Originally signed on the air on June 11, 1956, as a Daytona Beach-licensed independent station on VHF channel 2, and was owned by Palm Beach-based Perry Publications, who acquired channel 2's license from businessman W. Wright Esch. It became Central Florida's exclusive NBC affiliate on November 5, 1957 after WDBO-TV (VHF channel 6, now WKMG-TV) relinquished its secondary affiliation with the network.
Perry Publications sold channel 2 to Des Moines, Iowa-based Cowles Communications in 1965.
This sailboat "2" logo would be retained with only slight alterations until 1992.
1980 (Proud as a Peacock)
1983 print ad
WESH news open, 1986
in the morning
in the morning
Despite NBC replacing the "Proud N" logo after May 12, 1986, WESH-TV continued to use it in their station logo until 1987. Cowles exited broadcasting in 1984 and sold two of its stations, WESH and Des Moines' KCCI to Houston-based H&C Communications, owned by the publishers of the Houston Post, the Hobby family.
with Call letters
"Come Home to Channel 2" (1987)
WESH nightly news open, 1987
WESH afternoon news open, 1988
WESH nightly news open, 1988
The "2" logo used starting in 1992 is identical to the one used from 1985-1994 by former sister station KPRC-TV in Houston, also on VHF channel 2. The Hobbys decided to liquidate their company in 1992 after an attempt to sell its entire television station group to Young Broadcasting fell through, with KCCI and WESH being the first two sold to Pulitzer, Inc. for $165 million in 1993, and KPRC-TV and KSAT-TV to The Washington Post Company on April 22, 1994.
Hearst-Argyle Television acquired Pulitzer's entire broadcasting division for $1.8 billion in 1998, the sale was finalized on March 18 of the following year (1999).