Graham Media Group
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|WTOP Inc. (1949–1954)|
Post Stations (1954–1961)
Post-Newsweek Stations (1961–2014)
|Emily L. Barr, president|
|Parent||Graham Holdings Company|
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 affiliate WDIV-TV in Detroit.
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 from CBS. 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. name after the Post acquired Newsweek magazine in 1961.
Post-Newsweek made its first purchase in 1969, with the acquisitions of WCKY radio in Cincinnati 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. Thom Allen, a Jacksonville, Florida, radio personality also provided voiceovers for WPLG, WJXT and WFSB.
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, KPRC-TV in Houston and KSAT-TV 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: Graham Holdings 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.
In March 2014, Graham Holdings 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 for up to two years following the purchase.
On May 27, 2016, Graham announced it would purchase two stations including WCWJ in Jacksonville, Florida, from Nexstar Broadcasting Group and WSLS-TV in Roanoke-Lynchburg, Virginia, from Media General. The former will create a duopoly in Jacksonville with WJXT following the duopoly of Tegna Media's WTLV/WJXX and Cox Broadcasting's WFOX/WJAX; while the latter will marked Graham's expansion in Virginia, Media General and Nexstar had to sell the stations due in part of the planned merger on January 27, 2016, and by FCC rules could not keep Roanoke's WFXR, a longtime Fox affiliate and WWCW, a CW affiliate; the sale was completed on January 17, 2017; with that, Graham expanded into seven stations but still operated in only six markets.
Despite being no longer co-owned with either the Washington Post or Newsweek, 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.
Stations are arranged in alphabetical order by state and city of license.
|City of license / market||Station||Channel
|Owned since||Primary affiliation|
|WCWJ||17 (34)||2017||The CW|
|Orlando - Daytona Beach - Melbourne||WKMG-TV||6 (26)||1997||CBS|
|San Antonio||KSAT-TV||12 (12)||1994||ABC|
|City of License / Market||Station||Channel
|Years owned||Current ownership status|
|Hartford - New Haven||WFSB||3 (33)||1974–1997||CBS affiliate owned by Meredith Corporation|
|Washington, D.C.||WTOP-TV 1||9 (9)||1950–1978||CBS affiliate WUSA, owned by Tegna|
|Miami - Fort Lauderdale||WPLG 2||10 (10)||1969–2014||ABC affiliate owned by BH Media|
|AM Stations||FM Stations|
|City of license/market||Station/
|Years owned||Current status|
|Washington, D.C.||WTOP/1500 2
|1949–1978||owned by Hubbard Broadcasting|
|1949–1971||donated to and owned by Howard University|
|1953–1958||owned by Queen of Peace Radio|
|Cincinnati||WCKY/1530||1969–1976||owned by iHeartMedia|
Call letter meanings
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
- "Emily Barr leaves ABC 7 on top — but doesn't go far". Time Out Chicago. May 8, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
- "Breaking News: Post Newsweek Backs Out of WTVJ Deal". SFL.tv.com. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Ahrens, Frank (August 3, 2010). "Harman Media buys Newsweek from Washington Post Co. for Undisclosed Amount". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 August 2010.
- Farhi, Paul (1 October 2013). "The Washington Post closes sale to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- Wilgoren, Debbi (November 18, 2013). "Washington Post Co. Renamed Graham Holdings Company to Mark Sale of Newspaper". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- "Warren Buffett Buys Post-Newsweek's WPLG". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- "Application For Consent To Transfer Control Of Entity Holding Broadcast Station Construction Permit Or License", CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 21 April 2014.
- Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Graham Holdings and Berkshire Hathaway Complete Deal for Berkshire Hathaway to Acquire WPLG-TV, Press Release, Graham Holdings Company, 1 July 2014, Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "Exhibit 7 - Exchange Agreement", CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 21 April 2014.
- "Washington Post's former TV arm changes name to Graham Media Group". Chicago Tribune. July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 28, 2014.