|Branding||9 On Your Side|
|Slogan||9 On Your Side|
|Channels||Digital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
9.2 Weather Tracker
9.3 Live Well Network
|Affiliations||ABC (1949-1961 and since 1996)|
|Owner||The E.W. Scripps Company
(Scripps Media, Inc.)
|First air date||July 26, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||Cincinnati POst
(a now defunct Scripps newspaper)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
7 (VHF, 1949–1952)
9 (VHF, 1952–2009)
10 (VHF, 1999–2010)
|Former affiliations||Primary: CBS (1961–1996)
Secondary: DuMont (1949-1955)
|Transmitter power||880 kW|
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.
- 1 History
- 2 Digital television
- 3 Programming
- 4 News operation
- 5 References
- 6 External links
The station first signed on the air at noon on July 26, 1949, 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. 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. 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
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. 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
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. 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).
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|9.1||720p||16:9||WCPO-HD||Main WCPO-TV programming / ABC|
|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.
WCPO-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 9, 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 VHF channel 10, using PSIP to display the station'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. 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. On December 10, 2009, the FCC issued a Report & Order, approving WCPO's move from VHF channel 10 to UHF channel 22. 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. 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.
Syndicated programming in WCPO includes Katie, Made in Hollywood, Right This Minute and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. All Scripps-Howard owned ABC affiliates, including WCPO, preempted Saving Private Ryan in 2004. WCPO produced The Uncle Al Show, a children's show that ran from the early 1950s to the mid-1980s.
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. 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.
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. In the summer of 2009, WCPO upgraded its field cameras to provide high definition video.
WCPO's forecasters are chief meteorologist Steve Raleigh, and meteorologists Larry Handley, Sherry Ray Hughes and Sarah Walters. Cincinnati has always been a battleground for weather coverage, especially since the Montgomery/Blue Ash tornado of 1999. WCPO brands its radars as "Ultimate Doppler 9", "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 Ultimate Doppler 9 to create its 3D images.
- Clyde Gray - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Brendan Keefe - weeknights at 5:30 p.m.
- Kathrine Nero - 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 5:30 p.m.
- Carol Williams - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Brian Yocono - 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 weekdays at noon
- Sherry Hughes (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Sarah Walters (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings on Good Morning Tri-State (5:00-7:00 and 8:00-9:00 a.m.)
- Sports team
- John Popovich - sports director; weekends 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
- Bryce Anslinger - multimedia journalist
- Kendall Herold - multimedia journalist
- Shannon Kettler - multimedia journalist
- Jason Law - investigative reporter
- Adam Marshall - weekday morning traffic reporter
- 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
Notable former on-air staff
- Andrea Canning - evening anchor (former ABC News correspondent, now a NBC News reporter)
- Gretchen Carlson - reporter (now anchor of Fox News Channel's Fox and Friends)
- Nick Clooney - host of The Nick Clooney Show
- Pete Delkus - chief meteorologist (1996–2005; now chief meteorologist at WFAA in Dallas)
- Paula Faris - sports anchor (now correspondent for ABC News)
- Brett Haber - weekend sports anchor (formerly sports director at WUSA in Washington, D.C.; formerly anchor of SportsCenter on ESPN)
- Bill Hemmer (now anchor for Fox News Channel)
- Bob Holtzman - sports anchor (now correspondent for ESPN)
- Al "Uncle Al" Lewis - first art director for WCPO, and host of The Uncle Al Show for 35 years (died in 2009)
- Len Mink - singer/host of The Len Mink Show (now an evangelist/worship leader for meetings held by televangelist Kenneth Copeland)
- Al Schottelkotte - anchor and news director (deceased)
- Friedman, Jim (Dec 5, 2007). Cincinnati Television. Arcadia Publishing. p. 20. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- "Taft stations switch to ABC-TV." Broadcasting, February 27, 1961, pp. 36. 
- "TV coverage; RTMA predicts expansion." Broadcasting - Telecasting, May 19, 1952, pg. 78. 
- McKee, Tom (2005-10-14). "October 15, 1980: Gunman Takes Control Of WCPO-TV". WCPO.com (Scripps Howard Broadcasting Company). Retrieved 2007-09-29.
- COMPANY NEWS; TV Stations Shift to ABC, The New York Times, June 17, 1994.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WCPO
- Matarese, John (2009-01-13). "Some Cable Customers Losing Weather Radar Channel". WCPO-TV (Scripps TV Station Group). Retrieved 2009-01-26.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- CDBS Print
- Petition for Rulemaking by WCPO-TV
- Eggerton, John (2009-10-07). "FCC Proposes Changing WCPO Channel Assignment". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-10-09.
- "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by WCPO-TV"
- "Report & Order by WCPO-TV"
- CDBS Print
- Channel 9′s Digital Switch Coming Dec. 8, The Cincinnati Enquirer, November 16, 2010.
- John Matarese
- Television: What's Up With David Rose?
- "Scripps Speeds Conversion to HD News with Adoption of JVC ProHD" (Press release). JVC. 2007-06-04. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
- Kiesewetter, John (2009-12-11). "What Does The Ch 9-19 Pool Video Agreement Mean?". Retrieved 2009-12-12.
- Brett Haber, Emmy-winning sports anchor, resigns from WUSA
- WCPO, Ch. 9 (from Scripps)
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WCPO-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WCPO-TV