The DuMont network was the first licensed American television network, (predating CBS, NBC, and ABC). The DuMont Network operated from 1946 through 1956, when it was sold to John Kluge who ran and expanded the network as MetroMedia. Kluge then sold MetroMedia to Rupert Murdoch of the Fox Corporation in 1986.
The DuMont Network was owned by television set manufacturer Allen B. DuMont and the Paramount Pictures movie studio, which previously had its fingers in the young CBS (and later were to be combined through Viacom). DuMont owned and operated three stations: WABD in New York City, WDTV in Pittsburgh, and WTTG in Washington, DC. DuMont aspired to grow, however, and sought to own five stations, the maximum allowed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Paramount, who owned a minority share in DuMont, owned two of their own stations, but didn't broadcast any of the DuMont network's programming. The FCC ruled that the two Paramount stations were the equivalent of being owned by the network, and since the network, or any owner, could only own five VHF stations, DuMont could not acquire any additional ones. DuMont did not have many primary affiliations; most were secondary, so the network's growth was severely handicapped by the ruling. Eventually, WDTV was sold to Westinghouse. The other two DuMont-owned stations formed the nucleus of what became MetroMedia and now is the Fox Television Network. Paramount's divested movie theatre chain United Paramount Theatres merged with the American Broadcasting Company. In New York City, the DuMont station was WABD - named for Allen B. DuMont. DuMont is most famous for producing the show "The Honeymooners", starring Jackie Gleason.