|New Orleans, Louisiana|
|City of license||New Orleans|
|Slogan||Only in New Orleans|
|Channels||Digital: 15 (UHF)
Virtual: 38 (PSIP)
38.2 This TV
This TV (DT2)
(Tribune Television New Orleans, Inc.)
|First air date||March 25, 1984|
|Call letters' meaning||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
38 (UHF, 1984-2009)
|Former affiliations||independent (1984-1986)
The WB (1996-2006)
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
WNOL-TV is the CW-affiliated television station in New Orleans, Louisiana. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 15 (virtual channel 38.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter in Chalmette. Owned by Tribune Broadcasting, WNOL is sister to ABC affiliate WGNO and both stations maintain studios at The Galleria in Metarie. This station can also be seen on Cox Communications and AT&T U-verse channel 13 and in HD on Cox Communications and AT&T U-verse digital channel 1013.
The station's digital signal on UHF channel 15, is multiplexed:
|38.1||1080i||16:9||WNOL-DT||Main WNOL programming / The CW|
Prior to the digital television transition, WNOL shared its digital signal on UHF channel 15 with sister station WGNO. On June 12, 2009, WGNO flash cut its digital signal to UHF channel 26, allowing WNOL to resume high definition broadcasts on digital channel 15. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WNOL-TV's virtual channel as its former analog UHF channel 38.
Digital retransmission disputes
On April 1, 2012, WNOL owner Tribune Broadcasting removed all 23 of its television stations from DirecTV due to a retransmission consent dispute with the satellite provider. DirecTV signed a new carriage agreement with Tribune on April 4, 2012, restoring WNOL and the rest of Tribune's stations.
WNOL-TV signed on in March 1984 as a general entertainment independent television station as well as New Orleans' second, after WGNO, running a variety of cartoons, sitcoms, older movies, drama shows, and religious programs (a lot of which were formerly seen on WGNO). Its slogan was, "Don't Stay Home Without Us," a homage to Karl Malden's American Express commercial campaign.
In 1985, the station was sold to the TVX Broadcast Group. Along with the other stations in the TVX group, WNOL affiliated with Fox in 1986. Reportedly, when WGNO passed on the Fox affiliation, TVX used WNOL as leverage to get Fox to sign a group affiliation deal. In 1987, TVX acquired Taft Broadcasting's independent stations and Fox affiliates. The next year, TVX began selling off many of its stations. In 1989 TVX sold WNOL to Qwest Broadcasting, a company owned by minority investors led by musician Quincy Jones. WNOL continued to offer Fox programming, cartoons, sitcoms, movies, and drama shows into the 1990s.
In 1995, Fox entered into a partnership with Savoy Pictures to buy several television stations, one of them being New Orleans's longtime ABC affiliate WVUE (channel 8). As a result, the Fox affiliation, including Fox Kids programming, moved from WNOL to WVUE on January 1, 1996. WNOL, on the other hand, acquired the WB affiliation from WGNO—which in turn picked up ABC from WVUE. As the 1990s progressed, WNOL began to shift away from classic sitcoms and moved toward more talk and reality shows during the day.
Tribune Broadcasting (which then owned a stake in the WB network) began to manage WNOL in 1996 under a local marketing agreement, and purchased the station outright in 2000 after merging with Quest, making WNOL and WGNO sister stations. Along with other similarly formatted stations, WNOL began to move away from cartoons, such as The Wacky World of Tex Avery in 2000. When Kids' WB ended its weekday run in 2006, WNOL dropped weekday cartoons.
In 2007, WNOL moved to new studio facilities at the Galleria Center in Metairie which are shared with WGNO.
Hurricane Katrina destroyed WNOL's transmitters along with those of its sister station WGNO. The stations then transmitted via analog service from a multi-purpose tower in Algiers. The stations were broadcasting their digital content as sub-channels of station WPXL until March 29, 2008, when WNOL's current digital transmitter on digital channel 15 was brought into service. It was decided by Tribune that because they elected to move WGNO's digital signal back to channel 26 with the June 12, 2009 digital transition, that they would wait to relaunch WGNO's digital signal and instead combine WGNO and WNOL's digital services onto WNOL's channel space until June 2009 and flash-cut WGNO at the end of the analog era.
From March 29, 2008 until June 12, 2009, WNOL's digital signal was divided into a full high definition 720p signal on 15.1 for WGNO's programming (which identified via PSIP as channel 26.1), while WNOL's schedule aired in 480i standard definition on 15.2 (flagged via PSIP as 38.1); local cable provider Cox Communications continued to receive a 1080i feed of WNOL's signal via a fiber optic connection for their HD customers who wanted to watch CW programming in high definition. On June 12, 2009 when WGNO's analog service ended, their programming moved fully to digital channel 26, allowing WNOL to resume digital broadcasting in 1080i for the first time since August 2005.
From The WB to The CW
On January 24, 2006, Time Warner and CBS Corporation announced that the two companies would form a joint venture to create The CW Television Network, which initially featured a consolidation of programming from both The WB and UPN (the latter was acquired by CBS less than one month before the merger announcement on December 31, 2005, after its split from Viacom was finalized). The network signed a ten-year affiliation agreement with Tribune Broadcasting for 16 of the 19 WB affiliates that the company owned at the time, with WNOL being named as the New Orleans affiliate of the network, which commenced operations on September 18, 2006. UPN affiliate WUPL (channel 54), which was owned by CBS at the time (now owned by Gannett), became an affiliate of MyNetworkTV, a competing network operated by the Fox Television Stations and Twentieth Television subsidiaries of News Corporation.
WNOL may also take on the responsibility of airing ABC programs when WGNO is not able to such as in a news-related emergency.
On May 1, 2006, WNOL debuted a half-hour weeknight newscast at 9 p.m. that was produced by sister station WGNO; it competed against an hour-long in-house newscast on Fox affiliate WVUE in that timeslot. Dismal ratings resulted in the newscast's cancellation after a four-year run, with the last edition airing on June 4, 2010; three days later on June 7, WNOL shifted The CW's primetime programming schedule one hour later to 8-10 p.m. (instead of the network-recommended 7-9 p.m. slot for the network's affiliates in the Central Time Zone), with syndicated programming filling the 7 p.m. hour.
As a result of the newscast's cancellation, WNOL is currently one of only five Tribune-owned television stations that do not carry daily newscasts (alongside WDCW/Washington, D.C., WCCT/Hartford-New Haven, WTTV/Indianapolis and WSFL/Miami).
- Tribune says no to DirecTV
- Tribune and DirecTV reach 5 year deal
- 'Gilmore Girls' meet 'Smackdown'; CW Network to combine WB, UPN in CBS-Warner venture beginning in September, CNNMoney.com, January 24, 2006.
- UPN and WB to Combine, Forming New TV Network, The New York Times, January 24, 2006.
- Tribune TV Stations to Lead Affiliate Group of New Network, Tribune Company corporate website, January 24, 2006.
- WNOL drops 9 p.m. newscast, 'TMZ' moves to WGNO, The Times-Picayune, June 7, 2010.
- NOLA38.com - Official WNOL-TV website
- NOLA.ThisTV.com - Official This TV New Orleans website
- WGNO.com - Official WGNO-TV Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WNOL
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WNOL-TV