The Big Picture

Think you’re watching a “locally owned” television station? Think again. Not long after Hearst-Argyle Television was formed from a merger of Hearst Broadcasting and Argyle Television in August 1997, the new company defined the coming milieu in its first Annual Shareholder Report: “When the 1996 Telecommunications Act dramatically increased the number of stations a company could own, it became a reality that station group owners must become consolidators or risk being marginalized.” So when Hearst-Argyle acquired Kelly Broadcasting the following year, the idea that a television station could be owned and operated by a local company passed into Sacramento history. What follows is a list of the companies that currently own stations in the Sacramento-market, along with some of their other holdings.

Gannett, McLean, Virginia (KXTV 10/ABC) What it owns: Television: 22 stations. Newspapers: USA Today, Baseball Weekly, USA Weekend, plus 94 newspapers in 39 states and Guam, most in smaller markets but including the Arizona Republic (Phoenix), the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Indianapolis Star, the Nashville Tennessean and the Reno Gazette-Journal, 16 smaller-market papers in the U.K., Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times, Marine Corps Times, Federal Times, Defense News, Military City and Nursing Spectrum. Fortune 500 ranking: 287.

Hearst-Argyle, New York (KCRA 3/NBC, KQCA 58/WB), has a joint sales agreement with KSPX 29/Paxson) What it owns: Television: 24 stations; it also manages three additional stations owned by the Hearst Corporation, which owns a majority stake in Hearst-Argyle. Radio: Manages two stations in Baltimore. Hearst is a major media conglomerate that publishes 15 U.S. magazine titles (including Cosmopolitan, Country Living, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, House Beautiful, Marie Claire, Popular Mechanics, Redbook, SmartMoney and Town & Country), 12 daily papers (including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Houston Chronicle), and stakes in several cable networks (A&E, the Biography Channel, ESPN, the History Channel). Fortune 500 ranking: (unranked).

Sinclair, Baltimore (KOVR 13/CBS) What it owns: Television stations: 47, plus 15 stations it runs as part of a limited marketing agreement, and an additional one it runs through an outsourcing agreement. Fortune 500 ranking: (unranked).

Tribune, Chicago (KXTL 40/Fox) What it owns: Television stations: 23 in major markets, including superstation WGN-Chicago. Television/cable networks: The WB (25 percent stake, with AOL Time Warner), Food Network (31 percent stake). Radio: Four stations. Newspapers: 11 major-market papers, including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and New York Newsday. Spanish-language newspapers: Hoy (New York), La Opinión (Los Angeles, 50 percent stake), ¡Exito! (Chicago) and El Sentinel (Orlando). Baseball: Chicago Cubs. Fortune 500 ranking: 333.

Viacom, New York (KMAX 31/UPN) What it owns: Television/station groups: Paramount Stations Group (19 stations, including KMAX), Viacom Television Stations Group (34 stations). Television/broadcast networks: CBS, UPN. Television/cable networks: BET, CMT, Comedy Central (jointly owned with AOL Time Warner), Flix, The Movie Channel, MTV, MTV2, Nick at Nite, Nickelodeon, Noggin, Showtime, Sundance Channel (jointly owned with Vivendi Universal and Robert Redford), TNN, TV Land, VH1. Radio: Infinity, over 180 stations, six in Sacramento: KSFM 102.5, Mix 96 (KYMX-FM), New Country 105.1 (KNCI-FM), Sports 1140 (KHTK-AM), 93.7 KXOA-FM and 100.5 The Zone (KZZO-FM), plus an 18 percent stake in Westwood One and a 20 percent stake in Sportsline Radio. Movies: Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment. Theater chains: Famous Players, over 1,700 screens. Billboard: Viacom Outdoor. Retail: Blockbuster Video, 6,092 stores and 1,284 franchises. Books: Simon & Schuster, 38 imprints, which include Pocket Books, Scribner, Fireside, Touchstone, Archway, Arabesque, Minstrel, the Free Press and Washington Square Press. Music publishing: Famous Music. Theme parks: Five, including Paramount’s Great America in Santa Clara. Fortune 500 ranking: 85.