Wolfe family sells WBNS, WTHR to Tegna 

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Dispatch Broadcast Group has announced the sale of its television and radio properties to TEGNA Inc. of Tysons, Virginia.

TEGNA owns 49 television stations in 41 markets and is the largest group owner of NBC affiliated stations and the second largest group owner of CBS affiliated stations.

Included in the sale:

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  • WBNS-TV (Channel 10), founded in 1949 by the Wolfe family of Columbus.
  • WTHR-TV of Indianapolis (Channel 13), founded in 1957 by Crosley Broadcasting Corp. Purchased by The Dispatch Broadcast Group in 1975.
  • WBNS Radio (1460 AM and 97.1 FM). The original AM station, WCAH, was founded in 1922. The Wolfe family purchased it in 1927 and changed the call letters to WBNS. The modern-day FM station originated in 1957.
  • WALV-CD, a UHF and digital channel and a wholly-owned subsidiary of WTHR. Founded in 1988, WALV was converted in 2000 to a local weather service – the SkyTrak Weather Network and is now a MeTV affiliated station.

The sale is subject to the approval of the Federal Communications Commission and the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

Michael J. Fiorile, chairman and CEO of The Dispatch Printing Company and Dispatch Broadcast Group, said, “After decades of proud service to the Columbus and Indianapolis communities, the Wolfe family determined this is the right time for a transition. The family is grateful to have enjoyed strong community support for these stations over so many years and looks forward to continuing their support of these communities.”

The transaction has no bearing on Capitol Square Ltd., The Dispatch Printing Company’s wholly-owned, broad-based commercial real estate business, said Fiorile, its chairman.

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