Hearst Television

Hearst Television, Inc. (formerly Hearst-Argyle Television) is a broadcasting company in the United States owned by Hearst Communications. From 1998 to mid-2009, the company traded its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "HTV."

Hearst Television, Inc.
Formerly
  • Hearst Broadcasting (1931–1997)
  • Hearst-Argyle Television (1997–2009)
TypeSubsidiary
Industry
Predecessor
  • Hearst Broadcasting
  • Argyle Television Holdings II
Founded1931 (1931) (as Hearst Broadcasting)
Headquarters,
United States
Area served
United States (Nationwide)
Key people
ProductsBroadcast television
Number of employees
approx. 3000 (full-time)
ParentHearst Communications
DivisionsHearst Media Production Group
Websitehearst.com/broadcasting

Hearst-Argyle was formed in 1997 with the merger of Hearst Corporation's broadcasting division and stations owned by Argyle Television Holdings II,[1] which is partially related to the company of the same name who (in 1994) sold its stations to New World Communications, stations that eventually became Fox-owned stations (Hearst itself, unusual for any American broadcast group, has never held a Fox affiliation on any of its stations). Hearst's involvement in broadcasting dates to the 1920s.

In terms of audience reach, Hearst is the third-largest group owner of ABC-affiliated stations, behind the E. W. Scripps Company and Sinclair Broadcast Group, and ahead of Tegna Inc., and the second-largest group owner of NBC affiliates, behind Tegna.

Hearst-owned ABC affiliates in National Football League markets simulcast Monday Night Football games from ESPN that involve these teams - ESPN is 20% owned by Hearst, the rest being owned by ABC's parent, The Walt Disney Company. Other Hearst-owned stations also carry ESPN-aired NFL games, even though they are affiliated with other networks (like WBAL-TV, Baltimore's NBC affiliate). Hearst also holds some joint ventures for syndicated programming with NBCUniversal Television Distribution.

On June 3, 2009, the Hearst Corporation announced that it would purchase substantially all of the stock not held by Hearst. Hearst-Argyle Television then dropped "Argyle" from its name and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation.[2]

Digital television

In February 2009, Hearst-Argyle announced that its stations (except for KITV and its satellites in Hawaii, which had already completed their transition to digital, and WPTZ in Plattsburgh, New York and WNNE in Hartford, Vermont, which followed the other Champlain Valley in transitioning on February 17, 2009) would comply with the new DTV transition date of June 12, 2009.

Hearst-owned stations

Hearst-Argyle Television logo, 2007-2009

Currently, Hearst owns a total of 34 overall television stations but considers two groups of four stations and an NBC station with an ABC digital subchannel joint operations, bringing its count down to 31 under that consideration: eleven NBC affiliates, fifteen ABC affiliates (one as a subchannel of an NBC affiliate, and one which acts as a two-station simulcast), two CBS affiliates, six CW affiliates (two traditional, two subchannel (which are part of a two-station simulcast), and two channel shares), one MyNetworkTV affiliate, and one independent station. Most of the company's subchannel stations broadcast either Weigel Broadcasting's MeTV or NBC's Cozi TV through national affiliation deals, along with being charter carriers of Weigel's two newest concepts, Heroes & Icons, and Story Television. Since December 1, 2014, Des Moines CBS affiliate KCCI has used its third subchannel as an H&I affiliate carrying MyNetworkTV programming in primetime. Hearst also owns two radio stations in Baltimore, the last remaining from the company divesting most of their radio assets after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 went into effect. As already mentioned above, none of Hearst's stations have ever held a Fox affiliation, with the exception of two WMUR translators in the northern part of New Hampshire dis-affiliating with the network upon Hearst's assumption of ownership of WMUR.

Candy Altman at the 68th Annual Peabody Awards for Hearst-Argyle Television-Commitment 2008

Some Hearst-owned stations use the "Commitment (Year)" banner for all political news coverage leading up to the local, national, and statewide elections in lieu of a localized version of their associated network's political branding. This started in 2000. Hearst also maintains a Washington, D.C. bureau to assist its stations in coverage of national politics, including on-air reporters and facilities and equipment assistance for local stations. Many Hearst stations license the "Operation High School" branding for coverage of local high school sports. In 2007, Hearst-Argyle became one of the first television broadcasting groups to post its news stories on YouTube. WCVB, KCRA, WTAE, WBAL and WMUR were the first stations in Hearst-Argyle's station group to do this.

In 1980, the Hearst Broadcasting division had purchased WDTN in Dayton from Grinnell College, a price estimated to be $45–48 million.[3]

Until 2009, three of Hearst's television stations (KCWE, WMOR-TV, and WPBF) and its two radio stations (WBAL radio and WIYY) were owned by Hearst Broadcasting, Inc., an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation through which Hearst ultimately controlled Hearst-Argyle Television, as opposed to Hearst-Argyle itself; Hearst-Argyle still operated these stations under a management services agreement. These stations were transferred to Hearst Television shortly after its privatization.[4][5] Hearst's television and radio cluster in Baltimore additionally serves as the flagship stations and operation bases for the Baltimore Ravens radio and television networks, and as the flagship/operations base for the Baltimore Orioles Radio Network.

On August 20, 2014, it was announced that Hearst Television would acquire WVTM in Birmingham, Alabama and WJCL in Savannah, Georgia from Media General, which divested those stations under FCC advisement as part of its acquisition of LIN Media.[6][7]

On January 6, 2017, Hearst acquired majority control of Charleston, South Carolina-based syndicator Litton Entertainment, which has control of four of the five E/I-compliant Saturday morning blocks on the five major broadcast networks, along with being a syndicator of traditional programming. The deal closed on February 1.[8]

In 2021, Hearst began to carry the home shopping network Shop LC on several its stations under a revenue-sharing agreement with that network's owners. In most markets, Hearst will not pursue cable or satellite carriage for Shop LC, as the network already pays providers nationwide to carry its network on several channel slots per system.

On September 20, 2021, Hearst launched Very Local, an over-the-top media service which consists of news programming from its television stations as well as nationally produced content such as Chronicle and Matter of Fact.[9][10]

Television production

Hearst Television also produces the weekly public-affairs program Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien, which in fall 2018 entered its fourth season. Outside of the Hearst stations and A&E, the show is distributed in national broadcast syndication by Sony Pictures Television.

In 2019, former Today consumer affairs reporter Jeff Rossen joined Hearst as a multi-platform consumer affairs reporter, whose reports (which as of April 2020, include COVID-19 pandemic consumer issue Q&A segments) are syndicated throughout the chain, in addition to full-scale semi-annual consumer specials that are also carried by Hearst Television stations.[11]

Hearst once owned Hearst-Argyle Television Productions, a rebranding of the original Hearst Broadcasting Productions in 1997, which was merged with Kelly News & Entertainment chain, which Hearst bought it out, along with KCRA-TV in 1998.[12] In 2001, the inventory was sold off to NBC Enterprises.[13]

Television stations

Stations are listed alphabetically by state and city of license.

(**) – Indicates a station that was built and signed-on by Hearst.
City of license / Market Station
  • Owned
  • since
Affiliation
BirminghamTuscaloosaAnniston, AL WVTM-TV 13 (13)2014[lower-alpha 1]NBC
Fort SmithFayettevilleRogers, AR KHBS 40 (21)1996[lower-alpha 2]
KHOG-TV[lower-alpha 3] 29 (15)1996[lower-alpha 2]
  • ABC
  • The CW (DT2)
SacramentoStocktonModesto, CA KCRA-TV 3 (35)1999[lower-alpha 4]NBC
KQCA 58 (23)2000[lower-alpha 4]MyNetworkTV
SalinasMontereySanta Cruz, CA KSBW 8 (8)1998[lower-alpha 5]
  • NBC
  • ABC (DT2)
Daytona BeachOrlandoClermont, FL WESH 2 (11)1998[lower-alpha 6]NBC
WKCF 18 (23)2006The CW
LakelandTampaSt. Petersburg, FL WMOR-TV 32 (18)1996Independent
Tequesta–West Palm Beach, FL WPBF 25 (16)1997ABC
Savannah, GA WJCL 22 (22)2014[lower-alpha 1]ABC
Des Moines, IA KCCI 8 (8)1998[lower-alpha 6]CBS
Louisville, KY WLKY 32 (14)1998[lower-alpha 6]CBS
New Orleans, LA WDSU 6 (19)1998[lower-alpha 6]NBC
Poland SpringPortland, ME WMTW 8 (8)2004ABC
WPXT 51 (34)2018The CW
Baltimore, MD WBAL-TV** 11 (12)1948NBC
Boston, MA WCVB-TV 5 (33)1986ABC
Jackson, MS WAPT 16 (21)1995[lower-alpha 2]ABC
Kansas City, MO KMBC-TV 9 (29)1982ABC
KCWE 29 (31)2001[lower-alpha 7]The CW
Omaha, NE KETV 7 (20)1998[lower-alpha 6]ABC
Manchester, NH WMUR-TV 9 (9)2001ABC
AlbuquerqueSanta Fe, NM KOAT-TV 7 (7)1998[lower-alpha 6]ABC
Plattsburgh, NYBurlington, VT WPTZ 5 (14)1998[lower-alpha 5]NBC
WNNE 31 (14)1998[lower-alpha 5]The CW[lower-alpha 8]
Winston-SalemGreensboroHigh Point, NC WXII-TV 12 (16)1998[lower-alpha 6]NBC
WCWG 20 (16)2018[lower-alpha 9]The CW
Cincinnati, OH WLWT 5 (20)1997[lower-alpha 2][lower-alpha 10]NBC
Oklahoma City, OK KOCO-TV 5 (7)1997[lower-alpha 2][lower-alpha 10]ABC
LancasterHarrisburgYorkLebanon, PA WGAL 8 (8)1998[lower-alpha 6]NBC
Pittsburgh, PA WTAE-TV** 4 (27)1958ABC
GreenvilleSpartanburgAnderson, SCAsheville, NC WYFF 4 (30)1998[lower-alpha 6]NBC
Milwaukee, WI WISN-TV 12 (28)1955ABC

Radio stations

AM Station FM Station
City of license / Market Station Owned since Current format
Baltimore, MD WBAL 1090[lower-alpha 11] 1935Newstalk
WIYY 97.9 1960Active rock/Alternative rock/Classic rock

Stations formerly owned by Hearst and/or Argyle II

Former television stations

City of license / Market Station
  • Channel
  • TV (RF)
  • Years
  • owned
Current ownership status
Honolulu, HI KITV 4 (40)1995–2015[lower-alpha 2]ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Hilo, HI KHVO[lower-alpha 12] 4 (18)1995–2015[lower-alpha 2]ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Wailuku, HI KMAU[lower-alpha 13] 4 (29)1995–2015[lower-alpha 2]ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Grand RapidsKalamazooBattle Creek, MI WZZM 13 (13)1995–1997[lower-alpha 2][lower-alpha 10]ABC affiliate owned by Tegna Inc.
Buffalo, NY WGRZ 2 (33)1995–1997[lower-alpha 2][lower-alpha 10]NBC affiliate owned by Tegna Inc.
Dayton, OH WDTN 2 (50)1981–1998[lower-alpha 5]NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group[lower-alpha 14]
Providence, RINew Bedford, MA WNAC-TV[lower-alpha 15] 64 (12)1995–1998[lower-alpha 2][lower-alpha 5]Fox affiliate owned by Mission Broadcasting[lower-alpha 16]
ClarksburgWeston, WV WBOY-TV 12 (12)2001NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
New England NECN N/A1992–2009[lower-alpha 17]Cable-only regional news channel owned by NBCUniversal
First Hearst-Argyle Television logo from 1997 to 2007.

In addition to the above, Hearst-Argyle never owned WZZM or WGRZ. Those two stations were divested by one of the company's predecessors, Argyle Television Holdings II, several months prior to the merger with Hearst Broadcasting. The "years owned" information reflects the years of ownership by Argyle Television Holdings II. And WDTN was the only formerly owned television station that was owned directly by Hearst prior to the merger.

Former radio stations

(a partial listing)

AM Station FM Station
City of license / Market Station Years owned Current ownership
Phoenix, AZ KTAR 620 1999–2001Owned by Bonneville International
KMVP 860 1999–2001KNAI, owned by Farmworker Educational Radio Network
KKLT 98.7 1999–2001KMVP-FM, owned by Bonneville International
Los Angeles, CA KEHE 780 1935–1939KABC 790, owned by Cumulus Media
San Francisco, CA KYA 1260 1934–1942KSFB, owned by Relevant Radio
Louisville, KY WLKY 970 1999–2000WGTK, owned by Salem Media Group
New York City, NY WGBS/WINS 1010 1931–1946Owned by Audacy, Inc.
WXII 830 1999–2000WTRU, owned by Truth Broadcasting Corporation
Oklahoma City, OK KOMA 1480 1936–1939KOKC 1520, owned by Tyler Media Group
Pittsburgh, PA WCAE/WRYT/WTAE 1250 1931–1997WPGP, owned by Salem Media Group
  • WCAE-FM/WRYT-FM/WTAE-FM/
  • WXKX/WHTX/WVTY 96.1**
1960–1997WKST-FM, owned by iHeartMedia
San Juan, PR WAPA 680 1961–1991WBQN, owned by Wifredo G. Blanco Pi
Austin, TX KNOW 1500 1936–1939KJFK 1490, owned by Township Media, LLC
San Antonio, TX KTSA 550 1936–1939Owned by Alpha Media
Waco, TX WACO 1420 1936–1939KCLE 1460, owned by M&M Broadcasters
Milwaukee, WI WISN 1130 1928–1997Owned by iHeartMedia
  • WISN-FM/WLPX/
  • WBTT/WLTQ 97.3**
1961–1997WRNW, owned by iHeartMedia

Notes

  1. Acquired by Hearst as divestitures from Media General's acquisition of LIN Media in 2014.
  2. Owned by Argyle Television Holdings II prior to the formation of Hearst-Argyle Television in 1997.
  3. Satellite of KHBS.
  4. Owned by Kelly Broadcasting prior to its acquisition by Hearst-Argyle in 1999.
  5. Affected by an ownership swap between Hearst-Argyle and Sunrise Television in 1998.
  6. Owned by Pulitzer prior to its acquisition by Hearst-Argyle in 1998.
  7. KCWE has been managed by Hearst since its sign-on in 1996.
  8. As a result of the incentive auction, WNNE channel shares with WPTZ after the sale of its former spectrum. WNNE previously served Hartford, Vermont and Hanover, New Hampshire as a semi-satellite of WPTZ.
  9. As a result of the incentive auction, WCWG channel shares with WXII after the sale of its former spectrum. Hearst purchased WCWG outright on February 12, 2018, from former owner Lockwood Broadcast Group, but operated the station under a secondary shared services arrangement after the channel share went into effect on July 31, 2017.
  10. Affected by an ownership swap between Argyle II and Gannett in 1997.
  11. Utilizes a translator, W268BA, at 101.5 FM.
  12. Satellite of KITV.
  13. Satellite of KITV.
  14. WDTN was an ABC affiliate under Hearst during its ownership; LIN switched the station's affiliation back to NBC in 2004.
  15. Owned by Argyle, but operated from 1996 to 2001 by Clear Channel Communications under a local marketing agreement (LMA) with WPRI-TV, which Clear Channel owned at the time.
  16. Operated under LMA by Nexstar Media Group.
  17. Joint venture w/Comcast.

References

  1. Rathbun, Elizabeth A. (March 31, 1997). "Hearst stocks up on Argyles; merged TV group with 14 stations, 11.6% coverage is valued at $1.8 billion". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2011 via HighBeam Research.
  2. Malone, Michael (June 3, 2009). "Hearst Moves On Merger". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  3. "Hearst buys TV in Dayton, plans move into cable" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 26, 1980. Retrieved September 19, 2021.
  4. "Explanation to FCC of Hearst-Argyle privatization" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. May 18, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  5. "Explanation to FCC of Hearst reorganization" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. July 29, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  6. "Media General, LIN Sell Stations In 5 Markets". TVNewsCheck. August 20, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  7. Malone, Michael (August 20, 2014). "Media General, LIN Divest Stations in Five Markets". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  8. Littleton, Cynthia (January 6, 2017). "Hearst Acquires Majority Stake in Independent Distributor Litton Entertainment". Variety. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  9. Television, Hearst. "Hearst Television Launches "Very Local" App Across Popular Streaming Platforms". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  10. Spangler, Todd (September 20, 2021). "Hearst TV Launches Free 'Very Local' Streaming Channels in 26 Markets". Variety. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  11. "Jeff Rossen joins Hearst Television as Chief National Consumer Correspondent". WPBF. December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  12. "Hearst-Argyle Television Productions to integrate Kelly News & Entertainment". Sacramento Business Journal. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  13. Grego, Melissa (January 25, 2001). "NBC, Hearst-Argyle in programming alliance". Variety. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
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