel junkies, look west. The Weather Channel: The Improbable Rise Of A Media Phenomenon by founder Frank Batten, with Jeffrey L. Cruikshank, has just stormed the publishing world.

The book chronicles how the ubiquitous cable station, which almost wasn't launched--a mysterious stranger saved the day--was the butt of jokes through its inception but grew into one of only 12 stations to reach 95% of the cable world. The station has just turned 20 years old and has more than 85 million subscribers.

The book includes some of the innovations in meteorology and technology that have fueled the cable-TV channel's success. It also looks at growth beyond the station, such as the Web site, which gets 12 million unique visitors monthly. You'll get a look at those who built the station's core technology, the glitch-filled launch, and the staff who chanced their way into jobs.

The book, from the Harvard Business School Press, retails for $30.