Earlier tonight new broke that Journal Communications, the parent company of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has been purchased by the E.W. Scripps Co. out of Cincinnati.

Two storied media firms, Journal Communications Inc. of Milwaukee and E.W. Scripps Co. of Cincinnati, announced Wednesday evening an agreement to merge their broadcast operations while spinning off their newspapers into a separate company.

Under the deal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will serve as the flagship of a new public company, Journal Media Group, which will be headquartered in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, Journal Communications’ broadcast assets, including WTMJ radio and television, will be folded into Scripps, with the headquarters in Cincinnati. The E.W. Scripps Co. name will be retained and the firm will remain controlled by the Scripps Family.

As James Rowen of The Political Environment has wondered, will this new company and its corporate owners in Cincinnati have any use for the Right Wisconsin website and Charlie Sykes? I’m betting the answer is a million percent yes, provided there’s a profit to be squeezed out of Right Wisconsin and/or Sykes.

5 Responses to Journal Communications sold to Ohio ownership group

  1. Aaron Camp says:

    This could also affect the network affiliations of Milwaukee TV stations, as the Scripps Company prefers to affiliate their TV stations with the ABC network, if all possible. WTMJ-TV, Channel 4, is currently the NBC affiliate for the Milwaukee TV market, and the current ABC affiliate in the Milwaukee TV market is WISN-TV, Channel 12. WISN-TV is owned by Hearst Television, which owns mostly ABC and NBC affiliates. That could mean a possible affiliation switch between WTMJ and WISN, with WTMJ picking up the ABC affiliation and WISN picking up the NBC affiliation.

  2. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    Let’s see if the Cincy boys are willing to allow their newly-acquired newspapers reputation to go down in flames as the right-wing cover-up that it’s becoming known as.

    Or….they could rehab the paper’s reputation by doing real journalism, and stop kissing up to Scotty and company like their former owners did.

    And are they going to want to keep operating 620AM as WGOP with second-rate hacks as hosts? I’m not so sure.

    Time to turn up the heat? I’m thinking it might not be a bad time to do so.

    • Jake, as I wrote in my piece, I’m betting the new owners will tolerate Sykes and Right Wisconsin as long as there’s a profit to be squeezed out of either, because at the end of the day they’re still running a business, and if Sykes proves to be profitable, they’ll milk his schtick for all it’s worth.

      • John Casper says:

        Agree with Zach.

        Below is a Tweet from @SykesCharlie

        “Steve Wexler will remain as head of radio group in newly merged media company. He is my boss, so that is very good news.”

        Charlie certainly isn’t hiding the fact that he was scared. Or, he wants to give that impression?

  3. John Casper says:

    Zach, really appreciate the speed with which you published on this, thank you.

    If I’m reading the JS piece correctly, Betsy Brenner and Marty Kaiser now report to Stautberg.

    Rowen’s cautious optimism is tempering my usual, “the glass is half empty and it’s leaking,” take on this kind of news.

    IMHO, over the last few decades, no one has done more to destroy the brand of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel than Charlie Sykes and the 50,000 watt blowtorch that is WTMJ radio. If this allows the JS to start holding Sykes and other wingnuts accountable, it could be a good thing. With the video and audio capabilities the JS already has in place, a JS subscription could take on new value.

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