KATV Parent Company Founder Passes Away
Source: Broadcasting and Cable Allbritton Communications founder Joe Allbritton died Wednesday, according to WJLA Washington. He was 87 years old.
The company owns eight ABC-affiliated TV stations, including WJLA/Washington DC, and KATV/Little ROCK along with co-owned cable news channel, News Channel 8, and political newspaper/news site, Politico.
Allbritton, who made his fortune in banking, bought the Washington Star and its broadcast properties in 1974. He sold the newspaper in 1978 -- it eventually folded -- but expanded his broadcast holdings. He was born in D'lo, Miss., and raised in Houston. He was a Navy veteran of World War II and graduated from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.
"Joe Allbritton was a larger than life figure in business, in media and in philanthropy," said National Association of Broadcasters president Gordon Smith. "His contributions to local television are reflected every day in the programming excellence on display at WJLA-TV in Washington and seven other Allbritton-owned ABC affiliates across America. NAB salutes a visionary media entrepreneur for a life well lived."
Allbritton is survived by his wife, Barbara; son Robert, who launched Politico; and two grandchildren.