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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 Broadcasting (1931-1997)|
Hearst-Argyle Television (1997-2009)
Argyle Television Holdings II
|Founded||1997, by a merger of Hearst Broadcasting and Argyle Television Holdings II|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|United States (Nationwide)|
|Revenue||US$ 785.4 million (2006)|
|US$ 228.8 million (2006)|
|US$ 98.7 million (2006)|
Number of employees
|approx. 3000 (full-time)|
Hearst-Argyle was formed in 1997 with the merger of Hearst Corporation's broadcasting division and stations owned by Argyle Television Holdings II, 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 their 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.
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.
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 their 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), two MyNetworkTV affiliates (one traditional, one subchannel), 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 Movies!. Since December 1, 2014, Des Moines CBS affiliate KCCI has used their 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.
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 their 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 their news stories on YouTube. WCVB, KCRA, WTAE, WBAL and WMUR were the first stations in Hearst-Argyle's station group to do this.
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. 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.
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 their acquisition of LIN Media.
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.
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.
Stations are listed alphabetically by state and city of license.
- (**) – Indicates a station that was built and signed-on by Hearst.
- (§§) – Indicates a station that was owned by Argyle Television Holdings II prior to the formation of Hearst-Argyle Television in 1997.
- (~~) - Indicates a station that was affected by an ownership swap between Argyle II and Gannett in 1997.
- (≈≈) – Indicates a station that was affected by an ownership swap between Hearst-Argyle and Sunrise Television in 1998.
- (¤¤) – Indicates a station that was owned by Pulitzer prior to its acquisition by Hearst-Argyle in 1998.
- (κ) – Indicates a station that was owned by Kelly Broadcasting prior to its acquisition by Hearst-Argyle in 1999.
- (^^) - Indicates a station that was acquired by Hearst from Media General in 2014.
|City of license / Market||Station||Channel
|Owned Since||Network Affiliation|
|Birmingham - Tuscaloosa - Anniston, AL||WVTM-TV ^^||13 (13)||2014||NBC|
|Fort Smith - Fayetteville - Rogers, AR||KHBS §§||40 (21)||1996||ABC|
The CW (DT2)
(satellite of KHBS)
The CW (DT2)
|Sacramento - Stockton - Modesto||KCRA-TV κ||3 (35)||1999||NBC|
|KQCA κ||58 (46)||2000||MyNetworkTV|
|Salinas - Monterey - Santa Cruz, CA||KSBW ≈≈||8 (8)||1998||NBC|
|Daytona Beach - Orlando - Clermont, FL||WESH ¤¤||2 (11)||1999||NBC|
|WKCF||18 (17)||2006||The CW|
|Lakeland - Tampa - St. Petersburg, FL||WMOR-TV||32 (19)||1996||Independent|
|Tequesta - West Palm Beach, FL||WPBF||25 (16)||1997||ABC|
|Savannah, Georgia||WJCL ^^||22 (22)||2014||ABC|
|Des Moines, Iowa||KCCI ¤¤||8 (8)||1999||CBS|
|Louisville||WLKY ¤¤||32 (26)||1999||CBS|
|New Orleans||WDSU ¤¤||6 (43)||1999||NBC|
|Poland Spring - Portland, ME||WMTW||8 (8)||2004||ABC|
|WPXT||51 (43)||2018||The CW|
|Baltimore||WBAL-TV **||11 (11)||1948||NBC|
|Jackson, Mississippi||WAPT §§||16 (21)||1995||ABC|
|Kansas City, Missouri||KMBC-TV||9 (29)||1982||ABC|
|KCWE||29 (31)||2006 1||The CW|
|Omaha, Nebraska||KETV ¤¤||7 (20)||1999||ABC|
|Manchester, New Hampshire||WMUR-TV||9 (9)||2001||ABC|
|Albuquerque - Santa Fe||KOAT-TV ¤¤||7 (7)||1999||ABC|
|Plattsburgh, N.Y. - Burlington, VT||WPTZ ≈≈||5 (14)||1998||NBC|
|WNNE ≈≈ 2||31 (14)||1998||The CW|
|Winston-Salem - Greensboro - High Point||WXII-TV ¤¤||12 (31)||1999||NBC|
|WCWG||20 (31)||2018 3||The CW|
|Cincinnati||WLWT §§ ~~||5 (35)||1997||NBC|
|Oklahoma City||KOCO-TV §§ ~~||5 (7)||1997||ABC|
|Lancaster - Harrisburg -
York - Lebanon
|WGAL ¤¤||8 (8)||1999||NBC|
|Pittsburgh||WTAE-TV **||4 (51)||1958||ABC|
|Greenville - Spartanburg - Asheville - Anderson||WYFF ¤¤||4 (36)||1999||NBC|
- 1 KCWE in Kansas City has been managed by Hearst since its sign-on in 1996.
- 2 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.
- 3 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.
|AM Station||FM Station|
|City of License/Market||Station||Owned Since||Current Format|
|WIYY-97.9||1960||Active rock/Alternative rock/Classic rock|
Stations formerly owned by Hearst and/or Argyle IIEdit
|City of license / Market||Station||Channel
|Years owned||Current ownership status|
|Honolulu||KITV §§||4 (40)||1995–2015||ABC affiliate owned by SJL Broadcasting|
|Hilo, Hawaii||KHVO §§
(satellite of KITV)
|4 (18)||1995–2015||ABC affiliate owned by SJL Broadcasting|
|Wailuku, Hawaii||KMAU §§
(satellite of KITV)
|4 (29)||1995–2015||ABC affiliate owned by SJL Broadcasting|
|Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo -
Battle Creek, MI
|WZZM §§ ~~||4 (13)||1995–1997||ABC affiliate owned by Tegna|
|Buffalo, New York||WGRZ §§ ~~||2 (33)||1995–1997||NBC affiliate owned by Tegna|
|Dayton, Ohio||WDTN ≈≈ 1||2 (50)||1981–1998||NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|Providence, R.I.-New Bedford, MA||WNAC-TV §§ ≈≈ 2||64 (12)||1995–1998||Fox affiliate owned by Super Towers, Inc.|
(operated under LMA by Nexstar Media Group)
|Clarksburg - Weston, W.V.||WBOY-TV||12 (12)||2001||NBC affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group|
|New England Region||NECN||various||1992–2009||Cable-only regional news channel owned by NBCUniversal|
- 1 WDTN was an ABC affiliate under Hearst during its ownership; LIN switched the station's affiliation back to NBC in 2004.
- 2 WNAC-TV was 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.
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.
(a partial listing)
|AM Stations||FM Stations|
|Market||Station||Years Owned||Current Ownership|
|Phoenix||KTAR-620||1999–2001||owned by Bonneville International|
|1999–2001||owned by Farmworker Educational Radio Network|
|1999–2001||owned by Bonneville International|
|1935–1939||owned by Cumulus Media|
|1934–1942||owned by Immaculate Heart Media|
|1999–2000||owned by Salem Communications|
|New York City||WGBS/WINS-1010||1931–1946||owned by Entercom|
|Kernersville - Winston-Salem -
Greensboro - High Point
|1999–2000||owned by Truth Broadcasting Corporation|
|1936–1939||owned by Tyler Media Group|
|1931–1997||owned by Salem Media Group|
|1960–1997||owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.|
|San Juan, PR||WAPA-680||1961–1991||owned by Wifredo G. Blanco Pi|
|1936–1939||owned by REO Radio Group|
|San Antonio||KTSA-550||1936–1939||owned by Alpha Media|
|1936–1939||owned by M&M Broadcasters|
|Milwaukee||WISN-1130||1928–1997||owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.|
|1961–1997||owned by iHeartMedia, Inc.|
- Rathbun, Elizabeth A. "Hearst stocks up on Argyles; merged TV group with 14 stations, 11.6% coverage is valued at $1.8 billion., Broadcasting & Cable. March 31, 1997. HighBeam Research. (February 17, 2011).
- Hearst Moves On Merger, Broadcasting & Cable, June 3, 2009
- "Explanation to FCC of Hearst-Argyle privatization" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. May 18, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- "Explanation to FCC of Hearst reorganization" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. July 29, 2009. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- "Media General, LIN Sell Stations In 5 Markets". TVNewsCheck. August 20, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- Malone, Michael (August 20, 2014). "Media General, LIN Divest Stations in Five Markets". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- Littleton, Cynthia (6 January 2017). "Hearst Acquires Majority Stake in Independent Distributor Litton Entertainment". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2017.