State College, Pennsylvania
|City of license||Johnstown|
Channel 6 News
Me-TV 6 (on DT2)
Can Count On
|Channels||Digital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WJAC Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||September 15, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||Johnstown Automotive
Company (original owner)
|Sister station(s)||WPGH-TV, WPMY,
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
13 (VHF, 1949–1952)
6 (VHF, 1952-2009)
|Former affiliations||All secondary:
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
WJAC-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station in west-central Pennsylvania with the station licensed to Johnstown. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 34 from a transmitter northwest of the city in Laurel Ridge State Park along the Cambria and Westmoreland County line. Owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station has studios on Old Hickory Lane in Johnstown. It covers the counties of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, Huntingdon and Somerset. Syndicated programming on the station includes The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Phil, Live with Kelly, Entertainment Tonight, and The Insider.
Along with sister station WPXI, WJAC-TV 6.2 transitioned to Me-TV at midnight on June 13, 2011, immediately following an episode of Ellery Queen, at which point the channel was switched to the Me-TV feed for the start of Hogan's Heroes. Sister station WTOV continued to air RTV until January 16, 2012. Before its closure in December 2008, WJAC-TV carried NBC Weather Plus on the second digital subchannel.
|6.1||1080i||16:9||WJAC-HD||main WJAC-TV programming / NBC|
|Callsign||Channel||City of license||Note||Transmitter location|
|26||DuBois||Licensed||southeast of Luthersburg|
|29||Bedford||Licensed||west of borough|
|W42DG-D||42||State College||Licensed||southwest of Pine Grove Mills|
WJAC-TV first began its broadcasting operations on 15 September 1949 originally owned by the Johnstown Automotive Company along with WJAC radio (AM 1400, now WKGE at AM 850, and FM 95.5, now WKYE at FM 96.5). At the time, it was the third smallest television station in the country market wise to be granted a commercial license on or before December 31 behind CBS affiliate WBNG-TV in Binghamton, New York and fellow NBC affiliate WICU-TV in Erie. It originally aired an analog signal on VHF channel 13 before moving to VHF channel 6 in 1952. Upon its sign-on, it aired programming from all four networks of the time (NBC, CBS, ABC, and DuMont). CBS disappeared from WJAC-TV's schedule when WARD-TV channel 56 (now Pittsburgh's CW affiliate WPCW on channel 19) signed-on in 1953 followed by DuMont when it shut down network operations in 1955. However, the station continued to air a few ABC shows into the 1980s.
In the 1960s, Johnstown Automotive sold the WJAC stations to the estate of Anderson H. Walters, the owner of The Tribune-Democrat, who held them until 1984 when tightened Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cross-ownership regulations forced the newspaper to sell off the radio stations. The Walters estate sold off the newspaper to MediaNews Group in 1987 but held on to Channel 6 until 1997 when it was sold to Sunrise Television. WJAC and new sister station WTOV-TV in the Steubenville, Ohio–Wheeling, West Virginia market were sold to Cox Enterprises in 2000. The two stations and WPXI in Pittsburgh are now occasionally marketed together as a result. WJAC-TV and WTOV were updated to WPXI's on-air graphics after being acquired by Cox, despite WPXI changing its own look in 2004. Most of the graphics introduced to WJAC-TV after the acquisition were used until October 2011, when WJAC-TV updated to WPXI's current look.
WJAC-TV gained a reputation for its locally produced programs at the station throughout the years. Scholastic Quiz, a game show featuring local high school students, and Seniors Today (a public affairs program targeted to those 65 and older) would become mainstays of the station's programming and make host Ron Lorence (who would later build WADJ-AM, now WBHV, at 1330 AM and then buy WYSN-FM 101.7 now WCCL in Somerset County) a local household name. The station was also one of the stations across the country to produce a local version of the children's TV show ″Romper Room″. In the 1950s and 1960s, WJAC-TV's slogan was "Serving Millions From Atop the Alleghenies."
After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion that took place on June 12, 2009, WJAC-TV remained on its current pre-transition UHF channel number 34. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display the station's virtual channel as 6. The nearby mountain ridges had prevented most of Altoona and all of State College from receiving the analog signal; conversely, many of Pittsburgh's outer-ring eastern and Westmoreland County suburbs actually got a grade B signal from WJAC. Because the audio portion of VHF channel 6 was transmitted at 87.75 MHz, it was possible to listen to the television station on most standard FM car radios (or any standard FM radio for that matter). This was a feature frequently employed by area residents. However, this is no longer an option after the digital conversion.
On September 15, 2009, WJAC-TV celebrated its 60th year of broadcasting. During that month, WJAC-TV aired several commercials advertising the anniversary. One featured a variation of the "Serving Millions from Atop the Alleghenies" slogan creating "Serving Millions Across the Alleghenies." This old slogan was used in various ways in the station's broadcasts and mixed with the station's then-current slogan "Coverage You Can Count On" to form "Coverage You Can Count On Across the Alleghenies" the year before.
On July 20, 2012, one day after Cox purchased four television stations in Jacksonville, Florida and Tulsa, Oklahoma from Newport Television, Cox put WJAC-TV, WTOV-TV, and sister stations in El Paso, Texas and Reno, Nevada, plus several radio stations in medium to small markets, on the selling block. All four of the television stations on the block are located in markets that are smaller than Tulsa. On February 25, 2013, Cox announced that it would sell the four stations to Sinclair Broadcast Group. The FCC granted its approval of the sale on April 29, and it was consummated on May 2.
WJAC-TV is carried on various cable systems in several counties that are located outside of the Johnstown-Altoona market. These counties include Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana and Westmoreland. In West Virginia, it is carried in Petersburg (93 miles away), Dorcas, Moorefield and Keyser.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, WJAC-TV had a fifteen-minute-long news and weather show weekday afternoons at 1 known as The News Today. Its 6 o'clock newscast was known as The News Tonight and the 11 p.m. broadcast was entitled 11th Hour News. The weather segment aired first and was titled "Weather in Motion" with its own sounder and graphics. The sports had a separate theme and was called "Sports Wrap Up." WJAC-TV's weekday morning newscast began as a half-hour broadcast at 6:30 in 1985. In 1987, TCI Cable (now Comcast) in Centre County began producing a WJAC-TV newscast, known as the Centre County Report, specifically targeted to that area.
On November 28, 2007, The Tribune Democrat reported that the shared news department of Fox affiliate WWCP-TV and ABC affiliate WATM-TV was going to shut down. Under that operation, WWCP had produced an hour-long 10 p.m. news starting in 1992. However, according to a written statement, WWCP and WATM had been operating at a loss for years and the move was needed. The closure resulted in all personalities being released from their contracts. WJAC-TV had on-air positions open but no personnel from those two stations were hired.
Effective January 14, 2008, WJAC-TV assumed production responsibility of the 10 o'clock broadcast on WWCP (still known as Fox 8 News at 10) which was reduced to 35 minutes on weeknights and thirty minutes on weekends. The WJAC-produced news uses the same music package and some voice-overs seen during segment opens as the former operation had. A new graphics package slightly different from WJAC-TV and new logos similar to the WWCP promo logo introduced in 2007 were created specifically for the primetime broadcast.
Because WJAC-TV has prior commitments with news and weather cut-ins during Today, WATM still produces its own Good Morning America news and weather cut-ins that are seen Tuesday through Saturday. The cut-ins use news video from the previous day's WJAC-produced WWCP broadcast and the same graphics package. On Mondays, the cut-ins are filled by WATM promos. In addition, WJAC-TV's nightly 11 o'clock newscast was simulcasted on that station branded as ABC 23 News until March 2011, when it was replaced by syndicated episodes of Seinfeld.
On August 8, 2008, WJAC-TV unveiled a new set designed by FX Group in Orlando, Florida. The station also unveiled a new graphics package and changed its on-air branding from its long standing "Channel 6" to "WJAC-TV" as different cable companies now carry the station on different channels. In addition to its main studios, the station operates bureaus in State College and DuBois.
WJAC-TV was the first station in the market to broadcast its local newscasts in high definition 16:9 widescreen in March 2012. It was also first to broadcast its local newscasts in 16:9 widescreen enhanced definition in September 2009.
WJAC-TV officially changed the station's news branding from WJAC-TV News to 6 News on October 25, 2011. This change comes only three years after the change from Channel 6 News. In addition to the new branding, WJAC-TV updated their on-air graphics and theme music to those of its former sister station, WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh. Then in July 2012, WJAC-TV became the first station in the market to broadcast local news in full high definition.
- Your Esso Reporter (1949–1953)
- DuBois News (1953–1961)
- The Big News (1961–1966)
- The News Today/The News Tonight (1966–1974)
- NewsCenter 6 (1974–2001)
- Channel 6 News (2001–2008)
- WJAC-TV News (2008–2011)
- 6 News (2011–present)
- "NewsCenter 6, The News People" (1970s)
- "Coverage You Can Count On" (2003–2008 and 2011–present)
- "Coverage You Can Count On Across the Alleghenies" (2008–2011)
- Bill Brown - weekday mornings and weekdays at noon
- Lindsay Ward - weekday mornings, also reports
- Jen Johnson - weeknights at 5 and 6 p.m.
- Marty Radovanic - weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.; also managing editor
- Melanie Gillespie - weekend evenings, 6 and 11 p.m.; fill-in anchor
Severe Weather Team 6
- Jim Burton (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weekday mornings and noon
- Tony Martin (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Josh Fosbrink (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekend evenings
- Matt Maisel - Senior sports anchor/reporter
- Ashley Chase - Sports reporter/weekend anchor
- Gary Sinderson - State College newsroom bureau chief
- Maria Miller - Reporter, based in Johnstown newsroom
- Melanie Gillespie - Repoter/anchor, based in Johnstown newsroom
- Kerri Corrado - Reporter, based in Johnstown newsroom
- Erin Calandra - Reporter, based in State College newsroom
- Deven Clarke - Reporter, based in DuBois newsroom
Notable former on-air staff
- John Patrick - weekend evening meteorologist (1997–1998 and 2001–2003; now at WZVN-TV in Fort Myers, Florida)
- Tim Rigby - sports director and executive producer (1981–2011)
- Jay Patrick - evening weatherman (fled to the Ukraine while awaiting sentencing on sexual abuse charges; committed suicide on August 23, 2013)
- Lauren Melvin - former anchor (2007-2011); now at WFMY-TV in Greensboro, N.C.
- Janel Knight - former Johnstown reporter and anchor (2008-2011); now at WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, Pa.
- Karissa Shatzer - former Altoona reporter/fill-in anchor (2010-2012); now at WHTM-TV in Harrisburg, Pa.
- Bill Wadell - former State College reporter/fill-in anchor (2010-2012); now at WNEP-TV in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
- Brittany Boyer - former DuBois reporter/fill-in weather (2011-2013); now at WNEP-TV in Scranton/Wlkes-Barre, Pa.
- WJAC-TV FCC DTV status report
- Malone, Michael (February 25, 2013). "Sinclair to Acquire Five Cox Stations". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- WJAC-TV the first in the area in HD
- 6 News Team
- WJACTV.com - Official WJAC-TV Website
- MeTVJohnstown.com - Official Me-TV Johnstown Website
- Website about RCA TK60 Television Cameras featuring pictures of WJAC-TV during the late 50s and early 60s
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WJAC-TV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W42DG-D
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W29DH-D
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WJAC-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on W29DH-TV