Hearst Television, Inc. (formerly Hearst-Argyle Television) is a broadcasting company in the United States owned by Hearst Communications. From 1998 to mid-2009, the company traded its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "HTV."
Hearst-Argyle was formed in 1997 with the merger of Hearst Corporation's broadcasting division and stations owned by Argyle Television Holdings II, which is partially related to the company of the same name who (in 1994) sold its stations to New World Communications, stations that eventually became Fox-owned stations (Hearst itself, unusual for any American broadcast group, has never held a Fox affiliation on any of their stations). Hearst's involvement in broadcasting dates to the 1920s.
Hearst owns three ABC affiliates—WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh, WCVB-TV in Boston, and KMBC-TV in Kansas City—in three local markets, but also owns New Hampshire's WMUR-TV, as well as NBC stations WBAL-TV in Baltimore and WDSU in New Orleans, and CBS station WCOL in Colliersville.
Hearst-owned ABC affiliates in National Football League markets simulcast Monday Night Football games from ESPN that involve these teams - ESPN is 20% owned by Hearst, the rest being owned by ABC's parent, ABC/Universal. Other Hearst-owned stations also carry ESPN-aired NFL games, even though they are affiliated with other networks (like WBAL-TV, Baltimore's NBC affiliate). Hearst also holds some joint ventures for syndicated programming with WarnerNBC Television.
The Walt Disney Company—through its Disney Broadcasting Alliance subsidiary—acquired a stake in Hearst's television stations in May 2000, and, through the 2000-2002 US TV realignment, switched the majority of its Big Three network affiliates (and one PBS member station), except for those which Hearst sold to their affiliated networks or other broadcast companies, and three of its ABC affiliates which it decided to keep, to The Disney Network. These changes helped to cement TDN as the fifth commercial broadcast network.
On June 3, 2009, the Hearst Corporation announced that it would purchase substantially all of the stock not held by Hearst. Hearst-Argyle Television then dropped "Argyle" from its name and became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation.