|Green Bay, Wisconsin|
|Branding||Local 5 (general)
Local 5 News HD
|Slogan||Keeping It Local|
|Channels||Digital: 39 (UHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
|Owner||Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||May 21, 1955|
|Call letters' meaning||Wisconsin's Fox River Valley|
|Former callsigns||WNAM-TV (1955-1959)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
42 (UHF, 1955-1959)
5 (VHF, 1959-2009)
|Former affiliations||ABC (1955–1959, 1983-1992)
DuMont (secondary, 1955)
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
WFRV-TV is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Green Bay, Wisconsin, and serving Green Bay, the Fox Valley, and Northeastern Wisconsin. The station broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 39 (PSIP channel 5.1) from a transmitter north of the Brown County town of Morrison. The station is owned and operated by Nexstar Broadcasting Group.
WFRV also operates semi-satellite WJMN-TV (UHF digital channel 48 or virtual channel 3), which is licensed to Escanaba, Michigan and covers the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan. WFRV/WJMN's master control and all internal operations for both stations originate from WFRV's Green Bay facilities; WJMN does maintain an engineering operation and an advertising sales office in Marquette.
Programming on WFRV and WJMN includes the full CBS lineup; syndicated shows Ellen, and Live! with Kelly and Michael; and approximately 34½ hours-per-week of local news and sports programming, including full-hour newscasts at 4PM and 6PM as well as Locker Room and Green Bay Nation, which deal with coverage of the Green Bay Packers.
The station began life on May 21, 1955 as ABC affiliate WNAM-TV, originally broadcasting on UHF channel 42 from Neenah and serving as sister to the radio station with the same call sign. By the late 1950s, the station had moved its license to Green Bay, operating from studios to Little Chute. The station would also change frequency (to VHF channel 5), call sign (to WFRV), and, in 1959, network affiliation (to NBC). (In 1958, the station was also part of the short-lived Badger Television Network alongside Milwaukee's WISN-TV and Madison's WKOW-TV.) WFRV's early claims to fame included being the first TV station in Northeastern Wisconsin to broadcast in color in 1958 (doing so after joining NBC), the first station to cover a live lunar eclipse in 1959 (a studio camera was wheeled to the station parking lot and aimed at the moon), and Green Bay's first color local news broadcasts (beginning in 1965).
In the mid-1960s, WFRV was acquired by the Norton Group, a company owned by the Norton family of Kentucky, who also owned Louisville's WAVE. (The Norton Group would change its name to Orion Broadcasting by 1969.) One of the Norton Group's early decisions was to move WFRV's transmitter, which was still located further south of Green Bay and closer to the Fox Valley (a legacy from its original days in Neenah) and as such put WFRV at a disadvantage to other Green Bay stations. The Nortons would gain permission from the Federal Communications Commission to move Channel 5's transmitter to Scray's Hill in the Ledgeview section of the town of Glenmore (located just south of Green Bay), one of the highest geographical points in the area and the long time home to other Green Bay broadcast transmitters.
On October 7, 1969, WFRV expanded into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by signing on semi-satellite WJMN-TV in Escanaba. WJMN's creation was the result of The Norton Group's earlier agreement with the FCC to move WFRV's tower, as the station had to address short-spacing issues with another Channel 5 station, Chicago's WMAQ-TV (every analog channel allocation in the Green Bay and Wausau media markets was shared by a Chicago television station). As part of the agreement to transmit from Glenmore, Orion Broadcasting launched WJMN so that WFRV's service to the U.P. and far Northeastern Wisconsin could continue, and so that a 2nd station in central Upper Michigan could be added (before WJMN, WLUC-TV was the only commercial station serving the U.P.).
Orion Broadcasting would merge with Cosmos Broadcasting (a subsidiary of The Liberty Corporation) in 1981. Two years later, in April 1983, WFRV would affiliate with ABC for the second time (NBC would move to WLUK-TV). Later in the 1980s, WFRV was sold to Midwest Radio and Television, owned by the Murphy and McNally families, who also owned the WCCO stations in Minneapolis-St Paul. The Murphys and McNallys would announce a sale of Midwest to CBS in summer 1991; the sale was completed in early 1992. CBS had been affiliated with WBAY-TV for almost 40 years, and was unwilling to sever ties with one of its strongest and longest-standing affiliates. It put WFRV and WJMN on the market, but couldn't find a buyer. However, in 1992, the FCC relaxed its ownership restrictions, leading CBS to keep WFRV and move its programming there. On March 15 of that year, WFRV became become a CBS owned-and-operated station, with ABC moving to WBAY. This swap would make WFRV one of the few stations in the United States to be affiliated with all of the Big Three television networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) during its lifetime.
By 2001, WFRV would change its longtime Orion Broadcasting-era logo, used since the mid-1970s, for an earlier version of their current logo. One year later, in 2002, WFRV would become the first station in the Green Bay market to begin digital broadcasts. By 2003, WFRV would adopt the mandate CBS dictated for its stations, identifying themselves as "CBS 5" and adopting a green-and-gold logo to reflect their connection to the Green Bay Packers (WFRV would begin airing Packer pre-season broadcasts in 2003). The station's current blue-and-yellow logo and graphic scheme was unveiled on July 10, 2006, along with a new news set to coincide with the return to the station of former reporter/anchor Tammy Elliott.
The week of April 16-18, 2007, Liberty Media (a media company unrelated to The Liberty Corporation) completed an exchange transaction with CBS Corporation pursuant to which Liberty Media exchanged 7.6 million shares of CBS Class B common stock valued at $239 million dollars for a subsidiary of CBS that held WFRV and approximately $170 million in cash. WFRV and WJMN would then become owned-and-operated stations of Liberty Media, the only over-the-air TV properties they have owned. In May 2007, operations of the stations' websites would move from CBS Television Stations Digital Media Group to a redesigned site powered by Inergize Digital Media (then a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, now a division of Nexstar). By Summer 2007, WFRV would drop the CBS Mandate, slowly transitioning from "CBS 5" to simply "Channel 5," their identifier before 2003.
On April 7, 2011, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced it would acquire WFRV and WJMN-TV from Liberty Media. The $20 million deal was approved by the FCC on June 28, 2011 and closed 3 days later on July 1, when Nexstar tapped Joseph Denk to become vice president and general manager of both stations; Denk replaced Perry Kidder, who announced his retirement shortly after the sale was announced (Kidder had spent 37 years with WFRV and WJMN). The web site URL and operations of WFRV and WJMN also changed to Nexstar's in-house format (they had been maintained by Broadcast Interactive Media since April 2010); in the case of WFRV, the web address changed from "wfrv.com" to "wearegreenbay.com".
As of January 23, 2012, both stations have been rebranded to Local 5 and Local 3, a branding style which originated with Post-Newsweek Stations and which has since been adapted by several of Nexstar's operations.
|5.1||1080i||16:9||main WFRV-TV programming / CBS|
WFRV would transition to digital-only broadcasting at midnight on February 17, 2009 (during a The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson commercial break); it would air a lop of nightlight programming until March 3, when their analog service was completely discontinued.
In September 2008, WFRV became the first station in the Green Bay/Fox Cities TV market to upgrade their master control to accommodate high definition broadcasts of pre-recorded syndicated programming. By October 2009, WFRV gained the capability to create and air 16:9 advertising, promotions, and news graphics, though standard definition cameras were used for newscasts until their June 2011 conversion to high-definition; before that newscast upgrade, graphics were displayed in the 16:9 format with weather conditions filling the left and right pillarbox spaces during 4:3-formatted newscasts.
News and sports operations
In addition to their main studios on East Mason Street in Green Bay, WFRV also has a Fox Valley bureau in Little Chute, located on Patriot Drive near US 41 freeway. The Valley bureau also has a second Doppler weather radar tower to provide extended radar coverage for the station's weather operation.
WFRV's 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts have audio simulcasts on radio stations in the Fond du Lac-Oshkosh areas (on WRPN 1600 AM) as well as in the Marinette-Menominee area (on WHYB 103.7 FM). All WFRV newscasts are simulcast live on WJMN, which apart from occasional on-location reports from the Upper Peninsula currently has no separate news programming for the U.P.; when Nexstar completes its purchase of the stations, it plans for separate U.P. newscasts on WJMN.
On June 23, 2011, after a six-month upgrade process, WFRV became the first station in the Green Bay market to broadcast newscasts in high-definition; the changeover to HD includes an upgrade in the "Storm Team 5" weather technology, including real-time street-level radar. In January 2012, the station launched a new graphics package that is designed solely for 16:9 presentation in mind, cutting off portions of text in 4:3 presentation.
From 2003 to 2011, WFRV carried Green Bay Packers pre-season games and related official team programming, with the station branding as "Your Official Packers Station." Packer-related programming on WFRV has included Larry McCarren's Locker Room, a Monday night program which featured WFRV sports director and former Packer lineman Larry McCarren analyzing the previous day's Packer game and interviewing with Packer players and staff. In March 2012, the Packers entered into an agreement with Journal Broadcast Group to air Packers pre-season games and official programming on Journal-owned WGBA-TV, making WGBA the "official Packers station" in Green Bay; McCarren would leave WFRV soon afterward, eventually joining WGBA and Journal Communications (he has served as color analyst for the Journal-operated Packers Radio Network since 1995). After McCarren's departure, WFRV would retain and rename Locker Room in Fall 2012, with a new host tandem of sports director Burke Griffin and former Packer player Ahman Green. WFRV would also add a 2nd Packer-related program in Fall 2012, Green Bay Nation, which deals not only with game reviews and team news but also off-field features and previews of upcoming games. The latter program is shared with fellow Milwaukee CBS affiliate WDJT-TV (Channel 58).
Beginning in September 2012, WFRV would greatly expand the number of hours of news content, including the addition of a full-hour afternoon newscast at 4PM and the expansion of its 6PM newscast from 30 minutes to a full hour; the 6PM newscast remains at 30 minutes on nights during the NFL season when WFRV has Green Bay Packer-related programming.
On December 31, 2012, the station's morning show was rebranded from Local 5 First News to Local 5 This Morning, with a new anchor team and morning-specific set. The new version of the program takes cues from CBS This Morning, including a local-specific "Eye Opener" segment at the start of each half-hour.
For most of its history, WFRV-TV's newscasts have been competitive with longtime leader WBAY-TV and runner-up WLUK-TV in most time slots although WFRV's newscasts have usually been in third place. However, since Nexstar purchased the station in mid-2011, the station has seen heavy turnover, with many veteran staff members, including Tammy Elliott, Dana Tyler, Olga Halaburda, Ryan Popkey, and Larry McCarren departing the station for other opportunities. Anchors, especially on the weekends, are working longer shifts, and even doing both the morning and evening newscasts.
- The World Today and The World Tonight (mid-1960s)
- Report to Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (1967–1971)
- Channel 5 Eyewitness News (1971–2001)
- NewsChannel 5 (2001–2003)
- CBS 5 (2003–2007)
- Channel 5 (2007–2012)
- Local 5 (2012–present)
- "5 Country Is Your Country" (1970s)
- "The Best News and More" (mid-1980s)
- "The Look of a Leader!" (mid-1990s)
- "Your News Source" (2001–2003)
- "Working for You" (2003–2007)
- "Where The News Starts With You" (2007–2011)
- "The Area's First HD Newscast" (2011–2012)
- "Keeping It Local" (2012-present)
- Chelly Boutott - weekend evenings
- Erin Davisson - weeknights at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.
- Kris Schuller - weekdays at 4 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
- Millaine Wells - Sunday morning; also weekday reporter
- Rich Klindworth - weekday mornings & noon
- Tara Joyce - weekday mornings; also weekday reporter
- Tom Zalaski - weeknights at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.
- Storm Team 5
- Dave Miller (AMS Seal of Approval; NWA member) - meteorologist; weeknights at 4, 5, 6, and 10 p.m.
- Justin Steinbrinck (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings and noon
- John Chandik (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends (temporary)
- Sports team
- Burke Griffin - sports director; Sunday through Thursday at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.; also Sports Xtra and Locker Room host
- Leslie Spoon - sports anchor; Friday and Saturday at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.; also Green Bay Nation host
- Nick Goddard - sports reporter and fill-in sports anchor; also photographer and producer
- Ryan Rodig - sports reporter and fill-in sports anchor
- Mike Austin - agriculture reporter
- Wendy Fleury - general assignment reporter
- Terry Kovarik - general assignment reporter
- Bret Lemoine - Fox River Valley reporter
- Donald Robinson - general assignment reporter
- Heather Sawaski - general assignment reporter
Notable former on-air staff
- Steve Kmetko (1978-1979; later an E! host)
- Jay Johnson - anchor (1982–1987; served as WLUK-TV anchor from 1988 to 1996, later represented Wisconsin's 8th congressional district from 1997 to 1999, and served as director of US Mint from 2000 to 2001; deceased October 17, 2009)
- Rob Stafford (later at Dateline NBC and now weeknight anchor at WMAQ-TV)
- Larry McCarren - former sports director from 1988-2012; also former host of Larry McCarren's Locker Room; now at WGBA-TV
- Tom Mahoney - chief meteorologist (1982-2013, retired)
News music packages
- "Home Country" by Mayoham Music
- "WCCO 1978 News Theme"
- "WCCO 1983 News Theme"
- "CBS Affiliate Package"
- "Newsbeat '90s" by VTS Productions (?-1993)
- "Palmer News Package" by Shelly Palmer Company (1993-1995)
- "This is Your News" by Gari Communications (1995-2001)
- "First News" by Gari Communications (2001-2010)
- "The CBS Enforcer Music Collection" by Gari Communications (2010-2012)
- "Locals Only" by Stephen Arnold Music (2012-present)
- Golembiewski, Dick (2008). Milwaukee TelevisionHistory: The Analog Years. Marquette University Press. pp. 213–270. ISBN 0-87462-055-4.
- "Nexstar to Acquire CBS Affiliates WFRV, WJMN for $20 Mil," from Broadcasting & Cable, 4/7/2011
- Source: FCC Letter DA-11-1124, released 6/28/2011
- "Nexstar Closes 2-Station Buy, Denk New GM," from TVNewsCheck, 7/1/2011
- "WFRV-WJMN's Perry Kidder Calling It Quits," from TVNewsCheck, 5/20/2011
- "WFRV/WJMN under new ownership," from WFRV-TV, 7/1/2011
- "Nexstar Plans Local News for Marquette CBS," from Broadcasting & Cable, 4/7/2011
- "WFRV Broadcasting Local News In HD," from TVNewsCheck, 6/24/2011
- "Channel 5 launches HD: Behind the scenes"
- Wolfley, Bob (2 March 2012). "Packers and Journal Broadcast Group announce partnership deal". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
- "Schuller anchors new show on WFRV," from Green Bay Press-Gazette, 9/10/2012
- "WFRV Hires ND, Expands News Programming," from TVNewsCheck, 9/17/2012
- mid 90s WFRV
- News Team Bios
- "Steve Kmetko's resume". Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- WFRV-TV "Channel 5"
- WFRV-TV mobile
- WJMN-TV "Channel 3"
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WFRV-TV