WKRN-TV

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WKRN-TV
WKRN logo.png
Nashville, Tennessee
United States
Branding Nashville's News 2
Slogan First. Fast. Accurate.
Channels Digital: 27 (UHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
Subchannels 2.1 ABC
2.2 Nashville WX
2.3 Live Well Network
Affiliations ABC (secondary until 1954)
Owner Media General
(WKRN, G.P.)
First air date November 29, 1953; 61 years ago (1953-11-29)
Call letters' meaning Knight-Ridder Nashville
(former owner)
Former callsigns WSIX-TV (1953–1973)
WNGE-TV (1973–1983)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
8 (VHF, 1953–1973)
2 (VHF, 1973–2009)
Former affiliations CBS (1953–1954)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 411 metres (1,348 ft)
Facility ID 73188
Transmitter coordinates Coordinates: 36°08′34″N 86°44′46″W / 36.1428°N 86.7460°W / 36.1428; -86.7460 36°02′50″N 86°49′49″W / 36.04733°N 86.83025°W / 36.04733; -86.83025
Website www.wkrn.com

WKRN-TV, virtual channel 2 (UHF digital channel 27), is an ABC-affiliated television station located in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. The station is owned by Media General. WKRN-TV's studios and offices are located on Murfreesboro Road (U.S. Routes 41 and 70S) in Nashville, and its transmitter is located in Forest Hills, Tennessee.

History[edit]

The station first signed on the air on November 29, 1953 as WSIX-TV, broadcasting on VHF channel 8; it was the second television station in Nashville. The station was originally owned by Louis and Jack Draughon, along with WSIX radio (980 AM, now WYFN). The call letters came from the 638 Tire Company in nearby Springfield, where the Draughon brothers had started WSIX in 1930; neither the radio nor the television stations have ever had the number six in their frequencies, which would explain it otherwise. Originally a CBS affiliate that shared the ABC affiliation with WSM-TV (channel 4, now WSMV), it became a full-time ABC affiliate after only one year when WLAC-TV (channel 5, now WTVF) signed on and took the CBS affiliation due to WLAC radio's long history as a CBS radio affiliate. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[1]

The station's original studio facilities were located on Old Hickory Boulevard, just outside of Nashville. In 1961, WSIX-AM-FM-TV moved to a new studio located at 441 Murfreesboro Road, where the television station remains located today. The current WKRN studio facility is where the Wilburn Brothers' television program, a Show Biz Inc., production, was produced during the 1960s and 1970s (however, WSM-TV had the rights to air the show in the Nashville market).

WSIX-TV, however, did not have much luck against WSM-TV and WLAC-TV. Part of the problem was a weak signal, as its transmitter was short-spaced to channel 8 in Atlanta – occupied first by WLWA-TV (now WXIA-TV) and currently occupied by WGTV. WSIX-TV was also hampered by a weaker network affiliation (ABC was not truly competitive with CBS and NBC until well into the 1970s).

The Draughons sold the WSIX stations to General Electric in 1966. In 1973, GE agreed to a deal with Nashville's PBS member station, WDCN-TV (now WNPT), then on channel 2, to swap frequencies. GE participated in the channel trade because the analog channel 2 facility was better suited for a network affiliate as opposed to an non-commercial educational station.[2] The swap occurred on December 11, 1973 at 9 p.m., in the middle of evening prime-time programming, between the Movie of the Week, "The Cat Creature", and Marcus Welby, M.D..[3][4] At the same time, even though General Electric still owned WSIX-AM-FM, WSIX-TV's call letters were changed to WNGE-TV (for Nashville General Electric). This was only the third facility swap in American television history.

General Electric pared down its broadcasting holdings during the early 1980s (though it would purchase NBC in 1986), selling WNGE-TV to Knight Ridder in 1983. The new owners changed the calls on November 29th to the current WKRN-TV. Knight Ridder sold off all of its television stations in 1989, at which point Young Broadcasting bought the station (along with its sibling WTEN in Albany, New York). It is merely a coincidence that the call letters reflect the former Young Broadcasting's flagship outlet, KRON-TV in San Francisco. Like all other ABC affiliates that were owned by Young Broadcasting, WKRN preempted ABC's broadcast of the movie Saving Private Ryan in 2004.

On June 6, 2013, Media General announced that it would acquire Young Broadcasting in an all-stock deal.[5] The merger was completed on November 12, 2013,[6] resulting in WKRN and its Knoxville sister station WATE-TV becoming sister stations of Johnson City-based WJHL-TV.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[7]
2.1 720p 16:9 WKRN-DT Main WKRN-TV programming / ABC
2.2 480i 4:3 WKRN-SD Nashville WX Channel
2.3 16:9 WKRNLWN Live Well Network

WKRN-DT2[edit]

In 2008, WKRN began broadcasing a 24-hour weather channel on a second digital subchannel, branded as the Nashville Weather Channel, or Nashville WX Channel. It airs local and regional weather information on a cycle with a few commercials, and updated short weather-casts from the News 2 StormTracker Weather team. In 2014, a Wikipedia user listed WKRN-DT2 as an affiliate of WeatherNation TV, but it never aired programming from that network. The only syndicated programming on this channel includes episodes of Storm Stories on weeknights at 7 p.m. CT.

WKRN-DT3[edit]

On August 26, 2012, WKRN began carrying the Live Well Network on its third digital subchannel.[8] Originally announced to launch on July 18, 2012,[9] LWN's carriage on the new subchannel was part of an agreement announced in January 2012, between Young Broadcasting and Live Well Network in which the network will be carried as a digital multicast service on Young-owned stations in seven markets.[10][11] Live Well Network will be shut down in January 2015, and WKRN is yet to decide whether to decide to replace it with another network or delete the subchannel.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WKRN-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 27.[12][13] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 2.

Programming[edit]

The station has an agreement with the Tennessee Titans to broadcast Bridgestone Titans on 2, the team's coach's show that originally aired from 8 to 9 p.m. Tuesday evenings, pre-empting ABC programming in that timeslot during the NFL season (which featured low-rated and critically derided sitcoms for the majority of the 2000s). The show now airs Monday and Saturday evenings at 6:30 p.m., pre-empting Wheel of Fortune in that timeslot during football season.

WKRN-TV is the local home to Tennessee Titans preseason games, which typically take place in August. They also simulcast ESPN’s Monday Night Football anytime the Tennessee Titans are involved in a Monday night match-up during the regular season.

The station received heavy criticism from viewers in November 2009 for not airing V at the network's original timeslot. V then aired early Wednesday mornings after Jimmy Kimmel Live!.[14] WKRN claimed the 13-year agreement to air the coach's show would not allow for the moving of that show to accommodate high-demand network programming without notice months in advance. However, in the past the program has moved at times to accommodate other high-demand programs such as Dancing with the Stars during the early portion of the season and network holiday programming. The station also reversed a plan to air V over NashvilleWX on digital channel 2.2 at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays the day before the premiere. WKRN's sister station in Green Bay, WBAY-TV also faced the same situation with a locally produced football program covering the Green Bay Packers, but after a week moved that program to air before primetime to accommodate V.

News operation[edit]

WKRN-TV presently broadcasts 33 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 6 hours on weekdays, four hours on Saturdays and four hours on Sundays); in addition, the station produces a half-hour public affairs program This Week with Bob Mueller, which airs Sundays at 11:00 p.m. WKRN is the only Big Three network affiliate in Nashville that does not run an hour-long newscast at 6 p.m., although its early evening on weekdays begin at 4 p.m., including ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer at 5:30 p.m.

Before the advent of satellite technology in the 1980s, the Vanderbilt Television News Archive taped all ABC News broadcasts from the airwaves of WSIX/WNGE/WKRN. Some of the recordings prior to that time include local cut-ins to ABC coverage of national elections, which represent the only preservations of the station's news broadcasts of that time. The station's two main evening news anchors, Bob Mueller and Anne Holt, have been associated with WKRN since the early 1980s.

On October 11, 2011, WKRN began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition, becoming the last Nashville television station to make the upgrade. This included a brand new news set that was built in a separate studio that was based on a design shared by all Young stations that have upgraded to HD, replacing the "working newsroom" set that had been used for the newscasts since the 1980s.

On March 29, 2014, WKRN added its additional hour of News 2 weekends for both Saturday and Sunday morning beginning at 5:00 a.m.

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]