Number of locations
|Wendy McMahon (President)|
|Parent||Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution|
|Subsidiaries||ABC National Television Sales|
ABC Owned Television Stations is a division of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution that oversees the owned-and-operated stations of the American Broadcasting Company, a division of The Walt Disney Company. The division consists of eight stations plus ABC National Television Sales and Localish.
The ABC Network's first TV station signed on August 10, 1948, as WJZ-TV, the first of three television stations signed on by ABC during that same year, with WENR-TV in Chicago and WXYZ-TV in Detroit being the other two.KGO-TV in San Francisco and KECA in Los Angeles, signed on during the next 13 months after WJZ.
The newly merged company, Capital Cities/ABC Inc., was forced to sell off some stations due to FCC ownership rules. Between them, ABC and Capital Cities owned more television stations than FCC rules allowed at the time. Of the former Capital Cities television stations, the merged company opted to keep KTRK-TV in Houston, WTVD-TV in Durham, and KFSN-TV in Fresno. FCC rules could have also forced a sale of Capital Cities' WPVI-TV in Philadelphia as well due to a large signal overlap with WABC-TV, but the merged company successfully received a permanent waiver from the FCC after citing CBS' ownership of television stations in New York City (WCBS-TV) and Philadelphia (at the time WCAU-TV) under grandfathered status. Capital Cities' WFTS-TV in Tampa and ABC's WXYZ-TV in Detroit were divested as a pair to the E.W. Scripps Company's broadcasting division (then known as Scripps-Howard Broadcasting). Capital Cities' WTNH-TV in New Haven and WKBW-TV in Buffalo were sold separately to minority-owned companies (Scripps would eventually buy WKBW in 2014).
In 1994, New World Communications signed an affiliation deal with Fox Broadcasting Company, resulting in most of New World's stations switching affiliation to Fox. This set off the 1994-1996 United States broadcast TV realignment, a chain of affiliation changes across the country and other multi-station affiliation deals for the next couple of years. To avoid being consigned to the lower-signal-quality UHF after losing its affiliations to New World's WJBK in Detroit and WJW-TV in Cleveland, CBS heavily wooed both E. W. Scripps Company's WXYZ-TV and WEWS-TV. Scripps then told ABC that unless it agreed to affiliate with the other Scripps-owned stations, it would switch both Detroit and Cleveland stations to CBS. As a contingency, ABC bought WJRT-TV in Flint, Michigan and WTVG in Toledo, Ohio from SJL Broadcasting in 1995.
The ABC Owned TV Stations (ABCOTS) were paired with ABC Radio Network and eight TV stations in CC/ABC Broadcasting Group in Capital Cities/ABC (CC/ABC) when CC/ABC was purchased by The Walt Disney Company in 1996. In June, ABC's top marketing officer announced that the owned-and-operated (O&O) stations would adopt a "one-channel" marketing strategy; the stations would, for promotional purposes, de-emphasize referring to themselves by their call letters, and instead refer to themselves using "ABC" and the station's channel number ("ABC Seven," for example), as the marketer had adopted this practice at NBC before.
ABC News Now was launched in 2004 in the US on digital subchannels of 70 ABC O&O stations and affiliates. On January 31, 2005, ABC News removed ABC News Now from owned and operated and affiliated TV stations' subchannel as the channel ended its experimental phase originally. The group changed its programming on secondary channels to ABC Plus, a local news and public affairs format. ABC teamed up with AccuWeather to launch a multicast service starting on ABC stations' third subchannel beginning with WPVI-TV in September 2005 followed by KFSN-TV with the next wave of four by December 31, 2005 then the final four by March 31, 2006. The Live Well Network (LWN) was launched on April 27, 2009 in high definition by ABC's O&O stations on the stations'.2 subchannels.
On November 3, 2010, Broadcasting & Cable magazine announced that SJL Broadcasting, now owned by the principal owners of Lilly Broadcasting, made an agreement with Disney to buy back WJRT-TV and WTVG, the two smallest stations in ABC's O&O portfolio. The sale was completed on April 1, 2011. On October 17, 2013, the New York Post reported that Disney considered sell the station group given the current wave of consolidation between station holding companies that has increased station values since 2010. On October 25, the Triangle Business Journal reported that multiple Disney spokespeople denied that information
On June 9, 2014, ABC Owned Television Stations vice president Peggy Allen and president Rebecca Campbell jointly announced to Live Well Network's staff that they planned to shut down the network in January 2015. Campbell and Allen stated that despite the success of the network, the division wanted to prioritize "local content" and its "core local news brands". Many of the shows from ABC's stations ended production with a possibility to be picked up by fyi cable network, a DATG partial owned A&E Networks cable channel. On January 15, 2015, ABCOTS announced a pickup of Katz Broadcasting's new subchannel Laff, including the DT3 subchannels of the ABC O&O stations, as of April 15, 2015; within that announcement, ABCOTS stated that Live Well Network would continue on their eight stations on their .2 subchannels in HD, but no longer be distributed outside of ABC O&O stations. ABCOTS also indicated that its stations' 3rd subchannel would affiliated with Laff network upon launch on April 15, 2015, but until then LWN would run on both subchannels.
Campbell, president of ABC Daytime and ABC Owned Television Stations, was named President of Disney EMEA in September 2017. Wendy McMahon, the stations' senior VP of digital, was named station group president effective January 1, 2018.
ABC Owned Television Stations launched its Localish digital media venture the week of September 20, 2018 with four shows. Localish focuses on mobile millennials with national appeal local short stories produced by the stations and released on digital and social platforms. The first series, More in Common, had already appeared via Facebook Watch. A More in Common compilation special was broadcast on all ABC station's primary channels on November 4, 2018 with WPVI-TV (Philadelphia) also on November 3 then on their LiveWell Network subchannel (.2) from November 4 through 11, 2018. On January 21, 2020, ABC Stations announced that the network will be rebranded as the Localish on February 17, 2020.
Stations are arranged in alphabetical order by state and city of license.
|City of license / Market||Station||Channel
|Owned since||Owned by at merger|
|Fresno, CA||KFSN-TV||30 (30)||1986||CapCities|
|Los Angeles||KABC-TV **||7 (7)||1949||ABC|
|San Francisco - Oakland - San Jose||KGO-TV **||7 (12)||1949||ABC|
|Chicago||WLS-TV **||7 (22)||1948||ABC|
|New York City||WABC-TV **||7 (7)||1948||ABC|
|Raleigh - Durham - Fayetteville, NC||WTVD||11 (9)||1986||CapCities|
|City of license / Market||Station||Channel
|Years owned||Owned by at merger||Current ownership status|
|Detroit||WXYZ-TV **||7 (25)||1948-1986||ABC||ABC affiliate owned by the E. W. Scripps Company|
|Flint, MI||WJRT-TV||12 (12)||1995-2011||N/A||ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television|
|Toledo, OH||WTVG||13 (13)||1995-2011||N/A||ABC affiliate owned by Gray Television|
ABC's owned and operated stations' syndicated offerings (as of September 2020) include The Tamron Hall Show, Live with Kelly and Ryan, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, and Small Town Big Deal. Live is produced in-house at WABC-TV. Wheel and Jeopardy! have been syndicated to ABC-owned stations since 1992, as part of a longstanding relationship with what is now CBS Television Distribution dating to when the syndicator was still known as King World Productions.