Griffin Communications

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Griffin Communications
Type Private
Headquarters Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Products Broadcasting
Website griffincommunications.net

Griffin Communications is a media company based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The company began as a subsidiary of successful Muskogee-based Griffin Foods, which features a popular line of pancake and waffle syrups and other foods.

It owns Oklahoma's two large CBS affiliates, KWTV-DT in Oklahoma City and KOTV-DT in Tulsa, and duopoly partners in each of those markets, MyNetworkTV outlet KSBI-TV in Oklahoma City and The CW outlet KQCW-DT in Tulsa.

History[edit]

Grocery magnate John Toole Griffin entered the communications world in the late 1930s, signing on KTUL radio (1430 AM, now KTBZ) in Tulsa and later purchasing KOMA radio in Oklahoma City (1520 AM, now KOKC).

His son John extended the family business, applying for a television station in Oklahoma City with his brother-in-law, James C. "Jimmy" Leake. On December 20, 1953, KWTV signed on channel 9 as a CBS affiliate, named for its tall transmitter tower (which did not actually go into use until 1954). Griffin also owned two other television stations in partnership with Leake. The first of these was KATV in Little Rock, which came to air the day before KWTV in 1953. On September 18, 1954, the company launched channel 8 out of Muskogee as KTVX. Not long after, the stations transitioned to Tulsa; when the move to Lookout Mountain was completed, the television station became KTUL. In 1956, the two sold their radio assets, and in 1963, the two bought out the other partners of KWTV. In 1968, Griffin sold his share in KTUL and KATV to Leake while gaining sole control of KWTV; Leake's stations were later sold to Allbritton Communications Company and are now part of Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Griffin expanded its television holdings again in 1986, buying KPOM-TV, the NBC affiliate in Fort Smith, Arkansas. To solve longstanding reception difficulties the station faced, Griffin brought satellite station KFAA-TV to air in Fayetteville in 1989. Under Griffin's ownership, the stations aired no local news from 1992 to 1999. They were sold to Nexstar Broadcasting Group in 2004.

In 2000, the company returned to Tulsa when it bought KOTV, the market's CBS affiliate, from Belo Corporation. Griffin has expanded and invested in its Tulsa station, buying KQCW (then known as KWBT) in 2005 and constructing a new facility for KOTV, which opened in 2013.

In 2005, Griffin acquired the Radio Oklahoma Network, a statewide radio network that distributes news, KOTV and KWTV-provided weather content, sports, and commodities reports to radio stations across the state. The network was moved into Griffin's Oklahoma City facilities in 2007 and 2008.

In 2007, Griffin New Media was established to manage the Griffin station websites.

Griffin also owns a pair of news rebroadcast channels, News 9 Now and News on 6 Now, which began as the cable channel News Now 53 in 1996.