Stock Certificate, specimenMid 1900'sSecurity-Columbian Bank Note CompanyThe item shown is representative of the piece you will receive
This company arose from the ashes of the DuMont Television Network, the world's first commercial television network. DuMont had been in economic trouble throughout its existence, and was dealt a fatal blow when ABC accepted a buyout offer from United Paramount Theaters in 1953. The ABC-UPT deal gave ABC the resources to operate a national television service along the lines of CBS and NBC. DuMont officials quickly realized the ABC-UPT deal put their network on life support, and agreed in principle to merge with ABC. However, it was forced to back out of the deal when minority owner Paramount Pictures raised antitrust concerns. UPT had only spun off from Paramount four years earlier, and there were still doubts about whether the two companies were really separate.
By 1955, DuMont realized it could not compete against the other three networks and decided to wind down its operations. Soon after DuMont formally shut down network service in 1956, the parent firm DuMont Laboratories spun off the network's two remaining owned and operated stations, WABD in New York City and WTTG in Washington, D.C., to shareholders as the DuMont Broadcasting Corporation. The company's headquarters were co-located with WABD in the former DuMont Tele-Centre (which was later renamed the Metromedia Telecenter) in New York.
In 1957, DuMont Broadcasting purchased two New York area radio stations, WNEW (now WBBR) and WHFI (later WNEW-FM and WWFS), and later that year changed its name to the Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation to distance itself from its former parent company. The following year, Paramount sold its shares in Metropolitan Broadcasting to Washington-based investor John Kluge, enough to give Kluge controlling interest. Kluge installed himself as chairman, and later increased his holdings to 75 percent. WABD's call letters were later changed to WNEW-TV to match its new radio sisters.
Metromedia later entered the realm of live entertainment by purchasing the Ice Capades (in 1963)and the Harlem Globetrotters (in 1967). Later in the decade Metromedia opened a television production center in Los Angeles, known as Metromedia Square, which served as the studio facility for numerous network programs. Metromedia also owned a TV production and distribution company called Metromedia Producers Corporation (MPC), established in 1968 from Wolper Productions. MPC produced and syndicated various programs and TV movies, most notably the game show Truth or Consequences and the 1972-86 version of The Merv Griffin Show. Metromedia spent the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s increasing its television and radio station portfolio, and continued to expand its syndication business.
Metromedia entered the record business in 1969 with the launch of the Metromedia Records label, whose biggest-selling artist was Bobby Sherman. The label was also notable as having issued the first two studio albums of Peter Allen, Peter Allen (1971) and Tenterfield Saddler (1972). The label was closed as of 1974. Allen's Tenterfield Saddler, the title song of which has become an Australian standard, was acquired and reissued by A&M; Records in 1978.
On May 6, 1985, Kluge announced the sale of Metromedia's television stations, and Metromedia Producers Corp., to News Corporation (owned by Australian newspaper publisher Rupert Murdoch) and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation (owned jointly by Murdoch and Marvin Davis) for $3.5 billion. With the exception of WCVB-TV Boston (which was subsequently sold to the Hearst Corporation), all of the former Metromedia stations formed the nucleus of the Fox Broadcasting Company, while MPC was folded into 20th Century Fox Television. The transactions became official on March 6, 1986. Kluge also sold Metromedia's outdoor advertising firm, the Harlem Globetrotters, and the Ice Capades in that same year, and spun off the radio stations into a separate company (which ironically took on the Metropolitan Broadcasting name) before they were sold to various other owners by the early 1990s.DE-Delaware Media Companies Radio Television Motion Pictures Motion Pictures and Related Television and Related Specimen Pieces Allegorical Featured Allegorical Mercury Allegorical Orpheus