|Rockford, Illinois, US|
|Branding||13 WREX (general)
13 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Your News Leader (news)
13 Weather Authority (weather)
13 Sports Authority (sports)
|Channels||Digital: 13 (VHF)|
13.2 The CW
|Owner||Quincy Newspapers, Inc.
(WREX Television, LLC)
|First air date||October 1, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||In memory of Rex N. Caster, son of founding station president L.E. Caster|
|Sister station(s)||WKOW, WGEM-TV|
|Former callsigns||WREX-TV (1953-2009)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
|Transmitter power||18 kW|
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 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. 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.
Even though Congress delayed the mandatory analog shutoff date to June 12, 2009, WREX discontinued its analogue service on the original deadline date of February 17, 2009, at 12:30 PM CT; at 1:26 PM, WREX-DT began transmitting over channel 13.
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.
- Eric Wilson - 5pm, 6pm & 10pm Anchor
- Katie Nilsson - 5pm Anchor
- Kristin Crowley - 6pm & 10pm Anchor
- Aaron Wright - Morning Anchor
- Hannah Welker - Morning Anchor
- Derek Bayne - Sports Director
- A.J. Donatoni - Sports Reporter
- Eric Sorensen - Chief Meteorologist
- Greg Bobos - Morning Meteorologist
- Joe Astolfi - Weekend Meteorologist
- Rebecca Klopf - Reporter
- Matt Groves - Reporter
- Kelsie Passolt - Reporter
- Lauren Reimer - Reporter
- Official website
- CW14 website
- 13 Weather Authority Blog
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WREX
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WREX-TV