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Quincy Media, Inc.
Quincy
TypePrivate
IndustryMedia
FoundedJune 1, 1926; 95 years ago (1926-06-01)
DefunctAugust 2, 2021 (2021-08-02)
FateAcquired by Gray Television (certain assets divested to Allen Media Broadcasting and Philips Media Group)
SuccessorGray Television
Headquarters
130 South Fifth Street, Quincy, Illinois, 62306-0906
,
USA
Key people
Ralph M. Oakley
(President/CEO)
Pete Oakley
Number of employees
900+
Websitequincymediacareers.com

Quincy Media, Inc., formerly known as Quincy Newspapers, Inc., was a family-owned media company that originated in the newspapers of Quincy, Illinois. The company's history can be traced back to 1835, when the Bounty Land Register was one of four newspapers in Illinois. Over the next century, a number of mergers followed. The company moved into radio in 1947 and began television broadcasts in 1953.

The company was owned by the Oakley and Lindsay families of Quincy.

History

The corporation was formed in Quincy on June 1, 1926, as Quincy Newspapers after the merger of the Quincy Herald, direct descendant of the Illinois Bounty Land Register first published in Quincy in 1835, and the Quincy Whig-Journal, descendant of the Quincy Whig founded in 1838. The two papers were combined to form a single daily paper, the Quincy Herald-Whig.[1]

The Herald was purchased in September 1891 by three men from Rockford, Charles L. Miller, Hedley John Eaton and Edmund Botsford. Miller had earlier founded the Rockford Daily Register, that city's oldest newspaper. Subsequently, Miller brought to the Herald his brother-in-law and nephew, respectively, Aaron Burr Oakley and Ray M. Oakley, the first two generations of the Oakleys in the newspaper business in Quincy. Miller spent four years in Quincy, returning to Rockford in 1896 to join Harry M. Johnson in ownership of the Rockford Republic. He retired as editor of the Republic in 1913 and died in 1921. Hedley Eaton retired in 1913 and died in 1936. Eaton's son John Dewitt Eaton stayed with the paper as Advertising Manager until his retirement in 1955.

Two brothers from Decatur, Frank M. Lindsay, Sr. and Arthur O. Lindsay, Sr. bought the Quincy Whig in 1915, with Arthur Lindsay taking up residence in Quincy as president and manager. Frank Lindsay remained in Decatur with the Decatur Herald and formed an association with another Illinois newspaper family, the Schaubs. In 1920, the Lindsays consolidated the Whig and The Quincy Journal, founded in 1883.

QNI entered broadcasting in 1947, the year it started Quincy's first commercial FM station, WQDI. The following year QNI purchased Quincy Broadcasting Co. to operate WGEM, the city's second AM station. WQDI became WGEM-FM in 1953.

Quincy Media Corporate headquarters in Downtown Quincy
Quincy Media Corporate headquarters in Downtown Quincy

Quincy Broadcasting produced the Quincy region's first television broadcast on September 4, 1953, with the launch of WGEM-TV, the area's NBC affiliate. The building containing the ground floor studios of the WGEM stations was also the former home of the Tremont Hotel, and Quincy Media continues to operate it as the New Tremont Apartments, containing both long-term and extended stay accommodations.

In 1969, QNI and six other newspaper entities formed American Newspapers Inc., which bought The New Jersey Herald in Newton, New Jersey, converting the semi-weekly to a daily and Sunday publication in 1970. QNI acquired controlling interest in American Newspapers in 1980 and became sole owner in 1986.

Beginning in the 1970s, QNI began a major expansion into television. WSJV in Elkhart, Indiana (serving South Bend) was acquired in 1974;[2] KROC-TV (renamed KTTC) in Rochester, Minnesota in 1976;[3] WHIS-TV (renamed WVVA) in Bluefield, West Virginia in 1979;[4] KTIV in Sioux City, Iowa in 1989;[5] and WREX-TV in Rockford in 1995.[6] All of the stations were also NBC affiliates at their acquisitions except for WSJV and WREX, which were ABC affiliates; however, in 1995, WSJV dropped ABC for Fox,[7] and soon thereafter WREX joined NBC. Also in 1995, The Merchant, a weekly shopper in Quincy was purchased by the company.

In June 2001, QNI purchased from Shockley Communications five ABC affiliates in Wisconsin: WKOW-TV in Madison, WAOW-TV in Wausau; WYOW in Eagle River (a satellite of WAOW); WXOW-TV in La Crosse; and WQOW-TV in Eau Claire (a semi-satellite of WXOW). Also purchased from SCC at the time was ProVideo of Wisconsin, Inc. consisting of a component digital online suite and a fully integrated non-linear online suite in Madison, Wisconsin. Concurrent with the Shockley purchase, KTTC entered into a shared services agreement with KXLT-TV, the Fox affiliate in Rochester, Minnesota. KTTC provides all services for KXLT excluding sales, traffic, and programming.

On July 1, 2006 QNI purchased KWWL, the NBC affiliate in Waterloo, Iowa, from Raycom Media. In February 2009, QNI purchased Crandon, Wisconsin's WBIJ from the widow of the station's founder, with the intention to operate the station as a satellite station of WAOW;[8] QNI subsequently renamed the station WMOW to conform with its other Wisconsin properties.

On February 11, 2014, Quincy announced plans to acquire a number of small and mid-market stations from Granite Broadcasting, including WEEK-TV in Peoria, KBJR-TV in Superior, Wisconsin, KRII in Chisholm, Minnesota (a satellite of KBJR), and WBNG-TV in Binghamton, New York (the company's first CBS affiliate; WEEK and KBJR/KRII are NBC affiliates). As part of the deal, Quincy originally planned to purchase WPTA, the ABC affiliate in Fort Wayne, Indiana, from Malara Broadcast Group, and provide services to ABC affiliate WHOI and MyNetworkTV affiliate WAOE in Peoria, NBC affiliate WISE-TV in Fort Wayne, and CBS affiliate KDLH in Duluth, Minnesota.[9] In November 2014, the deal was reworked so that Quincy would acquire WISE and provide services to WPTA, retaining the arrangement between the stations established by Granite.[10] In July 2015, the deal was reworked yet again; Quincy would, yet again, acquire WPTA instead of WISE, and Malara's stations would be acquired by SagamoreHill Broadcasting. Quincy also proposed to wind down its shared services agreements with WISE and KDLH within nine months of the sale's completion: both stations would move their existing network affiliations to WPTA and KBJR, and become independently-operated stations airing The CW.[11] On September 15, 2015, the FCC approved the deal.[12]

In 2015, the company's flagship title dropped Quincy from its masthead and became simply the Herald-Whig. In 2016, the Herald-Whig and Quincy Media applied for a demolition permit for the historic Morgan-Wells House in Quincy for expansion of their offices. The NRHP-listed local landmark was the home of notable Quincy residents and institutions for over a century, now demolished.[13]

In January 2016, the company changed its name to Quincy Media.[14]

On May 21, 2018, it was announced that Quincy Media would acquire KDLH outright for $792,557 and WISE for $952,884. While the FCC normally prohibits one company from owning two television licenses in the same market when both are among the top four rated stations, Quincy submitted a filing saying that during the November 2017 "sweeps" period KBJR-TV was the top ranked station while KDLH placed fifth, and that WPTA was the second ranked station while WISE-TV placed fifth. The sale was completed on August 1.[15][16]

On August 29, 2018, Quincy Media's stations were pulled from Dish Network after failing to reach a new retransmission fee agreement.[17] On October 12, Quincy Media reached a new agreement with Dish Network to continue carrying Quincy Media stations.[18]

On October 29, 2018, Quincy announced it would be acquiring KVOA in Tucson, Arizona, from Cordillera Communications for $70 million as a side deal of the latter company's acquisition by the E. W. Scripps Company.[19][20][21] Two days later, on October 31, Quincy announced that it would be acquiring WSIL-TV in Harrisburg, Illinois and KPOB, Poplar Bluff, MO, from Mel Wheeler, Inc. for $24.5 million.[22][23]

On May 10, 2019, Quincy announced it would purchase the Hannibal Courier-Post from GateHouse Media, marking its first daily newspaper expansion since 1969.[24] Six days later, on May 16, Quincy announced the sale of the New Jersey Herald to GateHouse Media, ending Quincy's 50-year ownership of the paper.[25]

On January 7, 2021, television industry news website FTVLive obtained an internal memo from President and CEO Ralph Oakley confirming that Quincy Media had put itself up for sale.[26] The news was later publicly confirmed by QMI.[27]

On February 1, 2021, Gray Television announced that it had entered into an agreement to acquire all Quincy Media television properties for $925 million in a cash transaction, along with the WGEM AM/FM radio stations in Quincy (Gray owns one small radio station in Texas otherwise, also acquired as part of another television group). As a result, several Quincy stations will be divested to be in compliance with regulations from the FCC and the Department of Justice.[28] On April 29, it was announced that Allen Media Group will purchase 10 Quincy stations not being acquired by Gray Television for $380 million.[29] The newspapers were sold to another family-owned publishing company, Phillips Media Group of Harrison, Arkansas, in a separate transaction.[30] The transaction was completed on August 2.[31]

Former Quincy Media properties

Quincy Newspapers Logo until 2012.
Quincy Newspapers Logo until 2012.

Newspapers

Radio stations

AM Station FM Station
Market Station Current ownership status
Quincy, Illinois WGEM-AM 1440 ** Owned by Gray Television
WGEM-FM 105.1 **

Television stations

City of license / market Station Channel
TV (RF)
Years owned Current ownership status
Tucson, Arizona KVOA 4 (23) 2019–2021 NBC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Harrisburg - Carbondale, Illinois WSIL-TV 3 (34) 2019–2021 ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Poplar Bluff, Missouri KPOB-TV
(Satellite of WSIL-TV)
15 (15) 2019–2021 ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Peoria, Illinois WHOI 19 (19) 1 TBD owned-and-operated (O&O)
WEEK-TV ¤¤ 25 (25) 2015–2021 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Quincy, Illinois WGEM-TV ** 10 (10) 1953–2021 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Rockford, Illinois WREX 13 (13) 1995–2021 NBC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Elkhart - South Bend, Indiana WSJV 28 (30) 1974–2021 Heroes & Icons affiliate owned by Gray Television
Fort Wayne, Indiana WPTA ¤¤ 21 (24) 2015–2021 ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television
WISE-TV ¤¤ 33 (34) 2018–2021 The CW affiliate owned by Gray Television
Sioux City, Iowa KTIV 4 (14) 1989–2021 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Waterloo - Cedar Rapids, Iowa KWWL 7 (7) 2006–2021 NBC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Duluth, Minnesota - Superior, Wisconsin KBJR-TV ¤¤ 6 (19) 2015–2021 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
KDLH ¤¤ 3 (33) 2018–2021 The CW affiliate owned by Gray Television
Chisholm, Minnesota KRII-TV
(Satellite of KBJR-TV)
11 (11) 2015–2021 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
Rochester, Minnesota KTTC 10 (10) 1976–2021 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
KXLT-TV 47 (26) 2 Fox affiliate owned by SagamoreHill Broadcasting
(Operated under a SSA by Gray Television)
Binghamton, New York WBNG-TV ¤¤ 12 (8) 2015–2021 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
Bluefield - Beckley, West Virginia WVVA 6 (17) 1979–2021 NBC affiliate owned by Gray Television
La Crosse, Wisconsin WXOW †† 19 (28) 2001–2021 ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Eau Claire, Wisconsin WQOW ††
(Semi-satellite of WXOW)
18 (25) 2001–2021 ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Madison, Wisconsin WKOW †† 27 (26) 2001–2021 ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Wausau, Wisconsin WAOW †† 9 (9) 2001–2021 ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Crandon, Wisconsin WMOW
(Satellite of WAOW)
4 (13) 2010–2021 ABC affiliate owned by Allen Media Broadcasting
Eagle River, Wisconsin WYOW ††
(Satellite of WAOW)
34 (28) 2001–2021 The CW affiliate owned by Gray Television
(currently a satellite of WSAW-TV)

References

  1. ^ Townsend, Britni (December 2001). "A "Bounty-full" Beginning: The Quincy Herald-Whig". Archived from the original on March 17, 2005. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
  2. ^ "Elkhart UHF sold for $3.2 million" (PDF). Broadcasting. September 9, 1974. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  3. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. May 17, 1976. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  4. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. January 22, 1979. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  5. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting. August 28, 1989. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  6. ^ "Changing Hands" (PDF). Broadcasting & Cable. June 26, 1995. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  7. ^ "Fox snags ABC South Bend affiliate". UPI. April 20, 1995. Retrieved May 5, 2021.
  8. ^ "Quincy Takes WBIJ for $1.55 Million". TelevisionBroadcast.com. February 13, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-02-18. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
  9. ^ "Quincy Buying Stations From Granite, Malara". TVNewsCheck. February 11, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
  10. ^ "Amendment to Agreements and Description of Transaction (KBJR-TV)" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. November 24, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  11. ^ "Amended Description of Agreements, Description of Transaction, and Request for Temporary Waiver". Quincy Newspapers, Inc. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  12. ^ Letter CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 15 September 2015
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-02-24. Retrieved 2017-07-18.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ KTIV's parent company changes its name to Quincy Media Inc., WGEM-TV, 8 January 2016, Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Consummation Notice". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  16. ^ "Consummation Notice". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  17. ^ "Quincy Stations Dumped By DISH In Latest Retrans Feud". Radio & Television Business Report. 2018-09-04. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  18. ^ "DISH Resolves Its Latest Retrans Fee Feud | Radio & Television Business Report". Radio & Television Business Report. 2018-10-16. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  19. ^ Cordillera announces sale of stations to Scripps, Quincy, Cordillera Communications, Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  20. ^ Quincy Media, Inc. to acquire KVOA-TV, Quincy Media, Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  21. ^ Application for Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  22. ^ Quincy Media, Inc. acquires fourth station in Illinois, Quincy Media, Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  23. ^ Application For Consent to Assignment of Broadcast Station Construction Permit or License, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Quincy Media Inc. agrees to buy Hannibal Courier-Post". whig.com. Quincy, Illinois: Herald-Whig. 10 May 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  25. ^ "New Jersey Herald sold to GateHouse Media", New Jersey Herald, 16 May 2019, Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  26. ^ Jones, Scott (7 January 2021). "BREAKING! Media Group Puts Themselves on The Sales Block". FTVLive. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  27. ^ Roberts, Jim (7 January 2021). "Quincy Media, Inc. considers sale of company". WGEM. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  28. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (February 1, 2021). "Gray Television Acquires Quincy Media For $925 Million In Cash". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  29. ^ "Byron Allen's Allen Media Will Buy 7 Stations From Gray TV for $380 Million". Variety. 29 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  30. ^ a b c "Herald-Whig, Courier-Post sold to Phillips Media Group LLC", Quincy Herald-Whig, 13 February 2021, Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  31. ^ "Gray Television Closes Quincy Acquisition", Gray Television, 2 August 2021, Retrieved 2 August 2021.