|New Orleans, Louisiana|
WDSU News (newscasts)
|Slogan||On Your Side|
|Channels||Digital: 43 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
(New Orleans Hearst Television, Inc.)
|First air date||December 18, 1948|
|Call letters' meaning||DeSoto Hotel
(station's former location)
(founder of WDSU radio)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
6 (VHF, 1948–2009)
|Former affiliations||DuMont (secondary, 1948–1955)
CBS (secondary, 1948–1957)
ABC (secondary, 1948–1957)
NTA Film Network (Secondary,1957-1961)
NBC Weather Plus (March 2008-December 31 ,2008)
NOAA Weather Radio (Late Dec. 2008-Early 2009; March 31, 2012-April 11, 2012)
The Local AccuWeather Channel (2009-March 31, 2012)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
WDSU, virtual channel 6, is an NBC-affiliated television station located in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. It is owned by Hearst Television, which in turn is wholly owned by the Hearst Corporation. Its transmitter is located in Chalmette, Louisiana; while its studios are located in downtown New Orleans.
The station's current tagline is "6 On Your Side." On cable, WDSU is carried on Cox Communications channel 7 in standard definition and digital channel 1007 in high definition in the New Orleans market.
Digital television 
The station's digital signal on UHF 43, is multiplexed:
|6.1||1080i||16:9||WDSU-DT||Main WDSU programming / NBC|
Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WDSU's virtual channel as "6".
WDSU broadcasts Me-TV on channel 6.2. Channel 6.2 can be seen on digital cable channel 108 for Cox Communications customers in the New Orleans viewing area, on channel 115 for Charter Communications customers on the Northshore, and on channel 136 for Charter Communications customers on the Southshore.
Digital retransmission disputes 
In October 2006, a dispute between WDSU's owner, Hearst-Argyle, and Cox Communications caused WDSU's HDTV signal to be pulled from New Orleans area cable TV systems. As a result, no high-definition television content was available from WDSU via any medium (over the air, cable, or satellite), forcing New Orleans viewers looking for high-definition NBC programming to attempt to pull in a signal from Baton Rouge affiliate WVLA. In April 2007, WDSU-DT was added to DirecTV's lineup, after which local cable carriers one-by-one began to add it also.
On September 27, 2007, Cox Communications and Hearst-Argyle announced an agreement to restore WDSU-DT to Cox's New Orleans area cable systems ; WDSU-DT and WDSU's WeatherPlus channel were added to Cox's channel lineup the next day.
WDSU-TV signed on the air on Saturday, December 18, 1948 as the first television station in Louisiana. It was owned by New Orleans businessman Edgar B. Stern, Jr. along with WDSU radio (1280 AM, now WODT; and 93.3 FM, now WQUE-FM).
The station initially carried programming from NBC, CBS, ABC and DuMont. Even after WJMR-TV on channel 61 (now Fox affiliate WVUE on channel 8) signed on in 1953 as a primary CBS and secondary ABC affiliate, WDSU continued to "cherry-pick" a few of the higher-rated CBS and ABC programs until 1957, when WWL-TV signed on as a full-time CBS affiliate. At that time, WJMR took the ABC affiliation full-time, leaving WDSU as an exclusive NBC affiliate. It lost DuMont when that network ceased operations in 1956.
The radio station was originally located at the DeSoto Hotel (now Le Pavillon Hotel) on Baronne Street; the "DS" in the name was said to refer to the DeSoto. WDSU-TV began operations in the Hibernia Bank Building, at that time the tallest building in New Orleans. The WDSU stations moved into the historic Brulatour Mansion on Royal Street in the French Quarter in April 1950. At that point, Stern reorganized his broadcast holdings as the Royal Street Corporation. The transmitter site remained at the Hibernia Bank Building until 1955 when the new transmitter facilities were completed in Chalmette, where the tower remains today.
WDSU was the ratings leader in New Orleans for over a quarter century, largely because of its strong commitment to local coverage. It originated the first live broadcasts of the Sugar Bowl and Mardi Gras, and was the first area station to have extensive local coverage of a hurricane.
Royal Street merged with Cosmos Broadcasting of Columbia, South Carolina in 1972. Cosmos had to sell off the radio stations because it was over the Federal Communications Commission's ownership limit of the time. Cosmos eliminated much of the local flavor that had been the station's hallmark, opting to concentrate on its already strong news operation (it had been saluted by Time as a news pioneer in 1966). By the early 1980s, rival WWL-TV had overtaken WDSU as the ratings leader. WDSU has been a solid runner-up to WWL for most of the last quarter-century, though in recent years it has had to fend off a strong challenge from a resurgent WVUE.
Today, WDSU generally clears NBC's entire lineup; however, in the early 1980s, the station sustained local criticism when it preempted Late Night with David Letterman in favor of Thicke of the Night, a notorious syndicated talk show flop, along with carrying films in late night instead of the short-lived NBC News Overnight. When Letterman returned, the station aired the show later than the network-mandated timeslot, instead airing reruns of The Love Boat.
Cosmos sold WDSU to Pulitzer in 1989. Pulitzer sold its entire television division, including WDSU, to Hearst-Argyle Television (predecessor to the present-day Hearst Television) in 1999. The station moved into a new facility on Howard Avenue and Baronne Street in March 1996.
WDSU became the first station in the market to provide color telecasts in 1955, and the first New Orleans station with its own doppler weather radar in the 1990s (Super Doppler 6000).
On November 11, 2006, after a remarkable 51 years in New Orleans broadcast television—nearly all of them with WDSU—anchor and former news director Alec Gifford officially announced his retirement. His retirement became effective in December 2006. WDSU looked back on six decades of broadcasting on December 18, 2008.
Hurricane Katrina 
WDSU's New Orleans studios ceased operations around 9:30 pm Sunday, August 28, 2005, allowing staff at the station to take shelter. At that point, WDSU broadcasts began originating from sister Hearst-Argyle station WAPT-TV, the ABC affiliate in Jackson, Mississippi, to which some WDSU on-air staff had already evacuated. Sister station WESH, the NBC affiliate in Orlando, Florida, also originated some on-air weather content. In the immediate weeks following the hurricane, WDSU's news content originated from WAPT with a hybrid team of WAPT and WDSU meteorologists and anchors, with programs simulcast in Jackson and New Orleans.
WDSU's analog and digital transmitters were both destroyed in the hurricane. WDSU arranged to transmit via Ion Television affiliate WPXL channel 49 through the end of December 2005; reduced-power service was restored on channel 6 in October 2005. WDSU replaced its transmitter building with an elevated and rugged hurricane resistant building to house its analog and digital transmitters. Construction of this building was completed in early February 2008. On August 1, 2007 WDSU's digital signal was restored, temporarily sharing a frequency with WHNO's digital channel 21. In late February 2008 its analog signal was restored to full power and their digital signal on channel 6.1 was restored on March 6, 2008.
Hurricane Gustav 
In 2008, WDSU broadcast nonstop coverage of the approach, landfall and aftermath of Hurricane Gustav for five consecutive days. The storm prompted a massive evacuation of much of the station's viewing area. On September 1, 2008 WDSU's coverage of Hurricane Gustav aired nationally on DirecTV channel 361. Coverage was also available on the station's website, and its audio was carried by the Citadel group of radio stations in New Orleans. C-SPAN 2, and ABC affiliate WBRZ (channel 2) in Baton Rouge made portions of live coverage available as well.
WDSU tapped the resources of its parent company, Hearst-Argyle Television, and brought in personnel from across the country to assist in various capacities. Some WDSU news team members were relocated to support studios in Baton Rouge and Orlando and provided reports via satellite. All three locations stayed operational throughout the storm. One of WDSU's sister stations, ABC affiliate KOCO-TV (channel 5) in Oklahoma City, also provided WDSU's coverage of Hurricane Gustav via its second digital subchannel for evacuees who came to Oklahoma City.
News operation 
|This section requires expansion. (May 2011)|
Currently, WDSU broadcasts a total of 32.5 hours of local newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays, three hours on Saturday and four and a half hours on Sunday). On December 14, 2008, the Sun Herald, a local newspaper on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, partnered with WDSU-TV to give more news and weather coverage for South Mississippi.
On September 14, 2009, WDSU dropped its noon newscast in favor of a new hour-long 4 pm newscast. On September 12, 2011 WVUE began broadcasting an hour long 4 pm newscast, adding a second TV station in the New Orleans market to offer a newscast at that timeslot.
On July 10, 2010, WDSU started broadcasting local news in 16:9 widescreen standard definition along with updated graphics. On August 16, 2010, WDSU expanded its weekday morning newscast to 2½ hours, by adding a 4:30 am newscast entitled WDSU News First Edition.
In July 2011, WDSU claimed ratings wins in key demographics at 5 pm and 6 pm – the first time in a quarter-century that a station other than WWL-TV placed first among viewers most sought by advertisers. Newscasts in less competitive time periods of 4:30 am and 4 pm also scored wins in key demographic categories, as well as household ratings.
News/station presentation 
Newscast titles 
- Your Esso Reporter (1948–1956)
- WDSU-TV News (1956–1962)
- The Six O'Clock Report/The Eleventh Hour Report (1962–1966)
- Channel 6 News (1966–1974)
- Newswatch 6 (1974–1970s)
- NewsCenter 6 (1970s–1987)
- (Channel) 6 News (1987–2000)
- (WDSU) NewsChannel 6 (2000–2009)
- WDSU News (2009–present)
Station slogans 
News staff 
- LaTonya Norton – weekend mornings WDSU News This Morning; also weekday reporter
- Sula Kim – weekday mornings WDSU News This Morning (4:30–7 a.m.)
- Norman Robinson – weeknights at 6 and 10 pm
- Randi Rousseau – weekday mornings WDSU News This Morning (4:30–7 a.m.); also reporter
- Scott Walker – weekdays at 4, and weeknights at 5 and 10 pm; also reporter
- Camille Whitworth – weekdays at 4, and weeknights at 5 and 6 pm; also reporter
- Rachel Wulff – weekends at 5 and 10 pm; also weekday reporter
WDSU Exact Weather
- Margaret Orr (member, AMS; member, NWA) – chief meteorologist; weekdays at 4, and weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 pm
- Jay Gallé (AMS Seal of Approval; member, NWA) – meteorologist; weekday mornings WDSU News This Morning (4:30–7 a.m.)
- Dan Milham (AMS Seal of Approval; member, NWA) – chief meteorologist emeritus
- Damon Singleton – meteorologist; weekend mornings WDSU News This Morning
- Kweilyn Murphy-Meteorologist Weekend News/ fill- ins
- Fletcher Mackel – sports director; weeknights at 6 and 10 pm
- Chris Miles – sports anchor; weekends at 5 and 10 pm
- Heath Allen – Northshore Bureau Chief/general assignment reporter (married to former WWL-TV/WVUE-TV reporter Janet Gross)
- Andy Cunningham – general assignment reporter
- Lisamarie Luminais – weekday morning traffic reporter (Time Saver Traffic)
- Blake Hanson - general assignment reporter
- Travers Mackel – investigative reporter (twin brother of Fletcher Mackel)
- Casey Ferrand - general assignment reporter
- Gina Swanson – general assignment reporter
- Arthur Hardy – also editor/publisher of Mardi Gras Guide magazine
- Dr. Corey J. Hebert, MD – medical editor ("On Call")
Hearst Television Washington Bureau
- Sally Kidd – Washington bureau reporter
- Nikole Killion – Washington bureau reporter
Notable former on-air staff 
- Bernard "Buddy" Diliberto – sportscaster (1981–1990; later worked for WWL Radio; deceased)
- Alec Gifford - anchor/news director (1955-1966, 1980-2006). Died March 22, 2013
- Ed Harding - sports director (1978-1981; now at WCVB-TV in Boston)
- Mel Leavitt – Newscaster, Commentator, Moderator, Historian; deceased
- Bill Monroe – first News Director; later Meet the Press moderator; deceased
- Helena Moreno – weekday mornings and consumer reporter (2000–2008; defeated in Democratic primary race for Congress, but later won state representative of District 93)
- (Ken Jones) - Weekend Anchor and morning reporter (1996 - 2010), now Communications Advisor for Shell/Motiva Enterprises
- Michael Marsh - now anchor at WBRZ-TV in Baton Rouge
- Ed_Nelson - Actor
- Nash Roberts – meteorologist (1948–1973; later at WVUE and WWL-TV; deceased)
- Susan E. Roberts – anchor/reporter (now at WPRI)
- Susan Roesgen – anchor/reporter (2000–2001)(Previously with CNN,now at WGNO)
- Dick Van Dyke
- Charles Zewe – anchor/reporter (1976–1987; previously with WWL-TV; formerly at CNN; now Vice President of Communications for the Louisiana State University System)
- Roop Raj
- Ron Smiley
- Rich Lenz
- Bachman, Katy. H-A Pulls Six HD Signals Off Cox Systems MediaWeek. Posted October 2, 2006
- New Orleans TV: The Golden Age, documentary produced by WYES-TV New Orleans Channel 12, broadcast 2009 July 18; see the documentary's web site at WYES. See also WDSU Serves New Orleans Since 1948 and Dave Walker, That old-time TV: New book celebrates 60 years of local stars.
- The Times-Picayune, Focus Forum, September 25, 1983
- Walker, Dave. On The Air The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Louisiana. Printed November 11, 2006.
- WDSU-TV Celebrates 60th Anniversary WDSU.com
- Hearst-Argyle Television Announces Results for the Third quarter and Nine Months Investor Calendar. October 27, 2005.
- WDSU Announces Fall Lineup, Launch Of 4 P.M. Newscast WDSU.com
- WVUE announces 4 p.m. newscast, Jennifer Hale's move to sports
- 1986 WDSU 6 "NewsCenter 6 Tonight" Open
- WDSU 6 News Weekend Open, 1989
- WDSU News Channel 6 at 10 Open
- WDSU News at 5pm 2010 Open
- 1986 WDSU 6 Promo: "You Make New Orleans Great"
- News Team
- "Legendary N.O. journalist Alec Gifford dies". WWL-TV. 22 March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- "Ed Harding bio". WCVB-TV. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- "Michael Marsh Bio". WBRZ-TV. 20 October 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: WDSU|
- WDSU.com - Official WDSU-TV Website
- MeTVNewOrleans.com Official Me-TV New Orleans Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WDSU
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WDSU-TV