|Television Corp. of Virginia|
|Fate||Acquired by Paramount Pictures in 1991 and became Paramount Stations Group|
|Successor||Paramount Stations Group|
|Gene Loving, co-founder and chairman|
Timothy McDonald, co-founder and chairman
The TVX Broadcast Group was an American media company that owned a group of UHF television stations during the 1980s. Originally known as the Television Corp. of Virginia, the company was headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, and was founded by a group led by television executive Timothy McDonald and local media personality-turned radio executive Gene Loving. TVX began with a start-up television station, WTVZ, in 1979.
In the late 1970s, the Hampton Roads area (as the region around Norfolk is known) was unique in that it was one of the smallest markets to have four commercial television stations: NBC affiliate WAVY-TV, CBS station WTAR-TV, ABC affiliate WVEC-TV, and independent station WYAH-TV. The latter station, however, was owned by the Portsmouth-based evangelist Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, and ran a fairly conservative program schedule. The Loving/McDonald group secured a construction permit for Norfolk's vacant channel 33 in May 1978 and signed it a year later. WTVZ experienced early success, mostly through airing a moderate amount of programming that had been considered too objectionable for WYAH-TV.
Based on the early success of WTVZ, TVX decided to expand outside of Hampton Roads. TVX's second station was WRLH-TV in Richmond, in February 1982. Ironically, CBN was going to build a station in the same area but donated it to a non-commercial religious group. As a result, WRLH was the only independent station in Richmond for its first few years of operation.
TVX's first two acquisitions were in North Carolina: WJTM-TV (later WNRW and now WXLV-TV) in Winston-Salem in 1980, and WLFL-TV in Raleigh in 1985. WNOL-TV in New Orleans followed in 1985, and the construction permit for KMJD-TV in Pine Bluff, Arkansas was bought by TVX and signed-on as KJTM-TV (now KASN) in June 1986.
Along with buying stations, TVX was building them as well. The company launched WMKW-TV (now WLMT) in Memphis in April 1983, followed by WCAY-TV (now WUXP-TV) in Nashville in February 1984. KRRT (now KMYS) in Kerrville, Texas was signed-on in November 1985 as the San Antonio market's first English-language independent station. All of these stations used the branding "Prime All The Time." TVX's last station, WNYB-TV (now WNYO-TV) in Buffalo, was sold just before it's September 1987 sign-on to Niagara Frontier Hockey, the owners of the Buffalo Sabres.
TVX sold WRLH-TV to the Times-Mirror Company in 1986. That same year, the new Fox Broadcasting Company approached TVX with an affiliation deal for the company's New Orleans station. TVX agreed, but only if Fox also took on TVX's other properties. Fox added one stipulation: if one of TVX's underperforming stations was sold, Fox could then pull its affiliation from that station.
In February 1987, TVX acquired five stations from the Taft Broadcasting Company, which was in the middle of a corporate restructuring. The stations purchased were Fox affiliates WTAF-TV in Philadelphia and WCIX in Miami; and independent stations WDCA-TV in Washington, D.C., KTXA in Fort Worth, Texas, and KTXH in Houston. The purchase of the Taft stations, while transforming TVX's profile from a small company into a large-market broadcaster, had a major negative impact: TVX acquired massive debt as well, resulting in the company selling many of their medium- and small-market outlets.
Between late 1987 and the end of 1989, TVX found new owners for eight stations, though most were to satisfy Federal Communications Commission requirements on group ownership. Notable sales were those of WNOL-TV, to a group led by musician Quincy Jones; of WTVZ, TVX's first station, to Sullivan Broadcasting; and of WCIX, whose status as the company's only VHF outlet played a factor in TVX's reluctant sale of the station to CBS in 1988. Fox, on the other hand, exercised the clause in the 1986 group affiliation contract and pulled its programming from several former TVX stations as soon as the sales were finalized. Also during this period, company co-founder Tim McDonald departed the firm after negotiating a financial restructuring with Salomon Brothers to help resolve the company's debt issues. Salomon Brothers would eventually become TVX's major shareholder.
Despite having stripped itself down to a six-station group, made up mostly of profitable, highly-performing outlets in large markets, the sales of the smaller stations did not fully reduce TVX's debt load. In 1989, Salomon Brothers sold a minority share (about 22 percent) of TVX to Paramount Pictures. In 1991 Paramount acquired the rest of TVX and bought the group under its corporate umbrella, rechristening the company as the Paramount Stations Group. In 1994, the original iteration of Viacom acquired the stations as part of its purchase of Paramount Pictures.