Journal Communications

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Journal Communications, Inc.
Traded as NYSEJRN
Industry Media
Founded Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. (1882)
Headquarters Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Area served
Key people
Stephen J. Smith
(Chairman and CEO)
Services Newspaper publishing, radio and television stations
Revenue $400 million (2012)[1]
$60 million (2012)[1]
$33.3 million (2012)[1]
Total assets $625.8 million (2012)[1]
Total equity $205.5 million (2012)[1]
Subsidiaries Journal Broadcast Group

Journal Communications, Inc. (NYSEJRN) is a publicly traded media company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It publishes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a daily newspaper, and it also owns television stations, radio stations and weekly newspapers, among other businesses.


Journal Communications building

The Milwaukee Journal was started in 1882, in competition with four other English-language, four German- and two Polish-language dailies. It launched WTMJ-AM (620) in 1927, and WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) in 1947. The Journal Company, until then primarily owned by local interests, introduced an employee stock trust plan in 1937, and as a result most Journal stock was eventually held by its employees (under certain restrictions). A small bloc of Journal stock was given to Harvard to fund the Nieman Fellowship program for promising journalists, and another bloc was still held by the original owning families until the IPO.

The Milwaukee Sentinel, begun in 1837 as a weekly published by city co-founder Solomon Juneau, passed through the hands of several owners before being sold to the Hearst Corporation in 1924. Hearst operated the Sentinel until 1962, when, following a long and costly strike, it abruptly announced the closing of the paper. Although Hearst claimed that the paper had lost money for years, The Journal Company, concerned about the loss of an important voice (and facing questions about its own dominance of the Milwaukee media market), agreed to buy the Sentinel name, subscription lists, and goodwill associated with the name. In 1995 the Journal and Sentinel were consolidated. The new Journal Sentinel then became a seven-day morning paper. In 1964, Journal Communications bought a part interest in Perry Printing, a commercial printer specializing in printing magazines, catalogs and free-standing inserts for publications.[2] A decade later, in 1974, it purchased the remaining shares of the company. In 1995, it sold the operation (which by then had about 1000 employees and sales of $123 million) to the Milhous Group of California. [3]

Former logo of the company

In 1968, the Midwestern Relay cable transmission division of the Journal Company was developed out of broadcast-related expertise; in 1991, Midwestern Relay acquired Norlight, a fiber-optic private carrier, and adopted the Norlight name. On February 26, 2007 Journal Communications sold the regional telecommunications provider to privately held Q-Comm Corp of Delaware. Upon closing the transaction, Q-Comm terminated Jim Ditter, who had been president of Norlight since 1995, and chief financial officer Mike Garvey. What is now known as the Journal Community Publishing Group began in Waupaca, Wisconsin in 1972 as a publishing and printing company called Add Inc. A majority interest was purchased by Journal Communications in 1981, and the remainder in 1986. In June 2007, Journal Communications sold off its JCP interests in Louisiana, Ohio, Connecticut and Vermont. The sales brought in a combined $30 million.[4]

The company sold 11 community newspapers, five shoppers and two printing plants in Connecticut and Vermont to Hersam Acorn Newspapers. In Ohio, Journal sold eight shoppers, numerous specialty print products and the Advantage Press commercial printing business to Gannett Company. It also sold its Louisiana-based publishing business to a Target Media Partners affiliate. In 1999 Journal Communications acquired the Great Empire radio group (13 radio stations in 4 states). The corporation had its initial public offering of Class A shares in 2003. For decades, Journal Communications been criticized[5][6] with concerns about being a media monopoly in the Milwaukee area. It created the now-defunct alternative papers MKE and ¡Aqui! Milwaukee to regain advertising dollars lost to local independents like the Shepherd Express and the Milwaukee Spanish Journal.[7]

On July 30, 2014, it was announced that Journal would be acquired by the E. W. Scripps Company in an all-stock transaction that would form a company that would then split in two. Scripps would retain the two firms' broadcasting properties, while they would spin off their print properties into Journal Media Group.[8] The FCC approved the deal on December 12, 2014, and it was approved by shareholders on March 11, 2015. The merger and spin-off are expected to be finalized in April 2015.[9]

Journal Sentinel[edit]

(Headquarters: Milwaukee)

Traditional publishing[edit]

Printing agreements for Journal's Milwaukee press facilities[edit]

Online content[edit]

JSOnline Network (individual news sites for each Milwaukee suburb)

Journal Broadcast Group[edit]

(Headquarters: Milwaukee)[11]

Television stations[edit]

Journal Broadcast Group primary logo
Journal Broadcast Group alternate logo


  • (**) – Indicates that it was built and signed on by Journal.
City of license / Market Station Channel
Owned Since Affiliation
Tucson - Sierra Vista, Arizona KGUN-TV 9 (35) 2005 ABC
Antenna TV (DT2)
This TV (DT3)
KWBA-TV 58 (44) 2008 The CW
Cape Coral - Fort Myers - Naples, Florida WFTX-TV 36 (35) 2005 Fox
Nampa - Caldwell - Boise, Idaho KIVI-TV 6 (24) 2002 ABC
KNIN-TV 9 (10) 2009 Fox
Live Well Network (DT2)
Twin Falls, Idaho KSAW-LD
(semi-satellite of KIVI)
51 (51) 2002 ABC
Lansing, Michigan WSYM-TV 47 (35) 1985 Fox
Me-TV (DT2)
Omaha, Nebraska KMTV-TV 3 (45) 2007 CBS
Antenna TV (DT2)
Las Vegas, Nevada KTNV-TV 13 (12) 1979 ABC
Heroes & Icons (DT3)
Nashville, Tennessee WTVF 5 (5) 2012 CBS
This TV (DT3)
Green Bay - Appleton, Wisconsin WGBA-TV 26 (41) 2004 NBC
Me-TV (DT2)
WACY-TV 32 (27) 2012 MyNetworkTV
Milwaukee, Wisconsin WTMJ-TV ** 4 (28) 1948 NBC
AccuWX (DT2)
Cozi TV (DT3)


Market Station Channel
Years Owned Current Ownership Status
Palm Springs, California KMIR-TV 36 (46) 1999-2014 NBC affiliate owned by OTA Broadcasting, LLC
KPSE-LP 50 2008-2014 MyNetworkTV affiliate, KPSG-LP, owned by OTA Broadcasting, LLC

Radio stations[edit]

Boise, Idaho

Knoxville, Tennessee

  • WCYQ - 100.3 FM - Country [5]
  • WNOX - 93.1 FM - Classic Hits [6]
  • WKHT - 104.5 FM - CHR/Rhythmic [7]
  • WWST - 102.1 FM - Mainstream Top 40 [8]

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Omaha, Nebraska

Springfield, Missouri

Tucson, Arizona

  • KFFN - 1490 AM - ESPN/Sports Radio
  • KTGV - 106.3 FM - Rhythmic Oldies [20]
  • KMXZ - 94.9 FM - Adult Contemporary/AC [21]
  • KQTH - 104.1 FM - News/Talk [22]

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Wichita, Kansas

Former radio stations[edit]

Journal Community Publishing Group[edit]

In addition to weekly newspapers, the Journal Community Publishing Group publishes advertising and specialty publications in Florida, Massachusetts, New York and Wisconsin. (Headquarters: Waupaca, and New Berlin, Wisconsin.)[12]

Weekly newspapers[edit]

Journal Community Publishing Group logo



Other holdings[edit]

Board of Directors[15][edit]

  • Steven J. Smith - Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Journal Communications
  • David Drury - President & Chief Executive Officer, Poblocki Sign Company, LLC
  • David Meissner - Former Chairman, Public Policy Forum, Inc.
  • Jonathan Newcomb - Senior Advisor, Coady Diemar Partners
  • Roger Peirce - Retired Vice Chairman & CEO, Super Steel Products Corporation
  • Ellen Siminoff - CEO, Shmoop, and Chairman, Efficient Frontier
  • Mary Ellen Stanek - Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer, Baird Advisors, Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc
  • Owen Sullivan - CEO, Right Management
  • Jeanette Tully - President and CEO, Radiovisa Corporation


  1. ^ a b c d e "Journal Communications, Inc. 2012 Annual Report". Journal Communications. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ About Perry Printing,; accessed January 22, 2015.
  3. ^ Perry Printing sold to Milhous Group,; accessed January 22, 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Duel in Milwaukee",, January 3, 1972.
  6. ^ Hoffmann, Gregg. "WisBiz In-Depth: Newspaper chain ownership explodes in state",, January 31, 2005.
  7. ^ Miranda, Robert. "Taking Sides: What ¡Aquí! Milwaukee Really Represents",, June 6, 2005.
  8. ^ Glauber, Bill (30 July 2014). "Journal, Scripps deal announced". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Journal, Scripps shareholders OK transaction; closing expected by early April". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  10. ^ USA Today profile,; accessed January 22, 2015.
  11. ^ Journal Broadcast Group website,; accessed January 22, 2015.
  12. ^ Journal Community Publishing Group website,; accessed January 22, 2015.
  13. ^ IPC Print Services website,; accessed January 22, 2015.
  14. ^ Primenet Direct Marketing Solutions,; accessed January 22, 2015.
  15. ^ Board of Directors,; accessed January 22, 2015.