WPLG

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WPLG
WPLGlogo.png
Miami - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
City of license Miami, Florida
Branding Local 10 (general)
Local 10 News (newscasts)
Slogan The one and only
Channels Digital: 10 (VHF)
Virtual: 10 (PSIP)
Subchannels 10.1 ABC
10.2 Me-TV
10.3 Live Well Network
Translators W47AC Big Pine Key
Affiliations ABC
Owner Post-Newsweek Stations
(Sale to BH Media pending)
(Post-Newsweek Stations, Florida, Inc.)
First air date August 2, 1957; 56 years ago (1957-08-02) (current license dates from November 20, 1961)
Call letters' meaning Phillip L. Graham
(in memory of the former Washington Post publisher)
Former callsigns WPST-TV (1957–1961)
WLBW-TV (1961–1970)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
10 (VHF, 1961-2009)
Digital:
9 (VHF, 1999-2009)
Transmitter power 127.7 kW
Height 309 m (1,014 ft)
Facility ID 53113
Transmitter coordinates 25°58′0″N 80°12′43″W / 25.96667°N 80.21194°W / 25.96667; -80.21194
Website www.local10.com

WPLG, channel 10, is an ABC-affiliated television station located in Miami, Florida, United States. The station is owned by Post-Newsweek Stations, a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company. WPLG's studios are located in Pembroke Park, and its transmitter is located in Miami Gardens.

On March 12, 2014, Graham Holdings announced it would sell WPLG to the media subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, pending final approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).[1]

History[edit]

WPST-TV[edit]

The station first signed on the air on August 2, 1957 as WPST-TV, as the second ABC affiliate in the Miami market, it was originally owned by Public Service Television, Inc., the broadcasting subsidiary of National Airlines. The station took ABC programming from WITV (channel 17), which ceased operations shortly after losing the ABC affiliation (the channel 17 allocation for the market was later occupied by PBS member station WLRN-TV).

A Congressional investigation of former FCC commissioner Richard A. Mack in 1958 revealed that a Miami attorney named Thurman A. Whiteside, working on behalf of National Airlines, had bribed the former commissioner to obtain the WPST broadcast license.[2] As a result, National Airlines was stripped of its license to operate WPST-TV.

A new channel 10[edit]

A group headed by Cincinnati-area broadcaster L.B. Wilson won a construction permit to start a new television station on channel 10. As part of an FCC-supervised deal, National sold WPST's assets to Wilson's group. WPST signed off for the last time on November 19, 1961. The next day on November 20, channel 10 returned to the air as WLBW-TV (after the owner's initials). Although it operates under a separate license, what is now WPLG claims WPST's history as its own.[3]

The new station branded itself as "Colorvision 10", referencing that it was broadcasting in color. In 1967, WLBW's operations moved to a new studio facility located on Biscayne Boulevard, originally known as "Broadcast House". In 1969, WLBW and Cincinnati sister station WCKY radio were purchased by the Washington Post Company and became part of the company's Post-Newsweek Stations subsidiary.[4] On March 16, 1970, WLBW-TV's call letters were changed to the current WPLG, named in memory of Philip L. Graham, the husband of Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, who committed suicide in 1963.

WPLG logo from 1998-2004

On January 1, 1989, the Miami market underwent a three-way network affiliation swap with WTVJ (channel 4) switching from CBS to NBC, WCIX (channel 6) moving from Fox to CBS, and WSVN (channel 7) changing its affiliation from NBC to Fox; WTVJ and WCIX (now WFOR-TV) later swapped channel positions on September 10, 1995. In both cases, WPLG retained its ABC affiliation and continued to broadcast on channel 10. As a result, it is the only television station in the Miami market that has never changed its network affiliation. Possibly because of this consistency, WPLG remains one of the highest rated stations in the South Florida market. In 2004, WPLG began branding itself as "Local 10" under the branding standardization adopted by Post-Newsweek for its stations.

From April 2007 to May 2009, WPLG was South Florida's most-watched English-language television station which can partially be attributed to its availability in the West Palm Beach market via Comcast which in turn had a potentially negative affect on the ratings for that market's ABC affiliate WPBF. However on April 13, 2011, Comcast pulled WPLG from its West Palm Beach area system. After the May 2009 ratings period, WPLG went to a single anchor format for its evening newscasts and its viewership fell behind CBS-owned WFOR, which took the #1 position among the market's English-language stations. However, WPLG remains a strong second place, tied with WSVN.

On July 18, 2008, Post-Newsweek Stations announced that it would purchase NBC owned-and-operated station WTVJ for $205 million. The purchase would have created a duopoly between WTVJ and WPLG – duopolies involving two "Big Three" stations ordinarily would be precluded under the FCC's media ownership rules, which require that one of the two stations involved an a duopoly must not be among the market's four highest-rated stations in terms of audience share; however during the May 2008 Nielsen ratings period, WTVJ ranked sixth overall in total-day viewership and WPLG ranked in first place, allowing the possibility of a purchase. Under the proposal, WTVJ would have merged its operations with WPLG at the studio facility under construction at the time on Hallandale Beach Boulevard in Pembroke Park upon the building's completion.[5] However, the sale was cancelled on December 23, 2008, with NBCUniversal and The Washington Post Company citing poor economic conditions and the lack of FCC approval.[6]

On March 28, 2009, WPLG relocated its studio facilities from 3900 Biscayne Boulevard to the new Pembroke Park facility. As a result of this relocation, all of the South Florida market's "Big Three" network stations are based outside the Miami city limits.[7][8]

On March 12, 2014, it was announced that Graham Holdings would divest the station to Berkshire Hathaway in a cash and stock deal. Berkshire Hathaway and its chairman, Warren Buffett, were longtime stockholders in Graham Holdings; the Graham family will reacquire a large majority of its shares from Berkshire Hathaway in exchange for WPLG.[1]

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
10.1 720p 16:9 WPLG Main WPLG programming / ABC
10.2 480i 4:3 ME-TV Me-TV
10.3 Live We Live Well Network

WPLG previously carried LATV on its second digital subchannel until April 24, 2012, when it was replaced with Me-TV.[9]

On January 24, 2013, Post-Newsweek Stations entered into an affiliation agreement to carry the Live Well Network on WPLG and Orlando sister station WKMG-TV; both stations added the network in April 2013.[10]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WPLG terminated its analog signal, on VHF channel 10, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 9 to its former analog-era VHF channel 10 for post-transition operations.[11][12] Three other local stations (WSVN, WPXM-TV and WLTV-DT) also moved their digital signals to their former analog channel allocation, requiring viewers to rescan their digital tuners. WPLG and WSVN are the only Miami stations that continue to broadcast on the VHF band.

Programming[edit]

Until the network dropped the program on August 28, 2010 (following Saban Entertainment's repurchase of the franchise from ABC's corporate parent The Walt Disney Company), the station ran the ABC Kids airings of Power Rangers on a week-delayed basis, airing from 5-6 a.m. due to the station's three-hour morning newscast (which at the time ran from 7-10 a.m.). Around the same time, it also aired the 9-10 a.m. hour of the Saturday morning ABC Kids block from 12 noon-1 p.m. (Power Rangers's then-recommended timeslot by ABC). The latter scheduling continues in use even after the network replaced ABC Kids with Litton's Weekend Adventure in September 2011.

Syndicated programs seen on WPLG include Katie, The Dr. Oz Show, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. WPLG has broadcast Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune since 1988. Another syndicated program distributed by King World (which has since been absorbed by CBS Television Distribution), The Oprah Winfrey Show, also aired on channel 10 from its syndication debut in 1986 until it moved to WFOR-TV in 1999.[13]

News operation[edit]

WPLG former newscast open.

WPLG presently broadcasts 37½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 5½ hours on weekdays and five hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). Since 1993, WPLG has used several versions of Gari Media Group's "The One and Only" news music package, which took its name from a longtime slogan originally used by the station from 1978 to 1997, and which was revived in 2014.

WPLG deployed the first helicopter in the Miami market used for newsgathering, "Sky 10", in 1979. The station became well known in the 1970s for its popular anchor team. From 1976 to 1982, Glenn Rinker, Ann Bishop, Chuck Dowdle and Walter Cronise anchored channel 10's newscasts. In 1982, Rinker left for another position in Orlando and was replaced by Mike Schneider. Schneider and Bishop anchored until 1986, when Schneider left to become the 5:30 and 11:00 p.m. co-anchor at CBS owned-and-operated station WCBS-TV in New York City and Dwight Lauderdale replaced him, becoming South Florida's first African-American nightly news anchor. WPLG adopted its current "10" logo in 1982.

By 1985, WPLG had surpassed rival WTVJ (channel 4, now on channel 6) in the ratings and would dominate the ratings for over ten years. Ann Bishop would continue to anchor on the station's evening newscasts until 1995, when she moved to a part-time position at the station until she succumbed to colon cancer in 1997. Don Noe joined WPLG in 1979 and was one of Miami's most popular chief meteorologists up until his retirement in 2007. On March 28, 2009, in conjunction with the station's relocation to its Pembroke Park studios, WPLG became the third Miami station to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. On August 22, 2011, WPLG debuted an hour-long newscast at 5 p.m., which replaced Dr. Phil after it moved to WFOR-TV. On January 13, 2014, WPLG added a weekday hour-long 4:00 p.m. newscast, bringing WSVN a competitor to the 4:00 p.m. news race for the first time in 7 years.

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • Colorvision 10 News (1960s–1970)
  • The Scene Tonight (1970–1974)
  • NewsWatch 10 (1974–1982)
  • Channel 10 Eyewitness News (1982–2001)
  • Channel 10 News (2001–2004)
  • Local 10 News (2004–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "Welcome To A Bright New World on Channel 10" (1975-1976; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • "The One to Watch" (?–1978)
  • "The One and Only" (1978–1997, 2014-present)
  • "There's Only One" (1988)
  • "Live. Local. Latebreaking." (1997–2001)
  • "Your Problem Solvers Station" (2001–2011)
  • "People You Know, News You Trust" (2011–present)
  • "Always Tracking, Always Watching" (2011–present; severe weather and hurricane coverage)
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News team[edit]

Current on-air staff[edit]

Anchors
  • Jacey Birch - weekends at 6:30 and 11:00 p.m.; also weekday reporter and Local 10 Investigates animal advocate reporter
  • Eric Yutzy- weekends at 6:30 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Jen Herrera - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
  • Calvin Hughes - weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 and weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Laurie Jennings - weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 and weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Constance Jones - weekdays at noon; also weekday morning traffic reporter (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekend morning fill-in news anchor
  • Kristi Kreuger - weekdays at noon and weeknights at 5:30 p.m.; also health reporter
  • TBD - weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
  • Neki Mohan - weekend mornings (5:30-8:00 and 9:00-10:30 a.m.) also weekday reporter
  • Todd Tongen - weekend mornings (5:30-8:00 and 9:00-10:30 a.m.); also weekday reporter [14]
Local 10 Weather
  • Betty Davis (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 and weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Trent Aric (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 6:30 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Julie Durda (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Roland Steadham (AMS and NWA Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings (5:30-8:00 and 9:00-10:30 a.m.)
  • Max Mayfield - hurricane specialist [14]
Sports
  • Will Manso - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also host of Sports Saturday/Sunday and heard during coverage of University of Miami football on WQAM 560 AM
  • Victor Oquendo - sports anchor; weekends at 6:30 and 11:00 p.m.; also weekday sports reporter
  • Andrea Brody - sports reporter and general assignment news reporter [14]
Reporters
  • Sasha Andrade - general assignment reporter
  • Johanna Gomez - general assignment reporter
  • Baron James - general assignment reporter
  • Ben Kennedy - general assignment reporter
  • Roger Lohse - Broward County reporter
  • Liane Morejon - general assignment reporter
  • Glenna Milberg - Miami-Dade County reporter
  • Ross Palombo - general assignment reporter; also Local 10 Investigates investigative reporter
  • Janine Stanwood - general assignment reporter
  • Christina Vasquez - general assignment reporter
  • Michael Putney - senior political reporter; also host of This Week in South Florida, Sundays at 11:30 a.m.
Local 10 Investigates
  • John Turchin - chief crime reporter
  • Jeff Weinsier - investigative reporter
  • Bob Norman - chief investigative reporter
  • Ross Palombo - investigative reporter; also general assignment reporter
  • Jacey Birch - animal advocate reporter; also weekend anchor at 6:30 and 11:00 p.m. [14]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]