WNYT (TV)

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This article is about the television station known as WNYT. For former FM and current internet radio station known as WNYT, see WNYT (internet radio).
WNYT
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Albany/Schenectady/Troy, New York
United States
City of license Albany
Branding WNYT 13 (general)
NewsChannel 13 (newscasts)
Me-TV Capital Region
(on DT2)
NewsChannel 13 Now
(on DT3)
Slogan Coverage You Can Trust
Channels Digital: 12 (VHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
Subchannels 13.1 NBC
13.2 Me-TV
Translators 18 Troy
21 W21CP-D Gloversville
28 W28DA-D Pittsfield, MA
38 W38DL-D Adams, MA
45 Glens Falls
Owner Hubbard Broadcasting
(WNYT-TV, LLC)
First air date February 17, 1954; 60 years ago (1954-02-17)
Call letters' meaning We're New York Television
Sister station(s) WNYA, WEPT-CA, WHEC-TV
Former callsigns WTRI (1954–1958)
WAST (1958–1981)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
35 (UHF, 1954-1958)
13 (VHF, 1958-2009)
Former affiliations CBS (1954–1955 & 1977–1981)
silent (1955–1956)
ABC (1956–1977)
NBC Weather Plus (on DT2, 2005–2008, local weather (on DT3), 2009-2013)
Transmitter power 15 kW
Height 435 m
Class DT
Facility ID 73363
Transmitter coordinates 42°37′31.3″N 74°0′36.3″W / 42.625361°N 74.010083°W / 42.625361; -74.010083 (WNYT)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website wnyt.com

WNYT is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Capital District of New York State and Western New England. Licensed to Albany, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 (or virtual channel 13.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter on the Helderberg Escarpment west of New Salem, a hamlet of New Scotland. Owned by Hubbard Broadcasting, WNYT is sister to MyNetworkTV affiliate WNYA and the two outlets share studios on North Pearl Street in Menands along NY 32/Wolfert Avenue (with an Albany postal address). Syndicated programming on the station includes The Insider, Entertainment Tonight, The Dr. Oz Show, and The Rachael Ray Show among others.

History[edit]

Its former analog transmitter and current Doppler weather radar on Bald Mountain outside of Troy.

The station began broadcasting on February 17, 1954, as CBS affiliate WTRI, licensed to Troy. The station was co-owned by Troy Broadcasting Co. which once owned WTRY radio (980 AM, now WOFX) and Van Cruler Broadcasting Corp., a unit of the Stanley Warner Theaters chain, which operated the station. The station originally operated on UHF channel 35. WTRI's studios and transmitter were east of Troy on Bald Mountain in the town of Brunswick, New York. In January 1955, WTRI lost its CBS affiliation to WROW-TV (now WTEN), forcing the station to sign off the air for several months. The owners filed a petition to the FCC against WROW TV's parent Hudson Valley Broadcasting Company (predecessor to Capital Cities Communications) , it's new owner Lowell Thomas and CBS, crying foul because of Thomas' relationship with the network. Meanwhile, the financial situation and legal issues forced Troy Broadcasting to sell the remaining ownership of WTRI to Van Curler Broadcasting.

Now as a sole owner, Van Curler put WTRI back on the air in August 1956 as an ABC affiliate. In 1958, Van Curler moved the license to Albany under the new call letters WAST (for Albany/Schenectady/Troy), and a new channel location, channel 13. Originally, the station had wanted to take the WTAS call sign (for Troy/Albany/Schenectady) but the similarity of the letters TAS to the news agency of the Soviet Union led to the use of WAST.

Shortly after the upgrade, WAST moved to a converted warehouse on the Albany/Menands line on 715 North Pearl St., which previously housed Selective Service records. Channel 13 still operates from this location today. Despite the increased transmitter power, WAST's signal was still significantly weaker in some directions than the other Capital District television stations. This was because as a condition of being allowed to move to the VHF band, it remained on its original transmitter on Bald Mountain (a legacy of the days when it was licensed to Troy) and use a somewhat directional signal to protect WNTA-TV (now WNET) in New York City.

The other stations in the market had their transmitters at a common location southwest of Voorheesville. This forced WAST to build several translators to expand its coverage. Combined with the fact it was affiliated with ABC, the smallest and weakest of the three major networks, channel 13 was not really on par with rivals WRGB and WTEN until cable arrived in the Capital District in the early 1970s. In 1969, WAST was sold to Sonderling Broadcasting.

In 1977, the station once again, switched affiliations with WTEN and became once again, the Capital District's CBS affiliate. During the next year (1978), Viacom purchased Sonderling which made WAST the company's first television station holding. On September 21, 1981, WAST swapped affiliations with WRGB and became the area's NBC affiliate. Seeking a fresh start and a new identity, Viacom decided to mark the affiliation change with the current call sign of WNYT. It is one of the few stations in the United States to have been a primary affiliate of all of the big three networks.

In 1994, after Viacom bought Paramount Pictures, Viacom transferred all of its television stations to Paramount's broadcasting arm, the Paramount Stations Group. Not long after that, Paramount announced formation of the United Paramount Network. It also announced it would sell off all of its non-UPN stations. In 1996, Paramount/Viacom traded WNYT and WHEC-TV in Rochester to Hubbard Broadcasting for UPN affiliate WTOG in the Tampa Bay area.

WNYT signed-on its digital signal in October 2003 on VHF channel 12. Unlike the station's analog signal, WNYT-DT's transmitter was and continues to be southwest of Voorheesville with the market's other stations.

On February 25, 2013, Hubbard announced that it would purchase WNYA from Venture Technologies to form a duopoly with WNYT, for $2.3 million, pending Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval. Hubbard sought a failed station waiver to acquire the station;[1][2] Venture had put WNYA up for sale in 2009, but no other potential buyers came forward.[3] The sale did not include Class A repeater WNYA-CA which will remain with Venture Technologies.[4] Under a clause of the sale of WNYA that required WNYA-CA to use a new call sign that does not feature the letters "N" or "Y," [2] that station became WEPT-CA on March 8, 2013. On May 29, 2013, the FCC approved the sale of WNYA to Hubbard, with Venture retaining ownership of WEPT-CA.[5]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6]
13.1 1080i 16:9 WNYT-HD Main WNYT programming / NBC
13.2 480i 4:3 WNYT-ME Me-TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WNYT shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, 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 VHF channel 12.[7] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 13.

Translators[edit]

WNYT operates five additional repeaters. Until the early-1990s, it maintained a translator in Kingston. This was first located on channel 63 but moved to channel 36 after the launch of WTZA in 1985. The translators were all built because WNYT's analog signal was not as strong as the other major television stations in the Capital District (see below). All stations have since been converted from analog to digital even though the law currently exempts low-power repeaters to conduct such a switch. Channels 18 and 45 are licensed under the WNYT call sign but designated as low-powered.

Call letters Channel City of license Transmitter location Note
WNYT 18 Troy Bald Mountain located on former analog tower
W21CP-D 21 Gloversville southwest of town center until 2006, it had the call letters W07AJ but changed after WXXA-DT began broadcasting on digital channel 7
W28DA-D 28 Pittsfield South Mountain until 2006, it had the call letters W07AI and was also changed due to sign-on of WXXA-DT
W38DL-D 38 Adams Mount Greylock until 2005, it had the call letters W51AE and was changed due to the launch of WNYA in Pittsfield
WNYT 45 Glens Falls Queensbury

News operation[edit]

Nightly news open at 11.

For many years, WNYT ran a distant third in the area's Nielsen ratings behind WRGB and WTEN. This was not only because it was the youngest station in the market but also because of its signal reception issues. Under Viacom ownership, the station expanded and modernized its studios (newsroom, offices etc. including the market's first modern computers), becoming a factor in the Capital District ratings race for the first time. The company also made a significant investment in electronic equipment including a satellite receiving news truck. Investment in talent increased with the building of its own talent and by acquiring key personalities from other stations in the area.

WNYT had overtaken WTEN for the runner-up spot by the late-1980s, and in 1992, scored its first late news victory. Gradually, the station overtook longtime leader WRGB in other time slots. In Viacom's last sweeps period owning WNYT, the station won every time slot. It remained the overall market leader under Hubbard ownership until mid-2009 when it lost the lead weeknights at 11 to WRGB in the May 2009 ratings period. In November 2009, WNYT's weekday evening newscasts slipped to third place largely due to the station's decision to terminate many of its popular personalities. Two years after Hubbard bought WNYT, it won the distinction of being the first and only station outside of New York City to win a regional Emmy award for best newscast in New York State. With the re-branding of the station's newscasts from News 13 to NewsChannel 13 in 1991, WNYT became the first station to use the "Live. Local. Late Breaking." tag line slogan which is now commonplace throughout the country.

In the mid-1990s, the station began an alliance with PBS affiliate WMHT. This led to WNYT producing several programs for the public broadcaster including semi-regular town hall meetings, the weekly call-in show Health LINK (which continues today), and for two years the market's first 10 p.m. newscast on WMHT's then-secondary station WMHQ (now WCWN). This production was canceled due to a lack of support. From 2001 until 2004, WNYT also maintained a joint sales agreement (JSA) with Pax affiliate WYPX that included rebroadcasts of newscasts and other local non-news programming.

In 2001, WNYT opened the Berkshire County Bureau on South Church Street in Downtown Pittsfield to cover the Massachusetts side of the market. At that time, the bureau was the first of a Capital District station. The Berkshire County Bureau began to be staffed only on an occasional basis in 2009,[8] and subsequently closed altogether as a result of the 2008 recession, though the station still covers Berkshire County. Interestingly, WCDC (a full-time satellite of rival WTEN), has never established any sort of physical presence in Pittsfield despite being licensed to that city. With the acquisition of WNYA, Hubbard has indicated that it would produce newscasts on WNYA with an increased emphasis on news from Berkshire County. It remains to be see whether this will include any new physical presence (i.e. a news bureau or a full studio) of WNYA and WNYT in the local area.[3][9]

A newscast airing on WNYA finally premiered September 16, 2013 and is known on-air as NewsChannel 13 Live at 10 on My 4 Albany. The show airs weeknights for a half hour in a fast-paced format and includes a "Berkshire Moment" segment featuring western Massachusetts headlines powered by The Berkshire Eagle. It competes with the firmly established sixty minute broadcast seen every night on Fox affiliate WXXA-TV (produced by WTEN) and another thirty minute news show on WCWN (a weeknight-only production by WRGB).[10]

After forging an alliance with the Glens Falls Post-Star, the Saratoga/North Country Bureau was opened on Broadway/NY 50/U.S. 9 in Downtown Saratoga Springs in early-2004. In December 2005, WNYT began broadcasting NBC Weather Plus on its second digital subchannel with a full launch coming two months later on Time Warner Cable digital channel 556. In the late 2000s, WNYT briefly replaced its weekday noon news with an hour-long broadcast at 11 AM entitled Midday. On April 24, 2012, WNYT became the third station in Albany to launch newscasts in high definition. Although three other Hubbard-owned stations have already been broadcasting their local news shows in 16:9 enhanced definition widescreen, WNYT is only the second Hubbard-owned station (after company flagship KSTP-TV in Saint Paul, Minnesota) to have made the upgrade to full high definition level. The station operates its own Doppler weather radar, known on-air as "NewsChannel 13 First Warning Live Doppler" at its former analog transmitter site on Bald Mountain.

Station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • News with Hud Stevens/News Final (1954-1964)
  • WTRI-TV News (1954–1958)
  • WAST News (1958–1964)
  • News 13 (1964-1969)
  • WAST Eyewitness News (1969–1975)
  • NewsWatch 13 (1975–1978)
  • 13 News (1978–1981)
  • TV-13 News (1981–1988)
  • News 13 (1988–1991)
  • NewsChannel 13 (1991–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "New York's 13 Country" (1973–1978)
  • "You Should See Us Now!" (1981-?)
  • "We Know What Matters" (1988-1991)
  • "Live. Local. Latebreaking." (1991–2009)
  • "The Capitol Region's #1 Newscast" (1997–2004)
  • "Coverage You Can Trust" (2009–present)

News themes[edit]

  • A Clockwork Orange: Timesteps by Walter Carlos (1973-1977)
  • Home Country by Mayoham Music (1977-1982)
  • Look For Us by Telesound (1982-1985)
  • WCCO 1983 News Theme by unknown composer (1985-1988)
  • We Know What Matters by The Coast Productions (1988-1991)
  • The One For All by Gari Media Group (1991-1994)
  • Image IX by Newsmusic Central (1994-199?)
  • Prime News by Newsmusic Central (1994-1997)
  • NBC Stations by Edd Kalehoff Productions (1997-2004)
  • The Tower (V.1, V.2, V.3, V.4, V.5) by 615 Music (2004-2012)
  • L.A. Groove by Groove Worx (2004-2012)
  • Keynote by Aircast Production (2012-present)

News team[edit]

Anchors

  • Phil Bayly - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.); also Forum 13 host
  • Subrina Dhammi - weekday mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Jim Kambrich - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00, 10:00 (on WNYA), and 11:00 p.m.; also reporter
  • Benita Zahn - weeknights at 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.; also health reporter and Health LINK host on WMHT
  • Elaine Houston - weeknights at 5:30 p.m.; also education reporter
  • Jessica Layton - weeknights at 11:00 p.m.; also "13 Kids Who Care" segment producer
  • Dan Bazile - weekend mornings (8:00-9:00 a.m.); also reporter
  • Kumi Tucker - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also reporter

NewsChannel 13 First Warning Weather

  • Bob Kovachick (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, and 6:00 p.m.
  • Jason Gough (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weeknights at 10:00 (on WNYA) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Paul Caiano - meteorologist; weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Jason Caterina - meteorologist; weekend mornings (8:00-9:00 a.m.)
  • Neal Estano - meteorologist; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.

Sports

  • Rodger Wyland - Director; weeknights at 6:00, 10:00 (on WNYA), and 11:00 p.m., also heard on WOFX-AM 980
  • Chris Onorato - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also Big Board Sports host and "High School Player of the Week" segment producer
  • Ashley Miller - photojournalist; fill in anchor and also reporter

Reporters

  • Mark Mulholland - Saratoga/North Country Bureau
  • John McLaughlin - part-time
  • Bill Lambdin
  • Dan Levy
  • Steve Flamisch
  • Abigail Bleck
  • Nicole Hart

Notable past personnel[edit]

  • Andrew Catalon (2004-2013) Now at CBS Sports Network; married to nightside anchor Jessica Layton
  • Nancy Cozean (?-1985) The first lead female weekday anchor in the Albany market, left in 1985 to co-anchor the evening newscast at WTZA in Kingston, NY. Later became the mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie
  • John Craig (?-2011) Now at WGY 810AM / 103.1FM (WGY FM/AM) and Oldies 98.3 (WTRY) in Albany NY, as well as host of Capital Region Bowling on WXXA
  • Todd Gross (Chief meteorologist, 1980-1983)
  • Chris Kapostasy (Jansing) (1981–1998, was an anchor from 1987 to 1998) Now at MSNBC
  • Kelly Lynch (reporter, 1995-1996, Weekend anchor, later Noon and Midday anchor, 1998-2008) Now morning co-host at AM 810 WGY/103.1 FM
  • Miles O'Brien Weekend anchor, mid-1980s; Later spent 16 years at CNN
  • Randy Salerno (Weekend anchor, 1988–93) Later went to WGN-TV and then to WBBM-TV in Chicago; killed in snowmobile accident in 2008
  • Norm Sebastian (Former weekend, then weekday morning/noon meteorologist); deceased
  • Don Weeks (Weatherman during the late 1960s under the name of "Wally Weather") Was the morning show host at WGY from 1980 until his retirement in December 2010.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "WNYT Albany to Purchase MyNet WNYA". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 25 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Application For Consent To Assignment Of Broadcast Station Construction Permit Or License Federal Communications Commission, 8 March 2013
  3. ^ a b Dobrowolski, Tony (May 2, 2013). "Albany NBC-TV affiliate buys station; will sharpen focus on Berkshire news". The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, MA). Retrieved May 18, 2013. 
  4. ^ Seyler, Dave (March 8, 2013). "Hubbard believes failure will allow it to double in Albany". Television Business Report. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ Rooney, Chris (May 29, 2013). "FCC approves sale of WNYA to WNYT". Albany, NY. WNYT NewsChannel 13. Retrieved May 29, 2013. 
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WNYT
  7. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  8. ^ Fanto, Clarence (February 22, 2009). "Clouds gather over TV landscape". The Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved May 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ Dobrowolski, Tony (May 2, 2013). "Albany NBC-TV affiliate buys station; will sharpen focus on Berkshire news". The Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved May 18, 2013. 
  10. ^ https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151810163030318&set=a.10150577761235318.381603.54286155317&type=1

External links[edit]