WGME-TV

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This article is about the Portland, Maine television station. For other uses, see CBS 13.
WGME-TV
WGME-TV logo.png
Portland, Maine
Branding CBS 13 (general)
CBS 13 News (newscasts)
Slogan Your Maine Source
Channels Digital: 38 (UHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
Subchannels 13.1 CBS
13.2 GetTV
Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WGME Licensee, LLC)
First air date May 16, 1954
Call letters' meaning We're Gannett of MainE
(for former owner Guy Gannett)
Sister station(s) WPFO
Former callsigns WGAN-TV (1954-1983)
Former channel number(s) 13 (VHF analog, 1954-2009)
Former affiliations The Tube (2006-2007), theCoolTV (2011-2012), both on DT2
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 465 m
Facility ID 25683
Transmitter coordinates 43°55′28.5″N 70°29′26.7″W / 43.924583°N 70.490750°W / 43.924583; -70.490750
Website www.wgme.com

WGME-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for Southern Maine and Northern New Hampshire that is licensed to Portland. The station broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 38 from a transmitter on Brown Hill west of Raymond. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station has studios on the corner of Washington Avenue and Northport Drive in the North Deering section of Portland, in the Lewiston/Auburn area, as well as at the state capitol in Augusta. Syndicated programming on WGME includes: Entertainment Tonight, The Insider, Dr. Oz, and Judge Judy.

Digital programming[edit]

Channel Video Aspect Programming
13.1 720p 16:9 Main WGME-TV programming / CBS
13.2 480p 4:3 GetTV

History[edit]

WGAN-TV Logo

Its first broadcast was on May 16, 1954 as WGAN-TV, owned by Guy Gannett Communications (no relation to WCSH current owner Gannett Company) along with WGAN-AM 560 and the Portland Press-Herald. When the radio station was sold in 1983, the WGAN call letters went with them. WGAN-TV then changed its call sign to the current "WGME-TV" on December 15 of that year. It remained the flagship station of Guy Gannett Communications until the company sold most of its television stations, including WGME, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group in 1998. The 493.5-meter (1,619 foot) tall transmission tower of WGME, situated in Raymond, was built in 1959. It was, according to the 1999 Guinness Book of World Records, the world's tallest architectural structure in those days. It was surpassed by KFVS-TV's tower in Cape Girardeau, Missouri in 1960. However, it remained the tallest structure in Maine until the erection of WMTW's tower in 2002. This station ceased airing analog on February 17, 2009 and broadcasts digitally-only on channel 38. WGME recently updated their website to better represent their "More Local" motto. WGME.com was updated on November 10, 2011.

WGME recently rebranded itself as "CBS13", though its current CBS Mandate-compliant logo dates from 2009.

Retransmission Dispute with Time Warner Cable[edit]

WGME owner Sinclair Broadcast Group and Time Warner Cable were in a dispute over the terms of their retransmission consent agreement that expired on December 31, 2010. The agreement was extended to January 14, 2011 while the parties continued to negotiate.[1] An agreement in principle to resolve the dispute followed shortly thereafter [2] and was finalized in February 2011.[3]

News Operation[edit]

Former News Open
Your Weather Authority Forecast Open.

Appropriately for a station with roots in a newspaper, channel 13's newscasts dominated the ratings in Portland for many years. However, WCSH overtook WGME in 1989 and has dominated the ratings ever since. WGME produces 24 hours and 30 minutes of produced news content on their CBS station during a seven-day period, weekdays and weekends (Daybreak, News 13 at Noon, Live at 5, Live at 5:30, News 13 at 6, News 13 at Eleven, and News 13 Weekend Edition 6PM and 11PM). WGME also produced 17 hours of produced news content for their partner station, WPFO FOX23 during a seven-day period, weekdays and weekends (Good Day Maine and News 13 on FOX at 10PM). WGME produces the most local news content in the Portland market spanning both WGME CBS 13 and WPFO FOX 23. Singularly though, if only taken into account the news programming on the CBS station, WGME would produce the least amount of local news content in the market.

WGME's anchor talents have been a staple in the market though, even rivaling NBC affiliate WCSH. Former news team for Live at 5 and News 13 at 6, Kim Block and former Anchor Doug Rafferty were a heavy-hitting news team in the market from the mid-90's until the mid-2000s. Kim Block is the most recognized television journalist in both the Portland market and in the State of Maine/New Hampshire, winning various titles of excellence in broadcasting and women in broadcasting history. Block has been the Lead Anchor at WGME for over three decades, being at WGME since 1981. She recently celebrated her 31st year Anchoring at WGME in 2012. She began as a Reporter/Anchor, leading the station to various Emmys and AP awards over the years with her Anchoring of News 13 at Noon, News 13 Live at Five, and News 13 at 6, as well as being the station's primary medical/health reporter, and the segment producer of "Healthline", a call-in medical show lasting from 5PM-6:30PM, usually on Tuesday nights when the segment is advertised on the newscasts, showcasing an issue of concern for patients in Maine, interviewing medical doctors from area hospitals. Rafferty reduced his reporting hours, leaving the anchor desk for a behind-the-scene tech job at the station and providing reports for the station under the Daybreak segment, "Maine Outdoors" and the News 13 at 6 segment, "Doug's Discovery". Both segments were assisted with by Maine's L.L. Bean, a longtime sponsor of WGME programming (today, at the end of every newscast along with the copyright, the L.L. Bean logo is presented as the main sponsor of WGME's newscasts). He reduced his hours after suffering a stroke live on the air in the mid-2000s during a live cut-in of a syndicated program on the station prior to the Live at Five broadcast. He retired in 2012 to become the Public Relations and Education Head at the Maine State Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Other longtime Anchors include weeknight anchor Gregg Lagerquist and morning anchor Jeff Peterson. Sports Anchor/Director Dave Eid has been with WGME since 1996, and continues bringing its viewers live, local, and late-breaking sports updates, stories, and scores. Longtime Meteorologist, now Chief, Charlie Lopresti has been with the station for a decade now, and a very recognizable and trusted face in the community, known for the most accurate forecast in Maine.

Starting February 5, 2007, WGME began producing a nightly 10 o'clock newscast on Fox affiliate WPFO after establishing a news share agreement. Known on-air as News 13 on Fox, it is currently the only prime time broadcast in the market. In 2010, due to a revenue share agreement with the Fox station, WPFO, the station expanded the weeknight 10 o'clock broadcast to an hour and launched a two-hour long morning show on WPFO called Good Day Maine. WPFO pays WGME a fee along with a share of revenue realized from the newscast. "Good Day Maine" was shortened to one hour by October 2013.

The station has entered into a news partnership with Maine Today Media, owner of its former newspaper sisters—the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel, and Maine Sunday Telegram. In addition to its main studios, WGME operates a Lewiston/Auburn Bureau on Main Street (across the street from WCSH's bureau). A second bureau is in Augusta near the Maine State House. News 13 also has a news partnership with the Lewiston/Auburn Sun Journal, using the source very frequently on evening broadcasts when there's news in the twin cities north of Portland. WGME also shares news gathering material with WPFO, the FOX affiliate in Portland, gaining WGME access to both CBS Newspath and FOX News video footage for use of all newscasts on both WPFO and on WGME. Taking full advantage of their partnership with other local non-TV media sources, WGME meteorologists provide the weather forecasts for the Portland Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram, as well as for a variety of local radio stations in the Portland market. WGME also promotes upcoming stories for their "Live at 5" on radio stations such as WMGX and WJBQ. These radio promotion ads are done almost exclusively by Anchor Kim Block airing usually around 3PM in the afternoons on those radio stations.

WGME does not produce weekend morning newscasts, unlike the other NBC and ABC affiliates in the Portland market. Instead, they carry the CBS News produced "CBS This Morning: Saturday" on Saturday mornings, and the CBS News produced "Sunday Morning" program. The station has no plans to change this format.

In December 2011, WGME converted its broadcasts into full HD (including new slogans, graphics, music and a new set).

On October 31, 2013, Sinclair Broadcasting, owner of WGME, bought all non-license assets of WPFO Fox 23 for $13.6 Million. The licensing assets were sold to Cunningham Broadcasting on November 20, 2013 for $3.4 Million. Cunningham Broadcasting, and former owner of WPFO Max Media, have very close business relationships with Sinclair in stations around the country. This sale makes WPFO (FOX) the sister-station of WGME (CBS) (for a number of years before this the two stations had a news sharing agreement in place), essentially creating an unofficial duopoly in the Portland, ME TV Market. Though throughout the State of Maine, Gannett owns both WCSH 6 in Portland as well as WLBZ 2 in Bangor, both NBC affiliates, creating what could be viewed as a state-wide commercial duopoly (MPBN has a 5 station monopoly in the state as the Federal Government's PBS broadcaster). In New Hampshire, Hearst Television owns WMUR 9 and in Portland, Maine, WMTW 8, both ABC affiliates. WMTW can be viewed in portions of New Hampshire, overlapping the WMUR viewing area, essentially creating a dual-state duopoly.

The High Definition Transition

WGME began broadcasting in 720p High Definition on December 18, 2011 with a new set designed by Devlin Design Group. The newscasts also premiered a new graphics package, though opting to keep the standard Sinclair grey and black lower third. All other graphics were changed to a new, high-tech Sinclair standard package. Only two Sinclair stations (WZTV and WGME) use this new package. WGME's new High Definition set includes two video display monitors on either end of the set for anchor stand up reporting, a 12 monitor video wall which can display 3 video feeds (2x2 each), 2 videos feeds (2x3 each), one large panoramic video feed (2x6 which they use for a graphic of the Portland skyline), or 12 individual video feeds (one per monitor). WGME also has a small anchor desk at the video wall for their Fox 23 broadcasts, "Good Day Maine" and "News 13 on Fox" at 10PM. Their main anchor desk is larger than the Fox 23 anchor desk, though includes a similar style of a light box base with wood carved around it, as well as over the light box. The anchor desk includes a large monitor behind the anchors which shows a skyline image of Portland, ME, or during weather tosses, the "News 13" logo with clouds behind it in blue and red colors. The entire set includes an array of light panels and light boxes. Behind the anchors on top of the light boxes are square black panels that zig-zag behind the anchor TV monitor. The set includes a wood style from a brand native to Maine. The weather office is now open and fully visible to the viewers. The weather office is to the viewer's right, which includes a similar sized desk as to the Fox 23 anchor desk, for the meteorologist to open and close weathercasts with. Behind the desk includes 9 computers to operate the weather graphics and forecasting system which are on a raised platform so that viewers can see the station's other meteorologists working on severe weather reports live. Above these computers are another four monitors which can either broadcast a single video feed (1x4) for a panoramic view of the Portland Skyline, or can be individually manipulated to show weather graphics above the meteorologist. The set also includes a larger green screen to the viewer's right of the weather set.

Graphics have been heavily changed due to the release of HD newscasts on the station, including transitions from one graphic to another, or one video clip to another. Shows open with a large "Coming Up" graphic that spins and below the lettering shows a video panel with an L-Shape graphic (text below the video clip and glass panels moving up and down to the left of the video feed). This graphic is seen on WGME's HD commercials for upcoming newscasts as well, though instead using the opening logo as the WGME logo (and similarly the "Good Day Maine" logo on Fox 23 commercials). This graphic is followed by a new HD open that shows the Portland Head Light (either during the day or during the evening depending on which broadcast) with the text lines "News 13" and "Now in High Definition", and brings viewers to a shot of downtown Portland with a variety of buildings behind the WGME logo, and then shows the broadcast's on-air anchors (Although these new openers do show the meteorologist of each broadcast, sports anchors have not been yet shown in the opening—although both sports anchors do appear on the nightly broadcasts.) Behind the anchors in the opening are large "13" logos rotating with a 3D CBS Eye logo, which is also seen in the Portland Skyline graphics, behind the lighthouse and 13 logo in the opening as well. After the anchors are shown, the WGME 13 logo is shown floating in the Portland harbor with the skyline in 3D behind it with the reflection of the logo in the animated water, with the voice over saying "This is News 13 (insert newscast name)" and then a light flash transition to the anchor desk. A longer lower third graphic is used with an updated 3rd bar in red with a line going through it. During live shots, the "Live" text box on the lower third has a light flare going across the top of the box. During "News 13 Daybreak" broadcasts, a newly updated ticker is shown, new to any Sinclair stations. During the morning broadcast a new logo is presented "CBS 13 News HD", with the "News" text pushed over to allow the text line "HD". Transitions during all broadcasts include for video clips zooming in, rather than a fade out as used before, and for graphics a slide to the right. WGME has also updated their anchor graphics from a glass slider on either the left or right hand side of the anchors to simple glass panels moving up and down with an updated black graphic box. The generic backgrounds to display information also received a tune up with dotted lines moving towards the outer screen on the left, arrows going across the bottom of the screen, and lines shown throughout the background. It also includes several light flares. They have not changed their map graphics and still use either Bing Maps, or their own system's generic green and blue road maps. When weather is presented, they open with the show's open of "Your Weather Authority Forecast" and then show the meteorologist. A similar open is used during sports presentations. Sports graphics have been updated as well (During each sportscast, a cornucopia of sports balls float behind the Portland skyline). The newscast openers got shortened (the intro and talent cast got dropped) in February, 2013. WGME's newscasts are being referred to as CBS 13 News as of April, 2013.

WGME's weather department recently changed their slogan from "Storm Team 13" to "Your Weather Authority—News 13", seen in the upper left hand corner of every weather graphic. This change occurred right before airing in HD on December 18. Above the weather set, during anchor/weather tosses, viewers can still see a panel that says "Storm Team 13". No word yet on when or if that panel will change to accompany the new branding. WGME's weather system, "Doppler HD" was presented in broadcasts during August 2008, but was shown by the station in Standard Definition. After December 18, the station now shows the system in full HD. Often, the meteorologists use 4 monitors of the 12 monitor video wall to present a quick forecast at the start of each newscast.

On February 28, 2013, WGME's weather department rolled out new graphics to their Weather Central forecasting system, as part of a new graphics package from Sinclair Broadcasting, their parent company. It is slowly being introduced on other Sinclair stations.

WGME operates out of their Portland studio, but also operates two bureaus in Auburn, serving the Lewiston/Auburn area of the Portland market, and in Augusta, near the State House. In recent years WGME has begun stationing one or two reporters in these areas, usually reporting every evening from these cities. WGME has gone live several times in the past from their corner set in their Auburn studio, as well as from their Augusta studio set on Live at 5 and News 13 at 6. These bureaus are not used on Sinclair produced programs on WPFO, such as Good Day Maine or News 13 on FOX at 10PM. Currently, WGME has reporter Brad Rogers stationed in either one of their bureaus. Brad Rogers usually serves as the State House/Political reporter, frequently being introduced by WGME Anchor Gregg Laggerquist.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sinclair, cable talks extended to Jan. 14, Portland Press Herald, January 1, 2011
  2. ^ Time Warner, Sinclair reach fee agreement, Portland Press Herald, January 16, 2011
  3. ^ Multiyear cable deal averts Sinclair TV signal blackout, Portland Press Herald, February 3, 2011

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
KOBR-TV Tower
World's tallest structure

1,619 ft (493.5 m)
1959-1960

Succeeded by
KFVS TV Mast