WDAY-TV

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WDAY-TV
WDAY HD logo
WDAY-DT2 Logo
Fargo, North Dakota
Branding WDAY 6 Television (general)
WDAY 6 News (newscasts)
Slogan Your News Leader
Channels Digital: 21 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
Subchannels 6.1 ABC
6.2 The CW
6.3 Storm Tracker/WDAY Radio audio
Affiliations ABC (primary since 1983; secondary 1953–1959)
Owner Forum Communications Company
First air date June 1, 1953; 61 years ago (1953-06-01)
Call letters' meaning taken from sister radio station, which was randomly assigned by the FCC [2]
Sister station(s) WDAY (AM), WDAZ-TV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
6 (VHF, 1953–2009)
Former affiliations NBC (1953–1983)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 322 m
Facility ID 22129
Transmitter coordinates 47°0′27.9″N 97°12′3.6″W / 47.007750°N 97.201000°W / 47.007750; -97.201000
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.wday.com

WDAY-TV, channel 6, is the ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Fargo, North Dakota. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 21 (or virtual channel 6.1 via PSIP) from a 1,000-foot (300 m) tall transmitter tower near Amenia. On cable, the station can be seen on channel 6 in most areas.

The station is owned by Forum Communications of Fargo, which also owns WDAY radio (970 AM) and The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. The facilities for WDAY-AM-TV are on South 8th Street in downtown Fargo.

Syndicated programming on WDAY includes The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Judge Judy, Rachael Ray, among others.

Although operated as a separate station in its own right, WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks is actually considered a semi-satellite of WDAY-TV. It clears all network and syndicated programming as provided through its parent but airs separate newscasts, station identifications, and commercial inserts. WDAY-TV serves the southern portion of the Fargo/Grand Forks market while WDAZ serves the northern portion. Through WDAZ, WDAY-TV has significant viewership in southern Manitoba, Canada, including Winnipeg, which has double the population of WDAY-TV/WDAZ's American coverage area. The two stations often share news stories. Master control and some internal operations for WDAZ are based at WDAY's facilities in Fargo. The two stations are counted as a single unit for ratings purposes. DirecTV and Dish Network offer both WDAY and WDAZ.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
6.1 720p 16:9 WDAYABC Main WDAY-TV programming / ABC
6.2 WDAY-CW Fargo CW
6.3 WDAY-WX Storm Tracker/WDAY Radio (HD)
6.4 480i Storm Tracker/WDAY Radio (SD)

Fargo CW was a cable-only station with WB affiliation, and branded as "WBFG", a designation going back to its launch as a station transmitting the The WB 100+ distant network schedule to the area over cable exclusively. When The CW launched in September 2006, WBFG switched over to the distant The CW Plus schedule and eventually moved onto WDAY-DT2 and WDAZ-DT2 to provide all viewers CW service in the area.

Fargo CW is offered on Cable One cable channel 8 in the Fargo-Moorhead area. It can be seen on Midcontinent cable channel 14 in Fargo, Moorhead and most other areas. It can be seen on Midcontinent cable channel 7 in the Grand Forks area.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WDAY-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 6, 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 UHF channel 21.[2][3] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 6.

History[edit]

WDAY-TV went on the air for the first time in 1953 as the third television station in North Dakota, and the first in the eastern part of the state. It was owned by a group of Fargo investors, the largest of which was Norman Black, owner and publisher of The Forum. Black bought the remaining shares in 1958.

It was originally an NBC affiliate, but shared ABC programming with KXJB-TV until KXGO-TV (channel 11, later KTHI-TV and now KVLY-TV) signed on in 1959. It swapped affiliations with KTHI and became an ABC affiliate in 1983, a year after former sister station KSFY-TV switched from NBC to ABC.

Unlike rivals KXJB and KVLY, WDAY-TV's signal does not cover the northern portion of this vast market very well. It must conform its signal to protect CBC Television's Winnipeg station, CBWT, which took to the air on channel 6 a year after WDAY-TV signed on. As a result, it was barely viewable in northern Grand Forks and could not be seen at all in much of the northern part of the market. To solve this problem, it signed on semi-satellite WDAZ-TV in 1967. WDAZ-TV identifies as a station in its own right, producing its own newscasts and airing its own commercials. However, it rebroadcasts most of WDAY-TV's syndicated programming, and the two stations often share news stories. WDAZ serves the northern part of the Fargo-Grand Forks market, while WDAY-TV serves the southern portion.

WDAY-TV and WDAZ-TV used these logos in 1972–73 (top) and 1973–74 (bottom).

WDAY/WDAZ began operating cable-only WB affiliate "WBFG" in 1998. This was on channel 8, 7 or 14 on most systems in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. WDAY/WDAZ replaced "WBFG" with new digital broadcast subchannels WDAY 6.2 and WDAZ 8.2 simulcasting The CW after the new network launched in the fall of 2006. The CW was only available over the air on WDAY until WDAZ switched to digital in 2009. Fargo CW also carries programming from The CW Plus.

WDAY Logo used from 2005 to 2012.

WDAY-TV is one of the westernmost stations in the country whose callsign begins with W. Most stations west of the Mississippi begin with K, however WDAY radio received its call letters before the U.S. government moved the K-W boundary in 1923 from the state borders between 102 and 104 degrees West longitude (including the North Dakota-Montana border) to the Mississippi River.

Programming[edit]

WDAY-TV is one of the few stations in the country that still signs off at night. It goes off the air at 3:43 am and signs on again at 4:27 am to broadcast America This Morning.

NBA Countdown is frequently declined by the station to air additional paid programming on Sunday mornings. One of these paid programs is "The Hour of Worship", a Christian service broadcast from Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church located in Fargo, North Dakota. It has been airing in its time slot since 1967, making it one of the longest running worship service broadcasts in the United States, broadcasting throughout the entire state of North Dakota.[4]

News operation[edit]

WDAY-TV produces local newscasts weekdays at 5 a.m., 5, 6 and 10 p.m., Saturdays at 6 and 10 p.m. and a Sunday newscast at 10 p.m. The morning newscast, First News, at 5 a.m. weekdays and all weekend newscasts are simulcast on WDAZ-TV; all newscasts, as well as the weeknight edition of ABC World News, are also heard on WDAY radio. Unlike most ABC affiliates, WDAY does not air midday news during the week.

On January 15, 2012, WDAY became the first local TV station in the market to present its newscasts in 16:9 widescreen standard definition. Then on February 22, 2012, WDAY took it one step further to become the first station in the Fargo-Valley City market to launch local news in high definition.

On February 23, 2014, WDAY-TV launced a state-wide Sunday night newscast at 5:30 p.m.; the newscast can be seen on both WDAY-TV and WDAZ-TV, as well sister stations KBMY in Bismarck and KMCY in Minot. As with WDAY's other newscasts, the audio of the program will also be heard on WDAY radio.[5]

On April 28, 2014, WDAY-TV will launch a state-wide weekday morning news show from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 am CDT. The newscast will be available on WDAY-TV in Fargo, WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks, KBMY in Bismarck, KMCY in Minot, channel 11.2 in Williston, and channel 2.2 in Dickinson. The audio of the show will also be available on radio station WDAY-AM 970. The state-wide show will be an expansion of First News, which currently airs on WDAY-TV and WDAZ-TV.[6]

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • WDAY News (1970s–1980s)
  • WDAY NewsCenter 6 (1980s–1999)
  • WDAY News (1999–2010)
  • WDAY 6 News (2010–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "Your News Leader" (1996–present)
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Past on-air staff[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]