Cowles Media Company

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Cowles Media Company (1935–1998) was a newspaper, magazine and information publishing company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the United States. The company operated Cowles Business Media, Cowles Creative Publishing and Cowles Enthusiast Media units. The McClatchy Company purchased Cowles Media in 1998.[1] McClatchy kept the Star Tribune newspaper, which by then was the primary asset in the $1.4 billion deal, and sold the other business units to Primedia and to a management team.[2]

Other newspapers owned at one time by Cowles Media and its affiliates included the Buffalo Courier-Express, the Des Moines Register, the Scottsdale Progress and the Rapid City Journal. Cowles Media also published Look as Look, Inc. (1937–45), Cowles Magazines (1946–65), and Cowles Communications, Inc. (1965–71).[3] Cowles purchased Family Circle in 1962, and sold it to The New York Times Company in 1972. They published Harper's Magazine from 1965 to 1980.


In 1955, Cowles entered television as majority owner of what is now KCCI in Des Moines, Iowa. Cowles became the station's sole owner shortly after its launch. Over the years, Cowles acquired several television stations in medium-sized markets. These stations were sold off by the mid-1980s.

City of License / Market Station Channel
Years owned Current ownership status
Daytona Beach / Orlando WESH-TV 2 (11) 1965–1985 NBC affiliate owned by Hearst Television
Honolulu KHON-TV 1 2 (8) 1979–1985 Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Moline / Rock Island / Davenport WQAD-TV 8 (38) 1978–1985 ABC affiliate owned by Tribune Broadcasting
Louisville, Kentucky WDRB 41 (49) 1977–1983 Fox affiliate owned by Block Communications
Des Moines KRNT-TV/KCCI 8 (8) 1955–1985 2 CBS affiliate owned by Hearst Television
Wichita / Hutchinson Plus KTVH 3 12 (19) 1955–1983 CBS affiliate, KWCH-DT, owned by Gray Television
Memphis WREC-TV 3 (28) 1962–1971 CBS affiliate, WREG-TV, owned by Tribune Broadcasting
Huntington/Charleston, West Virginia WHTN-TV 13 (13) 1956–1960 CBS affiliate, WOWK-TV, owned by Nexstar Media Group


  • 1 Cowles also owned KHON-TV's satellite in Wailuku, KAII-TV. Another KHON-TV satellite, KHAW-TV in Hilo, was owned by a third party but leased to Cowles. The Hawaii stations were NBC affiliates under Cowles.
  • 2 Cowles owned a majority share of this station when it first signed on and became its sole owner shortly thereafter.
  • 3 From 1962 to 1983, Cowles also owned four semi-satellites of KTVH in western and central Kansas--KTVC in Dodge City (now KBSD-DT), KAYS-TV in Hays (now KBSH-DT) and KLOE-TV in Goodland (now KBSL-DT).


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External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Media profiles". Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  2. ^ "McCLATCHY FINDS NEW HOMES FOR COWLES DIVISIONS". NewsInc. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  3. ^ "Look Magazine Photograph Collection, Background and Scope". Library of Congress. 9 May 2005. Retrieved 2007-10-15.