Journal Media Group

Journal Media Group (formerly Journal Communications) was a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based newspaper publishing company. The company's roots were first established in 1882 as the owner of its namesake, the Milwaukee Journal, and expanded into broadcasting with the establishment of WTMJ radio and WTMJ-TV, and the acquisition of other television and radio stations.

On April 1, 2015, the E. W. Scripps Company acquired Journal Communications, and spun out the publishing operations of both Scripps and Journal into a new company known as Journal Media Group. It is led by Timothy E. Stautberg—the former head of Scripps' newspaper business, joined by previous Journal CEO Stephen J. Smith as a chairman. In 2016, Journal Media Group was acquired by Gannett.

Journal Media Group
The Journal Company
Journal Communications
Traded asNYSE: JMG
FateAcquired by Gannett
(television stations acquired by E. W. Scripps Company)
SuccessorGannett Company
E. W. Scripps Company
Area served
Key people
Revenue$400 million[1] (2012)
$60 million[1] (2012)
$33.3 million[1] (2012)
Total assets$625.8 million[1] (2012)
Total equity$205.5 million[1] (2012)


The Milwaukee Journal was started in 1882, in competition with four other English-language, four German- and two Polish-language dailies. It launched WTMJ-AM (620) in 1927, and WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) in 1947. The Journal Company, until then primarily owned by local interests, introduced an employee stock trust plan in 1937, and as a result most Journal stock was eventually held by its employees (under certain restrictions). A small bloc of Journal stock was given to Harvard to fund the Nieman Fellowship program for promising journalists, and another bloc was still held by the original owning families until the IPO.

The Milwaukee Sentinel, begun in 1837 as a weekly published by city co-founder Solomon Juneau, passed through the hands of several owners before being sold to the Hearst Corporation in 1924. Hearst operated the Sentinel until 1962, when, following a long and costly strike, it abruptly announced the closing of the paper. Although Hearst claimed that the paper had lost money for years, The Journal Company, concerned about the loss of an important voice (and facing questions about its own dominance of the Milwaukee media market), agreed to buy the Sentinel name, subscription lists, and goodwill associated with the name. In 1995 the Journal and Sentinel were consolidated. The new Journal Sentinel then became a seven-day morning paper. In 1964, Journal Communications bought a part interest in Perry Printing, a commercial printer specializing in printing magazines, catalogs and free-standing inserts for publications.[2] A decade later, in 1974, it purchased the remaining shares of the company. In 1995, it sold the operation (which by then had about 1000 employees and sales of $123 million) to the Milhous Group of California.[3]

Journal Communications logo
Former logo of the company

In 1968, the Midwestern Relay cable transmission division of the Journal Company was developed out of broadcast-related expertise; in 1991, Midwestern Relay acquired Norlight, a fiber-optic private carrier, and adopted the Norlight name. On February 26, 2007 Journal Communications sold the regional telecommunications provider to privately held Q-Comm Corp of Delaware. Upon closing the transaction, Q-Comm terminated Jim Ditter, who had been president of Norlight since 1995, and chief financial officer Mike Garvey. What is now known as the Journal Community Publishing Group began in Waupaca, Wisconsin in 1972 as a publishing and printing company called Add Inc. A majority interest was purchased by Journal Communications in 1981, and the remainder in 1986. In June 2007, Journal Communications sold off its JCP interests in Louisiana, Ohio, Connecticut and Vermont. The sales brought in a combined $30 million.[4]

The company sold 11 community newspapers, five shoppers and two printing plants in Connecticut and Vermont to Hersam Acorn Newspapers. In Ohio, Journal sold eight shoppers, numerous specialty print products and the Advantage Press commercial printing business to Gannett Company. It also sold its Louisiana-based publishing business to a Target Media Partners affiliate. In 1999 Journal Communications acquired the Great Empire radio group (13 radio stations in 4 states). The corporation had its initial public offering of Class A shares in 2003. For decades, Journal Communications been criticized[5][6] with concerns about being a media monopoly in the Milwaukee area. It created the now-defunct alternative papers MKE and ¡Aqui! Milwaukee to regain advertising dollars lost to local independents like the Shepherd Express and the Milwaukee Spanish Journal.[7]

As Journal Media Group

On July 30, 2014, it was announced that Journal would be acquired by the E. W. Scripps Company in an all-stock transaction. Scripps would retain the two firms' broadcasting properties, while both the Scripps and Journal print properties would be spun off as Journal Media Group.[8] The FCC approved the deal on December 12, 2014, and it was approved by shareholders on March 11, 2015.[9] The merger and spin-off were finalized on April 1, 2015; Stephen J. Smith was replaced as CEO by Timothy E. Stautberg—the former head of Scripps' newspaper operation.[10] Although Journal Media Group was based at Journal Communications' old headquarters in Milwaukee, the latter company was legally defunct, having been absorbed into Scripps and renamed "Desk BC Merger, LLC".[11]

On October 7, 2015, it was announced that Gannett would acquire Journal Media Group for $280 million.[12] The deal was finalized on April 8, 2016.[13]

Former assets


Community Publishing Group



Other holdings

  • IPC Print Services
  • PrimeNet

Television stations

Stations are arranged alphabetically by state and by city of license.

  • (**) – Indicates that it was built and signed on by Journal.
City of license / Market Station Channel
Years owned Current ownership status
Tucson - Sierra Vista, Arizona KGUN-TV 9 (35) 2005–2015 ABC affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
KWBA-TV 58 (44) 2008–2015 The CW affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
Palm Springs, California KMIR-TV 36 (46) 1999–2014 NBC affiliate owned by Entravision Communications
KPSE-LP 50 2008–2014 MyNetworkTV affiliate, KPSE-LD, owned by Entravision Communications
Cape Coral - Fort Myers - Naples, Florida WFTX-TV 36 (35) 2005–2015 Fox affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
Nampa - Caldwell - Boise, Idaho KIVI-TV 6 (24) 2002–2015 ABC affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
KNIN-TV 9 (10) 2009–2015 Fox affiliate owned by Gray Television
(operated through SSA by E. W. Scripps Company)
Twin Falls, Idaho KSAW-LD
(semi-satellite of KIVI)
51 (51) 2002–2015 ABC affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
Lansing, Michigan WSYM-TV 47 (35) 1985–2015 Fox affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
Omaha, Nebraska KMTV-TV 3 (45) 2007–2015 CBS affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
Las Vegas, Nevada KTNV-TV 13 (12) 1979–2015 ABC affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
Nashville, Tennessee WTVF 5 (5) 2012–2015 CBS affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
Green Bay - Appleton, Wisconsin WGBA-TV 26 (41) 2004–2015 NBC affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
WACY-TV 32 (27) 2012–2015 1 MyNetworkTV affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company
Milwaukee, Wisconsin WTMJ-TV ** 4 (28) 1948–2015 NBC affiliate owned by E. W. Scripps Company


  • 1 Owned by Ace TV, Inc., Journal operated WACY through a local marketing agreement from 2004 until it acquired the station outright in 2012.

Radio stations

Boise, Idaho

Leavenworth, Kansas

Knoxville, Tennessee

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Nebraska City, Nebraska

Newton, Kansas

Omaha, Nebraska

Ontario, Oregon

Powell, Tennessee

Caldwell, Idaho

Springfield, Missouri

Tucson, Arizona

  • KFFN - 1490 AM - ESPN/Sports Radio
  • KTGV - 106.3 FM - Rhythmic Oldies
  • KMXZ - 94.9 FM - Adult Contemporary/AC
  • KQTH - 104.1 FM - News/Talk

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Wichita, Kansas

Wausau, Wisconsin


Before its merger with Journal, the papers of E. W. Scripps were known for having several controversies within the newspapers it ran.

Hugo Zacchini performed a human cannonball act in 1972 at the Geauga County Fair in Burton, Ohio. Scripps television station WEWS-TV recorded and aired the entire act against his wishes and without compensating him, as was required by Ohio law. In Zacchini v. Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Co., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment did not shield the broadcaster from liability from common law copyright claims.[14]

The Commercial Appeal posted a controversial database listing Tennessee residents with permits to carry handguns in 2008.[15] The database is a public record in Tennessee, but had not previously been posted online.

Scripps owns and operates the Ventura County Star, which has faced many complaints involving its circulation practices rather than its editorial content. As of April 2, 2011, the Better Business Bureau listed ten (10) separate "significant" complaints from the previous three years, of which two alleged the company made unauthorized debits from customers' checking accounts, four alleged problems obtaining refunds, two alleged the company harassed a customer or former customer, two alleged improper billing, and two alleged delivery continuing after customers tried to cancel.[16] (The total number of allegations does not add to the total number of complaints because two complaints made multiple allegations.)

In May 2013, Scripps News Service discovered and published a security breach on the websites of Oklahoma-based TerraCom Inc. and an affiliate, YourTel America Inc. in which the personal information of tens of thousands of low-income Americans was publicly exposed. In response, the two companies accused Scripps of "hacking" and of violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.[17][18] The Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan subsequently announced an investigation into the two companies.[19]

Board of directors[20]

  • Steven J. Smith - Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Journal Communications
  • David Drury - President & Chief Executive Officer, Poblocki Sign Company, LLC
  • David Meissner - Former Chairman, Public Policy Forum, Inc.
  • Jonathan Newcomb - Senior Advisor, Coady Diemar Partners
  • Roger Peirce - Retired Vice Chairman & CEO, Super Steel Products Corporation
  • Ellen Siminoff - CEO, Shmoop, and Chairman, Efficient Frontier
  • Mary Ellen Stanek - Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer, Baird Advisors, Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc
  • Owen Sullivan - CEO, Right Management
  • Jeanette Tully - President and CEO, Radiovisa Corporation


  1. ^ a b c d e "Journal Communications, Inc. 2012 Annual Report". Journal Communications. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  2. ^ About Perry Printing,; accessed January 22, 2015.
  3. ^ Perry Printing sold to Milhous Group,; accessed January 22, 2015.
  4. ^ Retrieved January 22, 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Duel in Milwaukee",, January 3, 1972.
  6. ^ Hoffmann, Gregg. "WisBiz In-Depth: Newspaper chain ownership explodes in state",, January 31, 2005.
  7. ^ Miranda, Robert. "Taking Sides: What ¡Aquí! Milwaukee Really Represents" Archived 2008-07-24 at the Wayback Machine,, June 6, 2005.
  8. ^ Glauber, Bill (30 July 2014). "Journal, Scripps deal announced". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  9. ^ "Journal, Scripps shareholders OK transaction; closing expected by early April". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  10. ^ Gores, Paul (1 April 2015). "Journal, Scripps merger creates two closely aligned media companies". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Yu, Roger (2015-10-07). "Gannett to buy Journal Media Group for $280 million". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  13. ^ "Gannett's acquisition of Journal Media Group approved". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
  14. ^ White, Byron (June 28, 1977). "HUGO ZACCHINI, PETITIONER, V. SCRIPPS-HOWARD BROADCASTING COMPANY". Legal Information Institute. Cornell Law School. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  15. ^ public record (November 8, 2008). "Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit Database". The Commercial Appeal. Memphis. Retrieved 2009-06-29.
  16. ^ "Significant Complaints", The Better Business Bureau of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, Inc.
  17. ^ "My Social Security Number Is Posted Where?". NPR. May 21, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  18. ^ "Investigative journalists threatened with felony for exposing security flaw". RT. May 21, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  19. ^ "Illinois AG to review online privacy breach". Knoxville News Sentinel. May 21, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  20. ^ Board of Directors,; accessed January 22, 2015.
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Abilene Reporter-News

Abilene Reporter-News is a daily newspaper based in Abilene, Texas, USA. The newspaper started publishing as the weekly Abilene Reporter, helmed by Charles Edwin Gilbert on June 17, 1881, just three months after Abilene was founded. It is hence the oldest continuous business in the city. It became a daily newspaper in 1885.

Two months after starting the paper, a fire destroyed several buildings in Abilene, including Gilbert's office. He rode the train 21 miles east to Baird and used a borrowed printing press to produce an extra edition on the fire. Two other Abilene papers began publication in the 1880s.The newspaper, owned in the early 1920s by Bernard Hanks, became one of the two original flagships of the Harte-Hanks newspaper chain in 1924.In 1937, the company merged its morning paper,The Morning News, with the afternoon Daily Reporter to form the Abilene Reporter-News. The newspaper published morning and evening editions into the 1950s.The E. W. Scripps Company bought the newspaper, along with other Texas-based Harte-Hanks papers, in 1997. The company spun out its newspaper assets into Journal Media Group in April 2015.

Denver Newspaper Agency

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After a continued rivalry that almost put both papers out of business, the News and the Post merged operations in 2001 under a joint operating agreement. as the newly formed Denver Newspaper Agency. DNA was jointly owned by Scripps and MediaNews from 2001 until the discontinuance of the Rocky Mountain News.

While the newspapers shared an advertising and circulation department, they still published separately (except during the weekends, when only the News was published on Saturday and only the Post on Sunday; both newspapers' editorial pages appeared in both weekend papers) and maintained their rivalry.

The JOA was dissolved on February 27, 2009, when the News published its last issue. The following day, the Post published its first Saturday issue since 2001.

On December 10, 2009 the Denver Newspaper Agency, was dissolved and folded into The Denver Post & Media News Group.


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Its assets include the national newspaper USA Today and the erstwhile weekly pullout magazine USA Weekend which is found in local newspapers (including some non-Gannett newspapers). Its largest non-national newspaper is the Detroit Free Press in Detroit, Michigan. Other significant newspapers include The Indianapolis Star, The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Tennessean in Nashville, Tennessee, The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, New York, The Des Moines Register, The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, Arizona, The News-Press in Fort Myers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the Great Falls Tribune.

In 2015, Gannett Co., Inc., spun off its publishing business into a separate publicly traded entity, while retaining the internet media divisions. Immediately following the spin off, the former parent Company (Gannett Co., Inc.) renamed itself Tegna and owns approximately 50 TV stations. The spun-off publishing business renamed itself "Gannett".

Henderson Gleaner

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The Gleaner publishes Tuesday through Sunday mornings. It hasn't published on Mondays since its founding in the 1880s.The Gleaner was locally owned for more than a century, but was purchased by A.H. Belo in March 1997 before being acquired by the E.W. Scripps Company on October 31, 2000, when it became part of the Evansville Courier & Press. Scripps later divested their newspaper holdings, and on April 1, 2015 the Journal Media Group became the owners.In April 2016, Gannett announced it had acquired Journal Media Group, including The Gleaner.

Highland Football League

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Until the reorganisation of Scottish football during the 2012–13 season, the league was historically one of the senior leagues in Scottish football. The others being the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League, along with the East of Scotland and South of Scotland Leagues. Since the 2014–15 season, the league (along with the newly formed Lowland Football League) is a feeder division for SPFL's Scottish League Two. The Highland Football League champions play the winners of the Lowland Football League for a chance to face the bottom club in League Two.All clubs are full members of the Scottish Football Association so qualify automatically for the following season's first round of the Scottish Cup. The league champions and the runner-up team receive a bye into the cup's second round. Since 2014, the season's league champion team has also gained a place in the Scottish Challenge Cup; this was extended to the top four clubs from 2016. The champions also take part in the Scottish League Cup.

The league's current sponsorship deal is with the Aberdeen-based Press & Journal media group.

Kitsap Sun

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Publication of The Sun began in 1935 as the Bremerton Sun to compete with the Seattle Star directly across Puget Sound. Four years later, the circulation of the Sun surpassed that of its competitor.

In 1940, John P. Scripps Newspaper Group obtained control of the newspaper. In June 1984, it formally changed names from the Bremerton Sun to The Sun. It was merged with the E.W. Scripps Company in 1986.

The company spun out its newspaper assets into Journal Media Group in April 2015.The Sun has received numerous awards from local organizations and charities, and sponsors a variety of community festivals. Both the photography and editorial teams have won awards for their excellence.The University of Washington Library holds copies of the Kitsap Sun from 1935 to present.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Naples Daily News

The Naples Daily News is the main daily newspaper of Naples, Florida, and Collier County. It is owned by the Gannett Company and has a circulation of more than 40,000.It was previously owned by Milwaukee-based Journal Media Group, which was formed by a newspaper-only spin-off of E.W. Scripps Company's media operations in 2015. Scripps had bought it from the founding Collier family in 1986. At that time, Scripps paid the highest multiple of earnings for the paper any American company had paid to date, in a deal said to be over $160 million.The Naples Daily News and The (Fort Myers, Florida) News-Press papers are both printed at the Naples Daily News after Gannett bought them from JMG.For many years, the Naples Daily News has targeted Collier County. However, its coverage has been expanded to Lee County and parts of Charlotte County. The paper publishes several editions of its "Local & State" section for communities including Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, East Naples, Fort Myers, Immokalee, Lehigh Acres, Marco Island, North Fort Myers, North Naples and South Fort Myers.

The President and Publisher is William R. Barker.

San Angelo Standard-Times

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The Anderson Independent-Mail

The Anderson Independent-Mail, known as Independent Mail, is the local newspaper for Anderson County in the state of South Carolina. Based in the city of Anderson, South Carolina, it is a staple for news, competing with The Greenville News of Greenville, South Carolina and several smaller community publications including The Anderson Observer.

The Anderson Independent-Mail celebrated its 100th year of service to the Anderson, S.C. community in 1999. It started in 1899 when G. Pierce Browne began publishing the afternoon Anderson Daily Mail. Later, Wilton E. Hall, who had started the morning Anderson Independent, bought the Daily Mail and published both newspapers for more than 40 years. Harte-Hanks Communications bought the newspapers in 1972 and later combined them as the Independent-Mail. In 1997, The E.W. Scripps Company bought the Independent-Mail, which continues to be the leading daily newspaper serving northwest South Carolina and northeast Georgia. The Monday through Friday circulation is 27,000. Sunday circulation is 38,000. The staff won three National Headliner Awards in the 1990s and consistently wins state and national awards for news, sports and lifestyle reporting, along with advertising awards. In 1996, it became the first South Carolina newspaper to develop a web site.

The Independent-Mall was previously owned by the E.W. Scripps Company; the company spun out its newspaper assets into Journal Media Group in April 2015.

The Commercial Appeal

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The Commercial Appeal is a seven-day morning paper. It is distributed primarily in Greater Memphis, including Shelby, Fayette, and Tipton counties in Tennessee; DeSoto, Tate, and Tunica counties in Mississippi; and in Crittenden County in Arkansas. These are the contiguous counties to the city of Memphis.

In 1994, The Commercial Appeal won a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning by Michael Ramirez.

The News Journal

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Ventura County Star

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WEVV-TV, virtual channel 44 (UHF digital channel 45), is a primary CBS- and subchannel-only Fox- and MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to Evansville, Indiana, United States, serving the Tri-State area of southwestern Indiana, northwestern Kentucky and southeastern Illinois. The station is owned by Bayou City Broadcasting. WEVV's studios are located on Carpenter and Bond Streets in Downtown Evansville, and its transmitter is located at John James Audubon State Park in Henderson, Kentucky. On cable, WEVV is available in standard definition on WOW! and Charter Spectrum channel 10; and in high definition on WOW! digital channel 810 and Spectrum channel 912.


WTMJ-TV, virtual channel 4 (UHF digital channel 28), is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company. WTMJ-TV's studios are located on Capitol Drive (Wisconsin Highway 190) in Milwaukee (an Art Deco facility that is known as "Radio City", in tribute to the New York complex of the same name), and its transmitter is located approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) north of downtown Milwaukee.

From its inception until October 31, 2018, WTMJ-TV was a sister station to WTMJ radio (620 AM) and WKTI (94.5 FM). The radio stations are now owned by Good Karma Brands, but continue to share studios and internal operations (including web hosting) with Scripps and WTMJ-TV; Good Karma's WAUK (540) will eventually move to Radio City itself and operate under a lease agreement with Scripps.


WTMJ (620) is an AM radio station in Milwaukee, Wisconsin carrying a news/talk format, along with several local professional sports teams' play-by-play. WTMJ also simulcasts on an FM translator, W277CV (103.3). The station is owned by Good Karma Brands along with ESPN Radio affiliates WAUK and WKTI. Established in 1927 by The Milwaukee Journal, the station was the flagship radio station of the Journal Broadcast Group until April 2015, when it came under the ownership of the E. W. Scripps Company. JBG also owned the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WTMJ-TV and sister radio station WKTI, along with other media assets across the U.S. (WTMJ remained owned with WTMJ-TV and WKTI until Good Karma acquired the radio stations in 2018, with the Journal Sentinel owned by the Journal Media Group spin-off until its April 2016 merger with Gannett).

WTMJ maintains studio facilities located on Capitol Drive in Milwaukee (this Art Deco facility is known as "Radio City" in tribute to the New York complex of the same name), and its transmitter is located in Union Grove. As of February 22, 2018, WTMJ's HD Radio simulcast on WKTI-HD2 (which launched after Scripps' assumption of ownership) is translated within the core Milwaukee metro in analog form on W277CV (103.3), which is licensed to Milwaukee and transmits from the WTMJ-TV/WKTI tower just north of Radio City. WTMJ and WKTI are the two stations in southeastern Wisconsin responsible for Emergency Alert System alerts as a primary entry point for the state's EAS system.The station also has served as the flagship outlet for Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Brewers games for most of the teams' histories, with Packers broadcasts airing on WTMJ since 1929.

National assets
and cable networks
Major companies based in Milwaukee

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