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SPJ to recognize SNG pioneer Hubbard Broadcasting

The Society of Professional Journalists has named Hubbard Broadcasting as this year’s recipient of the Historic Site in Journalism award.

The broadcast group of radio and TV stations will be recognized June 26 when the SPJ presents the award to the Hubbard family in Minneapolis, home of the group and flagship KSTP-TV.

Hubbard Broadcasting was an early pioneer and innovator in TV news. In the early and mid-1980s, the company was a driving force behind the emergence of satellite newsgathering as a viable technology for local TV stations. Through its CONUS Communications — an early satellite newsgathering cooperative of local TV stations — and Hubcom, a St. Petersburg, FL-based SNG truck business, Hubbard Broadcasting advanced state-of-the-art newsgathering.

Recognizing the potential of relatively small Ku-band antennas to be mounted onto midsized trucks, Hubcom transformed the use of satellite uplinks in the field from a relatively expensive occasional endeavor primarily done by networks with large C-band antennas on tractor trailers to a more affordable, portable undertaking that local broadcasters could take on to extend the reach of their newsgathering. The Newseum in Washington, D.C., recognizes the significance of this advancement with the display of an early Hubbard SNG truck.

Hubbard Broadcasting is one of the few remaining family-owned broadcasters. Founded in 1925 when Stanley E. Hubbard started a local radio station in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the company was also an early TV pioneer, launching KSTP-TV in 1948. Today, Hubbard owns about a dozen TV stations in Minnesota, New York and New Mexico.

Listen to Stanley S. Hubbard, chairman and CEO of Hubbard Broadcasting, discuss what it means to receive this year's SPJ Historic Site in Journalism as well as many of the company's broadcasting accomplishments.