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Wsaw mntv.jpg
Wausau, Wisconsin
Branding NewsChannel 7
Slogan Your Local News and Weather Authority
Channels Digital: 7 (VHF)
Subchannels 7.1: CBS
7.2: MyNetworkTV
7.3: "24/7 Weather"
Translators 42 W42DH-D Sayner/Vilas County
Affiliations CBS Television Network
Owner Gray Television
(Gray Television Licensee, LLC)
Founded October 23, 1954
Call letters' meaning Phonetically short for WauSAu, Wisconsin; also similar to original calls
Sister station(s) WEAU, WMTV
Former callsigns WSAU-TV (1954-1981)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
7 (1954-2009)
Digital: 40
Former affiliations NBC (secondary, 1954-1965)
ABC (secondary, 1954-1966)
DuMont (secondary, 1954-1956)
Transmitter power 72 kW
Height 373 m
Facility ID 6867
Transmitter coordinates 44°55′14.2″N 89°41′28.7″W / 44.920611°N 89.691306°W / 44.920611; -89.691306

WSAW-TV (digital channel 7) is a CBS affiliate television station licensed to Wausau, Wisconsin and serving central and north central Wisconsin, United States. The station is owned by Gray Television and operates from studios at 1114 Grand Avenue in Wausau, and from a transmitter located on the summit of Rib Mountain in the Marathon County township of Rib Mountain (44° 55' 14.00" N, 89° 41' 28.00" W).[1] The station also operates a translator station in Sayner, Wisconsin, near the Eagle River area of far Northern Wisconsin (digital signal W42DH-D, channel 42). Syndicated programming on WSAW includes: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Dr. Phil among others.

Digital television[edit]

WSAW-TV's broadcasts have been digital-only since before midnight on February 16, 2009, when the analog signoff featured a "good night" from Sir Seven.[2]


The station launched on October 23, 1954 as WSAU-TV, a sister station to WSAU radio (AM 550) and the original WSAU-FM at 95.5, now WIFC. It was originally owned by a consortium of north-central Wisconsin newspapers that included the Wausau Daily Tribune-Herald, owner of WSAU-AM-FM.

Channel 7 originally operated from the Plumer Mansion, a Richardsonian Romanesque-style building that was located on N. 5th St in Wausau and torn down in 1972, one year after the station moved to its current home.[3] The Plumer Mansion's castle-like exterior and a suit of armor displayed in the mansion inspired the station's graphic designer, Sid Kyler, to design a medieval-style "7" logo along with an accompanying cartoon mascot, the fully armored knight "Sir Seven."[4] The logo and mascot served as representations of the station for several decades.

Sometime in the 1960s, the station's original owners sold it to Forward Communications. Forward sold off channel 7 in 1981, and it adopted its current calls, WSAW-TV. By the late 1980s, WSAW's logo would change to a square-style "7", which would be replaced by a stylized version of the circle 7 logo in 2006.

WSAW-TV has been affiliated with CBS since its beginning, although the station did have secondary affiliations with DuMont (until that network expired in 1956), ABC (until WAOW-TV signed on in 1965), and NBC (until WAEO launched in 1966). In Fall 2006, WSAW-TV added MyNetworkTV to digital subchannel 7.2 (subchannel 7.3 broadcasts "24/7 Weather").

On April 2, 2011, WSAW NewsChannel 7 became the first station in northcentral Wisconsin to broadcast local news in high definition from the studio and in the field. The market's first HD signal live from the field, was fed via satellite from Stratford, Wisconsin during Meteorologist Chad Franzen's Noon Show weather report.[5] With the switch to HD came and revamp of their news set and new graphics. Along with the switch, "Sir Seven" returned, still true to the original in the 1950s, now in 3D/HD.[6]

News operation[edit]

WSAW noon newscast title card

News/station presentation[edit]

Newscast titles[edit]

  • Your Esso Reporter (1954-1956)
  • WSAU-TV News (1956-1964)
  • Channel 7 Reports (1964-1980)
  • News 7 (1980-1991)
  • 7 News (1991-1992)
  • NewsChannel 7 (1992–Present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • "Putting You First is What Keeps Us First" (late 1970s-early 1980s)
  • "Local News, Local People" (early 1990s-1996)
  • "On Your Side" (1996–2010)
  • "7 You Know, 7 You Trust" (2010-2011)
  • "Your Local News and Weather Authority" (2011–present)
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News team[7][edit]

  • Mikel Lauber - News Director
  • Amy Pflugshaupt - weeknights at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.
  • Jeff Thelen - weeknights at 5, 6, and 10 p.m.
  • Hannah Anderson - Weekday Mornings (4:30 - 7:00am)
  • Sean Caldwell - Weekday Mornings (4:30 - 7:00am)
  • Diana Normand - Weekdays at Noon
  • Liz Hayes - Weekends; also reporter and producer
Weather Authority Storm Team
  • Mike Breunling (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Jeremy Tabin (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; Saturdays at 6, Sundays at 7, 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.
  • Chad Franzen (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekdays at noon; also fill-in meteorologist and webmaster
  • Mark Holley - meteorologist; weekday mornings Sunrise 7
Sports team
  • Dale Ryman - sports director; weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Kaitlin Sharkey
  • Kenny Morles
  • Ryan Burk - video journalist
  • Holly Chilsen - Producer/Reporter
  • Emily Davies - Producer/Reporter
  • Kasia Gregorczyk - Reporter
  • Liz Hayes - Moms Everyday Reporter
  • Jasmyne Humble - morning producer and video journalist
  • Clare Kaley - Producer/Reporter
  • Heather Poltrock - web/social media specialist
  • Valeria Sistrunk - Reporter
  • Elizabeth Schilder - Reporter/Anchor

Former on-air staff[edit]

  • Sue Ramsett - news director (2001–2011; now at KOLN)
  • John Pertzborn - currently morning anchor at Fox 2 St. Louis
  • Mace Rogers (currently known as Mace Michaels) - meteorologist (1994–1996; then at WOOD-TV, WINK-TV, WFLA-TV, KGAN, now at WeatherNation TV)
  • John Karcher (retired WISC-TV 3 Anchor)
  • Mark Zelich (retired Sports Director, News Director)
  • Joy Cardin Wisconsin Public Radio, "The Joy Cardin Show"
  • Mike "Jocko" Jacques - 2-time Sports Director (2003-2005, 2007-2009)

Howard Gernetzke [weatherman/announcer, 1954-1967, 1986-1988] station website history [deceased 1988]

External links[edit]