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WHAS-TV station began broadcasting on March 27, 1950 on channel 9 as both Louisville’s and Kentucky’s second television station.[3] The station’s founders were the Bingham family, publishers of the Courier-Journal (morning) and Louisville Times (afternoon) newspapers and operator of WHAS (840 AM), Louisville’s oldest radio station. The station originally was a primary CBS affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation, owing to its radio sister’s long affiliation with the CBS Radio Network.
WHAS-TV moved to channel 11 on February 7, 1953, one of several channel shifts resulting from the Federal Communications Commission’s 1952 Sixth Report and Order. Under the same decree WAVE-TV, Kentucky’s pioneer TV station, relocated from channel 5 to channel 3.[4][5] Following the move to channel 11, the station became to first to increase its effective radiated power to 316,000 watts, the maximum allowed for a high-band VHF station, resulting in a greatly-increased coverage area.[6] When the FCC gradually enforced print-broadcast cross-ownership restrictions in the early 1970s, the agency allowed the Binghams to retain their Lousiville holdings under a grandfather clause.
Barry Bingham, Sr., patriarch of the family media empire, handed over control to his son Barry, Jr. upon his retirement from active involvement in 1971. Following a 15-year dispute, a decision was made to split up the family’s media holdings in 1986.[7] The decision, made by the senior Bingham, resulted in the sales of WHAS radio (and its FM adjunct, WAMZ) to Clear Channel Communications;[8] of both newspapers to the Gannett Company; and of WHAS-TV to the Providence Journal Company.[9] The Journal Company merged with Belo in 1997.