Milt Grant dies

The bold station owner, who purchased WGBO-TV in 1985, passed away Saturday at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

In the 1980’s, he founded stations in Dallas (KTXA) and Houston (KTXH), and purchased WDCA in Washington, D.C., but sold them all to Gulf Broadcasting. In 1984, he founded WBFS-TV in Miami, and a year later, he purchased WGBO and WGBS-TV in Philadelphia (now WPSG).

The stations were not rating successes early on – particularly WGBO, which was completely hammered by other Chicago independents. Grant overpaid for syndicated programming, and as a result, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy a year later, and the stations went into receivership three years later. The stations were taken over by Combined Broadcasting, which were actually a group of creditors. Combined sold the stations in 1994 and 1995 – WGBO to Univision, and WBFS and WGBS to Viacom (which has since spun-off the broadcasting properties to CBS.)

Today, WGBO is more successful as a Spanish-language station, compared to 15 years ago when it was a forgotten English-language also-ran. WPSG is a CW affiliate, and WBFS is hooked up with MyNetworkTV.

Up to the time of his death, Grant was still in the broadcast station business: he owned a handful of TV stations mainly in smaller markets in Alabama, Virginia, Iowa, and Wisconsin.