This 1986 video shows WHAS-11 News reporting on the sale of the final media properties held by the Bingham family of Louisville. The Binghams dominated Louisville’s media landscape by controlling the major daily newspaper, plus the most popular radio and television stations.
WHAS-AM and WAMZ-FM were sold for slightly more than $20 million to Clear Channel Communications of San Antonio, the fifth and sixth stations to join its burgeoning portfolio. Clear Channel went on to build a chain of 1,200 stations across America before selling to Bain Capital.
At the time of this report, the Binghams had already sold The Courier-Journal newspaper to Gannett; WHAS-11 to the Providence Journal Corp., and Standard Gravure (rotogravure printing) to an Atlanta investor.
In 2014, Gannett reacquired WHAS-11 by purchasing Belo, Inc., the media company that purchased the Providence Journal Company years earlier.
The video above includes soundbites from Bingham family patriarch Barry Sr. and scion Barry Jr., plus images of Gannett CEO Al Neuharth and Clear Channel founder Lowry Mays, all projecting positive growth for all of the newly-scattered Bingham properties.
Twenty-eight years later, only Mr. Mays is alive.