WCPO-TV

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WCPO-TV
WCPO-TV2013.png
Cincinnati, Ohio
United States
Branding 9 On Your Side
Slogan 9 On Your Side
Channels Digital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
Subchannels 9.1 ABC
9.2 Weather Tracker
9.3 Live Well Network
Affiliations ABC
Owner The E.W. Scripps Company
(Scripps Media, Inc.)
First air date July 26, 1949; 64 years ago (1949-07-26)
Call letters' meaning Cincinnati POst
(a now defunct Scripps newspaper)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
7 (VHF, 1949–1952)
9 (VHF, 1952–2009)
Digital:
10 (VHF, 1999–2010)
Former affiliations Primary:
ABC (1949-1961)
CBS (1961–1996)
Secondary:
DuMont (1949-1955)
Transmitter power 880 kW
Height 330 m
Facility ID 59438
Transmitter coordinates 39°7′30″N 84°29′56″W / 39.12500°N 84.49889°W / 39.12500; -84.49889
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.wcpo.com/

WCPO-TV, virtual channel 9 (UHF digital channel 22), is an ABC-affiliated television station located in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. It is the flagship television station of the E. W. Scripps Company. WCPO's studios are located in the Mount Adams neighborhood of Cincinnati, just outside of Eden Park; its transmitter is located along Symmes Street, just south of East McMillan Street in Cincinnati.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

WCPO station identification in 1991, while the station was a CBS affiliate.

The station first signed on the air at noon on July 26, 1949,[1] originally operating on VHF channel 7; it was Cincinnati's third television station. The call letters came from the Cincinnati Post, who also owned WCPO radio (1230 AM, now WDBZ and 105.1 FM, now WUBE).

The station was originally a primary ABC affiliate and a secondary DuMont Television Network affiliate. With DuMont's demise in 1956, WCPO was left with just ABC until it swapped affiliations with WKRC-TV (channel 12) in 1961, becoming a CBS affiliate.[2] This deal came because WKRC-TV's owner, Taft Broadcasting, had developed very good relations with ABC. Following the release of the FCC's Sixth Report and Order in 1952, all of Cincinnati's VHF stations changed channel positions.[3] WCPO was reassigned to channel 9, as the previous channel 7 allocation was shifted north to Dayton and later given to WHIO-TV.

1980 hostage situation[edit]

On the early morning of October 15, 1980, WCPO and most of its news staff became part of a major news story when James Hoskins, armed with a 9mm J&R M68 semi-automatic rifle and five revolvers, seized control of WCPO's newsroom.[4] Hoskins held reporter Elaine Green and her cameraman at gunpoint in the parking lot of WCPO's studios. He then forced his way into the newsroom and took seven more hostages.

A self-described terrorist, Hoskins stated in a videotaped interview with Green that he had, among other things, murdered his girlfriend before arriving at the studios. After voicing his displeasure with local government, Hoskins ended by saying that he would let his hostages go, but only after they helped him to barricade himself in their newsroom in anticipation of a shootout with police. Green and the others pleaded with Hoskins to get help, but to no avail. WCPO's news staff ran special newscasts from the parking lot throughout that morning. Hoskins eventually let all the hostages go, and the standoff ended later that morning when Hoskins shot himself dead while on the phone with SWAT negotiators. Green was awarded a Peabody Award for her handling of the crisis. She later married anchor and then-news director Al Schottelkotte. The two remained married until his death in 1996.

Return to ABC[edit]

WCPO's logo ca. 2001-2013.

For three decades, WCPO had been one of CBS' strongest affiliates. However, in 1994, Scripps and ABC announced a long-term affiliation deal, which called for four Scripps-owned stations to switch their affiliation to ABC.[5] WCPO was included in the deal, which ABC agreed to as a condition of keeping its affiliation on Scripps' two largest stations, WXYZ-TV in Detroit and WEWS in Cleveland. Both of those stations had been heavily wooed by CBS, which was about to lose its longtime Detroit and Cleveland affiliates to Fox in a separate affiliation deal with New World Communications. However, while three other Scripps-owned stations included in the deal with ABC switched to the network in December 1994 and January 1995, Scripps had to maintain the CBS affiliation on WCPO for another year-and-a-half as WKRC's affiliation contract with ABC did not run out until June 3, 1996. On that day, the two stations finally reversed the 1961 affiliation swap, with WCPO rejoining ABC and WKRC reuniting with CBS.

Scripps' Cincinnati combination of WCPO and the Cincinnati Post, ended when the newspaper ceased publication at the end of 2007 (its Kentucky edition became an online-only publication simultaneously with the closure of the Cincinnati Post). WCPO is the only major Cincinnati television station that has been under the same ownership since its inception, as well as the only major station in the market to remain owned by a locally-based company. On October 1, 2012, WCPO-TV debuted the new Scripps-mandated standardized graphics and music package ("Inergy" by Stephen Arnold).

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6]
9.1 720p 16:9 WCPO-HD Main WCPO-TV programming / ABC
9.2 480i 4:3 WCPO-SD Weather Tracker
9.3 WCPO-LN Live Well Network

Subchannel 9.2 carries the same 24-hour local weather programming as the Weather Tracker channel on many local cable systems.[7]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WCPO-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 9, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[8] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 10,[9] using PSIP to display WCPO-TV's virtual channel as 9 on digital television receivers.

Since many viewers had reception issues after the digital transition, even with an increase of power just weeks after the transition, the station filed a Petition for Rulemaking to abandon VHF channel 10 and move to UHF channel 22.[10][11] On October 7, 2009, the FCC issued a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" for WCPO-TV, which gives the public 25 days to comment on the proposed channel change.[12] On December 10, 2009, the FCC issued a Report & Order, approving WCPO's move from VHF channel 10 to UHF channel 22.[13] On January 19, 2010, WCPO filed a minor change application for a construction permit for their new allotment. The FCC granted the construction permit on July 9.[14] At 2:05 a.m. on December 8, 2010, WCPO performed a flash-cut, turning off channel 10 and starting digital operations on channel 22. This flash-cut also included a power boost to 910 kW.[15]

Programming[edit]

WCPO produced The Uncle Al Show, a children's show that ran from the early 1950s to the mid-1980s.

News operation[edit]

WCPO-TV presently broadcasts 35½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours on weekdays and four hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). It initially didn't have a distinct news department, not launching one until 1959. Al Schottelkotte, a longtime columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer (which was then owned by Scripps along with the Post) was the station's first news director and anchorman--a post he held until 1986. Within a year, WCPO was the undisputed local news leader in the Cincinnati market, and remained the top-rated station for over 20 years. In recent years, WCPO and WKRC have been battling each other for first place in local news viewership, while NBC affiliate WLWT has been lagging behind in third or fourth place. Typically, WCPO leads the evening news race, while WKRC-TV leads in mornings and late evenings. Even after the affiliation switch in 1996 involving two of the strongest affiliates of their respective networks at the time, both stations have remained among the strongest affiliates of their current respective networks.

Consumer reporter John Matarese's reports have been syndicated to nine other stations, five of which are Scripps-owned, since 2003. However, as of October 12, 2010, Matarese's consumer reports have been aired on eleven other stations, the majority of which are Scripps owned.[16] On March 7, 2007 at 5:45 a.m., weekday morning anchor David Rose was pulled off the air for slurring his words; Rose was fired from the station three weeks later.[17]

WCPO began broadcasting its local newscasts in high-definition on August 19, 2007, beginning with the 6 p.m. newscast. Improvements around the station included upgraded weather graphics that match WHIO-TV's upgraded graphics, new panel displays on set (to replace rear-projection CRT monitors on set and old plasma displays with obvious burn-in) and Scripps purchasing JVC HDPro equipment for WCPO.[18] In the summer of 2009, WCPO upgraded its field cameras to provide high definition video.

In December 2009, WCPO reached an agreement with local Fox affiliate WXIX-TV (channel 19) to pool videographers at press conferences.[19]

Weather coverage[edit]

WCPO's forecasters are chief meteorologist Steve Raleigh, and meteorologists Larry Handley and Sherry Hughes. Cincinnati has always been a battleground for weather coverage, especially since the Montgomery/Blue Ash tornado of 1999. WCPO brands its radars as "9 First Warning Doppler", "VIPIR 9" and "TrueView". Its main radar in Batavia is one of the fastest radars in the nation, updating usually every ten seconds.

On July 1, 2003, WCPO began to operate a second Doppler weather radar out of the Clermont County Airport in Batavia. In combination with the radar located at WCPO's transmission tower site, both radars were named "Ultimate Doppler Radar". The new radar operates at a height of 100 ft. with its base 834 ft. above sea level. Currently, only the Batavia radar is used, even when attenuation at the site leaves a radius around the radar blank; the old radar at the transmission site is no longer used.

In July 2007, WCPO showed its new capability of placing actual satellite images (such as those from Google Earth) on the ground rather than just the green topographical map. This helps the meteorologists at the station by showing exactly where precipitation is occurring in relation to streets and specific locations. The TrueView system allows for local and nationwide radar sweeps. During local sweeps, National Weather Service NEXRAD radars in Wilmington, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky are used. The VIPIR 9 technology also utilizes the NEXRAD radars and 9 First Warning Doppler to create its 3D images.

On-air staff[edit]

1975 TV Guide advertisement for The Al Schottelkotte News.

Current on-air staff[20][edit]

Anchors
  • Clyde Gray - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Kathrine Nero - weekday mornings on Good Morning Tri-State (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
  • Chris Riva - weekday mornings on "Good Morning Tri-State" (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
  • Julie O'Neill - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also I-Team reporter
  • Tanya O'Rourke - weekdays at noon and weeknights at 5:00 and 5:30 p.m.
  • Carol Williams - weeknights at 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • TBA - weekend mornings on Good Morning Tri-State (5:00-7:00 and 8:00-9:00 a.m.); also weekday reporter
9 First Warning Weather
  • Steve Raleigh (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Larry Handley (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on Good Morning Tri-State (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and Monday-Wednesday at noon
  • Sherry Hughes (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; Thursday and Friday at noon and weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • TBA - meteorologist; weekend mornings on Good Morning Tri-State (5:00-7:00 and 8:00-9:00 a.m.)
Sports team
  • Ken Broo - sports anchor; Fridays and Saturdays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • John Popovich - sports director; Sunday through Thursday at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also host and producer of Sports of All Sorts
  • Bryce Anslinger - sports anchor
  • Scott Kyser - fill-in sports anchor
Reporters
  • Bryce Anslinger - multimedia journalist
  • Shannon Kettler - multimedia journalist
  • Jason Law - investigative reporter
  • Adam Marshall - weekday morning traffic reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
  • John Matarese - consumer reporter (also reports for 11 other stations throughout the U.S., including some Scripps-owned stations)
  • Tom McKee - multimedia journalist
  • Anthony Mirones - multimedia journalist
  • Mario Ramirez - multimedia journalist
  • Amy Waddis - multimedia journalist
  • Jay Warren - general assignment reporter
  • Scott Wegener - multimedia journalist
  • Brendan Keefe- I-Team Chief Reporter

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Friedman, Jim (Dec 5, 2007). Cincinnati Television. Arcadia Publishing. p. 20. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  2. ^ "Taft stations switch to ABC-TV." Broadcasting, February 27, 1961, pp. 36. [1]
  3. ^ "TV coverage; RTMA predicts expansion." Broadcasting - Telecasting, May 19, 1952, pg. 78. [2]
  4. ^ McKee, Tom (2005-10-14). "October 15, 1980: Gunman Takes Control Of WCPO-TV". WCPO.com (Scripps Howard Broadcasting Company). Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  5. ^ COMPANY NEWS; TV Stations Shift to ABC, The New York Times, June 17, 1994.
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WCPO
  7. ^ Matarese, John (2009-01-13). "Some Cable Customers Losing Weather Radar Channel". WCPO-TV (Scripps TV Station Group). Retrieved 2009-01-26. 
  8. ^ List of Digital Full-Power Stations
  9. ^ CDBS Print
  10. ^ Petition for Rulemaking by WCPO-TV
  11. ^ Eggerton, John (2009-10-07). "FCC Proposes Changing WCPO Channel Assignment". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  12. ^ "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by WCPO-TV"
  13. ^ "Report & Order by WCPO-TV"
  14. ^ CDBS Print
  15. ^ Channel 9′s Digital Switch Coming Dec. 8, The Cincinnati Enquirer, November 16, 2010.
  16. ^ John Matarese
  17. ^ Television: What's Up With David Rose?
  18. ^ "Scripps Speeds Conversion to HD News with Adoption of JVC ProHD" (Press release). JVC. 2007-06-04. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  19. ^ Kiesewetter, John (2009-12-11). "What Does The Ch 9-19 Pool Video Agreement Mean?". Retrieved 2009-12-12. 
  20. ^ Bios
  21. ^ Brett Haber, Emmy-winning sports anchor, resigns from WUSA

External links[edit]