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Times Mirror Company

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Times Mirror Company
Company typePublic
IndustryPrint media
Founded1884; 140 years ago (1884)
Defunct2000; 24 years ago (2000)
Fateacquired by Tribune Company
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California,
Productsnewspapers, magazines, book publishers
Revenue$3.4 billion (1995)[1]
DivisionsNewspaper Publishing, Professional Information, Consumer Media[1]

The Times Mirror Company was an American newspaper and print media publisher from 1884 until 2000.


It had its roots in the Mirror Printing and Binding House, a commercial printing company founded in 1873, and the Los Angeles Times, originally the Los Angeles Daily Times, which was first published in 1881 and printed by the company. The two operations were purchased and combined in 1884 to form the Times Mirror Company.[2]

In 1960, Times Mirror acquired the New American Library (NAL) and later sold it in 1983 to Odyssey Partners, a private investing group, and Ira J. Hechler, a private investor.[3] Times Mirror acquired the World Publishing Company in 1962.[4] By this time, World Publishing was producing 12 million books a year,[5] one of only three American publishers to produce that much volume. In 1974, Times Mirror sold World Publishing to the U.K.-based Collins Publishers.

In 1967, the Times Mirror entered magazine publishing by acquiring Popular Science, Outdoor Life, Golf Magazine, and Ski Magazine.[1] Times Mirror owned the Sporting News from 1977[1] until 2000, when it was sold to Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc. In 1987, Times Mirror acquired Field & Stream, Yachting, Home Mechanix, and Skiing.[1]

In 1983, Times Mirror owned not only the Los Angeles Times but also Newsday, The Denver Post, The Dallas Times Herald, and the Hartford Courant.[3] In 1986, Times Mirror bought A.S. Abell Company, owners of The Baltimore Sun, and as part of the sale, Gillett Communications bought out the broadcasting unit.[6] That same year, Times Mirror acquired Broadcasting Publications Inc., parent company of broadcast trade magazine Broadcasting Magazine.[7]

Times Mirror acquired Richard D. Irwin Inc. from Dow Jones & Company in 1988 to enter the textbook field.[8] Times Mirror acquired Wm. C. Brown Co. in 1992.[9] Times Mirror sold its textbook operations to McGraw-Hill in 1996.[10]

Times Mirror also owned C.V. Mosby Company from 1967–1998, which published medical college textbooks and reference books; Harry N. Abrams — a publisher of art and photography books[3] — from 1966–1997; legal publisher Matthew Bender (from 1963 until 1998[11]); and air navigation publisher Jeppesen (from 1961 until Times Mirror was acquired by the Tribune Company). Subsequent acquisitions, like The Baltimore Sun in 1986, expanded the company's portfolio.[12]

Times Mirror Co. was acquired by the Tribune Company in 2000.[13][14] After the acquisition, Tribune sold Jeppesen to Boeing and the former Times Mirror magazines to Time Inc.[15][16]

Newspapers owned by the Times Mirror Company[edit]

Name City Dates Fate
Los Angeles Times Los Angeles 1884–2000 Acquired by Tribune Company
Newsday[14] Long Island, Westchester 1970[17]–2000 Acquired by Tribune Company
Dallas Times Herald Dallas, Texas 1969–1986 Sold to MediaNews Group
The Advocate Stamford, Connecticut 1977–2000 Acquired by Tribune Company
Greenwich Time Greenwich, Connecticut 1977–2000 Acquired by Tribune Company
Hartford Courant Hartford, Connecticut 1979–2000 Acquired by Tribune Company
The Denver Post Denver, Colorado 1980–1987 Sold to MediaNews Group
The Morning Call Allentown, Pennsylvania 1984–2000 Acquired by Tribune Company
The Baltimore Sun Baltimore, Maryland 1986–2000 Acquired by Tribune Company


Times Mirror Broadcasting Company
Company typePrivate
Founded1946; as KTTV, Inc.
(inactive, 1963–1970)
FateAcquired by Argyle Television (sold to New World Communications in 1994)
Areas served
United States
ProductsBroadcast and cable television

The Times-Mirror Company was a founding owner of television station KTTV in Los Angeles, which opened in January 1949. It became that station's sole owner in 1951, after re-acquiring the minority shares it had sold to CBS in 1948. Times-Mirror also purchased a former motion picture studio, Nassour Studios, in Hollywood in 1950, which was then used to consolidate KTTV's operations. Later to be known as Metromedia Square (then the Fox Television Center), the studio was sold along with KTTV to Metromedia in 1963.

After a seven-year hiatus from the medium, the firm reactivated Times-Mirror Broadcasting Company with its 1970 purchase of the Dallas Times Herald and its radio and television stations, KRLD-AM-FM-TV in Dallas.[18] The Federal Communications Commission granted an exemption of its cross-ownership policy and allowed Times-Mirror to retain the newspaper and the television outlet, which was renamed KDFW-TV.

Times-Mirror Broadcasting later acquired KTBC-TV in Austin, Texas in 1973;[19] and in 1980 purchased a group of stations owned by Newhouse Newspapers: WAPI-TV (now WVTM-TV) in Birmingham, Alabama; KTVI in St. Louis; WSYR-TV (now WSTM-TV) in Syracuse, New York and its satellite station WSYE-TV (now WETM-TV) in Elmira, New York; and WTPA-TV (now WHTM-TV) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.[20] The company also entered the field of cable television, servicing the Phoenix and San Diego areas, amongst others. They were originally titled Times-Mirror Cable, and were later renamed to Dimension Cable Television. Similarly, they also attempted to enter the pay-TV market, with the Spotlight movie network; it wasn't successful and was quickly shut down. The cable systems were sold in the mid-1990s to Cox Communications.

Times-Mirror also pared its station group down, selling off the Syracuse, Elmira and Harrisburg properties in 1986, to Smith Broadcasting.[21] Times-Mirror briefly held WMAR-TV in Baltimore and WRLH-TV in Richmond, which were acquired alongside the Baltimore Sun, but had to sell off those stations to Gillett Communications to appease FCC's cross-ownership rules.[22][23] The remaining four outlets were packaged to a new upstart holding company, Argyle Television, in 1993.[24] These stations were acquired by New World Communications shortly thereafter and became key components in a sweeping shift of network-station affiliations which occurred between 1994–1995.

Former stations[edit]

City of license / market Station Channel Years owned Current status
Birmingham, AL WVTM-TV 13 1980–1993 NBC affiliate owned by Hearst Television
Los Angeles, CA KTTV 11 1949–1963[a] Fox owned-and-operated (O&O)
Baltimore, MD WMAR-TV 2 1986[22] ABC affiliate owned by The E.W. Scripps Company
St. Louis, MO KTVI 2 1980–1993 Fox affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Elmira, NY WETM-TV 18 1980–1986 NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Syracuse, NY WSTM-TV 3 1980–1986 NBC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
Harrisburg, PA WHTM-TV 27 1980–1986 ABC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Austin, TX KTBC-TV 7 1973–1993 Fox owned-and-operated (O&O)
Dallas - Fort Worth, TX KDFW-TV 4 1970–1993[b] Fox owned-and-operated (O&O)
Richmond, VA WRLH-TV 35 1986[22] Fox affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group
  1. ^ Co-owned with CBS until 1951 in a joint venture; 51 percent owned by Times-Mirror, 49 percent owned by CBS.
  2. ^ Purchased along with KRLD-AM-FM as part of Times-Mirror's acquisition of the Dallas Times Herald. Times-Mirror sold the radio stations to comply with FCC cross-ownership restrictions.


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Times Mirror Company History," Funding Universe. Accessed November 20, 2017.
  2. ^ "The Times Mirror Company – Lehman Brothers Collection". library.hbs.edu. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Mcdowell, Edwin (November 8, 1983). "TIMES MIRROR IS SELLING NEW AMERICAN LIBRARY". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  4. ^ "Ben Zevin Dies at 88; Leader Of World Publishing Company," New York Times (December 29, 1984). via UPI.
  5. ^ "WORLD PUBLISHING CO.", The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Accessed March 3, 2017.
  6. ^ Izadi, Elahe; Ellison, Sarah. "The battle for Tribune: Inside the campaign to find new owners for a legendary group of newspapers". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  7. ^ "Times Mirror Buys "Broadcasting"" (PDF). World Radio History. Broadcasting Magazine. December 1, 1986. p. 43. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  8. ^ Rosenstiel, Thomas B. (January 5, 1988). "$135-Million Deal for Richard D. Irwin Inc. Times Mirror Will Buy Textbook Firm: [Home Edition]". Los Angeles Times. p. 1. ISSN 0458-3035. ProQuest 292738266.
  9. ^ "Times Mirror Buys Text Firm: [Home Edition]". Los Angeles Times. September 16, 1992. p. 3. ISSN 0458-3035. ProQuest 281871412.
  10. ^ Iver Peterson (July 4, 1996). "Times Mirror in Two Deals To Bolster Legal Publisher". The New York Times. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  11. ^ "Matthew Bender ends chapter in area". Times Union. January 15, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  12. ^ GOLDMAN, JOHN J.; BROOKS, NANCY RIVERA (May 29, 1986). "$600-Million Sale: Times Mirror to Purchase Sun Papers in Baltimore". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  13. ^ Barringer, Felicity; Holson, Laura M. (March 14, 2000). "MULTIMEDIA DEAL: THE DEAL; Tribune Company Agrees to Buy Times Mirror". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Jones, Tim. "Tribune Co. To Merge With Times Mirror," Chicago Tribune (March 13, 2000).
  15. ^ "Boeing To Acquire Jeppesen Sanderson For $1.5 Billion". Aviation Daily. August 16, 2000. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  16. ^ "Time buys magazine unit". CNN Money. October 20, 2000. Retrieved November 2, 2019. Time Warner publishing division acquires Tribune's group for $475M
  17. ^ Raymont, Henry (March 13, 1970). "Newsday Employes [sic] Seek to Block Sale of the Paper". The New York Times. Retrieved February 15, 2010.
  18. ^ Storch, Charles (June 27, 1986). "Times Mirror Selling Dallas Times Herald". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
  19. ^ "Johnson family sells Austin TV." Broadcasting, September 4, 1972, pg. 6.
  20. ^ "Times Mirror's deal for Newhouse's TVs gets FCC approval." Broadcasting, March 31, 1980, pg. 30.
  21. ^ "Changing hands: Proposed." Broadcasting, September 30, 1985, pg. 109.
  22. ^ a b c "Times Mirror buys Abell" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 2, 1986. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  23. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. July 14, 1986. Retrieved September 6, 2021.
  24. ^ "Times Mirror set to sell four TV'." Archived June 9, 2015, at WebCite Broadcasting & Cable, March 22, 1993, pg. 7.