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Spartan Communications, Inc. records

Identifier: SCPL-2019-009

Content Description

Spartan Communications, Inc. was a local business that ran the local news station, WSPA-TV 7. Founded in 1947 by Walter J. Brown as Spartan Radiocasting Co., the company began with one radio station and by the time that it merged with Media Genral in 2000, the company ran 11 television stations across multiple states. This accession consists of annual reports for the company, the company by-laws, documents related to the company's merge with Media Genral, and photocopies of various legal documents related to the creation of the company.


  • 1947 - 2000


Biographical / Historical

In 1947, Walter J. Brown founded Spartan Radiocasting Company. The company acquired the recently split WSPA-WORD radio stations, with WORD going to Spartan Radiocasting and WSPA-AM and PM going to Liberty Life. WSPA-AM was South Carolina’s first radio station and WORD was the second radio station in Spartanburg. Both were owned by Spartanburg Advertising Company, but had to be split due to regulations which forbid an owner from having more than one AM station per market.

In 1952, Spartan Radiocasting went to court with Liberty Life over rights for Channel 7. Spartan Radiocasting won and bought back WSPA and sold off WORD. WSPA-TV began airing in April 1956. Spartan Radiocasting continued to expand, including acquiring WBTW (a Florence, SC news station) and KIMT (an Iowa/Minnesota news station) in 1984. By 1987, the company changed its name to Spartan Communications, Inc. to better reflect its move to TV stations. From 1990 to 1995, the company further acquired 8 more TV stations. These mostly covered the southeast included WMBB (Panama City, FL), WJBF (Augusta, GA), WRBL (Columbus, GA), WNEG (Toccoa, GA), and WBTW (Florence-Myrtle Beach, SC). The company also expanded in the west by acquiring four TV stations in Kansas.

Spartan Communications sold off the WSPA radio stations in 1998. In December 1999, the company announced its intentions to merge with the Richmond, VA based, Media General. Media General bought the company for $605 million in 2000. Media General was later sold to Nexstar Broadcasting Group in 2017 and the company changed its name to Nexstar Media Group.


.25 Linear Feet (1 slim legal sized archival box)

Language of Materials



Files are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Physical Location

B and B Room

Processing Information

Papers were placed in acid-free folders that are housed in an acid-free box. The annual reports had their plastic binding spines removed.

The Guide to the Spartan Communications, Inc. records
Harrison Gage
May 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Kennedy Room of Local History and Genealogy Repository

151 S. Church St.
Spartanburg SC 29306 United States