||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (March 2014)|
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|Green Bay, Wisconsin
|Branding||WBAY-TV 2 (general)
Action 2 News HD (newscasts)
|Slogan||Coverage You Can Count On|
|Channels||Digital: 23 (UHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
2.2 Stormcenter 2 24/7
2.3 Live Well Network
Local weather (DT2)
Live Well Network (DT3)
(Young Broadcasting Of Green Bay, Inc.)
|First air date||March 17, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||W Green BAY|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
2 (VHF, 1953–2009)
|Former affiliations||CBS (1953–1992)
Retro Television Network (2008–2012)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
WBAY-TV, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 23), is an ABC-affiliated television station located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, United States. The station is owned by Media General. The station's studios are located on South Jefferson Street in downtown Green Bay, and its transmitter is located in Ledgeview (shared with the transmitters of Wisconsin Public Television station WPNE-TV and Wisconsin Public Radio station WPNE (89.3 FM)).
- 1 History
- 2 Digital television
- 3 Programming
- 4 News operation
- 5 References
- 6 External links
WBAY-TV first signed on the air on March 17, 1953 as the second television station in Wisconsin, after WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee. It was originally owned by the Norbertine Order of Priests, whose abbey is in nearby De Pere. The priests operate St. Norbert College in De Pere, and already operated WBAY radio (1360 AM, now WTAQ) in Green Bay and WHBY radio in Appleton. Ss the only station in its market, WBAY originally carried programming from all four networks of the day – channel 2 was a primary CBS affiliate with secondary affiliations with NBC, ABC and DuMont.
NBC moved to Marinette's WMBV-TV (channel 11, now WLUK-TV) when it signed on in 1954, with WNAM-TV (channel 5, now WFRV-TV) from Neenah taking the ABC affiliation upon its 1955 debut. With the shutdown of DuMont in 1956, WBAY was left as an exclusive CBS affiliate, and remained the only station licensed to Green Bay until the 1959 relocation of WLUK to the city. Channel 2 upgraded its transmitter and began broadcasting network programming in color around 1959; locally produced programs were broadcast in color starting in 1966.
The station's studios in downtown Green Bay were built in 1924 as a former Knights of Columbus clubhouse and during the Great Depression was turned into a private Roman Catholic high school when the Norbertines took over the building. The former gymnasium/auditorium is now called the WBAY Auditorium and is used as the studio for the station's Cerebral Palsy Telethon. It served as the main studio until 1954 when an addition was built behind the main building. The auditorium has also been used for local theatrical productions. The station's newsroom is in the basement of the building in an area that originally held a swimming pool and bowling alley. The WBAY building also served as the home of the WBAY radio stations (now WTAQ and WIXX), which were purchased by Midwest Communications in the late 1970s, but remained in the building until Midwest built a Green Bay operations facility and company headquarters in 2007. A news-weather sharing agreement was maintained between WBAY-TV and its former radio sisters for many years before it was discontinued in favor of an agreement with WLUK-TV.
As a CBS affiliate, WBAY-TV benefited from that network's coverage of National Football League games, primarily those of the Green Bay Packers. The station carried its first Packers game a few months after signing on, and continued to air most Packers games until 1992 by virtue of CBS holding the rights to the National Football Conference. Packers games drew up to a 90 percent share of the audience during the team's championship era of the 1960s under Vince Lombardi, and the station carried the team's coaches' show The Vince Lombardi Show. The station also originated the team's exhibition game coverage from the 1960s to 2002, with some exceptions. Main anchor Bill Jartz has been Lambeau Field's PA system announcer since the start of the 2005–2006 season. The station has continued to air Monday Night Football Packer games originating from ESPN beginning with the move of MNF to cable in the 2006 season. Those games are the only NFL games seen on WBAY-TV on an annual basis, as WLUK-TV is now the Packers' primary home by virtue of Fox presently holding the rights to the NFC.
After Green Bay's WFRV joined CBS in 1991, channel 2 assumed WFRV/WJMN's ABC affiliation; WBAY management insisted that the change take place on or near the anniversary of its sign-on date, March 17. Since that date fell on a Tuesday in 1992, WFRV and WBAY swapped networks on March 15, which fell on a Sunday.
The station formerly pre-empted the first hour of the ABC lineup (7-8 p.m. Central) on Tuesday evenings during the football season to carry the local program Tuesday Night Touchback (formerly Monday Night Countdown) before it was moved in 2007 because of the departure of Monday Night Football from ABC the popularity of Dancing with the Stars. Programs normally seen during that hour then aired on early Wednesday morning after Jimmy Kimmel Live! during the football season. However in November 2009, this was changed temporarily due to viewer feedback involving the pre-emption of the series premiere of V, which forced that program to be aired after the Saturday 10 p.m. newscast; for the remainder of November, V aired at 7 p.m., while Tuesday Night Touchback pre-empted The Insider and aired before prime time in a truncated half-hour format. TNT has not aired since the 2011-12 season, and the station now airs ABC's Tuesday night's programming.
WBAY was one of seven Young-owned stations whose management and operations were handled by Gray Television as part of a proposed takeover of Young Broadcasting by its secured creditors.) Under Gray management, this made it a semi-sister station in Wisconsin to NBC affiliates WMTV in Madison and WEAU in Eau Claire, and CBS affiliate WSAW in Wausau. The Gray management agreement ended in 2012 as Young returned to some financial stability and the pursuit of a sale partner.
In late January 2010, the station stopped signing off during the early morning hours on Saturdays and Sundays, after a major transmitter problem forced the station to reconsider this mode of operation. WBAY was the last commercial station in the state to start broadcasting 24 hours a day daily. The former off-hours on WBAY's main signal are now taken up by a simulcast of its Stormcenter 2 24/7 subchannel. On November 12, 2013, Young Broadcasting merged with Media General. At that time it became both Media General's first station in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest, and the company's northernmost asset.
The station sponsors the yearly "WBAY Boat Show" and the "WBAY RV and Camping Show", both held in the winter months at the Brown County Arena/Shopko Hall, along with a Boy Scout door-to-door food drive ("Scouting for Food") in the fall.
|Channel||PSIP Short Name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|2.1||WBAY-HD||720p||16:9||Main WBAY-TV programming / ABC|
|2.2||WBAY-WX||480i||4:3||Stormcenter 2 24/7|
|2.3||WBAYLWN||16:9||Live Well Network|
WBAY utilizes its digital channel 23 for multicasting purposes, carrying a 24-hour weather channel and the Live Well Network on two subchannels, in addition to its primary signal on 2.1. Until the November 2010 launch of WGBA's TheCoolTV (currently Me-TV) subchannel, it was the only commercial station in the market to utilize any digital subchannel services. As of July 10, 2013 due to WGBA's conflict with Time Warner Cable which resulted in the removal of WGBA's subchannels, it is the only commercial station in the market with universal cable coverage of its subchannels.
In late June 2010, WBAY-TV became the third commercial station in Green Bay to air syndicated programming (previously only the ABC schedule and ESPN HD broadcasts of Monday Night Football) in high definition. WBAY-TV also began to produce some outside advertising for local businesses and internal station promos in both HD and 16:9 standard definition in mid-2010.
Since July 2013, the station uses the AFD #10 flag to present all programming in letterboxed widescreen for viewers watching on cable television and over-the-air through traditional 4:3 sets. The 2.1 signal had a SAP audio channel added in late September 2013, allowing the station to transmit audio description and Spanish language dubs of ABC network programming.
Stormcenter 2 24/7 (2.2)
WBAY operates Stormcenter 2 24/7, a local weather channel that launched on August 7, 2005, and is carried on digital subchannel 2.2 and on digital cable through Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, and Comcast of Manitowoc. The channel is produced in-house with no outside assistance from any national services and is fully automated using the station's weather computers. The loop usually consists of a weather forecast from one of the station's meteorologists, followed by current conditions, radar, travel weather, an outdoor forecast and almanac data such as temperature averages, sunrise and sunset times and the local pollen count, followed by a loop of WBAY's skycam network (located in Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh and Manitowoc). Seasonal conditions such as snow depth, foliage, and boat and beach weather also appear in the loop in season. Local conditions provided by WeatherBug for several cities appear on the right side of the screen, and the five-day forecast for Green Bay and a weather ticker appear on the bottom.
An upgrade in early March 2012 added a permanent Doppler radar loop display on the bottom right hand corner of the screen that rotates between local and full-state map imagery. After a five-year absence of sponsorship of the station's weather department after an agreement with Cellcom ended, Mills Fleet Farm began to sponsor Stormcenter 2 and 24/7, and its logo was subsequently added to right-hand space of the channel's ticker in early January 2013. The subchannel has also been used for local long-form news coverage.
WBAY went off-the-air for 3½ hours on early Saturday and Sunday mornings, but since February 2008 the subchannel is also streamed through the station's website 24 hours a day. The subchannel has simulcast on 2.1 on early Saturday and Sunday mornings since WBAY converted to a daily 24-hour schedule.
WBAY Live Well Network (2.3)
In January 2008, the station launched a third digital subchannel, WBAY RTV (formerly "RTN 2-3"), which aired a customized schedule of Retro Television Network programming, though with the network's June 2011 restructuring and loss of program rights it carried RTV's default feed with little deviation. Because of the network's technical problems, the subchannel ran a station identification on-screen at all times in case RTV ran into technical difficulties.
On February 6, 2012, RTV was replaced with a 480i letterboxed feed of the Live Well Network as part of a group deal with the network and Young. The 24/7 ID was removed on this date. The subchannel is carried by the same systems as Stormcenter 2 24/7. The station took heavy viewer criticism for replacing the network despite RTV having lost rights to spotlight programming in June 2011, and the near removal of the network from most of the Midwest due to other networks such as Antenna TV and Me-TV making carriage deals with former RTV stations. However, most transitions from RTV have involved Antenna TV and Me-TV, or a major netlet without any issues.
In October 2013, Channel 2.3 was converted into a 16:9 widescreen presentation to fill the entire screen, as WBAY began to carry other college football games offered by ABC and ESPN on Saturday afternoons over 2.3, in addition to the main game offered by the network on 2.1, along with serving as the overflow channel for NBA on ABC coverage.
WBAY-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, 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 23. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2.
WBAY holds the record for the longest running telethon on the same channel. The Cerebral Palsy Telethon has been broadcast on the station since 1954. It airs for 22 hours from 8 p.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday the first weekend in March. Past hosts of the telethon have included Gloria DeHaven, Raymond Burr, Dennis James (who would later host the United Cerebral Palsy national telethon), and Tom Wopat. The telethon is a local-only effort, using local broadcasters and people to host the broadcast, and the funds raised benefit the local organization, Cerebral Palsy, Inc. Before the sale of the WBAY stations by the Norbertine Fathers, the telethon was simulcast over WBAY (AM) (later WGEE, now WTAQ) and WBAY-FM (now WIXX).
WBAY's Cerebal Palsy Telethon both pre-dated and succeeded the national telethon for United Cerebral Palsy, which ran on numerous stations nationwide from the mid-1970s to the late-1990s.
The station has aired a Sunday Mass on Sunday mornings since signing on under the ownership of the Norbertine Fathers. After the sale of the station from them, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay began producing the Mass at WBAY's studio. The Diocese provided a presider, choir, liturgical coordinator, and producer while WBAY provided camera operators, a technical director and audio technician.
On December 27, 2009, the Diocese of Green Bay ended local production of the Mass and instead contracted with the the Passionist Spiritual Center to carry its nationally-syndicated Mass from Riverhead, New York.
|This section requires expansion with: further information on the history of WBAY's news department. (November 2010)|
WBAY-TV broadcasts 36 hours of locally produced newscasts each week,with six hours on weekdays and three hours each on Saturdays and Sundays, along with a half-hour sports-focused extension of the Sunday late news known as Sunday Sports Night: Cover 2. The station exchanges news stories with Hearst Television's WISN-TV in Milwaukee, in addition to airing that station's Wisconsin-focused Sunday morning talk show, UpFront with Mike Gousha. Other sharing partners are Quincy Newspapers' slate of ABC stations throughout the western part of the state, and Hubbard Broadcasting's ABC stations in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Duluth, Minnesota.
WBAY's news operation is branded under the Action News title as Action 2 News, and has used the title since the mid-1980s, predating its ABC affiliation. The station rarely refreshes its graphical imaging, having only done so three times since 1995, but has maintained long-term dominance in the local ratings for most of its history. Until September 2012, when WFRV debuted its 4 p.m. newscast, it was the station one in the market to have a late afternoon newscast in that time slot. In late 2011, the station released mobile applications for iOS and Android devices, followed by a weather app for both platforms in February 2013.
Because the station has maintained its noon newscast, WBAY-TV is among the few ABC affiliates that carry The Chew on a one-day delay (three days with the Friday edition) at 11 a.m. weekdays.
The station began the process of upgrading to full HD production with a control room upgrade in the second quarter of 2011, a process hamstrung by the Young bankruptcy until Gray began operating the company's stations. The news department's conversion began on October 15 when construction began on a new set and the relocation of the older set to another part of the building; the new set was completed by mid-December after a training/rehearsal period, using a common set design and graphics package that is used by all of the New Young stations. On December 14, 2011, WBAY became the second commercial station in the Green Bay market to broadcast its local newscasts in HD. Stormcenter 2 24/7 was switched over on March 12, 2012 to a new presentation format with the current graphics package.
- Up To The Minute News (1950s)
- Information 30/Update 30 (1960s–1971)
- TV-2 News (1971–1977)
- TV-2 Action News (1977–1987)
- Action 2 News (1987–2011)
- Action 2 News HD (2011–present)
- "2 Power" (late 1970s–early 1980s)
- "At WBAY-TV, When You're Involved, We're Involved." (early 1980s)
- "Making a Difference" (1993–2000; general slogan)
- "Coverage You Can Count On" (1996–present)
- Jeff Alexander - weekdays at 4:00 p.m.; also weekday reporter
- Kathryn Bracho - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.); also health reporter
- Tammy Elliott - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Bill Jartz - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Cami Rapson - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Kevin Rompa - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Matt Smith - weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 and 8:00-9:00 a.m.); also weekday reporter
- Sarah Thomsen - weekdays at 4:00 p.m.; also reporter
- Bao Vang - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.; also weekday reporter
- StormCenter 2 HD
- George Graphos (NWA Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Steve Beylon (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and noon
- Rebecca Schuld (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 and 8:00-9:00 a.m.); also weekday fill-in
- Brad Spakowitz (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekdays at 4:00, Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.
- Action 2 Sports HD
- Chris Roth - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Dave Schroeder - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10:00 p.m.
- Tricia Whitaker - sports anchor; fill-in, also Packers field reporter
- Kristyn Allen - general assignment reporter
- Nikki Junewicz - general assignment reporter
- Emily Matesic - Fox River Valley bureau chief
- Patrick Nelson - general assignment reporter
- Tony Ullrich - general assignment reporter
- Jennifer Ann Wilson - general assignment reporter
- Jason Zimmerman - Fox River Valley reporter
Notable former on-air staff
- Rob Fowler - meteorologist (1985-1987; now at WCBD in Charleston, South Carolina)
- Orion Samuelson - farm director (1950s, now at WGN in Chicago)
- Ben Tracy - reporter (now with CBS News)
- Michelle Tuzee (now at KABC-TV in Los Angeles)
- "Media General, Young Now Officially One". TVNewsCheck. November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WBAY
- "WBAY-TV Joins the Live Well Network". Station press release. 27 January 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Diocese will no longer produce TV Masses; Televised Masses will now be produced by Passionist Communications". The Compass, Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay. 16 December 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
- "WBAY's switch to HD to be elaborate," from Green Bay Press-Gazette, 5/2/2011
- "Channel 5 launches HD: Behind the scenes," from WFRV.com, 6/23/2011
- 1988 WBAY news opening
- WBAY-TV HD Open
- WBAY > Biographies
- "Rob Fowler". Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Orion Samuelson biography". Radio Hall of Fame. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Ben Tracy biography". CBS News. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Michelle Tuzee biography". KABC-TV. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- WBAY.com Homepage
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WBAY-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WBAY-TV