Diversified Communications is a multimedia company, headquartered in Portland, Maine. The company provides market access, education and information through global, national and regional face-to-face events, digital products and publications.
Diversified was founded in 1949 when Horace A. Hildreth, the former governor of Maine, president of Bucknell University and U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, purchased Community Broadcasting Service, owner of Maine's oldest radio station, WABI in Bangor. In 1953, he launched Maine's first TV station, WABI-TV in Bangor.
Throughout the 1980s, Diversified expanded its publishing and trade show business with products in the commercial marine and seafood industries. In 1993, it expanded internationally with the European Seafood Exposition. Diversified continued its international growth with the acquisition of Australia Exhibition Services in 2000, the formation of DBC Canada and the acquisition of UK-based Full Moon Communications in 2002. In 2004 it joined Menachem Lubinsky of Lubicom Marketing and Consulting to co-produce Kosherfest, a two-day trade show for the kosher-certified food industry started in 1989. In 2009, Diversified expanded into Hong Kong with the acquisition of Asia Business Events and established a presence in India with the acquisition of Infocast.
On July 15, 2014, the contracts that Diversified Communications had with Dish Network expired. Among the issues Diversified cited included financial terms, customer service issues between the station and Dish Network, and, in Bangor, viewership changes on Dish's part in several counties to another CBS station on account of DMA location (including WGME in the Portland area). After a breakdown on contract talks which picked up slowly, an agreement was reached October 8, 2014, allowing both stations to return to Dish Network later that day.
On February 16, 2017, it was announced that WABI-TV and sister station WCJB-TV in Gainesville, Florida would be sold to Gray Television for $85 million, pending FCC approval. It will make WCJB a sister station to WCTV (Gray Television's flagship station) in Tallahassee and WJHG-TV and WECP-LD in Panama City. The sale was completed on May 1, 2017.
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Today, Diversified operates trade fairs on four continents, produces trade publications, and owns several digital businesses. SPAR Point Group, which focuses on the 3D imaging technologies sector, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Diversified.
Former Diversifed-owned stations
- (**) — Indicates a station built and signed on by Community Broadcasting Service/Diversified Communications.
|City of license / Market||Station||Channel
|Years owned||Current ownership status|
|Gainesville, Florida||WCJB-TV||20 (16)||1976–2017||ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television|
|Bangor, Maine||WABI-TV **||5 (13)||1953–2017||CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television|
|Poland Spring - Portland, Maine||WMTW ** 1||8 (8)||1954–1964||ABC affiliate owned by Hearst Television|
|Presque Isle, Maine||WAGM-TV||8 (8)||1957–1984||CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television|
|New Bern - Greenville - Washington, North Carolina||WCTI-TV||12 (12)||1986–1993||ABC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group|
|Scranton - Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania||WYOU||22 (13)||1986–1996||CBS affiliate owned by Mission Broadcasting|
(operated through an SSA by Nexstar Media Group)
|Florence - Myrtle Beach, South Carolina||WPDE-TV||15 (16)||1985–2006||ABC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group|
|WWMB||21 (21)||2||The CW affiliate owned by Howard Stirk Holdings|
(operated through an SSA by Sinclair Broadcast Group)
- 1 This station was owned by Mount Washington Television, whose ownership partially overlapped with Community Broadcasting Service.
- 2 This station was owned by Atlantic Media Group, but was operated by Diversified under a local marketing agreement from its sign on in 1994 until Diversified sold operating station WPDE-TV to Barrington Broadcasting in 2006.
|AM Station||FM Station|
|Market||Station||Years owned||Current ownership status|
|Bangor, Maine||WABI-910||1949–1993||WTOS, owned by Blueberry Broadcasting|
|WABI-FM/WBGW/WYOU-FM-97.1 **||1961–1993||WBFB, owned by Blueberry Broadcasting|
|1957–1959||defunct, went silent by 1994|
|Portland, Maine||WPOR-1490||1958–1971||WBAE, owned by Saga Communications|
|WPOR-FM-101.9 **||1967–1971||owned by Saga Communications|
|Presque Isle, Maine||WAGM-950
|1957–1981||defunct, went silent by 1991|
|Mount Washington, New Hampshire||WMTW-FM-94.9 ** 1||1958–1964||WHOM, owned by Cumulus Media|
- 1 This station was owned by Mount Washington Television, whose ownership partially overlapped with Community Broadcasting Service..
- "Diversified Celebrates Kosherfest's 25th Anniversary". Diversified Business Communications. 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 April 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Diana Marszalek, Gray Buys Diversified's Stations in Bangor, Gainesville[permanent dead link] Broadcasting & Cable, February 16, 2017
- Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- "About". SPAR Point Group. Retrieved 17 January 2015.