Milton Grant grew up in radio and television in Washington, D.C. He had extensive experience in all areas of the business, including talent, sales, news, programming, general management, finance and ownership.
Grant served with distinction for three years in World War II in the Office of Strategic Services of the United States Army in North Africa and Italy.
Grant attended New York University, where he received a B.A. degree in economics and English. He began his broadcast career while at NYU as the news director of WNYC in New York City. Following graduation, he became an announcer for WARN in Scranton, Pa. Later, Grant went to Washington, D.C., to work for WTOP radio. He innovatively created Washington's first and only radio network with his radio show carried simultaneously on stations WINX, WOL, WAVA, and WPGC. He was also featured on WWDC.
During the 1950s, Grant created and produced "The Milt Grant Show." This was one of America's first teen-oriented dance and variety programs. It aired live seven days a week "at 5 [p.m.] on 5" (WTTG, channel 5) in Washington, D.C. For much of its time, it was Washington, D.C.'s most popular program. It is still fondly remembered by Washingtonians and ex-Washingtonians of a certain age today. You can find clips of the show on the Internet.
In the 1960s, when UHF frequencies (channels 14-82) became available, Grant founded the Capitol Broadcasting Corporation, which was licensed to operate WDCA-TV, channel 20, in Washington, D.C. The station began in 1966 with Grant as president and chief executive officer. The station was sold in 1969 to the Superior Tube Company, but Grant continued as president and chief executive officer until 1980, when the station was sold to Taft Broadcasting.
In 1980, Grant joined with a group of Houston, Texas, investors to build KTXA-TV, channel 21, in Dallas, Texas, and later KTXH-TV, channel 20, in Houston, Texas. Both stations proved to be instant successes. KTXH-TV, "Twentyvision," became the No. 1 independent station in its market within its first year on the air, surpassing well-established stations owned by then-media giants Metromedia and Gaylord. Success led to their sale to Gulf Broadcasting in January 1985 for $175,000,000.
While preparing the sale of the two stations, Grant built WBFS-TV, channel 33, in Miami, Fla. Then, in one year, he added WGBS, channel 57, in Philadelphia, Pa., followed by WGBO-TV, channel 66, in Chicago, Ill. Each of these stations continues to operate successfully today under different ownership.
Grant's next venture was the development of a new group of television stations. On March 29, 1990, WZDX-TV, channel 54, in Huntsville, Ala., became the first station. On Sept. 1, 1991, Grant added a second station, KLJB, channel 18, in Davenport, Iowa. Continuing the growth, Grant added WFXR-TV and WJPR-TV in Roanoke-Lynchburg, Va., on Sept. 15, 1993. Three years later, he increased the number of stations by purchasing KJMH-TV in Burlington, Iowa. This station was later renamed KGWB and then KGCW. On May 15, 1996, WLAX/WEUX-TV in LaCrosse-Eau Claire, Wis., became part of the group. On Oct. 24, 1996, WNYB-TV in Buffalo, N.Y., was acquired and renamed WNYO-TV.
In 2001, WNYO-TV, which was purchased for $10,000,000 in 1996, was sold to Sinclair broadcasting for $50,000,000.
The remaining stations continue to operate as a group under management brought together by Grant. There are four Fox-affiliated stations, two CW-affiliated stations, and a myNetworkTV-affiliated station. The Fox stations are often market leaders in primetime among adults under 50 years of age. Their success is part of Grant's continuing legacy to the industry.