WLWT

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WLWT
WLWT Cincinnati logo.png

WLWT Subchannel MeTV.png
Cincinnati, Ohio
United States
Branding WLWT News 5
Slogan Leading the Way – On-air, Online, and On the Go
Channels Digital: 35 (UHF)
Virtual: 5 (PSIP)
Subchannels 5.1 NBC
5.2 Me-TV
Affiliations NBC
Owner Hearst Television
(Ohio–Oklahoma Hearst Television, Inc.)
First air date February 9, 1948; 66 years ago (1948-02-09)
Call letters' meaning World's Largest Wireless Television
(sister to radio station)
Former callsigns W8XCT
(experimental, 1946–1948)
Former channel number(s) Analog: 1 (VHF, 1946–1948)
4 (VHF, 1948–1952)
5 (VHF, 1952–2009)
Former affiliations All secondary:
CBS, ABC, DuMont
(1948–1949)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 310.5 m
Facility ID 46979
Transmitter coordinates 39°7′27.3″N 84°31′17.9″W / 39.124250°N 84.521639°W / 39.124250; -84.521639
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.wlwt.com

WLWT, virtual channel 5 (UHF digital channel 35), is an NBC-affiliated television station located in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. The station is owned by the Hearst Television subsidiary of the Hearst Corporation. The station's studios and transmitter are located separately in the Mount Auburn neighborhood of Cincinnati.

History[edit]

The Crosley/Avco years[edit]

WLWT was established by the Crosley Broadcasting Corporation, owners of WLW (700 AM), one of the United States' most powerful radio stations. Crosley Broadcasting was a subsidiary of the Crosley Corporation, which became a subsidiary of the Aviation Corporation (later known as Avco) in 1945. After starting experimental broadcasts in 1946 as W8XCT on channel 1,[1][2] the station began commercial broadcasts on February 9, 1948 on VHF channel 4, making it Cincinnati's first licensed television station and Ohio's second (after WEWS-TV in Cleveland). The station's studios were housed with WLW in the Crosley Square building, a converted Elks lodge in downtown Cincinnati.[3]

1969 Advertisement for The Bob Braun Show appearing in TV Guide.

WLWT counts itself as the first television station outside the Eastern U.S. (other than network-owned stations) to become a primary NBC television affiliate, but originally carried programming from all the major television networks of the time: NBC, ABC, CBS and DuMont. WLWT later affiliated exclusively with NBC in 1949, after WKRC-TV (originally on channel 11, now on channel 12) and WCPO-TV (originally on channel 7, now on channel 9) signed on during that year. Following the release of the FCC's Sixth Report and Order in 1952, all of Cincinnati's VHF stations changed channel positions.[4] WLWT was reassigned to channel 5, as the previous channel 4 allocation was shifted north to Columbus and given to sister station WLWC (now WCMH-TV).[5]

In addition to WLWT and WLWC, Crosley also operated stations in nearby markets, WLWD (channel 2, now WDTN) in Dayton and WLWI (channel 13, now WTHR) in Indianapolis. These four inter-connected stations were branded on-air as the "WLW Network", and their call letters were stylized with hyphens to further reflect their connections to each other – the Cincinnati station, the group's flagship, was known as "WLW-T".

The three WLW television stations in Ohio were NBC affiliates, and carried common programming along with WLWI in Indianapolis (an ABC affiliate). Most of these shows were produced at the WLWT studios on Crosley Square, and included The Ruth Lyons 50-50 Club (later hosted by Bob Braun after Lyons' retirement in 1967), the Paul Dixon Show and Midwestern Hayride. The programs were syndicated regionally and also appeared on two other stations outside of the Midwest that were owned by Crosley, WLWA (now WXIA-TV) in Atlanta and WOAI-TV in San Antonio.

In 1957, WLWT became the first station in the Cincinnati market to begin color television broadcasts.[6] It later became the first station in the nation to broadcast entirely in color,[7] giving the Cincinnati the nickname "Colortown U.S.A." by 1962.[3] For a period during the 1970s, the station's slogan was "5, The Originator", in reference to all of the local programming that was produced by the station.

The Crosley broadcast division took the name of its parent company in 1968, becoming Avco Broadcasting Corporation. In 1969, The FCC enacted its "one-to-a-market" rule, which enforced a ban on common ownership of AM radio stations and television stations with overlapping coverage areas under certain conditions while grandfathering some already existing instances. Avco's ownership of WLW radio (a 50,000-watt, clear-channel station) and WLWT, and the Columbus, Dayton and Indianapolis television stations was initially protected under the new rule. WLWT's channel 5 coverage area covered a large amount of the Dayton and Columbus markets, while WLW radio could be heard throughout much of eastern North America at night.

Later years[edit]

In the mid-1970s, Avco decided to exit broadcasting and sold all of its stations to separate buyers. WLWT was the next to last to be sold, going to Multimedia, Inc. (along with Avco's production division Avco-Embassy Television, and the syndication rights to The Phil Donahue Show) in 1976.[8] As a result, the stations all lost their grandfathered protection, which led to an ownership conflict situation which Hearst-Argyle (predecessor to today's Hearst Television) would encounter two decades later (the FCC has since relaxed its adjacent-market ownership rules). All of the "WLW Network" stations except for flagship WLWT would change their call signs, leaving WLWT as the only one with any physical evidence that it was connected to WLW radio, a station that ironically would be sister stations to WLWT's rival WKRC-TV years later.

Logo used by the station from 2004 to 2013.

The Gannett Company bought Multimedia in 1995. As Gannett had owned The Cincinnati Enquirer since 1979 (and remains the newspaper's owner to this day), the company had to obtain a temporary waiver of an FCC cross-ownership rule which prohibited common ownership of a television station and a newspaper in the same market in order for Gannett to close on the Multimedia group. When the waiver expired in December 1996, Gannett opted to keep the Enquirer and swap WLWT and KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Argyle Television Holdings II in exchange for WGRZ in Buffalo, New York and WZZM in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a deal which was finalized in January 1997.[9] Argyle merged with the broadcasting unit of the Hearst Corporation to form Hearst-Argyle Television in August 1997. Hearst had owned WDTN (the former WLWD) since 1981, but the merged company opted to keep the larger WLWT and sell WDTN the next year. WLWT's licensee name under Multimedia and Gannett ownership, "Multimedia Entertainment, Inc.", survives to this day as the licensee name for WGRZ. In 1996, WKRC-TV and WCPO-TV traded networks, leaving WLWT as the only Cincinnati television station to never change its affiliation. Additionally, the purchase by Hearst made WLWT sister stations with Hearst flagship stations WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh and WBAL-TV in Baltimore, leading to all three stations to have a friendly rivalry with each other during the NFL season, as all three local NFL teams (Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens) are division rivals in the AFC North.

WLWT briefly aired UPN programming during the early morning hours on weekends at certain points in 1998 and 1999, after that netlet was displaced from its previous affiliate WSTR-TV (channel 64) by The WB, before UPN finally affiliated with the former WB affiliate WBQC-CA (channel 25) later in 1999.

In June 1999, WLWT moved its studios from Crosley Square to the Mount Auburn neighborhood, in a building that once served as the corporate headquarters of WKRC-TV's founding owners Taft Broadcasting.[10] This is because after abandoning local non-news program production, the station found that Crosley Square, with its two-story ballrooms and basement newsroom, was built more for live entertainment broadcasts than a news operation.[3]

In June 2007, WLWT announced that it would partner with WLW (AM) to provide news and weather for the radio station. As a consequence, WLWT's news and weather updates were heard nationwide on WLW's XM Satellite Radio channel, at channel 173; the agreement with XM ended in the summer of 2008. WLWT and WLW shared news and weather operations for years while both were owned by Crosley Broadcasting, but eventual separate ownerships of the two stations (WLWT to Argyle, then Hearst Television; WLW to Clear Channel) led to WLW radio using the resources of WKRC-TV for several years until the renewed partnership with its former television sister. The modern WLW-WLWT partnership ended on March 31, 2010; WLWT currently provides news and weather to several Cincinnati radio stations.

The transmission tower seen at the beginning of the 1978-1982 CBS sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati actually belonged to WLWT – it was located at the WLWT transmitter on 2222 Chickasaw Street. That red and white tower stood side-by-side with WLWT's current strobed tower until 2005, when it was dismantled.[11]

On July 9, 2012, WLWT's parent company Hearst Television was involved in a dispute with Time Warner Cable, leading to WLWT being pulled from Time Warner Cable and temporarily replaced with Nexstar Broadcasting Group station WTWO in Terre Haute, Indiana;[12][13] Time Warner opted for such a distant signal like WTWO, as it does not have the rights to carry any NBC affiliate closest to them.[14] The substitution of WTWO in place of WLWT lasted until July 19, 2012, when a carriage deal was reached between Hearst and Time Warner.[15]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[16]
5.1 1080i 16:9 WLWT-HD Main WLWT programming / NBC
5.2 480i 4:3 WLWT-ME Me-TV

NBC Weather Plus ceased network operations in late 2008,[17] however WLWT continued to broadcast local weather programming as "News 5 Weather Plus" on its digital subchannel until June 30, 2011. The subchannel switched to Me-TV on July 1, 2011.[18] Me-TV competes with Retro Television Network, which is shown on WBQC-LD subchannel 25.3.[19]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WLWT discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 5, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[20] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 35,[21] using PSIP to display WLWT's virtual channel as 5 on digital television receivers.

As part of the SAFER Act or called by most "Nightlight" service of 30 days past the DTV transition date,[22] WLWT kept its analog signal on the air until July 12 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Cincinnati Reds[edit]

The Cincinnati Reds baseball team, also owned by Crosley until 1961, broadcast its games over WLWT from 1947 through 1995. The station also fed the games to a network of stations that covered Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee (and included some of its Crosley-owned sister stations). Citing economic reasons along with pressure from NBC, channel 5 did not renew its contract following the 1995 season.[23] Waite Hoyt was the original play-by-play announcer on WLWT, in a simulcast with WLW Radio. George Bryson, Sr. replaced him in 1956. When Ed Kennedy became the play-by-play announcer in 1961, he would remain for 11 seasons, working with Frank McCormick for 8 seasons. Also calling games on WLWT included: Ken Wilson, Charlie Jones, Bill Brown, Ray Lane, Johnny Bench, and Joe Morgan.[24]

News operation[edit]

WLWT presently broadcasts 37½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours on weekdays and five hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). As of February 2012, WLWT has the top-rated local newscasts in the Cincinnati market, showing steady ratings growth in its newscasts during the last couple of years. WLWT now places #1 or #2 in all newscasts in the key adult demographics. Its website WLWT.com and mobile application are both #1 in users in Cincinnati.

On April 20, 2013, WLWT became the fourth and final Cincinnati television station to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. Prior to the upgrade, its newscasts aired in 16:9 widescreen standard definition. With the switch to HD, WLWT debuted a new set, as well as the new Hearst-mandated standardized graphics and music package ("Strive" by inthegroovemusic).[25]

The Power of 5 Weather Team[edit]

WLWT's team of meteorologists consist of Kevin Robinson (AMS Seal), Randi Rico (AMS and NWA Seals), Erik Zarnitz (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal), and Jennifer Schack (AMS Seal). WLWT brands its radar as the Power of 5 Radar Network. WLWT has access to five radar sites from Cincinnati and Wilmington, Ohio, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Indiana and Louisville, Kentucky, which are all National Weather Service NEXRAD Doppler radars (with the exception of its Cincinnati radar, which is a live radar manufactured by RadTech). WLWT uses Baron Services FasTrac Millennium and VIPIR radar software. In 2008, then-chief meteorologist Derek Beasley obtained exclusive rights to use Gibson Ridge Software's GR2Analyst radar software for on-air use, which provides 3D volumetric presentations of NEXRAD Level II data. Doing this allowed WLWT to become one of the few television stations in the nation to use this software on-air. WLWT brands this radar as Power of Five XP.

The station maintains a weather beacon atop the Radisson Hotel in Covington dubbed the "Weather Lights".[26] WLWT has the most accurate weather forecast in Cincinnati according to WeatheRate, an independent research company that tracks the accuracy of television weather forecasts throughout the United States.

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • TV-5 News (1960s–early 1970s)
  • The News (early-mid 1970s, 1980–1981)
  • TV-5 Action News (mid 1970s–1981)
  • Action 5 News (1981–1984)
  • News 5 (1984–1990, 1992–1998 and 2004–2013)
  • NewsChannel 5 (1990–1992)
  • WLWT Eyewitness News 5 (1998–2004; also currently used by sister station KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City)
  • WLWT News 5 (2013–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • Your Station Of Stars (1950s..also used by WLWD)
  • We're The Team (1980–1983)
  • TV-5 There, Be There (1983-1984, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • TV-5, Let's All Be There (1984-1986, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to TV-5 (1986-1987, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come On Home to TV-5 (1987-1988, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Going Places (circa 1988–1989) [27]
  • First. Fast. Accurate. (1998–2004)
  • Where The News Comes First (2004–2008)
  • Straight to the Point (2008–2009)
  • Leading the Way On Air, Online, On The Go (2011–present)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

On-air staff[edit]

Current on-air staff[28][edit]

Anchors
  • Lisa Cooney - weekday mornings on News 5 Today (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Mike Dardis - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Todd Dykes - weekday mornings on News 5 Today (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
  • Courtis Fuller - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
  • Jonathan Hawgood - weekend mornings on News 5 Today (5:00-8:00 weekends, 9:00-10:00 Sundays and 10:00-11:00 a.m. Saturdays)
  • Sheree Paolello - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
Power of 5 Weather Team
  • Kevin Robinson (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Randi Rico (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on News 5 Today (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Erik Zarnitz (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Jennifer Schack (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings (5:00-8:00 weekends, 9:00-10:00 Sundays and 10:00-11:00 a.m. Saturdays)
Sports team
  • TBD - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • George Vogel - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
Reporters
  • Terry Daniels - general assignment reporter
  • Kristy Davis - general assignment reporter
  • Brian Hamrick - general assignment reporter
  • Karin Johnson - general assignment reporter
  • John London - general assignment reporter
  • Alison Montoya - general assignment reporter
  • Andrew Setters - general assignment reporter
  • Amy Wagner - general assignment reporter
  • Kyla Woods - weekday morning traffic reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
Hearst Television Washington Bureau
  • Sally Kidd - Washington Bureau reporter
  • Nikole Killion - Washington Bureau reporter

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cooper, Bob (2000-02-15). "Why don't US TV Sets have a Channel 1?". Official WTFDA Club Website. Worldwide TV-FM DX Association. 
  2. ^ Thomas, David (2002). "Liberace, Springer Only Part Of WLWT's History". WLWT.com (Hearst-Argyle Television). 
  3. ^ a b c Kiesewetter, John (1999-06-06). "This is Crosley Square … Signing off". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Company). Retrieved 31 January 2009. 
  4. ^ "TV coverage; RTMA predicts expansion." Broadcasting - Telecasting, May 19, 1952, pg. 78. [1]
  5. ^ "Crosley is granted; FCC okays channel changes." Broadcasting - Telecasting, December 15, 1952, pg. 41. [2]
  6. ^ "WLW Radio & Television". Cincinnativiews. 2008-10-03. Retrieved 31 January 2009. 
  7. ^ Barry M. Horstman. "John T. Murphy". Great Living Cincinnatians. Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Liquidation of Avco group nears the end." Broadcasting, June 16, 1975, pp. 38-39. [3] [4]
  9. ^ "Gannett license reapplication order". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "WLWT to leave downtown". Cincinnati Business Courier (American City Business Journals). 1998-09-03. Retrieved 31 January 2009. 
  11. ^ http://www.fybush.com/site-030130.html
  12. ^ Adweek: "Hearst and Time Warner Cable Part Ways Over Retrans", July 10, 2012.
  13. ^ Adweek: "Imported Signals in Retrans Fight Raise Regulatory Questions", July 10, 2012.
  14. ^ Orlando Sentinel: "WESH off Bright House; Pennsylvania station is substitute", July 10, 2012.
  15. ^ Broadcasting & Cable: "Hearst TV, Time Warner Cable End Viewer Blackout", July 19, 2012.
  16. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WLWT
  17. ^ Greppi, Michele (2008-10-07). "NBC Shutting Down Weather Plus". TelevisionWeek (Crain Communications). 
  18. ^ WLWT To Launch Me-TV
  19. ^ Kiesewetter, John (2011-04-26). "Ch 5 Adding Classic TV Channel". Cincinnati.com. Gannett Company. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  20. ^ List of Digital Full-Power Stations
  21. ^ "DTV Transition Status Report". Federal Communications Commission. January 2008. 
  22. ^ "UPDATED List of Participants in the Analog Nightlight Program" (PDF). Federal Communications Commission. June 12, 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2012. 
  23. ^ http://search.everyzing.com/viewMedia.jsp?res=0&dedupe=1&index=47&num=16&col=en-all-public-ep&e=19562204&start=32&ci=28&expand=true&match=none&channel=132&filter=1
  24. ^ http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/pressbox/downloads/y2008/cin/media.pdf
  25. ^ Multimedia: WLWT debuts new HD set & newscast
  26. ^ "What Do The Weather Lights Mean?". WLWT.com. Hearst Television. 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  27. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1MXv_JEMic
  28. ^ Meet the WLWT News 5 Team
  29. ^ [5]
  30. ^ [6]
  31. ^ WLWT Corporate Presentation '94
  32. ^ [7]
  33. ^ Norma Rashid sues Channel 5, The Cincinnati Enquirer, April 25, 2000.
  34. ^ Pete Rose: The Record Hit From the Bleachers. WLWT
  35. ^ [8]
  36. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNZjQHT1DuY
  37. ^ WLWT: All-Star Cincinnati Night Before Christmas
  38. ^ WLWT: A Free Meal at the Maisonette
  39. ^ "Anne Marie Tiernon bio". WTHR. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  40. ^ "Greater Cincinnati Broadcast Hall of Fame". Retrieved 3 January 2014. 

External links[edit]