Storer Multimedia (formerly known as Storer Communications and Storer Broadcasting) is a a media company that owns several television station in the United States and it also distributes some shows. Storer is headquarter at the WJW-TV studios in Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1927, George B. Storer and brother-in-law J. Harold Ryan were building service stations for Speedene brand gasoline in the Toledo, Ohio area. Speedene sales were booming, thanks to a cost-cutting device implemented by the partners. They bypassed the cost of trucking gasoline to service stations by building the stations beside railroad sidings and sold their product at two or three cents a gallon under the going retail rate by filling their tanks directly from railroad tank cars. Storer decided to buy some radio spots on Toledo's radio station, WTAL, to advertise his gas stations. The spots were effective, and Storer decided to use his wealth to buy the radio station as well. He changed the station's call letters to WSPD, "Speedy AM," symbolic of the gasoline brand.
Later in the decade, Storer formed Fort Industry Broadcasting for his broadcasting interests, and bought a number of other radio stations.
Although the company had success in the Top 40 rock and roll format with WJBK in Detroit and WIBG "Wibbage" in Philadelphia, most of its radio stations, including WJW and WSPD, featured more conservative music formats, typically middle-of-the-road (MOR) or beautiful music.
In 1948, Fort Industry entered the television market, launching WSPD-TV in Toledo. This was followed by WJBK-TV in Detroit later in 1948, and WAGA-TV in Atlanta in 1949. As television became more popular, Storer bought several television stations in other markets. The company changed its name to Storer Broadcasting later in the 1950s.
The company focused primarily on the radio and television businesses through much of its history. However, it did venture into the cable television business in the early 1960s. It also purchased Northeast Airlines in 1965 and held it until 1972, when it was sold to Delta Air Lines.
George Storer was company president until his 1973 retirement, succeeded by his son Peter; George remained company chairman until his death in 1975. Due to his position as a director of CBS, he was able to obtain lucrative CBS network affiliations for Storer-owned television stations, such as WXEL (now WJW-TV) and WJBK-TV, which had been DuMont affiliates. By 1961 Storer was the nation's sixth-largest television broadcaster—exceeded in size only by the three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC), Metropolitan Broadcasting (later Metromedia) and the Group W division of Westinghouse.
The company purchased its first cable television system in 1963. It also briefly ventured into program syndication as Storer Programs Inc., during which it was the U.S. distributor of the original 1963–65 run of The Littlest Hobo, which was produced in Canada.
During the 1970s the company focused on cable television. Storer sold the radio assets and the airline, using the cash thus raised to invest in cable television. Commencing in 1978, it embarked on an aggressive program of acquiring cable franchises. Unlike many cable operators, Storer preferred to acquire franchises and build its cable systems rather than acquire existing cable operations.
The company also ventured into sports. From 1973 to 1975 Storer owned the Boston Bruins and the Boston Garden.
The company's name was changed to Storer Communications, Inc. in 1983. By 1984 it owned and operated seven television stations and held franchises to provide cable television service to over 500 communities in 18 states and had some 4,800 employees. By 1985, Storer took over Blair Entertainment, a distribution firm founded in 1982 by TV sales rep John Blair.
In 1985, Storer Communications started a chlidren's cable channel to compete with Nickelodeon called "The Children's Channel" (now Fox Kids).
In 1995, Storer Communications sold The Children's Channel to Fox and it became "Fox Kids: The Channel". In 1997, Storer Communications acquired Multimedia and became known as Storer Multimedia. Also in 1997 Storer introduced a mandate graphics and music packages for its stations.
In 1999, Storer Multimedia sold the rest of its cable television assets to Comcast.