From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WJFW 2011 Logo.png
Rhinelander/Wausau, Wisconsin
Branding Newswatch 12
Slogan News from where you live
Channels Digital: 16 (UHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
Subchannels 12.1 NBC
12.2 Antenna TV
Translators 27 W27AU-D Wausau
Owner Rockfleet Broadcasting
(Northland Television, LLC)
Founded October 20, 1966
Call letters' meaning Jasper F. Williams (former owner)
Sister station(s) WVII-TV, WFVX-LD
Former callsigns WAEO-TV (1966-1986)
Former channel number(s) 12 (VHF analog, 1966-2009)
Transmitter power 269 kW
Height 362 m
Facility ID 49699
Transmitter coordinates 45°40′3.3″N 89°12′29.4″W / 45.667583°N 89.208167°W / 45.667583; -89.208167
Website wjfw.com

WJFW-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for North Central Wisconsin's Northern Highland area licensed to Rhinelander. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 16 (PSIP virtual channel 12) from a transmitter east of the city in unincorporated Oneida County. The station can also be seen on Charter channel 10 and in high definition on digital channel 612. Owned by Rockfleet Broadcasting, WJFW has studios on County Road G in Rhinelander. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Judge Judy, and The People's Court. It can be seen on a digital translator, W27AU-D channel 27, in Wausau from a transmitter on Mosinee Hill southwest of the I-39/US 51/WIS 29 interchange.


Logo used until 2010.

The station signed-on October 20, 1966 as WAEO-TV, named after its original owner, Congressman Alvin E. O'Konski. Airing an analog signal on VHF channel 12, its original studios were located next to its transmitter tower. This was at the time one of the tallest structures in the world. On November 17, 1968, a small plane with three passengers crashed into the tower knocking it out along with the station's building. It was off-the-air until a new tower was erected in the same location as the original. New studios were eventually built at the current location in Rhinelander.

After the new transmitter's completion, WAEO was back on-air September 1, 1969. When the new tower was completed in 1969, it was the 7th tallest structure in the world at 1,800 feet. The new tower was also the first in the United States built exclusively for color television transmission. On June 1, 1979, the station was sold to minority-owned company Seaway Communications. As a result, it was the first VHF commercial television station in the United States to be owned by minority interests. In 1984, Dr. Jasper F. Williams (founder and CEO of Seaway Communications) was killed in a plane crash. In his memory, the call letters were changed to WJFW-TV in 1986.

In 1989, it activated a new translator on channel 27 in Wausau. The station's main transmitter is located further north than other North Central Wisconsin stations. This was a result of WISN-TV in Milwaukee which also aired on channel 12 in the analog era. The other two VHF and one UHF stations in the area had aired their analog signals on channels which were also in use by Chicago stations farther away and less prone to interference. As a result, WJFW only provided Grade B coverage of Wausau itself and some parts of Marathon County could not watch the station at all except on cable. Seaway merged with Rockfleet, the station's current owner, in 1998. In mid-March 2009, the main signal added Universal Sports as a second digital subchannel. After the translator performed a "flash-cut" to digital, it began to offer Universal Sports on DT2 as well. WJFW's broadcasts have been digital-only since February 17, 2009.

Digital television[edit]

Channel Video Aspect Programming
12.1 1080i 16:9 Main WJFW-TV programming / NBC
12.2 480i 4:3 Antenna TV

W27AU also maps via PSIP to Channel 12.

On May 23, 2011, WJFW replaced Universal Sports, in favor of Tribune Broadcasting's Antenna TV digital subchannel network.[1] WJFW-DT2 is carried over Charter channel 967.


Unlike most NBC affiliates, WJFW does not air a full two-hour weekday morning show. Steve Kmetko (host on E!) was a reporter and news anchor at this station in his early days.

Late 2011, WJFW converted its newscast presentation to 16.9, field and weather reports are broadcast in high definition, while studio cameras are 16.9 standard definition

Former Slogans:

Making A Difference Where Local News Comes First Your Northwoods News Leader


  • John Quarderer - News Director
  • Ben Meyer - Executive Producer; Also seen midday (Rotating)
  • Hayley Tenpas - weekday mornings and midday
  • Lex Gray - weeknights at 5 p.m. & 6 p.m.
  • Lyndsey Stemm - weeknights at 10 p.m.
  • Adam Fox - weekends at 10 p.m, also reporter

WeatherWatch 12 Meteorologists

  • Matt Benz - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.
  • Ryan Michaels - meteorologist; weekday mornings and weekdays at 11 a.m.
  • Melissa Constanzer - meteorologist; weekends and news reporter


  • Joe Dufek - Sports Director; weeknights at 6 and 10
  • Marisa Silvas - weekend sports and sports reporter


  • Shardaa Gray - general assignment reporter
  • Kalia Baker - general assignment reporter
  • Dan McKinney - general assignment reporter/substitute anchor
  • Lauren Stephenson - general assignment reporter/substitute anchor


External links[edit]