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Youngstown, Ohio
Branding 21 WFMJ (general)
21 News (newscasts)
Slogan More Local News
Locally Owned, Locally Connected
Channels Digital: 20 (UHF)
Virtual: 21 (PSIP)
Subchannels 21.1 NBC
21.2 The CW
Owner Vindicator Printing Company
(WFMJ Television, Inc.)
First air date March 8, 1953; 61 years ago (1953-03-08)
Call letters' meaning William F. Maag, Jr.
Former channel number(s) Analog:
73 (UHF, 1953-1954)
21 (UHF, 1954-2009)
Transmitter power 460 kW (digital)
Height 295 m (digital)
Facility ID 72062
Transmitter coordinates 41°4′48″N 80°38′25″W / 41.08000°N 80.64028°W / 41.08000; -80.64028

WFMJ-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station serving the Mahoning Valley of Northeastern Ohio and Northwestern Pennsylvania. Licensed to Youngstown, Ohio, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 20 (or virtual channel 21.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter located on Mabel Street in Youngstown. Owned by the Maag family, publishers of Youngstown's daily newspaper, The Vindicator, the station maintains studios located on West Boardman Street in downtown Youngstown and is the top rated station in the market.

The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable/Youngstown channel 3, Armstrong Cable channel 2, Time Warner Cable/Warren channel 4 and Comcast Xfinity channel 7 in the Western Pennsylvania towns of New Castle and Bessemer. There is a high definition feed offered on Time Warner Cable/Youngstown channel 1003, Time Warner Cable/Warren channel 1004, Armstrong digital channel 102, Comcast Xfinity/New Castle and Bessemer digital channel 721 in. It also carries select Youngstown State University football away games, along with the school's sports highlight program Penguin Gameday and YSU coaches' shows for both football and basketball.


The station was founded by William F. Maag, Jr., publisher of the Vindicator, and went on the air for the first time on March 11, 1953 on Channel 73. It was owned alongside and WFMJ radio (AM 1390, now WNIO, and FM 105.1, now WQXK). It has always been an NBC affiliate owing to its radio sister's long affiliation with NBC Radio. The Maags then purchased the construction permit issued for channel 21 (originally granted to WUTV) and moved to that frequency on August 7, 1954.

WFMJ is the only locally owned and operated station in the market, and, in fact, one of the few stations left in the country that is still locally owned and operated. The station points it out very often in advertisements, as the "Only Locally-Owned Station in Youngstown", compared with rivals WKBN-TV (owned by LIN TV. which also owns low-power Fox affiliate WYFX-LD) and WYTV (owned by Vaughan Media, LLC, which also owns the MyNetworkTV-affiliated digital subchannel MY-YTV, but operated under a local marketing agreement with WKBN parent LIN TV). As a result, WFMJ has been a strong ratings force in Youngstown for several years.

WFMJ is one of the few stations in the country that can boast airing Live with Kelly, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Judge Judy, and Dr. Phil on the same station. WFMJ's morning show (WFMJ Today), Today, and Live with Kelly and Michael's ratings are among the highest in the country. WFMJ is also the Youngstown market's carrier station for the Ohio Lottery and its weekly game show, Cash Explosion Double Play. In October 2010, WFMJ began carrying syndicated programs, and commercials in high definition whenever available in the format. In April 2011, the station started broadcasting the Ohio Lottery's weekly game show Cash Explosion in HD.

In addition to its main service area of extreme northeastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania, WFMJ can be seen as far as the eastern and southern suburbs of Cleveland with a good antenna.

On July 6, 2012, Dish Network subscribers within the Youngstown market lost access to WFMJ-TV, the result of a breakdown between the satellite provider and owner Vindicator Printing Company during retransmission consent negotiations to renew the station's carriage agreement with Dish.[1]

Digital television[edit]

Channel Video Aspect Name Programming
21.1 1080i 16:9 WFMJ-HD Main WFMJ-TV programming / NBC
21.2 480i 4:3 WBCB "The Valley's CW"

High-definition programming[edit]

Syndicated Yes
Newscasts Yes

WFMJ operates the market's CW affiliate on a second digital subchannel. Branded as The Valley's CW and using the fictional callsign "WBCB", this can also be seen on all local cable and DBS systems. "WBCB" debuted in November 2004 as an affiliate of The WB television network, before affiliating with The CW in September 2006. This channel formerly signed off on weekend early mornings from around 2:30 to 4:30 a.m. until 2011, when it began operating on a 24-hour schedule with paid programming filled the former downtime; though color bars were placed on the over-the-air digital signal while "WBCB" continued to broadcast syndicated programming and infomercials during periods where WFMJ signs off the air. WFMJ-TV was the last station in the Youngstown market to sign off on a regular basis (WYTV, which signed off on a nightly basis starting in 1997, ended the practice with the September 2006 launch of "MY-YTV").


Syndicated programming featured on WFMJ-TV includes The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Inside Edition, Judge Judy and Live with Kelly and Michael. WBCB included programming such as TMZ on TV and Access Hollywood.

News operation[edit]

WFMJ newscast title card, used from Nov 2006 to October 12, 2012

WFMJ's newscasts typically garner higher ratings than its competitors combined in the morning, 6 and 11 p.m. timeslots. The station founded the market's first Friday night high school football program with The Overtime Report in the 1990s. On October 29, 2009, beginning with the 6 p.m. newscast, the station upgraded its weather graphics to Weather Central's 3D:LIVE system. On October 26, 2013, WFMJ will launch the area's first weekend morning news with WFMJ Weekend Today. The newscasts will air on Saturdays from 6:00-7:00 and 9:00-10:00 a.m. and on Sundays from 7:00-8:00 and 9:00-10:30 a.m. [2]

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • Evening Report/Final Report
  • 21 Action News (1970s–2001)
  • 21 News (2001–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "Part of Your Life"
  • "In Touch with You" (1990–1993)
  • "Your News Leader" (1993–1999)
  • "More Local News" (2000–present)
  • "Locally Owned, Locally Connected" (2011–present; website slogan)

Newscast themes[edit]

  • Part of Your Life by Mayoham Music (?)
  • Tuesday 10 by Tuesday Productions (?)
  • NBC Affiliate Package by Unknown Composer (1989–1993)
  • NBC: The Place to be by Unknown Composer (1993–1994)
  • WFMJ 1994 News Theme by Unknown Composer (1994-1996)
  • Production Music: Action News by Killer Tracks (NJJ Music/HLC) (1996-1997)
  • Counterpoint by Stephen Arnold Music (1997-2000)
  • Metropolis by Stephen Arnold Music (2000-2012)
  • Indie-Band News by Stephen Arnold Music (2012-present; used only for WFMJ Today from 5:00-7:00 a.m.)
  • This is The Place by Stephen Arnold Music (2012-present; used for weekday noon and nightly at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.)

News team[edit]

Anchor Team

  • Leslie Barrett - Weeknights: "21 News 6 P.M. & 11 P.M."
  • Bob Black - Weeknights: "21 News 6 P.M. & 11 P.M."
  • Mike Case - Weekdays: WFMJ Today and "21 News Midday"
  • Lauren Lindvig - Weekdays: WFMJ Today and "21 News Midday"
  • Jennifer Brindisi - Weekends: WFMJ Weekend Today
  • Derek Steyer - Weekends: WFMJ Weekend Today
  • Jasmine Monroe - Weekends: "WFMJ Weekend Today"
  • Jennifer Balligush - Weekends: "21 News 6 P.M. & 11 P.M."

Storm Tracker 21

  • Eric Wilhelm - chief meteorologist (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist); Weeknights: "21 News 6 P.M. & 11 P.M."
  • Jess Briganti - forecaster; Weekdays: WFMJ Today and "21 News Midday"
  • Mike Joyce - meteorologist; Weekends: "21 News 6 P.M. & 11 P.M."

21 Sports

  • Dana Balash - sports director; Weeknights: "21 News 6 P.M. & 11 P.M."
  • Mike Ackelson - sports anchor; Weekends: "21 News 6 P.M. & 11 P.M."
  • Matt Roth - reporter; fill in anchor


  • Danielle Cotterman - general assignment reporter
  • Michelle Nicks - general assignment reporter
  • Kate Keller - healthy living reporter and fill-in anchor for weekend evenings
  • Jasmine Monroe - weekend morning live Out & About features reporter for WFMJ Weekend Today
  • Janet Rogers - general assignment reporter
  • Glenn Stevens - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor for weekday evenings
  • Matt Stone - general assignment reporter; also fill-in weather anchor
  • Lindsay McCoy - general assignment reporter
  • Anita Quinn - general assignment reporter; also fill-in anchor for weekday mornings


  1. ^ "WFMJ Youngstown Dropped From Dish". TVNewsCheck. July 6, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ WFMJ To Launch Weekend Morning Shows TVNewsCheck, October 14, 2013.

External links[edit]