|Binghamton, New York
|Branding||NBC 5 (general)
NewsChannel 34 (newscasts)
|Channels||Analog: 20 (UHF)
Digital: WIVT-DT 34.2 (UHF)
Virtual: 34.2 (PSIP)
|Owner||Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||September 10, 1995|
|Call letters' meaning||BinGHamton|
|Sister station(s)||WIVT, WETM-TV,
|Former callsigns||W08DL (1995-1997)
|Former channel number(s)||8 (VHF, 1995-2001)|
|Transmitter power||0.161 kW
345 kW (WIVT-DT2)
278 m (WIVT-DT2)
|Public license information:||Profile
WBGH-CA is the Class A, NBC-affiliated television station for the Eastern Twin Tiers of Southern Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Licensed to Binghamton, it broadcasts a low-powered analog signal on UHF channel 20 from a transmitter at its studios on Ingraham Hill Road southwest of downtown. The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 5 (hence the NBC 5 branding) and in full high definition on digital channel 1203.
Owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, WBGH is sister to ABC affiliate WIVT and the two outlets share studios. Syndicated programing on WBGH includes The Dr. Oz Show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, The Doctors, and Family Feud among others. It can be seen in 720p high definition over-the-air on WIVT's second digital subchannel (UHF channel 34.2) from the same transmitter.
The station began broadcasting on September 10, 1995. It aired an analog signal on VHF channel 8 with the call sign W08DL. The sign-on occurred after the market's long time NBC affiliate WICZ-TV switched to Fox in wake of similar affiliation switches in other parts of the country. W08DL was initially a semi-satellite of WETM in Elmira owned by Smith Broadcasting. In 1997, this station upgraded to low-powered status and changed its calls to WBGH-LP. As time went on, it largely separated from the WETM partial simulcast but continued to air that station's newscasts.
In 2000, Smith Broadcasting sold the station (along with Watertown's ABC affiliate WWTI) to the Ackerley Group of Seattle, Washington which also entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) to take over operations of WETM. With this sale, WBGH's last ties with WETM were severed as Ackerley already owned WIVT. WBGH moved its operations into WIVT's studios on Ingraham Hill south of Binghamton.
Shortly after, it upgraded to Class A status, moved to UHF channel 20 (to accommodate WICZ's digital signal on channel 8), and changed call letters to WBGH-CA. Ackerley was bought out by Clear Channel Communications in 2002. On April 20, 2007, the company entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Providence Equity Partners with the group deal closing on March 14, 2008.
It is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a low-powered Class A analog station and does not provide its own digital over-the-air transmission. However, WIVT's second digital subchannel carries WBGH in 720p high definition as of February 9, 2010. The official plan is to broadcast WBGH in high definition in the future with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) roll-out plan for low-power digital stations.
Newport announced on July 19, 2012 that it would sell twelve of its stations, including WBGH and WIVT, to Nexstar. The sale was finalized on December 3. On September 16, 2013, it was announced that Mission Broadcasting would acquire WICZ and low-powered MyNetworkTV affiliate WBPN-LP from the Stainless Broadcasting Company. Upon the deal's completion, the stations' operations will be taken over by Nexstar making them sisters to WBGH and WIVT.
Throughout its entire existence, WBGH has never had its own news operation. In the late-1990s as a semi-satellite of WETM, it simulcast that station's local newscasts. After severing its ties with that outlet in 2000, WIVT's weeknight newscasts began to be simulcast on WBGH. The early weeknight shows (from 5 to 6:30) eventually began originating from secondary studios in the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City featuring unique segments including exclusive musical performances.
On June 5, 2009, WBGH and WIVT announced there would be a consolidation of news operations with WETM after Newport Television made across the board cuts. WBNG reported all but two people from the news staff and all production personnel for the news department would be terminated. The Press & Sun-Bulletin later identified the two personnel remaining as News Director Jim Ehmke and news anchor Peter Quinn but also said fifteen other members of the original 28 person staff, including non-news personnel, would remain based in Binghamton. The two stations would continue to be locally operated and maintain engineer staff at the studios on Ingraham Hill Road. WBGH and WIVT then began simulcasting WETM's newscasts with only regional weather coverage of the Eastern Twin Tiers.
A separate newscast specifically focusing on the Binghamton area was brought back to WBGH and WIVT on June 28, 2009 through a simulcast on both stations. This effort originally consisted of a 6 p.m. weeknight newscast entirely produced from WETM's studios in Elmira. Eventually, production of the news and sports portions of the broadcast shifted back to the Ingraham Hill Road facility. These segments are recorded earlier in the day (usually by 5 o'clock) and feature locally-based photojournalists in Binghamton. A repeat of the 6 o'clock newscast at 11 was subsequently added to the schedules of WBGH and WIVT. During the broadcast, WSYR in Syracuse provides a local weather forecast (featuring rotating meteorologists) that is also recorded in advance. Soon after adding the hyper-local Binghamton news, WIVT ceased simulcasting WETM's newscasts making the taped weeknight newscast the only local news shown on the station. However, WBGH continued to air WETM's weekend 11 p.m. newscast until some point in late-2013.
- "Newport Sells 22 Station For $1 Billion". TVNewsCheck. July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- Malone, Michael (September 16, 2013). "Nexstar to Acquire Citadel's Iowa Stations for $88 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- "News department at WIVT-WBGH combined with WETM". YNN Binghamton. June 5, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2012.