Multimedia Entertainment (formerly Avco Embassy Television) was an American television production/distribution company originally formed in 1968.
The firm was launched as Avco Embassy Television in 1968 as a television production/distribution company owned by the Cincinnati-based Avco Corporation. The company was originally responsible for television distribution of the Embassy Pictures film library. In addition, Avco Embassy Television concentrated on its own in-house productions. One of its first programs was The Phil Donahue Show in 1970.
In 1976, Multimedia Inc., a Greenville, South Carolina-based newspaper publisher and broadcaster, purchased the production and syndication rights to The Phil Donahue Show from Avco, which was breaking up its media interests. Multimedia also acquired WLWT in Cincinnati, Avco's flagship station, and initially based its syndication division there.
For the next two decades Multimedia Entertainment specialized in audience-participation daytime talk shows with Donahue as its flagship program. The company later used Multimedia's St. Louis station KSDK as launching pad for The Sally Jessy Raphael Show in 1983, and WLWT as the original base for The Jerry Springer Show in 1991. Multimedia Entertainment also created short-lived TV vehicles for conservative talk radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Dennis Prager. During this period, Bob Turner, New York Congressman, served as the company's CEO.
On September 17, 1991, Multimedia acquired assets of Carolco's television distribution unit Orbis Communications. Included were first-run syndication rights to The Joker's Wild and John Davidson's hosted version of The $100,000 Pyramid and TV movies.
Multimedia Entertainment was included in the sale of Multimedia to the Gannett Company in 1995. Gannett then sold its production/syndication arm to Universal Television in 1996 and a year later it was folded into Universal Television Enterprises in February. In 1998, Universal Television including the USA Networks were sold to Barry Diller and became part of Studios USA.
The rights to the Multimedia Entertainment name were retained by Gannett, and were transferred to Tegna after Gannett split into two companies in 2015; it is now used for the Tegna subsidiary that holds the license for WGRZ in Buffalo, New York (which Gannett had acquired in a swap for WLWT in 1997, shortly after the Multimedia acquisition). And it is also used for the Licensing of several Tegna stations (Multimedia Holdings Corporation---KARE, KPNX, KUSA, KTVD, WTLV, WJXX)
This is a listing of programs which were either produced or distributed by Multimedia Entertainment:
- The Phil Donahue Show / Donahue (1970–1996)
- Rush Limbaugh: The Television Show (1992–1996)
- The Dennis Prager Show (1994–1995)
- The Sally Jessy Raphael Show / Sally (1983–1997)
- The Jerry Springer Show (1991–1997)
- Sweethearts (1988–1989)
- The $100,000 Pyramid (1991, season 2)
- Young People's Specials (1984–1985)
- "AP News Archive" Multimedia Buys Television Programming Assets apnewsarchive.com, Retrieved on October 19, 2013
- Miller, Nick. "Gannett Sells Talk Shows", The Cincinnati Post, November 25, 1996. Retrieved March 2, 2011 from HighBeam Research.