WKMG-TV

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WKMG-TV
Wkmg2007.png
Orlando, Florida
United States
Branding Local 6 (general)
Local 6 News (newscasts)
Slogan Original Local Reporting
Channels Digital: 26 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
Subchannels 6.1 CBS
6.2 Live Well Network
6.3 Heartland
Translators W42DJ-D Ocala
Affiliations CBS
Owner Graham Media Group
(Graham Media Group, Inc.)
First air date July 1, 1954; 60 years ago (1954-07-01)
Call letters' meaning Katharine Meyer Graham
(in honor of the late publisher of the Washington Post)
Former callsigns WDBO-TV (1954–1982)
WCPX-TV (1982–1998)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
6 (VHF, 1954–2009)
Digital: 58 (UHF, –2009)
Former affiliations All secondary:
NBC (1954–1957)
ABC (1954–1958)
DuMont (1954–1955)
DT2:
LATV (2007–2012)
Retro TV (2012–2014)
Transmitter power 944 kW
Height 516 m
Facility ID 71293
Transmitter coordinates 28°36′36.4″N 81°3′34.6″W / 28.610111°N 81.059611°W / 28.610111; -81.059611
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.clickorlando.com/

WKMG-TV, virtual channel 6 (UHF digital channel 26), is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Orlando, Florida. The station is owned by the Graham Media Group subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company. WKMG's studios are located on John Young Parkway in Orlando, and its transmitter is located in unincorporated Bithlo, Florida.

History[edit]

The station first signed on the air on July 1, 1954 under the callsign WDBO-TV (which stood for "Daytona Beach Orlando", but referred to by locals as "Way Down By Orlando." It is the sixth-oldest television station in Florida, and the oldest in Central Florida. It was originally owned by the Orlando Broadcasting Company, which also owned WDBO radio (AM 580 and FM 92.3, now WWKA). As the only station in the market at its inception, it originally carried programming from all four networks of the time – CBS, NBC, ABC and DuMont. DuMont would shut down most network operations in 1955, but honor network commitments until 1956; at that point, DuMont programming disappeared from the schedule. It lost NBC when Daytona Beach's WESH (channel 2) expanded its signal to cover all of Central Florida in November 1957, and ABC when WLOF-TV (channel 9, now WFTV) signed on in February 1958.

Orlando Broadcasting merged with Cherry Broadcasting in 1957. In 1963, WDBO-AM-FM-TV were sold to The Outlet Company. In 1982, the WDBO radio stations were sold to Katz Broadcasting, as Outlet decided to begin exiting radio. Outlet was nearly bought out by Columbia Pictures around the same time. In advance of this, channel 6 prematurely changed its call letters to WCPX-TV on June 6th (which stood for "Columbia PiX", shorthand for "Pictures"). While the deal fell through, channel 6 kept the WCPX calls for 16 years. Outlet pared down its holdings after a buyout in 1986, selling off many of its television stations. At that point, WCPX was sold to First Media, Inc.

In the early 1990s, WCPX decided to move the CBS program Picket Fences from Friday evenings to 11:35 p.m. on Saturdays, in order to air Star Trek: The Next Generation on Fridays. WCPX also pre-empted some CBS sports programs as well. In 1994, WCPX hired a new general manager, Brooke Spectorsky, from WUAB in Cleveland (Spectorsky is now general manager of that city's NBC affiliate WKYC-TV). Under Spectorsky, WCPX put Picket Fences back at its normal time.

In 1995, WCPX was one of the first CBS affiliates to air Guiding Light at 10 a.m. instead of 3 p.m., which was the network's recommended timeslot for the program. Under this arrangement, the program would air on a delay with episodes running one day behind. However, CBS soon discovered that several of its owned-and-operated stations were using the same scheduling for the program as WCPX. CBS then decided to provide two (eventually three) same-day feeds of Guiding Light to its stations (one at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 3 p.m.). WKMG aired Guiding Light at 9 a.m., until the soap opera ended its run on September 18, 2009.

WKMG-TV logo from 1998.

In 1997, First Media merged with the Meredith Corporation, which already owned Fox affiliate WOFL (channel 35). At the time, duopolies were not allowed, and Meredith decided to keep WOFL (which has since been sold to Fox Television Stations). In mid-1997, Meredith swapped WCPX to what was then known as Post-Newsweek Stations in exchange for Hartford, Connecticut's WFSB (which at the time was Post-Newsweek's flagship station).[1] On January 30, 1998, the station changed its callsign to WKMG in honor of longtime Washington Post publisher, Katharine M. Graham, with the WCPX call letters going to Chicago's Pax station in August of that same year.[2] As of recently, WKMG is the last "Big Six" affiliate in Orlando that is not part of any television duopoly (Fox's WOFL and WRBW, Cox Media Group's WFTV and WRDQ, and Hearst Television's WESH and WKCF). Post-Newsweek Stations became Graham Media Group on July 28, 2014.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
6.1 1080i 16:9 WKMG-DT Main WKMG-TV programming / CBS
6.2 480i 4:3 Live We Live Well Network
6.3 Heartla Heartland

WKMG's 6.2 subchannel was originally affiliated with LATV, and (along with three other Post-Newsweek stations) was among the network's launch affiliates on April 23, 2007.[4] In addition to LATV, during the Casey Anthony trial, the subchannel was used to carry CBS Daytime and syndicated programming from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to accommodate trial coverage on WKMG's primary channel at the time;[5] it had earlier planned to air trial coverage in full on 6.2 to minimize disruption to WKMG's main schedule.[6] The LATV affiliation ended on April 2, 2012; at that time, the 6.2 subchannel became an affiliate of the Retro Television Network.[7] RTV was previously seen in Orlando on a subchannel of WRDQ. Live Well Network began airing on 6.3 on April 1, 2013.[8] The 6.2 subchannel again carried WKMG's daytime schedule during the station's coverage of the George Zimmerman trial.[9]

On January 26, 2014, Retro TV's sister network Heartland was added to 6.3 and Live Well Network moved to 6.2, with Retro TV entirely discontinued.[10]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WKMG-TV terminated its analog signal, on VHF channel 6, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[11] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 58, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to UHF channel 26. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers continues to display WKMG-TV's virtual channel as 6.1.

WKMG was one of three stations in the Orlando area (along with WKCF and WOFL) to participate in the "Analog Nightlight" program, until WKMG's analog transmitter was shut down permanently on July 12, 2009.[12] WKMG's audio signal formerly available at 87.7 MHz on the FM band in Orlando, Daytona Beach and surrounding areas, though at a slightly lower volume than other FM radio stations due to TV modulation standards. The transition to digital broadcasting also ended the simulcast of the station's audio signal at 87.75 MHz.

Programming[edit]

WKMG-TV clears the vast majority of the CBS network schedule, however it delays The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson by a half-hour to 1:07 a.m. (the network's recommended timeslot for the program in the Eastern Time Zone is 12:37 a.m.) and airs Let's Make a Deal at 10 a.m. (instead of the network recommended slot of 3 p.m.). Syndicated programming featured on WKMG-TV includes Rachael Ray, Inside Edition, The Insider, and Extra. All are distributed by CBS Television Distribution..

News operation[edit]

WKMG-TV presently broadcasts 28½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 4½ hours on weekdays, and three hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). From the late 1980s until 2001, the station was almost always in last place in the ratings. At the same time, WESH and WFTV battled for first place in the Orlando market, and basically continued to do so into the early 2000s; however, in the past few years, WFTV has become the dominant station (though channel 6 claimed first place at 11 p.m. in the May 2006 ratings period). Management changes at WKMG had a number of general managers on the treadmill with Mike Schweitzer, Kathleen Keefe, Jeff Sales and Henry Maldonado all taking a turn at the top. News and sales departments had similar turnover, with at least five news directors taking the chair between 2000 and 2008.

Currently, despite the strength of CBS primetime programming, WKMG has been trading second and third place with WESH in the evening newscast ratings except at 11 p.m., where until recently it waged a spirited battle with WFTV for first. From late 2007 to March 2009, WKMG's 11 p.m. newscast was in second place behind WFTV. Continuing its ratings slide, the May 2009 sweeps found WKMG's newscasts finishing in third place in all timeslots, behind WFTV and WESH. In fact, despite being number one in primetime WKMG's late night newscast has failed to hold on to its lead-in audience for the most part. The siphoning off in news audience share appears to have held in the November 2009 sweeps period, when WKMG remained in a distant third place weekday evenings while its morning and late night newscasts improved slightly although still in a distant second place.

In 2008, WKMG-TV began broadcasting its local newscasts in widescreen standard definition. On May 1, 2009, the station's 4, 5 and 5:30 p.m. newscasts were dropped, with the 5-6 p.m. news block replaced by Dr. Phil, which had aired in the 5 p.m. slot to compete against newscasts on WFTV, WESH and WOFL, and a new hour-long newscast at 6:00 debuted. It was the market's first and only full hour of news at 6 p.m. and pushed the CBS Evening News to 7 p.m. However, on January 3, 2011, the Evening News returned to the 6:30 half-hour, and a new half-hour 7 p.m. newscast took its place. In September 2011, WKMG relaunched a half-hour 5 p.m. newscast in September 2011, with syndicated entertainment newsmagazine The Insider following it at 5:30 p.m.[13]

For the February 2012 sweeps period, WKMG took first place in the 25-to-54 demographic at 11 p.m., beating WESH by 5,000 viewers and WFTV by 5,700 viewers.[14] On June 2, 2012, WKMG became the last major television station in the Orlando market, as well as the last Post-Newsweek owned station, to upgrade its newscasts to full high definition.

Controversies[edit]

In April 2010, news director Steve Hyvonen called for a "Newsroom Summit," and required his employees to vote for three employees who would be considered "Battery Drainers." Nomination of management was exempted from the vote.[15]

In September 2013, WKMG aired a screen crawl apologizing for having to air a Jaguars-Raiders game instead of the highly anticipated Broncos-Giants game. The NFL classifies Orlando as a secondary market to Jacksonville and is required to air all Jaguars away games. [16]

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • News Review (1954–1961)
  • Channel 6 Newsroom (1961–196?)
  • Channel 6 Reports (196?–1967)
  • NEWSbeat (1967–1970s)
  • NewsWatch 6 (1970s–1986)
  • WCPX Channel 6 News (1986–1992)
  • 6 News (1992–1995)
  • Channel 6 News (1995–1998; stylized visually as "News 6")
  • WKMG 6 News (1998–1999)
  • NewsCenter 6 (1999–2001)
  • WKMG News (2001–2002)
  • Local 6 News (2002–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "Solid Six" (late 1970s)
  • "The Heart of Florida" (early 1980s)
  • "Channel 6 Believes in You" (early-mid 1980s)
  • "We've Got The Touch, You and Channel 6" (1983-1984; local variation of CBS campaign)
  • "You and Channel 6, We've Got The Touch" (1984-1985; local variation of CBS campaign)
  • "We've Got The Touch on Channel 6" (1985-1986; local variation of CBS campaign)
  • "Share The Spirit on Channel 6" (1986-1987; local variation of CBS campaign)
  • "Channel 6 is On Your Side" (1987–1989; image campaign based on Frank Gari's "Turn To News")
  • "Channel 6 Spirit, Oh Yes!" (1987–1988; local variation of CBS campaign)
  • "You Can Feel It on Channel 6" (1988-1989; local variation of CBS campaign)
  • "Get Ready For Channel 6" (1989-1991; local variation of CBS campaign)
  • "The Look of South Florida" (1991-1992; local variation of CBS campaign)
  • "Where Will We Take You Tonight?" (1996)
  • "Working Harder for You" (1998–2001; used in image campaign by Frank Gari)
  • "The Problem Solvers" (2001–2005)
  • "Your Breaking News Station" (2005–2007)
  • "Never Miss A Moment" (2008–2009; general slogan)
  • "Always Here For You" (2008–2009; news slogan)
  • "Only Local 6" (2009-present; local variation of CBS campaign)
  • "News You Need" (2009–2011; news slogan)
  • "Covering Central Florida" (2010–2014; general slogan)
  • "Original Local Reporting" (2014–present; news slogan)
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Newscast Schedule[edit]

Weekdays
  • The Morning News on Local 6 - 5:00-7:00 a.m.
  • Local 6 News at Noon - 12:00-12:30 p.m.
  • Local 6 News at 5:00 - 5:00-5:30 p.m.
  • Local 6 News at 5:30 - 5:30-6:00 p.m.
  • Local 6 News at 6:00 - 6:00-6:30 p.m.
  • Local 6 News at 7:00 - 7:00-7:30 p.m.
  • Local 6 News at 11:00 - 11:00-11:35 p.m.
Saturdays
  • The Morning News on Local 6 - 5:00-7:00 a.m.
  • Local 6 News at 6:00 - 6:00-6:30 p.m.
  • Local 6 News at 11:00 - 11:00-11:35 p.m.
Sundays
  • The Morning News on Local 6 - 6:00-8:00 a.m.
  • Local 6 News at 6:30 - 6:30-7:00 p.m.
  • Local 6 News at 11:00 - 11:00-11:35 p.m.

News team[edit]

Current on-air staff[edit]

Anchors[17]

  • Matt Austin - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, and 11:00 p.m.
  • Lisa Bell - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 p.m.
  • Bridgett Ellison - weekday mornings on The Morning News (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Ginger Gadsden - weeknights at 5:30 and 7:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • David Hall - weekday mornings on The Morning News (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
  • Kala Rama - weekend mornings on The Morning News (5:00-7:00 Saturdays and 6:00-8:00 a.m. Sundays)
  • Erik von Ancken - Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 6:30, and weekends at 11:00 p.m.; also weekday fill-in anchor

Weather team[17]

  • Tom Sorrells (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, 7:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Troy Bridges (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on The Morning News (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Julie Broughton (NWA Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings on The Morning News (5:00-7:00 Saturdays and 6:00-8:00 a.m. Sundays)
  • Elizabeth Hart - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 6:30, and weekends at 11 p.m.

Sports team[17]

  • David "Ping" Pingalore - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Jamie Seh - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6:00, Sundays at 6:30, and weekends at 11:00 p.m.; also sports reporter

Reporters[17]

  • Louis Bolden - weeknight 5:00, 6:00, 7:00, and 11:00 p.m. reporter
  • Shaun Chaiyabhat - weeknight 11:00 p.m. reporter
  • Mike DeForest - weeknight 6:00 p.m. reporter
  • Cortney Hall - weekday morning reporter (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
  • Mark Lehman - weekday morning reporter (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
  • Kristin Giannas - weeknight 11:00 p.m. reporter
  • Nicole Pesecky - weeknight 6:00 p.m. reporter
  • Jessica Sanchez - weekday morning traffic reporter (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
  • David Sprung - Sky 6 pilot/reporter
  • Justin Warmoth - general assignment reporter

Local 6 Problem Solvers[17]

  • Mike Holfeld - investigative reporter
  • Tony Pipitone - investigative reporter
  • Eryka Washington - consumer reporter/fill-in anchor

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Meredith Corporation to acquire Hartford Conn., television station, Business Wire (via HighBeam Research), June 2, 1997.
  2. ^ "Paxson acquires Chicago station". Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  3. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WKMG
  4. ^ Ben-Yehuda, Ayala (January 16, 2007). "LATV To Enter New Markets This Spring". Billboard. Retrieved April 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Casey Anthony: WKMG decides to go wall to wall with trial". The Orlando Sentinel. June 3, 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  6. ^ http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2011/05/casey-anthony-wftv-expands-trial-coverage-drops-oprah-winfrey.html
  7. ^ "WKMG Orlando Adds RTV To Its Lineup". TVNewsCheck. March 26, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2012. 
  8. ^ http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2013/01/wkmg-to-add-live-well-network-in-spring.html
  9. ^ Boedeker, Hal (June 21, 2013). "George Zimmerman trial to rearrange daytime lineup". The Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ Boedeker, Hal (28 January 2014). "Retro TV gives way to Live Well Network". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  11. ^ List of Digital Full-Power Stations
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ WKMG to start 5 p.m. newscast in early September, Orlando Sentinel, April 27, 2011.
  14. ^ February ratings: WKMG, WOFL win in late news; WFTV tops in other slots, Orlando Sentinel, March 1, 2012.
  15. ^ http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2010/04/wkmg-training-session-raises-concern-among-staffers.html
  16. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/orlando-station-apologizes-having-show-jacksonville-jaguars-game-175955359--nfl.html
  17. ^ a b c d e Meet the Local 6 News Team

External links[edit]