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  • The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcast television network. Throughout its history, ABC has supported its financial operations by diversifying into the press, the publishing industry, the operation of theaters, and filmmaking. Many of the company's assets in these fields have been sold to other entities, and since 2007, when ABC Radio was sold to Citadel Broadcasting, ABC has reduced its broadcasting operations almost exclusively to television. It is the world's fifth-oldest major broadcasting media network. The network launched as a radio network on October 12, 1943, separated from and successor to the old "NBC Blue Network" which had been purchased by Edward J. Noble. It extended its operations to television in 1948, following the elder broadcasting networks of CBS and NBC. In the mid-1950s, ABC merged with the theater chain United Paramount Theatres, a former subsidiary of the film studio Paramount Pictures. Leonard Goldenson, who had been the head of UPT, made the new television network profitable by leading it to broadcast many successful series. By the 1970s, ABC sold its theater operation division to Henry Plitt, who renamed it Plitt Theatres.

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