Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Hearst Television

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.
FormerlyHearst Broadcasting (1931–1997)
Hearst-Argyle Television (1997–2009)
IndustryBroadcast Television
Television Production
PredecessorHearst Broadcasting
Argyle Television Holdings II
Founded1931 (1931) (as Hearst Broadcasting)
United States
Area served
United States (Nationwide)
Key people
Jordan Wertlieb
ProductsBroadcast television
Revenue US$ 785.4 million (2006)
US$ 228.8 million (2006)
US$ 98.7 million (2006)
Number of employees
approx. 3000 (full-time)
ParentHearst Communications
DivisionsHearst Media Production Group

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 three newest concepts, Heroes & Icons, Movies!, 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.
  • (§§) – 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.
  • (µ) - 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 WVTM-TV µ 13 (13) 2014 NBC
Fort Smith - Fayetteville - Rogers, AR KHBS §§ 40 (21) 1996 ABC
The CW (DT2)
(satellite of KHBS)
29 (15)
Sacramento - Stockton - Modesto KCRA-TV κ 3 (35) 1999 NBC
KQCA κ 58 (23) 2000 MyNetworkTV
Salinas - Monterey - Santa Cruz, CA KSBW ≈≈ 8 (8) 1998 NBC
Daytona Beach - Orlando - Clermont, FL WESH ¤¤ 2 (11) 1999 NBC
WKCF 18 (23) 2006 The CW
Lakeland - Tampa - St. Petersburg, FL WMOR-TV 32 (18) 1996 Independent
Tequesta - West Palm Beach, FL WPBF 25 (16) 1997 ABC
Savannah, Georgia WJCL µ 22 (22) 2014
Des Moines, Iowa KCCI ¤¤ 8 (8) 1999 CBS
Louisville WLKY ¤¤ 32 (14) CBS
New Orleans WDSU ¤¤ 6 (19) NBC
Poland Spring - Portland, ME WMTW 8 (8) 2004 ABC
WPXT 51 (34) 2018 The CW
Baltimore WBAL-TV ** 11 (12) 1948 NBC
Boston WCVB-TV 5 (33) 1986 ABC
Jackson, Mississippi WAPT §§ 16 (21) 1995
Kansas City, Missouri KMBC-TV 9 (29) 1982
KCWE 29 (31) 2006 1 The CW
Omaha, Nebraska KETV ¤¤ 7 (20) 1999 ABC
Manchester, New Hampshire WMUR-TV 9 (9) 2001
Albuquerque - Santa Fe KOAT-TV ¤¤ 7 (7) 1999
Plattsburgh, N.Y. - Burlington, VT WPTZ ≈≈ 5 (14) 1998 NBC
WNNE ≈≈ 2 31 (14) The CW
Winston-Salem - Greensboro - High Point WXII-TV ¤¤ 12 (16) 1999 NBC
WCWG 20 (16) 2018 3 The CW
Cincinnati WLWT §§ ~~ 5 (20) 1997 NBC
Oklahoma City KOCO-TV §§ ~~ 5 (7) ABC
Lancaster - Harrisburg -
York - Lebanon
WGAL ¤¤ 8 (8) 1999 NBC
Pittsburgh WTAE-TV ** 4 (27) 1958 ABC
Greenville - Spartanburg - Asheville - Anderson WYFF ¤¤ 4 (30) 1999 NBC
Milwaukee WISN-TV 12 (28) 1955 ABC

Other Notes:

  • 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.

Radio stations

AM Station FM Station
City of License/Market Station Owned Since Current Format
Baltimore WBAL 1090 AM
W268BA 101.5 FM
1935 News-Talk
WIYY 97.9 1960 Active rock/Alternative rock/Classic rock

Stations formerly owned by Hearst and/or Argyle II

Television stations

City of license / Market Station Channel
Years owned Current ownership status
Honolulu KITV §§ 4 (40) 1995–2015 ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Hilo, Hawaii KHVO §§
(satellite of KITV)
4 (18) 1995–2015 ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Wailuku, Hawaii KMAU §§
(satellite of KITV)
4 (29) 1995–2015 ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo -
Battle Creek, MI
WZZM §§ ~~ 13 (13) 1995–1997 ABC affiliate owned by Tegna Inc.
(sale to Standard General pending[14])
Buffalo, New York WGRZ §§ ~~ 2 (33) 1995–1997 NBC affiliate owned by Tegna Inc.
(sale to Standard General pending[14])
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 N/A 1992–2009
(joint venture w/Comcast)
Cable-only regional news channel owned by NBCUniversal
First Hearst-Argyle Television logo from 1997 to 2007.


  • 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.

Radio stations

(a partial listing)

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


  1. Rathbun, Elizabeth A. (1997-03-31). "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 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2011-02-17 via HighBeam Research.
  2. Malone, Michael (2009-06-03). "Hearst Moves On Merger". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2019-04-23.
  3. "Hearst buys TV in Dayton, plans move into cable" (PDF). Broadcasting. 1980-05-26. Retrieved 2021-09-19.
  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 (6 January 2017). "Hearst Acquires Majority Stake in Independent Distributor Litton Entertainment". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  9. Television, Hearst. "Hearst Television Launches "Very Local" App Across Popular Streaming Platforms". Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  10. Spangler, Todd (2021-09-20). "Hearst TV Launches Free 'Very Local' Streaming Channels in 26 Markets". Variety. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  11. "Jeff Rossen joins Hearst Television as Chief National Consumer Correspondent". WPBF. 5 December 2019. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  12. "Hearst-Argyle Television Productions to integrate Kelly News & Entertainment". Sacramento Business Journal. Retrieved 2021-12-12.
  13. Grego, Melissa (2001-01-25). "NBC, Hearst-Argyle in programming alliance". Variety. Retrieved 2021-12-12.
  14. Miller, Mark K. (2022-02-22). "Tegna Selling To Standard General For $5.4 Billion". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 2022-03-01.
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