Graham Media Group (formerly Post-Newsweek Stations) is the television broadcasting
subsidiary of the Graham Holdings Company
. It is now headquartered in Chicago
, after being co-located for several years with its local NBC
The origins of Graham Media can be traced to 1944, when the ''Washington Post
'' began its broadcasting activities with its purchase of WINX radio
in Washington, D.C.
. Four years later the newspaper's parent firm, the Washington Post Company, announced its intention to acquire controlling interest in a rival station, WTOP radio
. The two firms formed a joint venture known as WTOP Incorporated, with the ''Post'' holding 55 percent and CBS maintaining the balance (45 percent). The ''Post'' sold wholly owned WINX but retained its FM adjunct WINX-FM, which became the original WTOP-FM when the sales became final in 1949. In 1950 WTOP Inc. purchased WOIC, Washington's CBS television affiliate, and changed that station's call letters to WTOP-TV. This ''Post''-CBS joint venture is the direct predecessor of Graham Media Group.
CBS was forced by the Federal Communications Commission
to sell its remaining interest in WTOP Inc. in 1954. The ''Post'' then merged its Washington stations with recently purchased WMBR-AM-TV in Jacksonville, Florida
and changed the company's name to Post Stations, Inc. WMBR radio was later sold off (it is now WQOP
); the ''Post'' then changed WMBR-TV's calls to WJXT
. The company was rechristened as Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc. after the ''Post'' acquired ''Newsweek
'' magazine in 1961.
Post-Newsweek made its first purchase in 1969, with the acquisitions of WCKY radio
and WLBW-TV in Miami
; the TV outlet was renamed WPLG
after the former ''Washington Post'' publisher Philip Graham
, who committed suicide in 1963. WTOP-FM in Washington was donated to Howard University
in 1971 and became WHUR-FM
soon after. In 1974, the company added WTIC-TV in Hartford, Connecticut
, changing its calls to WFSB
upon taking over.
In the wake of a panic swap of WTOP-TV (now WUSA
) to the (Detroit
) Evening News Association
for its WWJ-TV (now WDIV) in 1978, followed by the sale of both radio stations later in the year, the ''Post'' decided to spin off their broadcasting interests into a company of its own. The Post-Newsweek name itself would later spread to the ''Post''-owned cable operations (now known as Cable One
and a company identical in structure to Post-Newsweek Stations). During the 1970s and 1980s, the stations tended to have vaguely similar on-air looks, along with the common slogan "The One & Only Channel/TV (number)"; some of the stations continue to use this or a variant as a slogan.
In 1992, Post-Newsweek bought the now-defunct Detroit regional sports station PASS Sports
from former Detroit Tigers
owner and Domino's Pizza
founder Tom Monaghan
. On April 22, 1994, the Texas
stations of H&C Communications
in San Antonio
were acquired. The company has not expanded elsewhere in Texas, and notably, it has only operated in a maximum of six TV markets since the acquisition.
Post-Newsweek nearly expanded to seven stations in 2008, when it offered to purchase NBC-owned WTVJ
, creating a duopoly
with WPLG. The sale was cancelled however, due to lack of FCC approval and poor economic conditions at that time, along with local reaction against media consolidation.
2013–present: The post-''Post''-''Newsweek'' era
The Post-Newsweek Stations group was not involved in the sales of ''Newsweek'' to Sidney Harman
in August 2010, and of the ''Washington Post'' to Jeff Bezos
in October 2013, after which the Washington Post Company was renamed Graham Holdings Company. Graham's station group continued to operate under the Post-Newsweek name until July 28, 2014, when it was announced that it would be renamed Graham Media Group.
In March 2014, Graham announced that it would sell WPLG to Berkshire Hathaway
, in exchange for a large majority of Berkshire Hathaway's shares in Graham Holdings. Berkshire Hathaway and its chairman, Warren Buffett
, had been longtime stockholders in the company.
The acquisition closed on June 30, 2014; Berkshire Hathaway entered into agreements with Graham to continue providing WPLG with the station group's centralized services following the sale."Exhibit 7 - Exchange Agreement"
''CDBS Public Access'', Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 21 April 2014.
On May 27, 2016, Graham announced that as part of the acquisition of Media General by Nexstar Broadcasting, it would acquire Nexstar's The CW affiliate WCWJ in Jacksonville (forming Graham's first-ever duopoly, with WJXT) and Media General's NBC affiliate WSLS-TV in Roanoke, Virginia from Media General, as part of divestitures tied to the sale.
Stations are arranged in alphabetical order by state and city of license.
* (##) ''indicates a station owned by H&C Communications prior to its acquisition by Post-Newsweek in 1994.''
* 1 Co-owned with CBS until 1954 in a joint venture (55% owned by the ''Post'', 45% owned by CBS)
The call letters of several Graham stations are symbolic of persons who have had associations with ''The Washington Post'' and Graham Holdings:
* WPLG: Phillip L. Graham, former publisher of the ''Post'' who died in 1963
* WKMG: Katharine Meyer Graham, widow of Phillip Graham who took his place as head of The Washington Post Company
* WFSB: Frederick Scott Beebe, former president of Post-Newsweek Stations, later chairman of the Post Company from Philip Graham's death until his own in 1973
Category:Television broadcasting companies of the United States
Category:Companies based in Chicago