Fisher Communications
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Fisher Communications
Fisher Communications, Inc.
IndustryBroadcasting, Television, Radio
FateAcquired by Sinclair
SuccessorSinclair Broadcast Group
Founded1910; 109 years ago (1910)
DefunctAugust 8, 2013; 6 years ago (2013-08-08)
HeadquartersSeattle, Washington, United States
Area served
Northwestern United States
Key people
Colleen Brown
(President) & (CEO)
Michael D. Wortsman (Chair)
Robert I. (Rob) Dunlop (EVP (Ops)[1]
Revenue$164.0M (Increase 6.8%) 2011[1]
$36.4M (Increase 273.8%) 2011[1]
Number of employees
784 (Increase5.3%) 2011[1]
Before they were in broadcasting, the Fisher fortune rested on the Fisher Flour Mill on Seattle's Harbor Island, founded 1910.
Fisher Plaza, the company's headquarters.

Fisher Communications was a media company in the United States. Based in Seattle, Washington, the company primarily owned a number of radio and television stations in the Western United States. It was the last company in the Seattle area to own a local TV station before being acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group. Fisher was acquired the same year KOMO-TV's competitor KING-TV's owner, Belo, was acquired by Gannett Company.


See also KOMO (AM)

Fisher Companies, Inc.'s Fisher Communications by 1998 owned 25 radio stations and 2 TV stations. Fisher Companies also owned a flour milling and food distribution company and real estate development subsidiary.[2]

In 1999 Retlaw Enterprises sold its remaining 11 television stations to Fisher Communications, including all of the related assets to those properties[3] for $215 million in cash.[2]

Fisher began to sell many of its properties in the mid-2000s, including real estate, its longtime flour milling operation, and its stake in Safeco.[4] By 2011, Fisher Communications was down to 10 radio stations.[1] On April 11, 2013, Fisher (which by then owned 20 television stations and only three radio stations) announced that it would be acquired by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.[4] However, the deal was subject to financial scrutiny; the law firm Levi & Korsinsky notified Fisher shareholders with accusations that Fisher's board of directors were breaching fiduciary duties by "failing to adequately shop the Company before agreeing to enter into the transaction", and Sinclair was underpaying for Fisher's stock.[5] Shortly after the announcement, a lawsuit was filed by a Fisher shareholder;[6] the suit was settled in July 2013,[7] on August 6 Fisher's shareholders approved the merger.[8] The FCC granted its approval of the sale of August 7.[9] On August 8, Sinclair announced that the sale was completed.[10]

Former Fisher-owned stations

Radio stations

Television stations

(From 2001-2008, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho ABC and CBS stations used a logo having a blue rectangle with the TV number in the rectangle and lowercase call signs on the top.)

Stations are arranged alphabetically by state and by city of license.


  • (**) - Indicates a station built and signed-on by Fisher.
  • (++) - Indicates a station owned by Retlaw Enterprises, prior to its acquisition by Fisher in 1999.

Other Note:

Contract Dispute

On December 17, 2008, Fisher Communications' contract expired with Dish Network. As a result of this contract dispute, stations owned by Fisher Communications were no longer available to Dish Network subscribers. Dish Network claimed that Fisher is asking for over an 80% increase.[12] The Fisher stations that returned to Dish Network are: KOMO and KUNS in Seattle.; KATU and KUNP in Portland.; KIMA in Yakima, Washington.; KVAL in Eugene, Oregon.; KBCI (now KBOI) in Boise, Idaho; KIDK in Idaho Falls, Idaho; and KBAK and KBFX in Bakersfield, California. Dish Network restored the service to their customers at 10:25 p.m. PST on June 10.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Fisher Communications." Company Profile. Hoover's, Inc., 2012. 20 Jul. 2012.
  2. ^ a b Vrana, Debrora (November 19, 1998). "Fisher Cos. Is Expected to Buy Retlaw's 11 TV Stations". Los Angeles Times. Times Mirror Company. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ "8-K For 7/1/99". Fisher Communications Inc. filings. Retrieved 2007.
  4. ^ a b Allison, Melissa (April 11, 2013). "KOMO owner Fisher Communications agrees to sale". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ "SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Notifies Investors of Claims of Breaches of Fiduciary Duty by the Board of Fisher Communications, Inc. in Connection With the Sale of the Company to Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc". Press release. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ "Fisher Communications, Inc. (FSCI) Investor Lawsuit to Stop Takeover by Sinclair Broadcast Group Announced by Shareholders Foundation". Press release. Retrieved 2013.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Fisher Reaches Settlement In Shareholder Suit". All Access. July 29, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  8. ^ "Fisher Shareholders Approve Sale To Sinclair". NetNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. August 6, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  9. ^ (PDF). Federal Communications Commission Retrieved 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  10. ^ "Sinclair Broadcast Group Closes On Fisher Communications Acquisition". All Access. August 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  11. ^ Fisher Communications Agrees to Purchase Two Bakersfield Television Stations
  12. ^[permanent dead link]

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