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Waow wmow 2010.png


Waow dt3.png
Wausau/Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Branding WAOW 9 (general)
Newsline 9 (newscasts)
Central Wisconsin CW
(on DT2)
Slogan Your Trusted Resource
TV Now (on DT2)
Channels Digital: 9 (VHF)
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
Subchannels 9.1 ABC
9.2 The CW
9.3 This TV
Translators see below
Network ABC
Owner Quincy Newspapers
(WAOW-WYOW Television, Inc.)
Founded June 12, 1965
Call letters' meaning WAusau and WKOW
Sister station(s) WXOW/WQOW,
Former channel number(s) 9 (VHF analog, 1965-2009)
29 (UHF digital, 1999-2009)
Former affiliations NFL on Fox (1994-1999)
RTV (2008-February 2009, on DT3)
Transmitter power 63.2 kW
Height 368 m
Class DT
Facility ID 64546
Transmitter coordinates 44°55′14.2″N 89°41′28.7″W / 44.920611°N 89.691306°W / 44.920611; -89.691306
Website waow.com

WAOW is the ABC-affiliated television station for North-Central Wisconsin's Northern Highland. Licensed to Wausau, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 9 from a transmitter on Rib Mountain. The station can also be seen on Charter channel 6 and in high definition on digital channel 609. Owned by Quincy Newspapers, WAOW has studios on Grand Avenue/U.S. 51 in Wausau. Syndicated programming on this outlet includes Entertainment Tonight, Dr.Phil, The View, and Rachael Ray among others.

Digital channels[edit]

Channels Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
9.1 720p 16:9 WAOW DT Main WAOW programming / ABC
9.2 CW Central Wisconsin CW
9.3 480i 4:3 This TV This TV


WAOW is Wausau's second television station having signed-on June 12, 1965 owned by the Shockley Communications Corporation. It served as a satellite station of Madison's WKOW as part of the Wisconsin Television Network which would later include WXOW in La Crosse and WQOW in Eau Claire. This station gradually increased its local programming and content finally severing the electronic umbilical cord with WKOW in the 1980s.

WAOW previously aired Fox's NFL package from 1994 until 1999 after the National Football Conference contract and rights for most Green Bay Packers games moved from CBS (locally WSAW-TV) due to the lack of a local Fox affiliate. When Wittenberg-licensed WFXS-DT came on-the-air in December 1999, it became the area's Fox affiliate.

WYOW's first broadcast to viewers in Northern Wisconsin and the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan was on January 4, 1997 under the ownership of Northwoods Educational Television. Shockley operated the station through a local marketing agreement (LMA) until Shockley successfully purchased it outright in December 1998. On June 25, 2002, WAOW became the first commercial television station in the market to broadcast in high definition and was joined by WYOW on October 24.

WAOW/WYOW converted fully to digital on February 17, 2009 without a nightlight period for WAOW while WYOW converted after a nightlight period.[1] The two stations carried the Retro Television Network (RTV) on a third digital subchannel until March 2009. In the beginning of that month, it was replaced with This TV.[2]

In February and March, WAOW aired WFXS's digital signal temporarily on DT3 while that station ironed out problems with activation of its digital transmitter. In early-September 2009, WFXS added RTV to its third digital subchannel. In mid-February 2009, Quincy announced the purchase of Crandon-based WBIJ, a FamilyNet affiliate, which was sold to Quincy by the widow of the station's founder.

Plans called for the conversion of the station to a second satellite of WAOW to serve the northeastern portion of the market near the Michigan border after completing the station's digital VHF channel 12 transmitter facilities.[3] Quincy has since renamed the station WMOW to conform with the call letters of WAOW and the remainder of Quincy's network of ABC affiliates throughout the state which all carry a "OW" suffix. Quincy put the WMOW on-the-air June 4, 2010.[4]


In addition to its main signal, WAOW operates two satellite stations that provide additional coverage and significant overlap.

WYOW airs the same broadcast schedule as WAOW except for separate legal identifications and local commercial inserts. However, this slightly different feed is seen exclusively over-the-air as only WAOW is offered on Charter systems in the market. WYOW maintains an advertising sales office on West Pine Street/WIS 17/WIS 70 in Eagle River. The station is identified on-air as "Northwoods 34" based on North-Central Wisconsin's namesake as a popular vacation and retirement destination in the Upper Midwestern United States. WYOW also serves the western portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula although the off-air signal reach is limited to areas around Iron River and Watersmeet.

WMOW technically operates as another full-time satellite of WAOW. However, in an unusual arrangement the big three network is actually seen on a second digital subchannel of WMOW. Therefore, this essentially makes its main channel a straight satellite of CW affiliate WAOW-DT2 (through the CW Plus national service). Besides its transmitter, WMOW does not maintain any physical presence locally in Crandon.

Station City of license Channel
First air date ERP HAAT Facility ID Transmitter coordinates Transmitter location
WYOW Eagle River 28 (UHF) /
34 (PSIP)
January 4, 1997 70 kW 163 m 77789 45°46′29.9″N 89°14′56.1″W / 45.774972°N 89.248917°W / 45.774972; -89.248917 (WYOW) in unincorporated Oneida County between Sugar Camp and Three Lakes
WMOW-DT2 Crandon 12.2 (VHF) /
4.2 (PSIP)
June 4, 2010 3.2 kW 119 m 81503 45°34′23.4″N 88°52′58.7″W / 45.573167°N 88.882972°W / 45.573167; -88.882972 east of downtown

News operation[edit]

Nightly news open at 10.

WYOW does not maintain any news-related personnel at its Eagle River office. However, there is a specific section on WAOW's website featuring "Northwoods 34" branded headlines as provided through WAOW's regional coverage. Like all CW Plus stations, WAOW-DT2 airs the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekdays.

In 2000, WAOW entered into a news share agreement with WFXS (owned by Davis Television, LLC). The arrangement resulted in a weeknight prime time newscast to debut on the Fox outlet. The broadcast, currently known as Fox 55 News at 9, can be seen for thirty minutes. Although there is no weekend edition of the show, it was eventually joined by a weekday morning newscast (also produced by WAOW) on April 23, 2012. Known as Fox 55 This Morning, this program airs for an hour (from 7 until 8) on WFXS and offers a local alternative to the national morning programs seen on the big three networks.

Both of the WFXS newscasts maintain a separate music package and graphics scheme from WAOW. The broadcasts originate from the ABC outlet's primary set at its studios but with unique duratrans indicating the Fox-branded shows. On June 19, 2011, WAOW became the market's second television outlet to upgrade local news to high definition level. Included in the change was a redesigned set and updated graphics scheme.[5] At some point in 2012, WFXS made the transition to HD newscasts.


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Channel 9.3 to temporarily host FOX 55 again - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports". WAOW. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 
  3. ^ "Quincy Takes WBIJ for $1.55 Million". TelevisionBroadcast.com. February 13, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2009. 
  4. ^ "WMOW On The Air". WAOW—Newsline 9. June 4, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2010. 
  5. ^ "NewsTeam - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports". WAOW. 2013-11-09. Retrieved 2013-12-04. 

External links[edit]