Graham Media Group (formerly Post-Newsweek Stations) is the television broadcasting subsidiary of the Graham Holdings Company. It is now headquartered in Chicago, after being co-located for several years with its local NBC affiliate WDIV-TV in Detroit.
The origins of Graham Media can be traced to 1944, when the Washington Post began its broadcasting activities with its purchase of WINX radio in Washington, D.C. 4 years later the newspaper’s parent firm, the Washington Post Company, announced its intention to acquire controlling interest in a rival station, WTOP radio from CBS. The two firms formed a joint venture known as WTOP Incorporated, with the Post holding 55 percent and CBS maintaining the balance (45 percent). The Post sold wholly-owned WINX but retained its FM adjunct WINX-FM, which became the original WTOP-FM when the sales became final in 1949. In 1950 WTOP Inc. purchased WOIC, Washington’s CBS television affiliate, and changed that station’s call letters to WTOP-TV. This Post-CBS joint venture is the direct predecessor of Graham Media Group.
CBS was forced by the Federal Communications Commission to sell its remaining interest in WTOP Inc. in 1954. The Post then merged its Washington stations with recently purchased WMBR-AM-TV in Jacksonville, Florida and changed the company’s name to Post Stations, Inc. WMBR radio was later sold off (it is now WQOP); the Post then changed WMBR-TV’s calls to WJXT. The company was rechristened as Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc. after the Post acquired Newsweek magazine in 1961.
Post-Newsweek made its first purchase in 1969, with the acquisitions of WCKY radio in Cincinnati and WLBW-TV in Miami; the TV outlet was renamed WPLG after the former Washington Post publisher Philip Graham, who committed suicide in 1963. WTOP-FM in Washington was donated to Howard University in 1971 and became WHUR-FM soon after. In 1974, the company added WTIC-TV in Hartford, Connecticut, changing its calls to WFSB upon taking over.
In the wake of a panic swap of WTOP-TV (now WUSA) to the (Detroit) Evening News Association for its WWJ-TV (now WDIV) in 1978, followed by the sale of both radio stations later in the year, the Post decided to spin off their broadcasting interests into a company of its own. The Post-Newsweek name itself would later spread to the Post-owned cable operations (now known as Cable One and a company identical in structure to Post-Newsweek Stations). During the 1970s and 1980s, the stations tended to have vaguely similar on-air looks, along with the common slogan “The One & Only Channel/TV (number)”; some of the stations continue to use this or a variant as a slogan.
In 1992, Post-Newsweek bought the now-defunct Detroit regional sports station PASS Sports from former Detroit Tigers owner and Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan. On April 22, 1994, the Texas stations of H&C Communications, KPRC-TV in Houston and KSAT-TV in San Antonio were acquired. The company has not expanded elsewhere in Texas, and notably, it has only operated in a maximum of six TV markets since the acquisition.
Post-Newsweek nearly expanded to seven stations in 2008 when it offered to purchase NBC-owned WTVJ, creating a duopoly with WPLG. The sale was canceled, however, due to lack of FCC approval and poor economic conditions at that time, along with local reaction against media consolidation.