Griffin Communications History

OUR HISTORY

SERVING OKLAHOMA for more than 100 years

The Griffin roots go back more than 100 years and the communications business can be traced back to radio in the 1930s, but television changed everything when KWTV signed on December 20, 1953.

From those pioneering roots Griffin Communications outreach has grown and led to numerous “firsts.” These include:

  • The world’s tallest tower (1,565 feet)
  • Oklahoma’s first color radar & the first commercial Doppler radar nationwide
  • Oklahoma’s first news helicopter & the first full HD news-gathering helicopter in the country
  • First use of StreetScope for television in the nation
  • First broadcast automated weather warning system in the country
  • First station to gather video from cellular telephones, capturing pictures of a large tornado east of Enid

Not one to rest on their laurels, Griffin Communications continues to innovate and lead while drawing on the lessons of the past.

  1. 1908

    John Taylor Griffin starts Griffin Grocery Company in McAlester

  2. 1915

    Griffin Grocery starts manufacturing food products

  3. 1924

    The company moved to Muskogee

  4. 1928

    Griffin Radio signs on in Oklahoma City and Tulsa - KOMA and KTUL

  5. 1930

    Griffin Waffle Syrup debuts (you know you love it!)

  6. 1953

    Griffin Television's KWTV (News 9) signs on in Oklahoma City

  7. 1955

    News 9 begins broadcasting from the world's tallest tower - 1,572 feet

  8. 1956

    Griffin exits radio business to concentrate on television

  9. 1959

    News 9 installs the first weather radar at a television station in the country

  10. 1977

    On-air premiere of first color radar in Oklahoma on News 9

  11. 1979

    News 9 starts using a helicopter for news gathering; the first in Oklahoma

  12. 1981

    News 9 installs the first commercial use Doppler radar in the country; first live broadcast of a tornado

  13. 1982

    News 9 issues the first radar driven advance warning of a tornado in the nation

  14. 1985

    News 9 debuts the first television satellite truck in the Southwest. John Toole Griffin passes away; Martha Watson Griffin becomes Chairwoman

  15. 1990

    David and John Griffin begin leading the company

  16. 1994

    John Griffin becomes president of Griffin Foods and David Griffin becomes president of Griffin Television

  17. 1996

    News Now 53 (News Nine NOW), a partnership with Cox, is started in Oklahoma City

  18. 2000

    Griffin Communications purchases News On 6

  19. 2001

    Griffin created NewsOK.com with The Oklahoman


    News Now 53/News On 6 Now expands into Tulsa

  20. 2005

    Purchased KQCW (KWBT) in Tulsa

  21. 2007

    Griffin sold its stake in NewsOK and started News9.com

  22. 2011

    Broke ground on the Griffin Communications Media Center

  23. 2014

    Purchased KSBI in Oklahoma City

  24. 2014

    Purchased KSBI in Oklahoma City


    Created Griffin Outdoor

  25. 2017

    Formed Griffin Investments


    Purchased Stokely Billboards in Tulsa

  26. 2018

    Purchased Scripps Radio in Tulsa - KHTT, KVOO, KXBL, KBEZ & KFAQ