WNDU-TV

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WNDU-TV
WNDU logo.png
South Bend, Indiana
United States
Branding WNDU Channel 16 (general)
Newscenter 16 (newscasts)
Slogan Your Breaking News & Weather Authority
Channels Digital: 42 (UHF)
Virtual: 16 (PSIP)
Subchannels 16.1 NBC HD
16.2 Antenna TV
16.3 Mexicanal
Affiliations NBC
Owner Gray Television
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
First air date July 15, 1955
Call letters' meaning Notre
Dame
University (former owner)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
46 (UHF, 1955–1957)
16 (UHF, 1957–2009)
Transmitter power 800 kW
Height 311.8 m
Facility ID 41674
Transmitter coordinates 41°36′20″N 86°12′46″W / 41.60556°N 86.21278°W / 41.60556; -86.21278
Website www.wndu.com

WNDU-TV, virtual channel 16.1 (UHF digital channel 42), is an NBC-affiliated television station located in South Bend, Indiana, United States. The station is owned by Gray Television. WNDU maintains studios on Michigan Street (State Road 933) on South Bend's northern side, and its transmitter is located southeast of the St. Joseph County Fairgrounds on the city's South side. The station's studios also house production facilities for the syndicated agricultural news programs AgDay and U.S. Farm Report, the former of which is broadcast locally by WNDU.

History[edit]

The station first signed on the air on July 15, 1955, originally broadcasting on UHF channel 46. WNDU-TV was owned by the Michiana Television Corporation, a subsidiary of the University of Notre Dame. The station took its call letters from WNDU radio (1490 AM, now WDND at 1620 AM; and 92.9 FM, now WNDV-FM), which were also owned by the university until 1998. However, like its radio sisters, it was a full-fledged commercial station rather than a public broadcaster. In 1957, to much fanfare, WNDU-TV moved to UHF channel 16.

The station immediately took the NBC affiliation from WSJV (channel 28), and has been with the network ever since. WNDU-TV's early broadcast schedule included programs like Romper Room, and the first local telecast of a Notre Dame football game. WNDU aired the children's program Sesame Street from 1970 to 1974 until non-commercial PBS member station WNIT (channel 34) signed on the air. From 1967 to 1986, WNDU aired Beyond Our Control, a locally-produced sketch comedy program, which was presented as part of the station's involvement in the Junior Achievement program.[1]

On November 24, 2005, the University of Notre Dame entered into an agreement to sell the station to Gray Television for $85 million in an all-cash deal, with the university placing the money received from the sale in an endowment.[2] The sale closed on March 5, 2006, after which the Federal Communications Commission granted Gray a crossownership waiver for WNDU and Goshen-based newspaper The Goshen News. This was necessary because the FCC prohibits the common ownership of a newspaper and a television station in the same market (Gray eventually spun off the Times and four other newspapers the following year into a new company called Triple Crown Media, which was subsequently merged with Host Communications).[3]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[4]
16.1 1080i 16:9 WNDU-HD Main WNDU-TV programming / NBC
16.2 480i ANTENNA Antenna TV

WNDU's second digital subchannel formerly carried a standard-definition simulcast of the station's main channel (with limited programming substitutions for shows preempted by WNDU 16.1 for local programming); the subchannel became affiliated with Antenna TV on July 1, 2013.


Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WNDU-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 16, at 7:00 p.m. on March 3, 2009, after a voluntary nightlight period following the original date on which full-power television stations in the United States were set to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later rescheduled for June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 42,[5][6] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 16.

Programming[edit]

Syndicated programming seen on WNDU includes Access Hollywood, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Rachael Ray, Bethenny and Inside Edition. As an NBC affiliate, it is the home station for the network's broadcast of Notre Dame football home games.

Due to an increased focus on news programming, WNDU-TV made room for a three-hour Saturday morning newscast in 1994,[citation needed] by airing NBC's teen-oriented program block TNBC in early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings to fulfill E/I guidelines. WNDU currently airs the network's NBC Kids programming block for three of the four hours on Saturday with the final hour airing on Sundays at 7 a.m. In addition, the station's primary channel preempts the weekend editions of Today for its weekend morning newscasts, with the program airing on its second digital subchannel instead.

Programming controversies[edit]

Under Notre Dame's ownership, WNDU opted not to air certain NBC programs out of concerns over inappropriate content; such shows included the animated series God, the Devil and Bob (for content offensive to the religious values of the university) and the American version of the British sitcom Coupling (due to the program's sexual content). The latter series instead aired on WSBT-DT2, then South Bend's UPN affiliate on Thursday nights after UPN programming. The station also aired the Notre Dame commencement address of President Barack Obama in full on May 17, 2009, in lieu of the first half of an NHL playoff game.

News operation[edit]

WNDU-TV presently broadcasts a total of 31 hours of local newscasts each week (with five hours on weekdays, four hours on Saturdays and two hours on Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among the broadcast television stations in the South Bend market. WNDU-TV used a helicopter for its newsgathering purposes from the 1980s until 2006.

On April 21, 2010, starting with its noon newscast, WNDU became the second television station in the South Bend market (behind WSBT-TV) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.[7]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ TV Guide: One Vice President Resigned Because He Was Failing Algebra, June 9–15, 1973.
  2. ^ WNDU to be sold to Gray Television, The South Bend Tribune, November 24, 2005.
  3. ^ Gray Closes on WNDU Sale, Broadcasting & Cable, March 6, 2006.
  4. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WNDU
  5. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  6. ^ CDBS Print
  7. ^ NewsCenter 16 now broadcasting in HD

External links[edit]