|Providence, Rhode Island/
New Bedford, Massachusetts
|Branding||NBC 10 (general)
NBC 10 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Coverage You Trust|
|Channels||Digital: 51 (UHF)
Virtual: 10 (PSIP)
(sale to Sinclair Broadcast Group pending)
(Media General Communications Holdings, LLC)
|First air date||July 10, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||taken from former sister radio stations|
|Sister station(s)||Ocean State Networks (OSN)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
11 (VHF, 1949-1953)
10 (VHF, 1953-2009)
|Former affiliations||All secondary:
ABC (1949-1953 & 1956-1963)
The WB (1995-1997)
NBC Weather Plus
|Transmitter power||974 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WJAR is the NBC-affiliated television station for the state of Rhode Island and Bristol County, Massachusetts licensed to Providence. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 51 from a transmitter in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. Owned by Media General, the station shares studios on Kenney Drive in Cranston with ZGS Communications-owned Telemundo affiliate WRIW-CD. Syndicated programming on WJAR includes: Extra, Rachael Ray and Ellen.
WJAR-TV signed on for the first time on July 10, 1949, broadcasting on channel 11. It was Rhode Island's first television station and the fourth in New England. It was owned by The Outlet Company, a department store chain headquartered in Providence, along with WJAR radio (AM 920, now WHJJ; and FM 95.5, now occupied by WBRU). It moved to channel 10 in 1953. In 1952, after hearing about repeated instances of interference in Connecticut between WJAR-TV and New York's WPIX (also on channel 11), the FCC changed the television allocations for Providence and forced the station to move to channel 10, which it did in the spring of 1953. At that time, WJAR's coverage area increased, since the interference with WPIX had been rectified.
WJAR-TV initially carried programming from all four networks of the time (NBC, ABC, DuMont, and CBS), but has always been a primary NBC affiliate due to WJAR radio's long affiliation with NBC Radio. Despite this, WJAR only carried a little more than half of NBC's program schedule during its early years on the air; WJAR also broadcast about half of the CBS network schedule and a couple of shows each from ABC and DuMont every week. It lost ABC in 1953 when WNET-TV signed on, and lost CBS in 1955 when WPRO-TV (now WPRI-TV) launched. When WNET-TV went dark in 1956, WJAR shared ABC programming with WPRO-TV until WTEV (now WLNE-TV) signed on in 1963. During the late 1950s, WJAR-TV was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. In 1954, WJAR-TV received national attention for its coverage of Hurricane Carol; newsreel films shot by WJAR cameramen of the storm and its aftermath not only appeared on the station, but also fed to CBS and NBC for use on their evening news programs.
For many years in the 1970s, WJAR-TV broadcast men's basketball games of Providence College and the University of Rhode Island, with Chris Clark calling play-by-play. In the early 1970s, when PC was one of the top teams in the country (and the top college basketball team in New England), their home games at the newly opened Providence Civic Center were often sellouts, despite the fact that WJAR televised many of these home games live.
In November 1980, the Outlet Company left the department store business to concentrate on broadcasting. A year earlier, the station moved its studios from the Outlet Building to a three-story modern production facility next door. The department store remained standing until 1986, when it burned to the ground in a spectacular fire. WJAR cameras perched on the neighboring rooftop captured the most dramatic footage. In April 1993, the station's studios were moved to their current location in an industrial area of Cranston just south of Providence. Three years later, Outlet Communications merged with NBC.
In April 1997, WJAR began to operate primary WB and secondary UPN affiliate WLWC (which was owned by Fant Broadcasting) under a local marketing agreement (LMA). Even by the time that station signed on, the future of the LMA was in doubt given the fact that NBC, which inherited the arrangement from Outlet, did not want to run stations outside their core owned-and-operated outlets. The network, during this time, pushed Fant to sell WLWC. In September 1997, NBC came up with a three-way swap in which Fant exchanged WLWC and sister station WWHO in Columbus, Ohio to Paramount / Viacom for that group's NBC affiliate in Hartford, Connecticut, WVIT.
WJAR was one of four NBC O&Os in smaller markets that were put up for sale on January 9, 2006, along with stations in Columbus, Birmingham, Alabama, and Raleigh, North Carolina. Except for the Birmingham station, these were also once owned by Outlet. On April 6, 2006, NBC Universal and Media General announced that Media General would purchase WJAR as part of a $600 million four station deal between the two companies. The deal was approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on June 26. As a result, WJAR became Media General's first television station in New England. For all intents and purposes, this undid the NBC-Outlet merger a decade earlier.
During the April 2007 Nor'easter, WJAR's over-the-air digital transmitter was damaged. Both digital signals, WJAR-HD and WJAR-DT2, were knocked off the air. The outage did not affect digital cable or satellite services, as they do not get the signal from the digital transmitter.
In its earliest days, WJAR's logo included a Rhode Island Red rooster, the state bird of Rhode Island. Prior to WJAR's purchase by NBC, it had included various versions of a different stylized "10" above the WJAR call letters. This had been in effect for the previous twenty years. The stylized "10" was initially retained after the purchase, but with the NBC peacock attached to the right-hand side and the call letters removed. This was dropped in 2002 in favor of an "NBC 10" logo first used on former sister station WCAU in Philadelphia. A modified version, used on newscasts starting in 2007, was designed and arranged similarly to other Media General station logos. In February 2014, both versions of that logo were replaced with the station's current logo.
On March 21, 2014, LIN Media entered into an agremeent to merge with Media General in a $1.6 billion deal. Because LIN already owns CBS affiliate WPRI and operates Fox affiliate WNAC-TV (channel 64), and the two stations rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Providence market in total day viewership, the companies were required to sell either WJAR or WPRI-TV to another station owner in order to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as planned changes to those rules regarding same-market television stations which would prohibit sharing agreements; the grandfathered LMA involving WNAC will be included in the sale but must remain with WPRI-TV due to the grandfathered status. On August 20, 2014, Media General announced that it would keep WPRI and the LMA with WNAC and sell WJAR, along with WLUK-TV and WCWF in Green Bay and WTGS in Savannah, Georgia, to Sinclair Broadcast Group in exchange for KXRM-TV and KXTU-LD in Colorado Springs and WTTA in Tampa Bay. This would return Sinclair to owning a Providence market station after a year and a half, as it owned WLWC from January 2012 until April 2013.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|10.1||1080i||16:9||WJAR-DT||Main WJAR programming / NBC|
The station's digital signal is multiplexed. In January 2009, WJAR began broadcasting the Retro Television Network on its second digital channel and digital cable. WJAR-DT2 had previously carried NBC Weather Plus. WJAR replaced RTV with Me-TV on September 26, 2011, as part of a groupwide affiliation agreement with Media General; the channel replaced RTV on some Media General-owned stations in other markets.
WJAR discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 10, on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 51, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 10. This allowed ShopNBC station WWDP to begin operation of its permanent digital facility on channel 10.
Other Massachusetts channels
WJAR has traditionally been available in many other Massachusetts municipalities outside of Bristol County. On December 8, 2011, cable operator Comcast had to move WJAR off channel 10 outside of the county, because WWDP notified them that they wanted to be carried on channel 10. Comcast was forced to comply due to federal must-carry laws.
As a result, WJAR can now be seen in 35 non-Bristol County, Massachusetts towns and cities on the following channels:
Channel 96: Bridgewater, Brockton, East Bridgewater, Holbrook, West Bridgewater, Falmouth, Martha's Vineyard, Plymouth, and Sandwich.
Channel 99: Canton, Foxboro, Foxboro East, Medfield, Medfield South, Norfolk, Norwood, Sharon, Wrentham, Bellingham, Blackstone, Blackstone East, Franklin, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Marion, Middleboro, and Wareham.
Channel 23: Barnstable, Chatham, Eastham, Mashpee, Nantucket, Provincetown, and Yarmouth.
Ocean State Networks (OSN)
On May 2, 2012, WJAR partnered with Cox Communications to launch Ocean State Networks (OSN). This channel replaces NewsChannel 5 (formerly the Rhode Island News Channel), operated by Cox and WLNE from November 30, 1998 until February 1, 2012, when WJAR programming first appeared on the channel. OSN airs NBC 10 newscasts throughout the day and night, as well as Cox Sports programming, including live local high school and collegiate sports events. Teams featured on OSN include the Pawtucket Red Sox, Providence Friars, Rhode Island Rams, and the Rhode Island Interscholastic League. The channel is exclusively available to Cox Cable subscribers on channel 5 and in high-definition on channel 1005. As a result of the launch of OSN, Cox Sports (channels 3 and HD 1003) was removed from the lineup, with all programming being moved to OSN.
For most of its history, WJAR has led the market with its top-rated newscasts. This can be attributed to being the oldest television channel in Rhode Island and an association early on with two well established radio stations. In all four Nielsen ratings periods in 2013, the station was number one in all time slots.
On two occasions, WJAR has produced a prime time newscast at 10. The first began in April 1997 (entitled TV 28 News at 10) and was seen weeknights on WLWC in competition to the WPRI-produced show on Fox affiliate WNAC-TV. The broadcast was dropped that September when the LMA with WLWC ended. The second attempt has been airing on weeknights since October 1, 2007 when the station began producing NBC 10 News 10 at 10 on its NBC Weather Plus digital subchannel. It was originally a live ten minute production consisting of top stories of the day along with an updated weather forecast.
When WJAR-DT2 switched to RTV, the show expanded to a half-hour and was renamed NBC 10 News 10 at 10 on RTV. A new segment was added called "Flashback" which features vintage footage of past personnel. WLNE occasionally aired news at that time when it operated Cox channel 5 as NewsChannel 5, primarily when sports preempted WNAC's newscast. On September 6, 2010, WJAR began airing the area's second newscast weeknights at 7 joining WLNE. However, it also airs on Saturday nights unlike the other channel's weeknight production. WLNE's newscast was officially cancelled in April 2011.
WJAR is notable for having employed three NBC Today Show personalities. Both the current co-host of Today, Matt Lauer and former co-hostess Meredith Vieira worked at WJAR. Vieira started out as a reporter on the station in the late-1970s while Lauer was co-host of WJAR's version of PM Magazine in the early-1980s. In 2012, former WJAR meteorologist Dylan Dreyer became began doing weekend weather on Today. Other notable alumni include CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour and ESPN anchor Steve Berthiaume. In 2008, WJAR was awarded the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence for a small-market television station. In 2010, the station's website won a second national Murrow. In 2011, the station won its third national Murrow in a row, this time in the "Breaking News" category for its coverage of recent historic flooding. In 2012, the station's web site won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
On May 16, 2011, WJAR became the first station in the Providence market to air newscasts in high-definition. A new set was constructed for the transition to HD and debuted on NBC 10 News Sunrise that morning. Photos of the set as it was being built were posted on the station's Facebook page. During construction, newscasts were broadcast from a temporary set in the station's Studio B. Several technological upgrades were also made. Only in-studio video is in HD; the field cameras still shoot in 4:3 SD but the field video is enlarged and cropped to match the aspect ratio of HD television screens.
In addition to its main studios, WJAR operates three news bureaus. The Southeastern Massachusetts Bureau is based at The Standard Times newsroom on Elm Street in New Bedford. The South County Bureau is in The Westerly Sun newsroom on Main Street in Westerly. The Downcity Bureau is on Dorrance Street in Downtown Providence. The station uses a live weather radar feed from the National Weather Service's Local Forecast Office on Myles Standish Boulevard in Taunton, Massachusetts. In weather segments, this data is presented in a forecasting system known as "Storm Team 10 VIPIR".
Notable former employees
- Christiane Amanpour - CNN, ABC
- Brooke Anderson - CNN
- Steve Berthiaume - ESPN
- Dylan Dreyer - NBC
- Jack Edwards - ESPN, NESN
- Matt Lauer - NBC
- Kathryn Tappen - NBC Sports/NBCSN
- Meredith Vieira - NBC
- Doug White - WGBH, WPRI (deceased)
- "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956
- TV Station Mega Merger: Media General, LIN Set $1.6 Billion Deal from Variety (March 21, 2014)
- Media General acquiring LIN Media for $1.6 billion, Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2014.
- Media Gen/LIN To Sell/Swap In Five Markets, TVNewsCheck, March 21, 2014.
- "Media General, LIN Sell Stations In 5 Markets". TVNewsCheck. August 20, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- McKinney, Mike (August 20, 2014). "Media General to sell Channel 10 WJAR to Sinclair Broadcast Group". The Providence Journal. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WJAR
- Where to watch Me-TV: WJAR
- Me-TV Beefs Up Roster With 10 New Stations, TVNewsCheck, September 15, 2011.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Comcast in Boston Will Feature WJAR 10, GoLocalProv, December 6, 2011.
- "NBC 10, Cox launch Ocean State Networks". turnto10.com. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- Smith, Andy (10 May 2011). "High-def TV is in the news, especially at WJAR". Providence Journal. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- "WJAR-TV upgrades Grass Valley automated system for HD local news". Broadcast Engineering. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
- WJAR "NBC 10"
- WJAR mobile
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WJAR
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WJAR-TV