Skip to main content

Allbritton Communications Founder Joe Allbritton Dies at 87

Allbritton Communications founder Joe Allbritton died
Wednesday, according to WJLA Washington. He was 87 years old.

The company owns eight ABC-affiliated TV stations, including
WJLA, along with co-owned cable news channel, News Channel 8, and political
newspaper/news site, Politico.

Allbritton, who made his fortune in banking, bought the Washington Star and its broadcast
properties in 1974. He sold the newspaper in 1978 -- it eventually folded -- but
expanded his broadcast holdings. He was born in D'lo, Miss., and raised in
Houston. He was a Navy veteran of World War II and graduated from Baylor
University in Waco, Texas.

"Joe Allbritton was a larger than life figure in business, in media and in philanthropy," said National Association of Broadcasters president Gordon Smith. "His contributions to local television are reflected every day in the programming excellence on display at WJLA-TV in Washington and seven other Allbritton-owned ABC affiliates across America. NAB salutes a visionary media entrepreneur for a life well lived."

Allbritton is survived by his wife, Barbara; son Robert, who
launched Politico; and two grandchildren.