WPTV and WSM to become ABC affiliation in the 80s

Chapter 113: Tribune to finalize KHJ
January 2, 1984

Tribune Company through its Tribune Broadcasting unit is completing their $6 billion offer for KHJ-AM-FM-TV in Los Angeles. This is the company's first outing in Los Angeles, as the company has three outings in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Tribune also owns WGN-TV in Chicago, WPIX-TV in New York, KWGN-TV in Denver, WGNO-TV in New Orleans and WANX-TV in Atlanta.

This is part of a divesture of all the RKO General assets, which all started in 1980 with the sale of WHBQ to Multimedia, Inc., a South Carolina-based company, who owns TV stations affiliated with NBC and CBS.

On a related note, the upcoming NBC revival of Jeopardy! would let invite players of a $25,000 Tournament of Champions, where every person competing against five games would result in a $25,000 tournament (the nighttime version would have a $100,000 tournament).
Chapter 114: TVX to finalize Atlanta station
January 10, 1984

The TVX Broadcast Group, who owns and operates independent stations WMKW-TV in Memphis, WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, WRLH-TV in Richmond, WJTM-TV in Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, WXXA-TV in Albany/Schenectady/Troy and WLVI-TV in Cambridge/Boston is finalizing their offer to purchase WATL-TV in Atlanta.

This means TVX would now have seven TV stations in the portfolio.

TVX was in the process of buying WPDS-TV, which was not yet signed on until next month. TVX also received a $1 billion offer from The Wright Brothers to purchase Dayton's independent station WRGT-TV.

TVX will now going to have the largest independent station group ever.
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Chapter 115: Hearst to buy Salt Lake station
January 16, 1984

The Hatch family announced that the ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City, KUTV was sold to The Hearst Corporation for $4.2 billion. KUTV would became the eighth Hearst television station, joining WBAL-TV in Baltimore, WISN-TV in Milwaukee, WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, WDTN-TV in Dayton, KAKE-TV in Wichita, WNAC-TV in Boston and WSM-TV in Nashville.

KUTV was an ABC affiliate since 1982, while United Television's KTVX was an NBC affiliate.

Hearst and ABC had an outstanding relationship. It owns Hearst/ABC Video Services, who owns the Alpha Repertory Television Service, and Daytime, both of the cable services, which are about to be folded into The Arts & Entertainment Network, and Lifetime by next month.

Hearst's first television station WBAL-TV signed on the air in 1984. WSM-TV is Hearst's latest acquistion.
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Chapter 116: WNGE to unveil new programming
January 23, 1984

WNGE-TV, the NBC affiliate owned by General Electric, is unveiling two new programs that used the typical news channel format that was used by the General Electric television stations.

The first new program to come out on WNGE-TV was First News, which was based off the format that was used by other General Electric television stations, including KOA-TV in Denver.

The second new program to come out on WNGE-TV, replacing PM Magazine, was The Tennessee Evening News, featuring the top performers of the best news anchors in Nashville, held by former talent who had quit channel 2 in the early 1980s.

The new programs came out to the urban appeal of the Nashville city. WNGE-TV since 1980 was a NBC affiliate, ranking in third place among newscasts. Scott Chapin also came on board to join GE's WBBH-TV, channel 20 in Fort Myers to do the station's voiceover.
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Also on January 23, 1984: NBC picked up a Daytime Revival of Jeopardy hosted by Alex Trebek and a New Barry and Enright Game Show called Hot Potato hosted by Bill Cullen and aired on all NBC Affiliates including WNGE in Nashville, WNBC in New York, KNBC in Los Angeles, WMAQ in Chicago, WRC in Washington, D.C., WKYC in Cleveland, KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, WJZD in Detroit, KYW-TV in Chattanooga, WBZ-TV in Boston, WJZ-TV in Baltimore, WCPQ-TV in Charlotte, WLTZ-TV in Columbia, KOVR in Sacramento, KRGB in San Francisco and WRGB in Albany.

Meanwhile ABC debuted Catch Phrase with host Joe Farago on WEWS in Cleveland, WSM in Nashville, WABC in New York, KABC in Los Angeles, WLS in Chicago and KLMN in San Francisco

Updated daytime lineup


6:00 AM: ABC World News This Morning
7:00 AM: Good Morning America
10:30 AM: Family Feud (Richard Dawson)
11:00 AM: Catch Phrase (Joe Farago)
11:30 AM: Loving
12:30 PM: Ryan's Hope
1:00 PM: All My Children
2:00 PM: One Life To Live
3:00 PM: General Hospital
4:00 PM: The Edge of Night
6:30 PM: ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings


6:00 AM: NBC News at Sunrise
7:00 AM: Today
10:00 AM: Jeopardy! (Alex Trebek)
10:30 AM: $ale of the Century (Jim Perry)
11:00 AM: Wheel of Fortune (Pat Sajak)
11:30 AM: Dream House (Bob Eubanks)
12:00 PM: Hot Potato (Bill Cullen)
12:30 PM: Search for Tomorrow
1:00 PM: Days of Our Lives
2:00 PM: Another World
3:00 PM: Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour

Other Notes To Make: Dream House will end in June 29, 1984 so Bob Eubanks will return to ABC as host of a revival of The Newlywed Game beginning in August after the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles (despite ABC held rights to it) however NBC will debut Scrabble hosted by Chuck Woolery beginning July 2nd.
Chapter 117: WCVB and WNAC swap owners
January 30, 1984

WCVB-TV and WNAC has officially been swapping owners and networks once again. WCVB-TV was now sold to The Hearst Corporation, while WNAC-TV was sold to Dun & Bradstreet, who already owns several stations.

WCVB-TV will now be an ABC affiliate once again, while WNAC-TV was reverting to a CBS affiliate.

The reason cited was CBS' poor performance of its ratings on WCVB-TV. Hearst was in the process of merging with ABC, which was subject to Federal approval.

Most of the on-air talent on both WCVB-TV and WNAC-TV was unchanged.

Also on the same day, Tribune's Los Angeles station KHJ-TV is adapting a new look, while a news program The Southern California Action News, which was based on WPIX's version will be shown. The theme for The Southern California Action News is "Move Closer to Your World", which was also on KWGN and WPIX.
Chapter 118: Hearst and ABC go for a merger
February 6, 1984

The Hearst Corporation and ABC Inc., both benefit announced that the merger would proceed as forward. ABC has five stations in the roster, and Hearst will have seven stations in the television portfolio.

The following of the new combined television stations:
  • WBAL-TV Baltimore (Hearst)
  • WISN-TV Milwaukee (Hearst)
  • WTAE-TV Pittsburgh (Hearst)
  • WCVB-TV Boston (Hearst)
  • WDTN Dayton (Hearst)
  • KAKE Wichita (Hearst)
  • WSM-TV Nashville (Hearst)
  • WABC-TV New York (ABC)
  • KABC-TV Los Angeles (ABC)
  • KLMN-TV San Francisco (ABC)
  • WLS-TV Chicago (ABC)
  • WXYZ-TV Detroit (ABC)
All of the twelve stations in the roster were affiliated with ABC.

Hearst's acquisitions grew in the 1980s, starting from the acquisition of KAKE in Wichita from Chronicle Publishing Company, and WDTN-TV in Dayton from Grinnell College, followed by WSM-TV-AM-FM from National Life and Accident Insurance Company.
Chapter 119: FCC approves CBS/Storer merger
February 13, 1984

The Federal Communications Commission had approved the merger between CBS Inc. and Storer Communications Inc. This means that CBS would now own 12 owned-and-operated television stations. Concurrently, the FCC also granted a waiver for CBS to keep WITI, citing Grade B signal overlap with WBBM-TV in Chicago.

The new 12-station Storer/CBS list:
  • WJBK-TV in Detroit (Storer)
  • WITI-TV in Milwaukee (Storer)
  • WJKW-TV in Cleveland (Storer)
  • WTVG in Toledo (Storer)
  • WAGA-TV in Atlanta (Storer)
  • WAST-TV in Albany (Storer)
  • WKYT-TV in Lexington (Stoer)
  • WCBS-TV in New York (CBS)
  • KCBH-TV in Los Angeles (CBS)
  • WBBM-TV in Chicago (CBS)
  • WCAU in Philadelphia (CBS)
  • KCBS-TV in San Francisco (CBS)
There is also a talk between Cox Enterprises and CBS to swap frequencies for the San Francisco stations. KCBS-TV will be on channel 2 and KTVU will be on channel 5.

Several months earlier, we have the Westinghouse-RCA merger, that stunned the broadcast industry.
Chapter 120: KMOX-TV to change callsign
February 19, 1984

KMOX-TV-AM-FM, the Post Newsweek-owned CBS affiliate in St. Louis (as part of a tradeoff involving Detroit and San Francisco) is officially changing its call letters to "KMYG", which is stood for Katherine MeYer Graham, the widow of Phillip Graham.

This reflects the identity of how Post-Newsweek's television stations had turned out.

Post-Newsweek Stations is the successful of any CBS group deal ever had, the others were Miami, Jacksonville (its independent status in 2002 had been butterflied away) and New Hartford, which were also Post-Newsweek owned CBS affiliates. WPLG is used to be ABC affiliate until 1983 when Post-Newsweek Stations discovered better relations with the CBS television network.

Post-Newsweek used to own WDIV, the NBC affiliate from 1978 to 1982, when it was traded off to Group W and CBS in a three-way swap involving two other cities St. Louis and San Francisco.
Chapter 121: Chris-Craft finalizes WOR-TV
February 27, 1984

Chris-Craft Industries, who owns TV stations KPTV-TV in Portland and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles is finalizing their $5 billion offer to purchase WOR-AM-FM-TV from RKO General.

RKO General announced that they would shut down their operations, selling off their assets to Multimedia, Inc.

Chris-Craft now have three television stations, and New York would be the largest television station by the market size.

RKO sold off all four television stations, which included Memphis, Los Angeles, Boston and New York, this means that they would have to shut the television unit down.
Chapter 122: CBS/Storer merger finalized
March 8, 1984

The merger between CBS Inc. and Storer Communications Inc. has been officially finalized. This means seven of the Storer stations, including one UHF station in Lexington becoming CBS owned-and-operated stations.

The combined company would operate under the name of Storer/CBS Inc., and it was owner of 12 TV stations including WCBS-TV in New York, KCBH-TV in Los Angeles, WBBM-TV in Chicago, WCAU in Philadelphia, KCBS-TV in San Francisco, WJBK-TV in Detroit, WJKW-TV in Cleveland, WAGA-TV in Atlanta, WITI-TV in Milwaukee, WTVG-TV in Toledo, WAST-TV in Albany/Schenectady/Troy and WKYT-TV in Lexington.

WKYT-TV marks CBS' return to the UHF market since selling off the Hartford station in 1958 and Milwaukee station in 1959. Detroit would now have three owned-and-operated television stations in a major market. The acquisition of WAST-TV saw the first owned-and-operated station in Albany (General Electric would later purchase RCA in 1985 and made WRGB an owned-and-operated station).

CBS also owns a majority controlling interest in The A.S. Abell Company, owners of The Baltimore Sun and its accompanying station WMAR-TV in Baltimore. CBS announced its intention to purchase a 70% controlling interest in The Washington Post Company, owners of four TVs in Hartford, St. Louis, Jacksonville and Miami. FCC's ownership cap has since been relaxed/lifted, paving the way for future acquisitions.
Chapter 123: Cox to buy Evening News Association
March 13, 1984

Cox Enterprises, an Atlanta-based newspaper publisher announced its negotiations to purchase Evening News Association, owners of The Detroit News, as well as several television stations, such as WDVM-TV in Washington, D.C.

The Evening News Association's TV stations include WDVM-TV in Washington, D.C., KVUE-TV in Austin, WALA-TV in Mobile, KOLD-TV in Tucson and KTVY in Oklahoma City.

Cox's TV stations include WSB-TV in Atlanta and WSOC-TV in Charlotte, both ABC affiliates, CBS affiliates WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh and WHIO-TV in Dayton, and three independents KTVU in San Francisco, KDNL-TV in St. Louis and WKBD-TV in Detroit.

Both television stations reached a combined 25% of its audience share. Cox announces that it would expect to sell WDVM-TV to CBS once the deal is finalized.
Chapter 124: GE to buy Buffalo station
March 20, 1984

General Electric Broadcasting, who owns nine television stations, announced its intent to purchase WIVB-TV from Buffalo for $950 million, from its owner Robert Howard from Howard Publications, Inc.

This established General Electric as a competitor to Capital Cities Communications, who also owns big city ABC stations like WPVI in Philadelphia.

Concurrently, the Norfolk-based TVX Broadcast Group announced its intention to purchase WFTS in Tampa for at least $35 million, beating out a $32 million bid by Capital Cities Communications.

This makes TVX the owner of eight television stations in the portfolio, which are independent stations.
Chapter 125: Three CBS affiliates lost to ABC
March 22, 1984

ABC announced that they would start wooing three television stations (Capital Cities' WTVD-TV in Durham and KFSN-TV in Fresno and Gulf Broadcasting's KTSP-TV in Phoenix). Both of them were now CBS affiliates.

It was notified that WRAL-TV in Raleigh, KJEO-TV in Fresno and KTVK in Phoenix would lose their own ABC connections.

Gulf Broadcasting and Capital Cities Communications signed groupwide deals with ABC to convert its entire stations to the network. Three of the ABC leftovers signed with CBS. As a sidebar, Gulf's purchase of KTXA and KTXH are butterflied away, selling it to United Television, who owns KBHK-TV in San Francisco for $150 million.

It should be noted that WTVJ lost its CBS affiliation to ABC last year. A possible merger between Hearst and ABC would happen, subject to FCC approval. Capital Cities is in the process of buying NBC UHF stations in Baton Rogue and Brownsville, WVLA-TV and KVEO-TV, both of them were recently approved by the Federal Communications Commission. If the deal is finalized, then it would switch from NBC to ABC, reverting the former to its original Baton Rogue home.

(ITTL, IOTL only two of the stations WTVD and KFSN switched to ABC in 1985)
Chapter 126: FCC approves ABC/Hearst merger
March 30, 1984

The Federal Communications Commission had approved the merger between ABC Inc. and The Hearst Corporation, both cost $2.8 billion. Hearst owns seven television stations, including its most recent TV station outing WSM-TV in Nashville. ABC owns five television stations.

Hearst and ABC are principal owners of Arts & Entertainment Network and Lifetime, and plans on to purchase ESPN.

This made American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. a subsidiary of The Hearst Corporation. It is expected that the seven Hearst stations would be migrated into the five ABC owned-and-operated stations.

Concurrently, the FCC grant them a waiver to keep WISN-TV, citing Grade B signal overlap with WLS-TV in Chicago, in a similar scenario when Storer kept WITI-TV in Milwaukee, citing Grade B signal overlap with WBBM-TV in Chicago.
Chapter 127: Bonneville to buy KTVK
April 2, 1984

Yesterday's death of Marvin Gaye has been butterflied away, so here's an important event that was strange.

Bonneville International, a division of the LDS Church, announced a $975 million interest to purchase Arizona Television Company, who owns outgoing ABC affiliate KTVK in Phoenix, and decided that KTVK would convert itself into a CBS affiliate.

Bonneville's purchase of KTVK would join KSL-TV in Salt Lake City and KIRO-TV in Seattle as its third television station property.

KTVK agreed to preempt a number of CBS shows, just as Bonneville had on content restriction guidelines, such as some soaps and game shows, due to the religious ownership.

KTVK is about to lose the ABC affiliation to CBS affiliate KTSP-TV in Phoenix, which was a Gulf Broadcasting station.
Chapter 128: Hearst/ABC merger finalized
April 6, 1984

The merger between ABC Inc. and the Hearst Corporation has been officially finalized. This means that seven of Hearst's ABC-affiliated stations becoming ABC owned-and-operated television stations.

The seven Hearst TV stations (WBAL-TV in Baltimore, WISN-TV in Milwaukee, WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, WCVB-TV in Boston, WDTN-TV in Dayton, KAKE-TV in Wichita and WSM-TV in Nashville) would join the five ABC O&Os (WABC-TV in New York, KABC-TV in Los Angeles, KLMN-TV in San Francisco, WLS-TV in Chicago and WXYZ-TV in Detroit).

Around the same time, CBS dropped the "Eyewitness News" title from KCBS-TV in San Francisco, ceding it over to KLMN-TV in San Francisco.

Hearst also owns several newspapers, and both Hearst and ABC were involved in the Arts & Entertainment Network, Lifetime and ESPN. It is in the process of buying KUTV in Salt Lake City, an ABC affiliate.
Chapter 129: CBS to buy WGR TV and radio
April 11, 1984

Taft Broadcasting Company, announced that they would sell WGR-AM-FM-TV to CBS Inc. for $950 million. This made the city of Buffalo the first ever owned-and-operated television station since 1959 when NBC sold off the channel 17 station in Buffalo.

WGR-TV is a CBS affiliate since 1981, and its significant purchase by CBS decided to convert it into an owned-and-operated station.

Taft Broadcasting announced its plans to purchase Smith Broadcasting, who owns ABC affiliate, that of WAAY-TV in Huntsville as a compensation for the loss of the Buffalo television station.

Concurrently, the TVX Broadcast Group announced a $800 million offer to purchase Camellia City Telecasters, who owns KPDX-TV in Portland, KTXL-TV in Sacramento and KDVR-TV in Denver. This made TVX the largest owner of any independent television station.
Chapter 130: FCC approves Scripps offer
April 16, 1984

The Federal Communications Commission had approved Scripps-Howard's $1 billion offer to purchase Sacramento-based Kelly Broadcasting Company, who owns KCRA-TV in Sacramento and Seattle independent KCPQ-TV.

This means Scripps-Howard would now have eight television stations.

KCRA-TV, which is owned by Kelly will now be Scripps' fourth ABC television affiliate. The network had an outstanding relationship when WEWS was affiliated with the network since 1955. Two other Scripps stations WSHB-TV and WMC-TV were affiliated with ABC since 1980.

Scripps-Howard also owns newspaper publisher United Media, which publishes Garfield and Peanuts comic strips. Its flagship WCPO-TV was a CBS affiliate.