WREX

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WREX
WREX 2010.png

EREX 2007.png
Rockford, Illinois, US
United States
Branding 13 WREX (general)
13 News (newscasts)
Slogan Your News Leader (news)
13 Weather Authority (weather)
13 Sports Authority (sports)
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
Subchannels 13.1 NBC
13.2 The CW
13.3 Me-TV
Affiliations NBC (since 1995)
Owner Quincy Newspapers
(WREX Television, LLC)
Founded 1952
First air date October 1, 1953 (1953-10-01)[1]
Call letters' meaning In memory of Rex N. Caster, son of founding station president L.E. Caster[1]
Former callsigns WREX-TV (1953-2009)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
13 (VHF, 1953-2009)
Digital:
54 (UHF, 2002-2009)[1]
Former affiliations Primary:
CBS (1953-1965)
ABC (1965-1995)
Secondary:
DuMont (1953-1955)
ABC (1953-1965)
Transmitter power 18 kW
Height 216 m
Facility ID 73940
Transmitter coordinates 42°17′47.9″N 89°14′22″W / 42.296639°N 89.23944°W / 42.296639; -89.23944
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
CDBS
Website www.wrex.com

WREX, channel 13, is the NBC television affiliate serving the Rockford, Illinois, US area. It is the market's only full-powered VHF station and is Rockford's second oldest television station. Its studios and transmitter are located at Auburn and Winnebago Roads, west of Rockford and north of Winnebago. The station has been owned by Quincy Newspapers, Inc. of Quincy, Illinois since 1995.

WREX operates Stateline CW 14, a digital broadcast affiliate of The CW Television Network via The CW Plus. Stateline CW is seen on channel 14 on most Rockford area cable systems, as well as on WREX's digital subchannel 13.2.

On April 4, 2013, WREX added a Me-TV, on digital subchannel 13.3, that shows classic television shows.

WREX's signal reaches as far away as Madison, Milwaukee's southwestern suburbs, and the northern suburbs of Chicago.

History[edit]

WREX began operation on October 1, 1953, as an affiliate primarily of CBS and secondarily of ABC and DuMont. The station's call letters were selected in honor of Rex N. Caster, the son of the station's founding shareholder and president L.E. Caster. Rex Caster was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army who was killed in France during World War II.

Besides serving its immediate area, WREX attracted viewers early on in its history from parts of the neighboring Madison, Wisconsin area. In fact, the two areas still share overlapping coverage among their television stations, especially in Rock County, Wisconsin (technically in the Madison television market). Until Madison's WISC-TV signed on in 1956, WREX was the only VHF station for both the Rockford and Madison areas.

During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[2] In 1963, the station was sold to the Gannett Company; during the mid-1960s, WREX was briefly co-owned with the Rockford Register Star. WREX became a full-time ABC affiliate in 1965, when WCEE-TV signed on the air. In 1966, WREX became the first television station in Rockford to broadcast in color.

The station was sold in 1969 to the Gilmore Broadcasting Corporation, owner of WEHT in Evansville, Indiana. Gilmore served as WREX's longest-standing owner. In 1987, Gilmore sold the station to ML Media Partners, L.P. In August 1995, Quincy Newspapers purchased WREX and switched network affiliations with WTVO.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
13.1 1080i 16:9 WREX-DT Main WREX programming / NBC
13.2 720p WREX-CW Stateline CW
13.3 480i 4:3 WREX-ME Me-TV

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WREX shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, at 12:30 p.m. on February 17, 2009, the original date in which full-power television stations in the United States were to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (which was later pushed back to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 54, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition, to its analog-era VHF channel 13 for post-transition operations.[4][5]

News operation[edit]

WREX was named the 2013 Outstanding News Operation by the Illinois Associated Press. WREX airs almost 22 hours worth of newscasts a week, with two hours weekday mornings at 5:00; 30 minutes on weekdays at noon, 5, and 6; 35 minutes weekdays at 10; 30 minutes Saturdays at 6 and 10, and 30 minutes Sunday at 10. Minute-and-a-half news/weather updates also air throughout the day weekdays on Stateline CW 14.

WREX has a unique partnership with The Rockford Register Star, the city's daily newspaper. Staff of the newspaper appears on nearly all of WREX's news programs. In return, the newspaper promotes upcoming news stories and programming on Channel 13. WREX also has a partnership with Maverick Media which owns five radio stations in the Rockford market. WREX provides weather reports for the stations and in return the radio stations provide promotion for WREX's programming.

WREX began to air newscasts in high-definition on December 12, 2010, the second in the Rockford market after WIFR and the third in the Quincy Newspapers station group after KWWL and WKOW.

On-Air Staff[edit]

  • Sean Muserallo - 5pm, 6pm & 10pm Anchor
  • Kristin Crowley - 5pm, 6pm & 10pm Anchor
  • Michael Collins - Morning Anchor
  • Derek Bayne - Sports Director
  • Dan Cohen - Sports Reporter
  • Morgan Kolkmeyer - Morning Meteorologist
  • Joe Astolfi - Weekend Meteorologist
  • Rebecca Klopf - Reporter
  • Kelsie Passolt - Reporter/Weekend Anchor
  • Ken DeCoster - Reporter
  • Elliot Grandia - Reporter
  • Christie Battista - Reporter

Newscast Titles[edit]

  • Dateline 13 News (1978-1984)
  • 13 Eyewitness News (1984-1996)
  • 13 News (1996-present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • We're Spreading Our Wings (1995-?)
  • Rockford's News Leader (?-?)
  • Your News Leader (?-present)

External links[edit]

References[edit]