|Binghamton, New York|
|Branding||WBNG 12 (general)
Action News (newscasts)
Binghamton CW 11
|Slogan||Your News Leader
TV Now (on DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 7 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
12.2 The CW
|Owner||Granite Broadcasting Corporation
(sale to Quincy Newspapers pending)
(WBNG License, Inc.)
|First air date||December 1, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||We're BiNGhamton|
|Sister station(s)||WTVH, WKBW-TV|
|Former callsigns||WNBF-TV (1949-1973)|
|Former channel number(s)||12 (analog, 1949-2009)|
|Former affiliations||DuMont (1949-1955)
|Transmitter power||20.4 kW|
WBNG-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Eastern Twin Tiers of Southern Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Licensed to Binghamton, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 7 (or virtual channel 12.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Ingraham Hill Road southwest of downtown. The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 2 and in high definition on digital channel 1209.
Owned by the Granite Broadcasting Corporation, WBNG has studios on Columbia Drive in Johnson City. Syndicated programming on the station includes Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, Dr. Phil, and The Rachael Ray Show among others. It serves as the default CBS affiliate for most of Otsego County in the Utica market (sister station WTVH in Syracuse is the de-facto CBS outlet for most of that DMA, however).
|12.1||1080i||16:9||WBNG-DT||Main WBNG-TV programming / CBS|
|12.2||720p||Binghamton CW 11|
The station launched on December 1, 1949 as WNBF-TV, originally owned by Clark Associates Inc. along with WNBF radio (1290 AM and 98.1 FM, now WHWK). At its launch, WNBF-TV carried programs from all four American television networks at the time (CBS, DuMont, NBC, and ABC). For many of its early years, WNBF-TV was the only TV station available to viewers in the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania market, as set owners pointed their roof-top antennas towards north towards Binghamton. The station subsequently lost its affiliations with DuMont in 1956 after the network's collapse, and the others when new UHF stations arrived in town: NBC to WINR-TV (channel 40, now WICZ-TV) in 1957 and ABC to WBJA-TV (channel 34, now WIVT) in 1962.
Philadelphia-based Triangle Publications, owner of various broadcasting and newspaper properties, purchased the WNBF stations in 1955. As part of Triangle's exit from broadcasting in 1972, WNBF-AM-FM-TV and sister stations in Altoona and Lancaster, both Pennsylvania, were sold to Gateway Communications. Gateway was a new broadcasting concern majority-owned by the publishers of the Bergen Record of Hackensack, New Jersey and headed by George Koehler, president of Triangle's broadcast division. As a condition of the purchase, Gateway sold the WNBF radio stations to Des Moines-based Stoner Broadcasting and retained channel 12, which was renamed to its current call sign, WBNG-TV.
In 2000, Gateway was purchased by SJL Broadcasting which reduced staff from 100 to 58 over five years to fit the aggressive SJL automation model. In 2002, WBNG's digital signal on VHF channel 7 signed-on. In April 2006, it was announced the Granite Broadcast Corporation made a deal to acquire the station from Television Station Group License Subsidiary, LLC (successor to SJL and a subsidiary of Alta Communications) for $45 million. The required money was funded by a new senior credit facility created after the previously announced sales of Detroit's WMYD and San Francisco's KBWB fell apart. Granite closed on its purchase of WBNG on July 26, 2006.
As part of the transaction, Les Vann (formerly President and General Manager of CBS affiliate WTVH in Syracuse) was promoted to Executive Vice President of the company's Central and Southern New York operations. His duties were regional in nature with responsibilities at both WBNG and WTVH. This station's digital signal began broadcasting network programming in high definition in late-January 2007. Beginning in September 2007, CW affiliate "WBXI" began to be simulcasted on a new second digital subchannel of WBNG and began using the WBNG-DT2 call letters in an official manner.
In December 2008, it was announced a deal was reached between Granite and Time Warner Cable to carry WBNG's high definition feed throughout the Binghamton region. This was the first time HD programming from CBS was available to customers in the Southern Tier of New York State without using an antenna. On January 19, 2009, the station went off-the-air for about thirty minutes around 11 p.m. due to a power failure.
Although the digital transition date was switched from February 19 to June 12, the station still ceased analog transmission and became digital-exclusive on the original date. On June 12, it left channel 12 and moved to channel 7 when the actual conversion was completed. Until April 25, 2009, WBNG served as the default CBS affiliate for the Elmira area. On that date, ABC affiliate WENY-TV signed-on a second digital subchannel offer access to CBS for the first time ever in the market.
For its entire existence, WBNG has held the number one spot in Nielsen ratings by a wide margin. For the most part, WIVT has always been a non-factor in the local newscast race in Binghamton. The ABC outlet has spent most of its history as the third station in what was originally a two-station market (WIVT did not sign-on until November 1962) and virtually gained no benefit when the area's original NBC affiliate WICZ switched to Fox in April 1996. Since the network switch, WICZ has consistently maintained lower viewership than WBNG but remains ranked at a distant, but steady second place.
On Memorial Day in 2009 trying to increase its presence against this CBS outlet, WICZ added a thirty minute newscast seen weeknights at 6 that joined their flagship nightly prime time broadcast at 10. WBNG had already established a weeknight newscast in the prime time slot airing for thirty minutes on its CW second digital subchannel (known as Action News at 10 on Binghamton CW 11). The news at 10 on WBNG-DT2 would eventually be expanded to weekends at some point in time. Like all The CW Plus affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone, the subchannel also airs the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz.
On June 5, 2009, there was a noticeable increase in viewership on WBNG (and to a lesser extent WICZ) when rival WIVT announced there would be a consolidation of news operations with WETM-TV in Elmira after their owner 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 anchor Peter Quinn and News Director Jim Ehmke but also said fifteen other members of the original 28 person staff, including non-news personnel, would remain based in Binghamton.  WIVT eventually began simulcasting some of WETM's newscasts featuring regional weather coverage but not a full news focus of the Eastern Twin Tiers region. 
A separate newscast specifically covering the Binghamton area was subsequently brought back to WIVT on June 28.  Originally a 6 p.m. newscast produced from WETM's studios in Elmira, it now airs at 6 and 11 p.m. originating from WIVT's Binghamton studios. The news and sports segments are recorded earlier in the day (usually by 5 o'clock) and feature locally-based photojournalists. WETM provides local weather forecasts that are regional in nature and are also taped in advance. WIVT has since ceased simulcasting WETM's newscasts in other time slots, making the taped weeknight newscasts the only news programming seen on the station; however, current NBC affiliate WBGH-CA (a sister station to WIVT) still airs WETM's weekend 11 p.m. newscast through a simulcast. On August 28, 2013, WBNG became the market's second television station to upgrade local news production to high definition.
- Your Esso Reporter (1949-1953)
- WNBF-TV News (1953-1957)
- Communications Centre 12 (1957-late 1960s)
- Action News (late 1960s-present)
- Haley Burton - weekdays mornings and weekdays and noon; also weekday reporter
- Brandi Bailey - weeknights at 5; also reporter and "Around the Tiers" segment producer
- Dave Greber - weeknights at 5:30, 10, and 11; also multimedia journalist and "Topic at 10" segment producer
- Candace Chapman - News Director; weeknights at 6
- Erika Mahoney - Saturday mornings and weekend evenings; also multimedia journalist
WBNG StormTracker Weather
- Howard Manges (CBM Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights
- Greg Pollak - meteorologist; weekday mornings and weekdays at noon
- Michelle Costanza - meteorologist; Saturday mornings and weekend evenings also news multimedia journalist
- Brian Schroeder - meteorologist; fill-in
- Travis Eldridge - weeknights at 6, 10, and 11
- Mike Peal - weekend evenings; also sports reporter as well as "Academic All Star" and "Action Sports Spotlight" segments producer
- Christina Rockhill - Creative Services Director; also "On The Road" segment producer
- Perry Russom - fill-in news anchor
- Kelly McCarthy - reporter
- Jillian Marshall
- Matt Porter
- Casey Killian - weekday mornings
- Steve Miller - evenings
- Sam Gaddes - Chief
- Dave Sherry
- Stacy Johnson - Money Talks News
- Glen Wood - Friday Financial Tip
- Casey Krause - Home Gardener
- Jim Hoteling - Home Gardener
- "Triangle spins off last seven stations." Broadcasting, December 6, 1971, pg. 38. 
- "FCC grants approval of $16 million in Triangle transfers." Broadcasting, September 25, 1972, pg. 12. 
- "End of an era." Broadcasting, November 6, 1972, pg. 36. 
- "Quincy Buying Stations From Granite, Malara". TVNewsCheck. February 11, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- "News department at WIVT-WBGH combined with WETM". YNN Binghamton. June 5, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2012.