John Kluge

September 9, 2010 by staff 

John Kluge, Founder of the Metromedia stations that were sold to Rupert Murdoch to form the core of the Fox network, died September 7 in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to the John Flug. He was 95.
Kluge leveraged its money from food franchise to create the independent television stations from Metromedia Co. Metropolitan Broadcasting in 1958 following the purchase of shares of the DuMont Broadcasting parent, as it was getting late.

An immigrant from Germany, Kluge served in Army intelligence in World War II. When he was demobilized Kluge set WGAY radio station in Silver Spring, Maryland, in 1946 the purchase of 90,000 licensed and several investors he and his partner rounded up. From there it spread to other radio stations in Buffalo, NY, Dallas, Fort Worth, Orlando, Florida, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Tulsa, Oklahoma

Kluge merged its two radio stations in metropolitan Gotham Broadcasting Co. before buying radio and television stations across the country, including KTTV in Los Angeles during the coming years. Throughout his years of conglomerate would expand to include seven television and 14 radio stations, outdoor advertising, magazine Playbill, pagers and mobile phones as well as the Harlem Globetrotters and ice capades. He also owned a controlling interest in Orion Pictures.

Metromedia expanded into television production and distribution, game shows like “Truth or Consequences” and “The Merv Griffin Show.” From 1969 to 1974 was in the music business with Metromedia Records, whose biggest star was Bobby Sherman.

Kluge took the private conglomerate in 1984, buying the shareholders of Metromedia. There was a stir in some quarters that shareholders are not paid enough, but defended the price.

Two years later, sold the television stations Kluge and Metromedia Producers Corp. Murdoch’s News Corp. and 20th Century Fox and $ 3.5 million. The rest of institutions, including the Harlem Globetrotters, and radio stations were sold Ice Capades in another part of the 1990s. Yet he did lose a lot of money from your participation in Orion Pictures and the Ponderosa restaurant chain.

After shedding Metromedia, Kluge spent his last years in telecommunications, radio and cable companies in Eastern Europe and China. He also ventured in philanthropy including the donation to his alma mater, Siglo XXI and the Library of Congress where he settled ยบ Kluge Center, which gives out the Kluge Prize in honor of the intellectual achievements. His wife Mary, a son, a daughter, a stepson and four grandchildren survive him.

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