United Communications Corporation was founded by Howard J. Brown and continues to be owned by the Brown family with corporate headquarters based in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Here’s our story:
The Kenosha Evening News was born on the afternoon of Oct. 22, 1894. In 1961, controlling interest in the Kenosha News passed to Howard J. Brown. Brown was a newspaperman with previous experience in Chicago, Cleveland and at several small dailies in the east. For most of its history, Kenosha’s daily was, in fact, not that at all. The paper was published just six days a week, Monday through Saturday. In May 1980, the slim Saturday edition was dropped, replaced by the multi‐section Sunday News. Seven years later, the News added back a Saturday publication, finally becoming a true 7‐day‐a‐week daily. Kenosha’s innovative history includes the first wire service in the state and the first high speed printing press. The Kenosha News eventually became the cornerstone of the larger corporate structure that ultimately became United Communications Corporation.
In 1969, Howard J. Brown bought the Attleboro Sun, which merged with the Chronicle in 1971, becoming The Sun Chronicle. The paper’s original incarnation went back a hundred years as it began operating as The North Attleboro Evening Chronicle on February 3, 1871. The Sun Chronicle was the first Massachusetts newspaper to convert from linotype production to offset printing as well as the first daily paper in southeastern Massachusetts to introduce 4 color reproduction.
Broadcast television station KEYC in Mankato, Minnesota was purchased by UCC in 1977. KEYC signed on the air on October 5, l960 carrying NBC programs, just in time for broadcast of the 1960 Baseball World Series. Less than a year later, the station shifted networks and became a CBS Affiliate. On July 1, 2007, KEYC added a FOX affiliation on a digital sub‐channel. In the last few years, newscasts have been added to what is now known as FOX12 Mankato. KEYC’s broadcasts became digital‐only in June of 2009. Recently KEYC began streaming content via CBS All Access and FOXNOW Live. In 2001, KEYC was among the first television stations in the broadcast industry to stream news content to the web.
WWNY‐TV in Watertown, New York joined the UCC family after it was purchased from the Johnson family in 1981. WWNY has been a dominant presence in local television — with newscasts often ranked among the top‐rated in the country, as is the station as a whole. Operating as a CBS affiliate from the start, they launched an additional station, Fox affiliate WNYF, in 2001. In September 2016, MeTV was launched. WWNY has been the Beta test site for several installations including control room switchers, newsroom software and broadcast automation. They are often ahead of the curve, utilizing and developing technology before stations in markets twice their size.
UCC purchased Lake Geneva Regional News from the Bearder family on Jan. 28, 1999. Prior to 1873, Lake Geneva’s citizens had several short‐lived newspapers from which to choose. By 1919, two of the stronger papers, the Geneva Lake Herald and the Lake Geneva News, merged; and then merged again in 1925 with another local paper. The resulting publication operated as the Regional News from that point. A change in ownership in 1940 put the business in the hands of A.M. Bearder. The weekly was printed on a hot‐lead letterpress at the Lake Geneva site until 1963.
Howard J. Brown passed away on April 29, 2011. His wife Elizabeth K. Brown now serves as chairwoman of the Board and his daughters and sons‐in‐law serve as directors. His eldest daughter Lucy Brown serves as president and CEO.