This article presents a transmission electron microscopic (TEM) investigation of the relationship between the magnetic and underlayer grain sizes in CoCrPtTa/CrMo longitudinal magnetic recording media. A great deal of effort has been expended on decreasing the underlayer grain size in order to decrease that of the magnetic layer. However, our results show that the two grain sizes may not always correlate. When the underlayer (CrMo) grains are sufficiently small, the magnetic layer (CoCrPtTa) grain size does not necessarily decrease with further underlayer grain size reduction. By carefully controlling the processing conditions, CrMo grain sizes were made to vary from 16nm down to 10nm. However, the corresponding CoCrPtTa grain sizes remained nearly the same. As the underlayer grain size decreased, the ratio of magnetic to underlayer grain size increased from 0.9 to 1.4.