Multimedia (media company)

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Multimedia, Inc.
Public
Industry Media
Fate Acquired by Gannett Co. (television counterpart sold to Universal Studios in 1996; cable TV counterpart sold to Cox Communications in 2000)
Founded 1968
Defunct 1995
Headquarters Greenville, South Carolina
Key people
Craig A. Dubow; Chairman, President & CEO
Products Newspapers, television, and Internet media
Number of employees
49,675

Multimedia, Inc. was a media company that owned 10 daily newspapers, three weekly newspapers, two radio stations, five television stations, and a cable television system division. The company was headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina.

It also owned TV syndicator Multimedia Entertainment (formerly Avco Embassy Television, which is now owned by NBCUniversal Television Distribution).

Multimedia was founded in 1968, when the News-Piedmont Company of Greenville merged with Southern Broadcasting Corporation. The new company called the Southeastern Broadcasting Corporation comprised four newspapers (two morning, two afternoon), three television stations and six radio stations. The company's biggest purchase came in 1976, when it bought WLWT in Cincinnati—and with it, the distribution rights to The Phil Donahue Show.

The company was involved in one of the more unusual media transactions in history. In 1983, it sold its flagship television station, WFBC-TV in Greenville (now WYFF) and WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to Pulitzer, Inc. In return, Multimedia received Pulitzer's former flagship television station, KSDK in St. Louis. Multimedia used its new purchase as the testing ground for a new show hosted by Sally Jessy Raphaël.

Multimedia was acquired by the Gannett Company in 1995,[1] after the sale was finalized, Gannett sold Multimedia Entertainment to MCA the following year.[2] In January 2000 the cable television division, which included systems in Kansas, Oklahoma and North Carolina was sold to Cox Communications. The North Carolina systems were resold to Suddenlink Communications in 2006.

The Multimedia name lives on as a holding company and licensee within Gannett's corporate structure. Productions under Multimedia Entertainment are now part of the NBCUniversal Television Distribution archives.

Former Multimedia-owned stations[edit]

Stations are listed in alphabetical order by state and city of license.

Television stations[edit]

Note: two boldface asterisks appearing following a station's call letters (**) indicate a station that was built and signed-on by a predecessor company of Multimedia.

City of license / Market Station Channel TV (RF) Years Owned Current Ownership Status
Macon, Georgia WMAZ-TV 13 (13) 1963–1995 CBS affiliate owned by Gannett Company
St. Louis KSDK 5 (35) 1983–1995 NBC affiliate owned by Gannett Company
Winston-Salem - Greensboro - High Point WXII-TV 12 (31) 1972–1983 NBC affiliate owned by Hearst Television
Cincinnati WLWT 5 (35) 1976–1995 NBC affiliate owned by Hearst Television
Cleveland WKYC-TV 1 3 (17) 1991–1995 NBC affiliate owned by Gannett Company
Greenville - Spartanburg - Asheville WFBC-TV ** 4 (36) 1953–1983 NBC affiliate, WYFF, owned by Hearst Television
Knoxville WBIR-TV 10 (10) 1960–1995 NBC affiliate owned by Gannett Company
Nashville WZTV 17 (15) 1979–1988 Fox affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group

Footnotes:
1: Multimedia purchased only a simple majority (51 percent) stake in WKYC-TV from NBC in 1991. Gannett retained the same share until 1999, when it purchased the remaining portion (49 percent) from NBC.

Radio stations[edit]

(a partial listing)

AM Stations FM Stations
Market Station Years owned Current ownership
Macon, Georgia WMAZ-940
(now WMAC)
1963–1995 owned by Cumulus Media
WMAZ-FM/WAYS-99.1
(now WDEN-FM)
1963–1995 owned by Cumulus Media

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gannett and Multimedia enter into a merger agreement by which Gannett will acquire Multimedia", Business Wire, July 24, 1995. Retrieved March 2, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
  2. ^ Miller, Nick. "Gannett Sells Talk Shows", The Cincinnati Post, November 25, 1996. Retrieved March 2, 2011 from HighBeam Research.

External links[edit]