|The history of Harron Communications began at the turn of the last century when Paul F. Harron, Sr. sold advertising on Vaudeville curtains in New York City. Early on, Harron saw how communications technology could serve the public interest, acquiring four radio stations in Philadelphia in 1929. Additional stations were acquired throughout the next decade in New York and Philadelphia, including WIBG, which became the most powerful independent radio station in Pennsylvania at the time.
By 1953, Mr. Harron saw the potential of emerging television technology. Appearing before the Federal Communications Commission that year, he predicted that “it will become a far greater influence on the public welfare than aural broadcasting has been.” With this in mind, Harron acquired an independent station in Wilmington, Delaware in 1955, where it operated as WPFH, and WKTV in Utica New York in 1958. TV station acquisitions followed in Texas (1963) and Maine (1967).
In 1964, in part as a defensive measure to protect Harron’s Utica, NY broadcast television property, Harron obtained the franchise to build and operate a cable television system in the same market. Once again, the Harron family anticipated the growth of nascent communication technology: by 1976, Harron Communications was established, as cable systems were acquired in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Michigan. Under the leadership of President and CEO Paul F. Harron, Jr., the company expanded to serve more than 300,000 cable television customers in Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont.
|By 1999 the cable systems were sold, but the Harron family continued its investment in the cable industry through the acquisition of the cable system serving the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, and then Rochester and Sanford, Maine, doing business as MetroCast Communications. At the same time, the industry evolved from its cable roots, with MetroCast deploying High Speed Internet for the first time. Soon after, in 2001, MetroCast launched a suite of Business-Class Video, Internet and Phone products, establishing MetroCast Business Services.
Harron soon expanded, acquiring operations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia (2004), Connecticut (2006) and Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina (2008). In 2006 James J. Bruder, Jr., grandson of Paul F. Harron, Sr., was named Chairman and CEO of Harron Communications, L.P., ushering in a new era of growth and technological innovation for the company. All of these operations were sold between 2014 and 2018.
After nearly a century in communications, Harron not only has been a participant in each technology era, but also has anticipated change and envisioned how technological innovation can meet the needs of consumers and the communities it serves.