Fox 6 (on DT2)
|Slogan||People You Know,
News You Can Trust
|Channels||Digital: 40 (UHF)|
40.2 Fox (primary)
|Owner||Gormally Broadcasting, LLC
(Gormally Broadcasting Licenses, LLC)
|First air date||April 9, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||Guy Gannett Broadcasting
|Former callsigns||WHYN-TV (1953-1979)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
|Former affiliations||CBS (1953-1958)
DuMont (secondary, 1953-1956)
Home Shopping Network (overnights)
The Tube (on DT2)
|Transmitter power||460 kW|
WGGB-TV is the ABC-affiliated television station for the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts licensed to Springfield. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 40 from a transmitter on Mount Tom in Holyoke. Locally-owned by Gormally Broadcasting, it has studios on Liberty Street in Springfield. Syndicated programming on WGGB includes The Insider, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Doctors, and Family Feud among others.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|40.1||720p||16:9||Main WGGB-TV programming / ABC|
|40.2||WGGB-DT2 / Fox / MyNetworkTV|
WGGB-DT2 first became active under Sinclair ownership. The broadcast group signed a deal which added The Tube (a 24-hour digital music channel) to many of the company's stations including WGGB. As a result of lacking any advertising and incoming revenue source, The Tube shut down operations at the end of 2006. Meanwhile, the area did not have a Fox affiliate of its own, making Springfield the largest television market in the United States to not have one. WTIC-TV in Hartford (no relation to the earlier Independent outlet with the same calls) served as the default affiliate on cable. At one point, new Class A station WFXQ-CD had been rumored as attempting to affiliate with the network. That station is owned by LIN TV Corporation as part of a duopoly with WWLP.
On March 31, 2008, WGGB announced it would be launching the area's first locally-based Fox affiliate on its second digital subchannel. Almost immediately, WTIC had its cable channel location on Comcast systems taken by WGGB-DT2, and as a result, was moved to the digital tier on channel 292. Charter eventually followed suit as well placing WTIC on digital channel 261. When WGGB-DT2 signed-on for the second time, it also added MyNetworkTV as a secondary relation. Currently, programming from the Fox sister network is seen on weeknights from 11:30 until 1:30 the next morning. There is no local branding and/or logo indicating the secondary MyNetworkTV affiliation status. Syndicated programming on WGGB-DT2 includes How I Met Your Mother, Family Guy, The Simpsons, and America's Funniest Home Videos, among others.
It was the second television station in the market when it commenced broadcasting as WHYN-TV on April 9, 1953. The station's launch was only a month behind rival NBC affiliate WWLP. It was co-owned with WHYN radio (AM 560 and FM 93.1) and was a primary CBS station with secondary DuMont relation. During the late-1950s, it was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. The station became an ABC affiliate in 1958 after DuMont folded in 1956 and WTIC-TV (now WFSB) in Hartford, Connecticut, previously an Independent, moved to CBS and became the network's affiliate of record in Springfield.
Originally airing an analog signal on UHF channel 55, WHYN moved to channel 40 in 1959. Guy Gannett Broadcasting bought the station in 1979 and changed the calls to WGGB-TV effective at the start of the following year. In 1994, its cameras rolled as Temple University head basketball coach John Chaney confronted University of Massachusetts Amherst head coach John Calipari at a press conference. At one point, Chaney threatened Calipari with death. The footage (watermarked with the station's logo and call letters) was picked up by ESPN and has since been shown thousands of times. In 2006, Fox Sports Net's The Best Damn Sports Show Period ranked the incident the fifth-biggest outburst in sports history.
The Sinclair Broadcast Group purchased most of Guy Gannett's television stations, including WGGB, in 1998. On October 15, 2004, WGGB upgraded its over-the-air digital signal to offer ABC programming in high definition. On May 5, 2007, the station redesigned its website and added local news video.
In late-July 2007, Sinclair announced the sale of WGGB to Gormally Broadcasting, LLC for $21.2 million. The sale closed on November 2 resulting in this station becoming the only one in the market to be locally owned-and-operated. On December 1, 2008, it shut down its analog signal and became digital-exclusive. This appears to have occurred as early as November 29 due to transmitter failure. On June 12, 2009, the digital signal relocated to the previous analog channel location. Channel 55's spectrum was reassigned for use by Qualcomm's MediaFLO system. In addition to WGGB, Charter systems offer fellow ABC affiliate WCVB-TV from Boston on channel 23. Comcast does not offer such access.
WWLP has traditionally been the most watched station in the Pioneer Valley according to Nielsen ratings. However, there have been brief times when WGGB was on top and extended periods in which the two were basically neck-and-neck with WWLP having a slight edge. Originally, its newscasts were known as NewsWatch 40. The station cut back financially under Sinclair ownership, and during that period, rumors of cancelling ABC 40 News or converting to the now-defunct, controversial News Central format sometimes spread.
News Central was Sincliar's centralized operation based at its headquarters on Beaver Dam Road in Hunt Valley, Maryland that added national news headlines, weather forecasts, ans sports highlights to most company-owned stations with local news operations. WGGB was among the few Sinclair outlets that did not adopt the format. The station did air Sinclair's "The Point", a one-minute conservative political commentary, also controversial and a requirement of all company stations with newscasts until the series was discontinued in December 2006.
In October 2005, WSHM entered into the local newscast competition after establishing a news department with weeknight broadcasts at 6 and 11. Initially, that station did not compete on the same level as WGGB and WWLP. However, its ratings grew substantially across the board during the May 2009 sweeps period to within decimal points of WGGB in several key demographics. In Fall 2006, WGGB rehired Ed Carroll to be Chief Meteorologist who had previously been at the station from 1989 until 1993 before moving to WBZ-TV in Boston. Until April 2007, it did not carry World News Now from ABC News in the early weekday morning hours choosing instead to air programming from the Home Shopping Network (HSN).
After becoming locally owned-and-operated, WGGB's news department underwent significant changes. Several prominent on-air personnel resigned or were laid-off. The station debuted a brand new set, graphics theme, and music package on April 24, 2008. In order to increase its presence in Springfield, WSHM launched the area's first prime time broadcast on August 18. The program aired in a commercial-free, face-paced format every night at 10 for twenty minutes on its cable-only 24-hour local weather channel and website. It was eventually dropped for an unknown reason. On September 8, WGGB-DT2 followed suit with the addition of Fox 6 News at 10 featuring a separate graphics package and music theme. Eventually, this thirty minute production was expanded to weekends.
On April 6, 2009, WGGB's weekday morning show became a full two-hour broadcast like most other ABC affiliates. WGGB-DT2 simulcasts this program then replays it at 7 in the morning. The main station then added a half-hour to the newscast becoming Pioneer Valley's first station offering a weekday morning broadcast beginning at 4:30. WGGB-DT2 does not simulcast the first half-hour. It shares resources with WCVB, NECN, and WFXT for news from Eastern Massachusetts. In return, WGGB does the same for western areas of the state. It does not operate a weather radar of its own but uses live NOAA National Weather Service radar data originating from the Local Forecast Office on Miles Standish Boulevard in Taunton. Although an exact on-air date was unknown, the station begun preparations to have high definition newscasts. As of Wednesday, September 14, 2011, WGGB officially became the first station in the Springfield/Holyoke market to broadcast local news in HD. The shows on Fox 6 were included. All of their newscasts are streamed live online.
- Dateline News/Nitecap Edition
- NewsWatch 40 (1980s-1990s)
- News 40 (1990s–2006)
- ABC 40 News (2006–present)
- "Your Home for Live, Local News" (1994–2001)
- "Coverage You Can Count On" (2001–2008)
- "People You Know, News You Can Trust" (2008–present)
- Dave Madsen - Managing Editor seen weekdays at noon as well as weeknights at 5:30 and 6 p.m.
- Tom Lewis - weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.; also reporter)
- Emily Volz - weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.; also reporter)
- Chris Pisano - weekends at 6, 10 (WGGB-DT2) and 11 p.m.
- TBD - weeknights at 5 p.m.
- TBD - weekend mornings (7-8 a.m.)
- Dan Brown - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Brittany Decker - weather anchor
- Rick Sluben - Meteorologist
- Don Maher - Meteorologist
- TBD - weekend mornings (7-8 a.m.)
- TBD - weekends at 6, 10 (WGGB-DT2) and 11 p.m.
- TBD - weekends at 6, 10 (WGGB-DT2) and 11 p.m.
- Carrie Taylor - "Living Well Eating Smart" segment producer
- Ray Hershel - Chief Political and fill-in news anchor
- Bob Hastings - Chief Photographer
- Brendon Monahan
- Stephanie Officer
- Chris Pisano - fill-in anchor
- Maggie Pereiras- fill-in anchor and "Simply Living" show host
- Erin Moran - fill-in
- Heather Duggan - fill-in
- "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956
- See http://www.radio-info.com/smf/index.php/topic,114971.0.html 3rd message.
- "DTV TRANSITION STATUS REPORT". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
- About abc40 and FOX6
- WGGB-TV "ABC 40" (can be entered into web-enabled wireless devices for mobile access)
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WGGB-TV