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WPLG, virtual and VHF digital channel 10, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Miami, Florida, United States and also serving Fort Lauderdale. Owned by the BH Media subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway as its sole broadcast property, WPLG maintains studios on West Hallandale Beach Boulevard (SR 858) in Pembroke Park, and its transmitter is located in Miami Gardens.

HistoryEdit

WPST-TVEdit

The station first signed on the air on August 2, 1957 as WPST-TV, as the second ABC affiliate in the Miami market; it was originally owned by Public Service Television, Inc., the broadcasting subsidiary of National Airlines. The station took ABC programming from WITV (channel 17, later occupied by PBS member station WLRN-TV), which ceased operations shortly after losing the ABC affiliation.

A Congressional investigation of former FCC commissioner Richard A. Mack in 1958 revealed that a Miami attorney named Thurman A. Whiteside, working on behalf of National Airlines, had bribed the former commissioner to obtain the WPST broadcast license. As a result, National Airlines was stripped of its license to operate WPST-TV.

A new channel 10Edit

After the FCC revoked National Airlines' license, a group headed by Cincinnati-area broadcaster L. B. Wilson was awarded a construction permit to build a new television station on channel 10. As part of an FCC-supervised deal, National Airlines sold WPST's assets to Wilson's group. WPST signed off for the last time on November 19, 1961. The next day on November 20, channel 10 returned to the air as WLBW-TV (named after the owner's initials). Although it operates under a separate license, what is now WPLG claimed the National Airlines station's history as its own.

The new station branded itself as "Sunny Channel 10". It was also the first station in Miami to feature a weather girl, Virginia Booker. WLBW, while able to carry all of ABC's color programming, began local color from film and tape in 1964. In 1967, WLBW's operations were moved to a new studio facility located on Biscayne Boulevard, originally known as "Broadcast House". With this move, channel 10 had full local color capability, and began broadcasting their local newscasts, as well as "Saturday Hop", in color. The station became known as "Colorvision 10". In 1969, WLBW and Cincinnati sister station WCKY radio were purchased by the Washington Post Company and became part of its broadcasting subsidiary, Post-Newsweek Stations. On March 16, 1970, the station's call letters were changed to the current WPLG—the calls were chosen in honor of Philip L. Graham, husband of Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, who committed suicide in 1963. WPLG adopted its current "10" logo, which features four stripes of differing colors within the "0" that represent a sunset, in 1982.

On January 1, 1989, the Miami–Fort Lauderdale market underwent a three-way network affiliation swap that saw longtime CBS affiliate WTVJ (channel 4) becoming an NBC owned-and-operated station; longtime independent station and charter Fox affiliate, WCIX (channel 6) becoming a CBS owned-and-operated station; and longtime NBC affiliate WSVN (channel 7) taking the Fox affiliation from WCIX. WTVJ and WCIX later swapped channel positions on September 10, 1995, with WCIX moving to channel 4 as WFOR-TV and WTVJ moving to channel 6. Neither transaction affected WPLG, which retained its ABC affiliation as well as its channel 10 allocation. As a result, it is the only television station in the Miami–Fort Lauderdale market that has retained the same network affiliation throughout its history. Possibly because of this consistency, WPLG remains one of the highest-rated stations in South Florida. In 2004, WPLG began branding itself as "Local 10" under the branding standardization adopted by Post-Newsweek for its stations.

From April 2007 to May 2009, WPLG was South Florida's most-watched English-language television station according to Nielsen; this can partially be attributed to its availability on Comcast's West Palm Beach system, which in turn had a potentially negative effect on the ratings for that market's ABC affiliate, WPBF. However, Comcast dropped WPLG from its West Palm Beach area systems on April 13, 2011. After the May 2009 ratings period, the station switched to a single anchor format for its evening newscasts; WPLG's total-day viewership fell behind CBS-owned WFOR, which took the #1 position among the market's English-language stations. However, WPLG remains tied with WSVN for second/third.

On July 18, 2008, Post-Newsweek Stations announced that it would purchase WTVJ for $205 million. The purchase would have created a duopoly between WTVJ and WPLG—duopolies involving two "Big Three" stations ordinarily would be prohibited under the FCC's media ownership rules, which do not allow duopolies involving two of a market's four highest-rated stations in terms of audience share; however during the May 2008 Nielsen ratings period, WPLG ranked in first place and WTVJ ranked sixth in total-day viewership, allowing the possibility of a purchase. Under the proposal, WTVJ would have merged its operations with WPLG at the studio facility (which was under construction at the time) on Hallandale Beach Boulevard in Pembroke Park. However, the sale was cancelled on December 23, 2008, with NBCUniversal and The Washington Post Company citing poor economic conditions and the lack of approval by the FCC.

On March 28, 2009, WPLG relocated its studio facilities from 3900 Biscayne Boulevard to the new Pembroke Park facility. As a result of this relocation, all of the South Florida market's "Big Three" network stations are based outside of the Miami city limits.

Sale to Berkshire HathawayEdit

In 2013, the Washington Post Company sold the Washington Post to Amazon founder and chairman Jeff Bezos; the company retained most of the other non-newspaper assets, including the Post-Newsweek broadcast outlets, and renamed itself Graham Holdings.

On March 12, 2014, Graham Holdings announced that it would sell WPLG to the BH Media subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway in a cash and stock deal. Berkshire Hathaway and its chairman, Warren Buffett, had been longtime stockholders in Graham Holdings; the sale of WPLG included a large majority of Berkshire Hathaway's shares in Graham Holdings. To maintain continuity following the consummation of the purchase, BH Media entered into agreements with Post-Newsweek Stations (renamed Graham Media Group in July 2014) to continue providing the station with access to its centralized digital media, design, and traffic services after the sale's completion. The sale was finalized on June 30.


TV stations in Florida
WPLG, Miami

WFTS, Tampa
WWSB, Sarasota
WCJB, Gainesville
WJXX, Jacksonville
WTXL, Tallahassee
WMBB, Panama City
WEAR, Pensacola
WFTV, Orlando
WZVN, Fort Myers
WPBF, Tequesta

TV stations in South Florida and the Keys, including Miami–Dade, Fort Lauderdale and Key West
WPBT 2 (PBS)
WFOR 4 (CBS)
WTVJ 6 (NBC)
WSVN 7 (Fox)
WGEN 8 (ESTRELLA)
WPLG 10 (ABC)
WTXI-LD 11 (TLR)
WURH-CD 13 (TFC/THC)
W16CC-D 16 (Cubana)
WLRN 17 (PBS)
WDFL-LD 18 (MIRA)
WEYW-LP 19 (ACTION)
WSBS 22 (MEGA)
WLTV 23 (UNI)
WDGT-LD 24 (CTN Int'l)
WBFS 33 (MNTV)
WVFW-LD 34 (ESTRELLA)
WPXM 35 (Ion)
WCAY-CD 36 (Tourist info)
WBEH-CD 38 (AZA)
WSFL 39 (CW)
WJAN-CD 41 (ATeVe)
W43CB-D 43 (Ind)
WHFT 45 (TBN)
WFUN-LD 48 (ATeVe)
WSCV 51 (TLM)
WLMF-LD 53 (LATV)
WBEC 63 (ETV)
WAMI 69 (UMas)
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