|Branding||WAVE 3 (general)
WAVE 3 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||WAVE 3 News|
|Channels||Digital: 47 (UHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
3.2 This TV
3.3 Bounce TV
|Owner||Raycom Media, Inc.
(WAVE License Subsidiary, LLC)
|First air date||November 24, 1948|
|Call letters' meaning||WAVE = The word wave (as in a radio wave)|
|Former callsigns||WAVE-TV (1948–1987)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
5 (VHF, 1948-1953)
3 (VHF, 1953-2009)
|Former affiliations||All secondary:
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
WAVE is the NBC-affiliated television station in Louisville, Kentucky. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 47 (virtual channel 3.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in New Albany, Indiana (alongside the digital transmitter of CBS affiliate WLKY-TV). Owned by Raycom Media, WAVE maintains studios on South Floyd Street in downtown Louisville. Syndicated programming seen on WAVE includes 'The Queen Latifah Show, The Dr. Oz Show, America Now, Extra, Right This Minute.
- 1 Digital television
- 2 History
- 3 News operation
- 4 Out-of-market coverage
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|3.1||1080i||16:9||WAVE 3 HD||Main WAVE 3 programming / NBC|
|3.2||480i||4:3||WAVE MV||This TV|
WAVE discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 3, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 47. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 3.
WAVE-TV began broadcasting on November 24, 1948, originally on channel 5 using 24,100 watts of power. It was Kentucky's first television station and the 41st in the United States. It was owned by the Norton family, who had begun WAVE radio (970 kHz, now WGTK) in 1932. At first, it carried programming from all four networks, but has always been a primary NBC affiliate owing to its radio sister's long affiliation with NBC Radio.
WAVE-TV lost CBS in 1950 when WHAS-TV signed on, and lost DuMont programming in 1956 when that network folded, but shared ABC with WHAS-TV until 1961 (when WLKY-TV signed on). It is the only commercial station in Louisville that has never changed its affiliation. On May 7, 1949, WAVE-TV was the first television station in the United States to present a live telecast of the Kentucky Derby. The station shipped a canned newsreel to NBC for national broadcast. The telecast was the first use of Zoomar lenses in a television sports broadcast.
In 1953, WAVE-TV moved to channel 3 due to interference from WLWT in Cincinnati. WAVE-TV made history again in 1954 as it became the first local station to broadcast in color. Viewers were treated to a vivid image of the new NBC Peacock. In 1956, having long since outgrown its original home on East Broadway (the current home for Metro United Way), WAVE-TV moved into its current studio at 725 S. Floyd in Louisville. Three years later it became the first station to transmit live local color in the region and by 1966, it was the only Kentucky station processing its own news film on color. In 1969, WAVE-TV was first to employ a certified meteorologist and operate its own weather-forecasting system.
Over the years, the Nortons acquired three other television stations and two other radio stations, including WFRV-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin (and semi-satellite WJMN-TV in Marquette, Michigan); WMT-AM-FM-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and WFIE-TV in Evansville, Indiana. Eventually, the Norton holdings became known as Orion Broadcasting, headquartered in Louisville with WAVE-AM-TV as the flagship station. The station notably referred to its coverage area as "WAVE Country" until 2000, echoing a popular jingle and image campaign the station launched in the early 1970s. In fact, that very jingle was the image campaign of the news music theme Home Country composed by Al Ham.
Orion merged with The Liberty Corporation in 1981. WAVE-TV became part of Liberty's broadcast arm, Cosmos Broadcasting. WAVE radio was sold off; the WAVE cluster had been grandfathered when the FCC banned common ownership of radio and television stations, but lost its grandfathered protection with the Liberty merger. As the radio station promptly changed its call sign to WAVG, Cosmos was able to drop WAVE's "-TV" suffix in 1987. In 1991, the station unveiled a new broadcast tower in Oldham County, KY. Costing $5 million and standing at 1,739 ft, the tower is the tallest structure in the state. Its height, which is 70% taller than average TV towers, increased WAVE's coverage area and improved the broadcast signal. When Liberty bowed out of the insurance business in 2000, WAVE came directly under the Liberty banner and in August 2005, Liberty announced that it was being purchased by Raycom Media of Montgomery, Alabama. This sale was completed January 31, 2006.
WAVE currently broadcasts a total of 36 hours of local newscasts each week (with six hours on weekdays, three hours on Saturdays and four hours on Sundays). On July 9, 1990, WAVE debuted the first local 5 p.m. newscast. Titled "FirstNews", the newscast was anchored by veteran broadcaster Jackie Hays, the longest-serving female anchor ever at WAVE. She and co-anchor Don Shroeder were voted "Best TV news Anchor Team" and the station was chosen as "Best Source for Local News" by readers of Louisville Magazine.
As of 2008[update], chief meteorologist Tom Wills holds the record as the station's longest-tenured on-air personality, having forecast the weather at WAVE since 1969. Wills retired in July 2009 after 40 years. Wills said he would be a vacation fill-in and may return to the University of Louisville to teach meteorology as he did for several years. The station honored him by having a special two-hour edition of its local talk show "WAVE 3 Listens Live". His family and co-workers were the guests.
Meteorologist John Belski (now with WLKY as a severe weather specialist), who left the station in September 2010, received numerous awards during his 20+ years at WAVE, including being named "Best Of Louisville" by the readers of Louisville Magazine for a number of years and was named "Best of Kentucky" by the readers of Kentucky Monthly magazine. Belski also received LEO's Readers' Choice Award. He received a "Best of the Best" award from Louisville Magazine. This award is given to people and organizations that have won the "Best of Louisville" award more than 10 times. He anchored Emmy Award-winning severe weather coverage. John was also presented the Mark Trail Award for public awareness of NOAA weather radios. This prestigious national award was presented on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Sports Director Kent Taylor was voted Kentucky TV Sportscaster of the Year by the Associated Press in 2008, 2009 and 2012.
On June 30, 2008, WAVE became the first television station in the Louisville market to broadcast its local news in high definition. Currently, although all of Louisville's major news stations broadcast local news in 16:9 widescreen, WAVE is one of the two (along with WDRB) to broadcast local news at least partially in HD. WAVE-TV's live local field video, however, is still in widescreen standard definition.
In March 2011, WAVE and WHAS-TV began sharing a news helicopter supplied by St. Louis-based Helicopters Inc., through a Local News Service agreement. The starboard side of the copter displays "Sky 11" (WHAS-TV) graphics, while the port side carries the "Air 3" (WAVE) logo. The cost-cutting agreement allows the two stations to share air time and video feeds, especially in the event of breaking news, while also partitioning time for individual use of the chopper.
Following a disappointing November 2011 sweeps period, WAVE moved its midday newscast from noon to 11 a.m. With the change, WAVE is the only station in the market with a newscast in the 11 a.m. timeslot. The station repeats the newscast at 1 p.m. on Ion Television affiliate WBNA (Channel 21), which is seen in 4:3 standard definition due to that station only being able to pass through network programs in high definition. In 2013, WAVE began re-running its 7 and 7:30 p.m. newscasts on its 3.3 subcarrier at 8 p.m.
WAVE-TV was the ratings leader in Louisville for over 20 years before WHAS-TV overtook it in the 1970s. It has spent most of the last four decades as runner-up to WHAS-TV, though in recent years it has had to fend off a spirited challenge from WLKY-TV. Louisville is also one of the few markets in the country where all four of the major network affiliated stations have roughly equal ratings in recent years, although WLKY-TV pulled ahead of the rest in the May 2011 Nielsen ratings period.
- Daily News (1950s)
- WAVE News Report (1960s–1974)
- WAVE Newswatch (1974–1983)
- WAVE-TV News (1983–1987)
- WAVE 3 News (1987–present)
- "WAVE... Part of It All" (early 1970s)
- "WAVE Country and You" (mid 1970s-early 1980s)
- "The Spirit of WAVE Country" (1987–2000; variant: "Working in the Spirit of WAVE Country")
- "WAVE 3, Part of Your Life!" (1990)
- "Dedicated. Determined. Dependable." (1991–1992; news slogan, also used by WAGA-TV in Atlanta)
- "Where Coverage Comes First" (1992–1997; news slogan)
- "WAVE Country's News Leader" (1997–2000; news slogan)
- "Coverage. Community. Commitment." (2000–2006)
- "Investigating the Problem. Getting Results." (2006–2010)
- "Working for You" (2010–2012)
- "WAVE 3 News" (2013–Present)
- Scott Adkins - Saturday mornings on WAVE 3 News Sunrise (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
- Maira Ansari - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
- John Boel - weekday mornings on WAVE 3 News Sunrise (4:30-7:00 on WAVE and 7:00-8:00 a.m. on WAVE-DT2/DT3 This TV/Bounce TV); also investigative reporter
- Shannon Cogan - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Dawne Gee - weeknights at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
- Lauren Jones - weekday mornings on WAVE 3 News Sunrise (4:30-7:00 on WAVE and 7:00-8:00 a.m. on WAVE-DT2/DT3 This TV/Bounce TV)
- Katherine Kington - Sunday mornings on WAVE 3 News Sunrise (5:00-8:00 a.m.)
- Connie Leonard - weeknights at 7:00 p.m.; also 11:00 p.m. investigative reporter
- Janelle MacDonald - weeknights at 5:30 and 7:00 p.m.
- Scott Reynolds - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Chris McGill - weekdays at 11:00 a.m.
WAVE 3 StormCenter Weather Team
- Christie Dutton (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on WAVE 3 Sunrise (4:30–7:00 on WAVE 3 News and 7:00-8:00 a.m. on WAVE-DT2/DT3 This TV/Bounce TV)
- Brian Goode (NWA Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weeknights at 7:00 and 7:30 and Sundays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Kevin Harned (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Ryan Hoke - meteorologist; weekend mornings on WAVE 3 News Sunrise (5:00–7:00 weekends and 7:00–8:00 a.m. Sundays)
- Lauren Jones (NWA Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekdays at 11:00 a.m.
- Andy Weingarten (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Mike Hartnett - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also sports reporter
- Kendrick Haskins - sports anchor; Sundays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m., also sports reporter
- Kent Taylor - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Brian Winner - sports reporter and videographer
- Katie Bauer - general assignment reporter
- Eric Flack - WAVE 3 News Troubleshooter
- Sherrel Hubbard - general assignment reporter
- Cedra Mayfield - weekday mornings on WAVE 3 Sunrise (4:30-7:00 on WAVE and 7:00-8:00 a.m. on WAVE-DT2/DT3 This TV/Bounce TV)
- Chris McGill - weekday morning traffic reporter on WAVE 3 Sunrise (4:30–7:00 on WAVE and 7:00-8:00 a.m. on WAVE-DT2/DT3 This TV/Bounce TV); also general assignment reporter
- Theo Keith - general assignment reporter
Local program hosts
- John Ramsey - Host of WAVE 3 Listens at 12:30 p.m. (Mondays-Thursdays)
- Charla Young - Host of Power to Change at 12:30 p.m. (Fridays)
Notable former on-air staff
- Allen Denton - anchor (later with KNTV/San Jose, now with KUSI-TV/San Diego)
- Craig Edwards - meteorologist (now with WZTV/Nashville)
- Hugh Finn - anchor
- Emily Gimmel - teen feature reporter
- Steve Kmetko - anchor (1981-1982; later an E! host)
- John Belski - meteorologist (retired in 2010 while remaining a blogger until 2013, before joining WLKY-TV as an occasional on-air meteorologist and severe weather specialist).
- Tom Wills - meteorologist (retired, 1969-2009)
WAVE (along with two other Louisville TV stations) are carried on Frankfort cable, which is in the Lexington TV market, and has carried stations from both markets for decades. WAVE is also available on cable in the eastern portion of the Evansville market (Dubois and Perry counties) and in the southern portion of the Indianapolis (Lawrence county) and Cincinnati (Ripley and Switzerland counties in Indiana, Owen county in Kentucky) TV markets, plus the northern portion of the small Bowling Green TV market (Hart county).
- "The DuMont Television Network: Appendix Nine". 2008-03-23. Archived from the original on 2008-03-23. Retrieved 2011-12-06.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WAVE
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Kleber, John E. Encyclopedia of Louisville. (University Press of Kentucky). pg.872.
- About Us
- "Emily Gimmel bio". WKYT-TV. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- "Steve Kmetko's resume". Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- WAVE3.com - Official WAVE-TV Website
- Louisville.ThisTV.com - Official This TV Louisville Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WAVE
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WAVE-TV