a media industry resource

Media General Group: landmarks


This chronology is indicative only. It covers -

  • beginnings (1850)
  • Richmond Newspapers (1940)
  • establishment (1966)
  • expansion (1995)

Context is provided by the broader timeline.


1850 Richmond Dispatch founded

1886 Richmond Daily Times founded (becomes Times in 1890)

1888 Manchester Leader founded

1896 Times acquires Leader, launches Evening Leader

1899 Richmond News founded

1903 merger of Times and Dispatch as Richmond Times-Dispatch, merger of Leader and News as News-Leader

1927 Times-Dispatch buys Tampa Tribune

Richmond Newspapers

1940 News Leader and competing Times-Dispatch form Richmond Newspapers, Inc.

1940 WRNL radio station founded

1950 Bryan family increases share of Richmond Newspapers, becomes controlling shareholder

1966 RNI acquires control of The Tribune Co. (inc The Tampa Tribune, The Tampa Times, WFLA-TV and WFLA radio)

1966 Richmond Newspapers, Inc. becomes public company

1968 buys Fredericksburg, Va., cable television system


1969 Media General formed

1969 buys Beacon Press

1969 gains additional 29% share of The Tribune Co. (for 84% stake)

1969 buys Piedmont Publishing Co. (Winston-Salem Journal, Twin City Sentinel)

1970 Richard Scudder & brother sell Newark News and Garden State Paper to Media General for US$35m

1970 increases The Tribune Co. stake to 100%

1971 founds MG Financial Daily (basis of Media General Financial Services)

1971 sells physical assets of The Evening News Publishing Co

1971 sells Richmond radio stations WRNL-AM and WRNL-FM

1976 buys Cliggott medical magazine publisher

1976 launches newsprint recycling mill in Mexico (49% interest)

1980 buys Highlander Publications and Golden West Publishing in Southern California

1982 buys William B. Tanner Co. of Memphis, Tennessee

1982 amalgamates The Tampa Times and The Tampa Tribune.

1982 buys WJWB-TV Jacksonville

1983 buys WCBD-TV Charleston

1985 buys 40% of Garden State Newspapers

1985 Sentinel amalgamated with Winston-Salem Journal

1986 launches Virginia Business Magazine

1987 buys one-third interest in Gulf Coast Media Group

1988 sells main operations of Media General Broadcast Services in Memphis

1989 sells Pomona newsprint mill

1989 buys 12.5% stake in Sun Coast Media Group

1990 sells Highlander Publications and Golden West Publishing

1990 buys Sunbelt Newspapers

1991 sells Cliggott Publishing and Technical Information Distribution Systems

1994 sells its 40% interest in Garden State Newspapers to its majority shareholders

1994 buys 40% interest in Denver Newspapers, publisher of the Denver Post

1995 sells its 49% interest in Mexican newsprint subsidiary


1995 buys four daily - Culpeper Star-Exponent, Lynchburg News & Advance, Charlottesville Daily Progress and Suffolk News-Herald - and Sunday newspapers (inc 20 weeklies and monthlies) from Worrell Enterprises for US$230m

1995 buys Clinch Valley News

1996 buys Danville Register & Bee

1996 buys Professional Communications Systems

1997 buys Park Communications (inc Morganton News Herald, Kannapolis Independent Tribune, Eden Daily News, Marion McDowell News, Statesville Record & Landmark, Waynesboro News Virginian, Manassas Journal Messenger, WIAT Birmingham, WSLS Roanoke, WTVQ Lexington, WDEF Chattanooga, WJHL Johnson City, WNCT Greenville, KALB Alexandria, WUTR Utica and WTVR Richmond)

1997 buys Woodbridge Potomac News

1997 buys Reidsville Review and Madison Messenger

1997 sells WUTR-TV in Utica

1997 sells ten daily and weekly newspapers around Hudson and Ogdensburg to Johnson Newspaper Corp. for US$8.8m

1997 sells Bemidji Daily Pioneer for US$10.7m to Forum Communications

1997 sells Coldwater Daily Reporter for US$4m to Wicks Group

1997 sells Richmond County Daily Journal in Rockingham, NC to CNHI for US$8.1m

1997 trades WTVR Richmond for WSAV Savannah, WJTV Jackson, and WHLT Hattiesburg

1998 buys Bristol Herald Courier and Hickory Daily Record from Worrell family for US$91m

1998 sells Kentucky publications for US$23.8 million to CNHI

1998 sells operating assets of Beacon Press to Cadmus Graphics Solutions

1999 sells cable tv operations to Cox Communications for US$1.4bn

1999 sells 20% stake in Denver Newspapers to MediaNews

2000 buys 13 television stations from Spartan Communications for US$605m, inc WKRG Mobile, WMBB Panama City (Fla), WJBF Augusta, WRBL Columbus, WNEG Toccoa, KIMT Mason City, KBSD Dodge City, KBSL Goodland, KBSH Hays, KWCH Wichita, WASV Anderson, WBTW Florence and WSPA Spartanburg,

2000 buys Dothan Eagle, Opelika-Auburn News, Florence Morning News and other daily and weekly newspapers in Alabama, South Carolina and Florida from Thomson for US$237m

2000 sells Garden State Paper to Enron

2003 sells Media General Financial Services (provider of financial information on public companies) to CenterPoint Data

2006 buys four NBC television stations (WNCN Raleigh, Columbus, Birmingham and Providence) from NBC Universal for US$600m