Grant Broadcasting was founded in 1990 by Milton Grant (May 13, 1923 — April 28, 2007), who, in addition to being President of Grant Broadcasting, also served as President and General Manager for many of his stations.
Milton Grant began his career as a radio news director in his hometown of New York City. In the early 1950s he moved to Washington, D.C., where he became the host of several music programs, one of which (America's First Teen Radio Network) was heard simultaneously on four of the city's radio stations, WPGC], WAVA, WINX, and WEEL. Grant moved to television in 1956 when he hosted a popular dance program for WTTG, The Milt Grant Show, which ran until 1961.
Grant's first foray into station ownership first came in 1966 when his new company, the Capitol Broadcasting Corporation, established WDCA-TV. That station was sold to the Superior Tube Company in 1969, but Grant remained with the station as its General Manager until WDCA was sold to Taft Broadcasting in 1979.
In 1981, Grant was part of an investment group who launched KTXA in Fort Worth, Texas (in 1981) and KTXH in Houston (in 1982). Grant both sold stations to Gulf Broadcasting in 1985 and days later these two stations were sold in a group deal to Taft Broadcasting.
In 1985, while preparing for the sale of KTXA and KTXH, Grant started the original Grant Broadcasting System, beginning with the sign-on of WBFS-TV in Miami in 1984, and later with the 1985 acquisitions of WGBO-TV in Joliet, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), and WGBS-TV in Philadelphia. However, in 1987, this first incarnation of Grant Broadcasting went bankrupt, after overpaying for syndicated programming, while its competitors took the best barter programming. It was even worse in Chicago, where all of WGBO's competitors took all the bartered shows available to them, leaving WGBO with holding the bag.
In 1989, Grant's stations were repossessed by its creditors after Grant failed to meet the bankruptcy agreements. The creditors used these stations to form "Combined Broadcasting" (no relation to the earlier "Combined Communications", which was merged into the Gannett Company in 1979).
In 1990, Grant started to rebuild is broadcasting empire, under the name "Grant Communications", later renamed "Grant Broadcasting System II" (the "II" representing his second try to build a chain). His first station was Huntsville, Alabama's WZDX, which he acquired in March 1990. In 1996, Grant acquired Buffalo's WB affiliate, WNYO-TV (now affiliated with MyNetworkTV), but he later sold the station to Sinclair Broadcast Group in 2001.
On November 6, 2013, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it would purchase the Grant stations for $87.5 million. Due to Federal Communications Commission ownership regulations, one of the stations, KLJB, was spun off to Marshall Broadcasting, but is operated by Nexstar through a shared services agreement. The sale was completed on December 1, 2014.
Grant Broadcasting stations used to share a distinctive logo style: even the original three Grant stations (WBFS, WGBO, and WGBS) used this style. It consists of a colored channel number with white extensions around it mimicking the edges of the channel number. In later years, the extensions were removed from their logos (though the numbers remained in the same typeface).
- NOTE: Prior to Nexstar's acquisition, all of Grant's Fox affiliates had news share agreements with ABC- or NBC-affiliated stations in their respective markets.
Former Grant-owned stations
Stations are arranged alphabetically by state and by city of license.
|City of License/Market||Station||Channel
|Years owned||Current ownership status|
|Huntsville, Alabama||WZDX||54 (41)||1990–2014||Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|Washington, D.C.||WDCA||20 (35)||1966–1969||MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Fox|
|Miami - Fort Lauderdale, Florida||WBFS-TV||33 (32)||1984–1989||MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by CBS Corporation|
|Joliet - Chicago, IL||WGBO-TV||66 (38)||1985–1989||Univision owned-and-operated (O&O)|
|Davenport - Burlington, Iowa||KLJB||18 (49)||1992–2014||Fox affiliate owned by Marshall Broadcasting
(Operated through an SSA by Nexstar Media Group)
|KGCW||26 (41)||1995–2014||The CW affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|Buffalo, New York||WNYO-TV||49 (49)||1996–2001||MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group|
|Philadelphia||WGBS-TV||57 (32)||1985–1989||The CW affiliate, WPSG, owned by CBS Corporation|
|Fort Worth - Dallas||KTXA||21 (29)||1981–1984||Independent station owned by CBS Corporation|
|Houston||KTXH||20 (19)||1982–1984||MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by Fox|
|Roanoke - Lynchburg, Virginia||WFXR||27 (17)||1993–2014||Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|WWCW||21 (20)||1993–2014||The CW affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|La Crosse - Eau Claire, Wisconsin||WLAX||25 (17)||1996–2014||Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
(satellite of WLAX)
|48 (49)||1996–2014||Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
- Malone, Michael (November 6, 2013). "Nexstar to Acquire Seven Grant Stations For $87.5 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
- Consummation Notice,CDBS Public Access Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 3 December, 2014.