WHAM-TV

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WHAM-TV
WHAM-TV Logo.png

Wham dt2.png
Rochester, New York
City of license Rochester
Branding 13 WHAM (general)
13 WHAM News (newscasts)
(pronounced "wham")
Rochester's CW (on DT2)
Slogan Your Breaking News & Weather Authority
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Affiliations 13.1 ABC
13.2 The CW
Owner Deerfield Media
(operated under an LMA by Sinclair Broadcast Group)
(Deerfield Media (Rochester) License, LLC)
First air date September 15, 1962
Call letters' meaning taken from former sister WHAM radio
Sister station(s) WUHF, WUTV, WNYO-TV,
WSTM-TV, WSTQ-LP,
WRGB, WCWN
Former callsigns WOKR (1962-2005)
Former channel number(s) Analog: 13 (1962-2009)
Digital: 59 (2005-2009)
Transmitter power 10.5 kW
Height 152 m
Facility ID 73371
Transmitter coordinates 43°8′7″N 77°35′3″W / 43.13528°N 77.58417°W / 43.13528; -77.58417
Website www.13wham.com

WHAM-TV is the ABC-affiliated television station for Rochester, New York. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 13 from a transmitter on Pinnacle Hill on the border between Rochester and Brighton. The station can also be seen on Time Warner channels 13 and 1200 in standard definition and high definition. Owned by Deerfield Media and operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of Fox affiliate WUHF) under a local marketing agreement,[1] it has studios on West Henrietta Road (NY 15) in Henrietta (though the mailing address says Rochester). Syndicated programming on WHAM includes: The Insider, Entertainment Tonight, and Access Hollywood.

History[edit]

The station signed-on at 4 in the afternoon on September 15, 1962 with the call sign WOKR (for "We're OK Rochester"). Right from the start, it was an ABC affiliate and is the only commercial station in the area that has never changed its affiliation. In March 1970, it was sold to Flower City Television Corporation. In 1977, Flower City was sold to Post Corporation, a media conglomerate based in the Fox Cities region of Wisconsin. George N. Gillett Jr. purchased the station from Post Corporation in August 1984 transferring it into Gillett Holdings, Inc. Hughes Broadcasting Partners (Paul Hughes and Veronis, Suhler & Associates) purchased the station in June 1991. Guy Gannett Communications acquired WOKR in April 1995.

Guy Gannett sold its stations to the Sinclair Broadcast Group in 1998; as Sinclair already owned WUHF, it then spun off WOKR to the Ackerley Group, with the acquisition closing in April 1999. The station came under common ownership with WHAM radio (1180 AM) in June 2002 after the Ackerley Group merged with Clear Channel Communications, WHAM radio's owner. Speculation immediately started about whether WOKR would take on the WHAM-TV calls, which had been used on what is now WROC-TV from 1949 until 1956. On January 10, 2005 at 1:42 in the morning, channel 13 signed off-the-air for the last time as WOKR and returned to the air at 4:59 that same day as WHAM-TV.

For many years, WOKR was one of three Rochester area stations offered on cable in the Ottawa/Gatineau and Eastern Ontario regions. The Rochester area stations were replaced with Detroit channels in September 2003 when the microwave relay system that provided these signals was discontinued. Until January 2009, WHAM was also the ABC affiliate carried in several Central Ontario communities such as Belleville, Cobourg, and Lindsay. Buffalo ABC affiliate WKBW-TV replaced WHAM in these communities.

On November 16, 2006, Clear Channel announced its intention to sell off all of its television stations after the company was bought by private equity firms. On April 20, 2007, the company entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Newport Television, a broadcasting holding company established by the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners. [2] The sale separated WHAM-TV from WHAM radio (which remains owned by Clear Channel); however, the WHAM-TV call sign has been retained, and the two stations have continued a news partnership. On June 12, 2009, WHAM-TV shut off its analog signal on channel 13 as part of the analog television shutdown and digital conversion; at the same time, its digital signal shifted from channel 59 to channel 13.

On July 19, 2012, Newport Television announced the sale of 22 of its 27 stations to the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Cox Media Group.[3] While most of WHAM-TV's New York State sisters were sold to Nexstar, a buyer for WHAM-TV was not announced until December 3, when Newport sold its non-license assets to Sinclair.[1] The license was sold to Deerfield Media for $54 million. Sinclair cannot acquire the WHAM-TV license because of its continued ownership of WUHF (though it holds an option to do so[1]); Nexstar could not purchase WHAM-TV because it already owned CBS affiliate WROC-TV. Rochester has only five full-power stations--not enough to legally permit a duopoly. WHAM-TV is also the only ABC affiliate owned by Newport Television that wasn't sold to Nexstar. With the announced sales in November of two additional stations to Nexstar and KMTR in Eugene, Oregon to Fisher Communications (which was later sold itself to Sinclair in May 2013), WHAM-TV was the last Newport Television station without a buyer. On January 30, 2013, the FCC granted approval of the transaction, and it was consummated two days later.[4][5]

On December 31, 2013, WUHF terminated its eight-year SSA with WROC, and the station was re-located to WHAM's studios. On January 1, 2014, WUHF introduced two WHAM-produced newscasts, Good Day Rochester and a 10 p.m. newscast, which were both previously seen on WHAM's The CW sub-channel.[6]

Digital television[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
13.1 720p 16:9 WHAM-HD Main WHAM-TV programming / ABC
13.2 CW-WHAM The CW

WHAM-DT2[edit]

What is now WHAM-DT2 was launched in 2000 as cable-only "WRWB". It was an affiliate of The WB through The WB 100+. The station was operated by Time Warner and the call sign was used in a fictional manner. On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would end broadcasting and merge. The new combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of its corporate parents: CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. On February 22, News Corporation announced that it would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be a sister network to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming Independent. It was also created to compete against The CW. UPN was seen locally on Class A station WBGT-CA.

WRWB's CW affiliation was officially announced on March 7. As a result of Time Warner's half ownership in the new network, this was virtually a guarantee. After the switch on September 18, the station's on-air identity changed from "Rochester's WB 16" to "Rochester's CW" (with a "TV 16" logo used to denote its cable channel) and the fictional WRWB calls were laid aside. Meanwhile, WBGT became part of MyNetworkTV when that network launched on September 5. On November 13, 2006, WHAM took over the operation of "Rochester's CW" from Time Warner. It renamed the service "CW WHAM" and began to simulcast on a new second digital subchannel of WHAM to offer over-the-air viewers access to CW programming.

"CW WHAM" moved its operations from the downtown Time Warner offices on Mount Hope Avenue into this station's facilities on West Henrietta Road. On September 8, 2007, WHAM-DT2 began airing Next Era Wrestling's Superstars of Wrestling, a popular wrestling program filmed and produced locally for the Rochester audience. The show was canceled after eight episodes. Syndicated programming on WHAM-DT2 includes: Family Guy, The Big Bang Theory, and How I Met Your Mother. It is one of the CW affiliates on a subchannel that does not use The CW Plus to acquire certain syndicated programming for the station.

News operation[edit]

News open seen every night at 6.

WHAM has led the news ratings in Rochester for many years and lead anchor Don Alhart has been at the station since 1966 along with longtime anchors Ginny Ryan and Doug Emblidge. As of 2007, portions of WHAM's programming (including its weekday noon newscast) is streamed live on its website. On January 15, 2007, the station expanded its weekday morning show to include two hours (7 to 9) on WHAM-DT2. On September 13, 2010, WHAM became the first station in Rochester to broadcast newscasts in high definition. The station debuted an updated logo featuring the "circle 13" design (derivative of the circle 7 logo) similar to ABC affiliate WTVG in Toledo, Ohio. The shows on WHAM-DT2 were included in the upgrade and can be seen in HD over-the-air or on Time Warner channels 16 and 1212. [7] [8] [9]

On January 1, 2011, WHAM-DT2 began airing a half-hour prime time newscast every night at 10. This at the time competed with Fox affiliate WUHF that has a nightly 45 minute broadcast produced by WROC. [10] As a result of changing operational partners from WROC to WHAM, WUHF begin having its nightly prime newscast and a new weekday morning show produced by this ABC outlet. Essentially, the same two shows currently airing every night at 10 and weekday mornings at 7 moved from WHAM-DT2 to WUHF. These changes took take effect January 1, 2014. On WUHF, the prime time broadcast will become 13 WHAM News at 10 on Fox Rochester while its weekday morning program will be known as Good Day Rochester. [11] The slots on CW-WHAM were filled by syndicated sitcoms and paid programming.

Newscast titles[edit]

  • WOKR-TV News (1962–1964)
  • Channel 13 Newscope (1964–1969)
  • Channel 13 News (1969–1973)
  • Eyewitness News (1973-1982 Weinstein version)
  • NewsCenter 13 (1982–1989)
  • WOKR 13 News (1984-1989)
  • NewsSource 13 (1989–2005)
  • 13 WHAM News (2005–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "13 Country" (1970s)
  • "Keep Your Eye on Eyewitness News" (late 1970s–1982)
  • "Hello Rochester, 13 Loves You" (1982–1988, used with Frank Gari's "Hello News")
  • "NewsSource 13: Rochester's #1 Choice for News" (early 1990s)
  • "Where the News Comes First" (mid-late 1990s)
  • "More Local News, More Local Experience" (late 1990s–2005)
  • "Your Breaking News & Weather Authority" (2005–present)

News music packages[edit]

News team[edit]

WHAM-TV live truck

Anchors

  • Norma Holland - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 on WHAM and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WUHF) and weekdays at noon (also Many Voices, Many Visions host)
  • Doug Emblidge - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 on WHAM and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WUHF) also weeknights at 5:00 and 5:30 p.m. (reporter and heard on WQBW-FM 95.1)
  • Jennifer Johnson - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 on WHAM and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WUHF)
  • Ginny Ryan - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 10:00 (WUHF) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Don Alhart - weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Adam Chodak - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 on WHAM and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WUHF) also weekends at 6:00, 10:00 (WUHF) and 11:00 p.m.; also reporter.

13 WHAM News Weather Authority Meteorologists

  • Glenn Johnson (NWA and AMS Seals of Approval) - Chief seen weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 10:00 (on WUHF) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Mark McLean (AMS Seal of Approval) - Director of Weather Services seen weekdays at noon and weekends at 6:00, 10:00 (on WUHF) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Marty Snyder (AMS Seal of Approval) - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 on WHAM and 7:00-9:00 a.m. on WUHF) also heard on WHAM-AM 1180
  • Jeff Najder - weekdays at noon

Sports

  • Mike Catalana - Director seen weeknights at 6:00, 10:00 (on WUHF) and 11:00 p.m. (also "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" segment producer)
  • Toby Motyka - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00, 10:00 (on WUHF) and 11:00 p.m.; also weekday reporter
  • Jon Doss - reporter and fill-in anchor

Reporters

  • Patrice Walsh
  • Sean Carroll
  • Jane Flasch
  • Evan White
  • Alexis Arnold
  • Kelsie Smith
  • Jerry Manley - "Soul Plates" segment producer

Notable former on-air staff

  • Rich Newberg - investigative reporter (1974–75); now at WIVB-TV[12]
  • Evan Dawson - weekday mornings; now at WXXI co-host of The Connection

References[edit]

External links[edit]