Tribune Broadcasting

Tribune Broadcasting

Tribune Broadcasting is a group of radio and television stations located throughout the United States which are owned and operated by the Tribune Company, a media conglomerate based in Chicago, Illinois.


The roots of Tribune Broadcasting originated with the June 1924 purchase of radio station WDAP by the "Chicago Tribune". The new owners changed the station's call letters to WGN, to match the Tribune's slogan, "World's Greatest Newspaper". WGN Radio would launch a television station in Chicago, in April 1948. Two months later, the "Tribune"'s sister newspaper in New York City, the "Daily News", established its own television station, WPIX.

Over the next six decades Tribune Broadcasting (originally known as WGN, Incorporated, and from 1966 to 1981 as WGN Continental Broadcasting Company) would acquire radio and television stations throughout the United States. WGN-TV and WPIX are the only stations Tribune has owned since their inceptions. Tribune also operated several local cable television systems from 1977 to 1985.

Tribune Broadcasting is now immersed in television, with 23 stations located in 19 markets (including four duopolies), and the cable/satellite version of WGN-TV, known as WGN America. In Chicago, Tribune also operates Chicagoland's Television (CLTV), a cable-only news channel. WGN Radio is the company's sole remaining radio station, and serves as the flagship station for a regional distribution service known as the Tribune Radio Network. ( [] ) Its primary features are farm reports from longtime WGN agriculture broadcaster Orion Samuelson, and broadcasts of Chicago Cubs games.

From January 1995 to September 2006, Tribune Broadcasting was a partner in The WB Television Network, along with the Warner Bros. division of Time Warner. Tribune held an initial 12.5 percent ownership in the network at its launch and later increased its stake to 22 percent, and most of Tribune's television properties were WB affiliates. On January 24, 2006, The WB announced that it and the CBS-owned United Paramount Network would shut down to make way for a new programming service called The CW Television Network. All but three of Tribune's WB affiliates became affiliates of The CW on September 18, 2006, through ten-year agreements. (The exceptions were in Philadelphia, Seattle, and Atlanta, due to The CW affiliating with CBS-owned stations in those markets.) Tribune does not have an ownership interest in The CW.

In April 2007, Tribune's broadcasting interests were included in the sale of the entire company to Chicago investor Sam Zell, who planned take the firm private. The deal was completed on December 20, 2007. ( [] )

On December 21, 2007, Tribune and Local TV announced plans to collaborate in the formation of an as yet unnamed "broadcast management company". This new arrangement will also manage a group of Fox owned-and-operated stations being acquired by Local TV during the third quarter of 2008. [cite press release
title = Tribune and Local TV to Form Broadcast Management Company
publisher = Tribune Company | date = 2007-12-20 | accessdate = 2007-12-21
url =
quote = Tribune Company and Local TV have entered into a letter of intent to create a third-party broadcast management company which will provide shared services to all of the stations Local TV and Tribune Company own, respectively.

Tribune Entertainment

Tribune Entertainment was Tribune Broadcasting's television production and syndication arm. Founded in the mid-1980s, this subsidiary folded in December 2007.

Tribune-owned stations

Television stations

Note: **indicates a station built and signed-on by Tribune.

WGN-AM is the only radio station in Tribune's portfolio, however as of September 22, 2008; Tribune is among seven candidates/companies to make first-round bids of the 50 radio stations in 12 small and mid-size markets being sold by CBS Radio. [ [ CBS Kicks Off Radio Station Auction] - "New York Post" (retrieved September 22, 2008)]

Former Tribune-owned stations

Former television stations


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