- This article is about WBKB-TV in Alpena, Michigan. For the stations in Chicago, Illinois that formerly used the call sign, see WBBM-TV and WLS-TV.
|Branding||WBKB 11.1 CBS
WBKB 11.2 Fox & MNT
WBKB 11.3 ABC
|Slogan||The News That
|Channels||Digital: 11 (VHF)
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
|Owner||Marks Radio Group
(Thunder Bay Broadcasting Corporation)
|First air date||September 22, 1975|
|Sister station(s)||WBUP, WBKP|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
11 (VHF, 1975-2009)
|Transmitter power||20 kW|
WBKB-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Northern Lower Peninsula of Northeastern Michigan. Licensed to Alpena, the station broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 11 from a transmitter in Alcona County (near M-72) south of Hubbard Lake. The station can also be seen on Charter channel 10 and in high definition on digital channel 781. Owned by the Marks Radio Group, WBKB has studios on North Bagley Street in Alpena. WBKB is the only commercial television station in one of the smallest media markets in the United States.
|11.1||1080i||16:9||Main WBKB-TV programming / CBS|
|11.2||480i||4:3||WBKB 11.2 Fox & MyNetworkTV|
|11.3||WBKB 11.3 ABC|
The station first went on-the-air September 22, 1975 as the first of two stations in Alpena to sign-on that year (the other being WCMU-TV satellite WCML that launched in November). The Alpena market consists of Alpena and Alcona Counties, and is the third smallest media market in the United States. It is also served by portions of the Northern Michigan (Traverse City, Cadillac, and Sault Ste. Marie) as well as the Mid-Michigan (Bay City, Saginaw, Midland, and Flint) markets. The station originally aired a digital signal on VHF channel 13 from a transmitter at the station's studios.
After the switch to digital-only broadcasting on June 12, 2009, it moved its digital signal to channel 11. WBKB signed-on a new second digital subchannel to serve as the area's primary Fox and secondary MyNetworkTV affiliate in November 2009. Until this point, Cadillac's WFQX-TV had been serving as the default Fox affiliate. That station actually operated a low-powered repeater in Alpena, W31BO channel 31, for a period of time. In addition, WFQX's full-powered satellite WFUP in Vanderbilt served areas around greater Alpena although not in the city proper.
Despite the existence of WBKB-DT2, Charter systems still carry WFQX in standard and high definition to this day. On January 14, 2013, WBKB added a new third digital subchannel to be the area's ABC affiliate. Until this point, WJRT-TV in Flint had been serving as the market's default affiliate on Charter with standard and high definition feeds.   
Legacy of WBKB callsign
The WBKB call letters originally belonged (from 1946 until 1953) to channel 4 in Chicago. That station was owned by the Balaban and Katz Broadcasting subsidiary of Paramount Pictures and is now CBS owned-and-operated affiliate WBBM-TV. WBKB then transferred to Chicago's ABC owned-and-operated station on channel 7 from 1953 to 1968 until it was renamed WLS-TV.
Shortly after Stephan Marks acquired WBKB, newscasts known as UGN News (with "UGN" meaning "Upper Great <Lakes> Network") began to be simulcasted with WBKP/WBUP in Marquette. Likewise, the programs featured regional news and weather coverage from the entire Upper and Northern Lower Peninsulas. In 2006, UGN News was re-focused to the Upper Peninsula and only originated from WBKP/WBUP. Currently, WBKB only airs local news weeknights at 6 and every night at 11. All on-air personnel at the station perform "one-man-band" journalism duties such as shooting video, editing coverage, and producing the newscasts. With the addition of ABC programming to its third digital subchannel, WBKB will finally launch its first ever weekday morning show in February. The nightly newscasts will be simulcasted on WBKB's CBS and ABC channels.