WSHM-LD

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Not to be confused with WSMH.
WSHM-LD
(semi-satellite of WFSB
Hartford/New Haven, Connecticut)
Wshm new2010.png

Wshm ld2 2011.png
Springfield/Northampton/
Holyoke, Massachusetts
United States
City of license Springfield
Branding CBS 3 Springfield
CBS 3 Now (on DT2)
Slogan Today's Top Stories and Tomorrow's Full Forecast in the First Five Minutes.
Channels Digital: 21 (UHF)
Virtual: 3.5 (PSIP)
Subchannels 3.5 CBS
3.6 local weather
Affiliations CBS (2003-present)
Owner Meredith Corporation
First air date 1988 (1988)
Call letters' meaning We're Springfield/
Holyoke, Massachusetts
Sister station(s) WFSB
Former callsigns W42AU (1988-1994)
W67DF (1994-2003)
WSHM-LP (2003-2011)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
42 (UHF, 1988-1994)
67 (UHF, 1994-2010)
Former affiliations TBN (1988-2003)
Transmitter power 6 kW
Height 155 m
Class LD
Facility ID 67980
Transmitter coordinates 42°7′11.3″N 72°24′39.0″W / 42.119806°N 72.410833°W / 42.119806; -72.410833
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information:
(
semi-satellite of WFSB
Hartford/New Haven, Connecticut) Profile

(
semi-satellite of WFSB
Hartford/New Haven, Connecticut) CDBS
Website cbs3springfield.com

WSHM-LD is the low-powered, CBS-affiliated television station for the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. Licensed to Springfield, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 21 (or virtual channel 3.5 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Ridge Road in Wilbraham. Owned by the Meredith Corporation, WSHM has studios in the Monarch Tower in Springfield's Metro Center section.

Although operated as a separate station in its own right, WSHM is actually considered a semi-satellite of WFSB in Hartford, Connecticut. As such, this outlet airs most network and syndicated programming as provided through WFSB. The most notable programming differences include WSHM airing CBS This Morning Saturday (but WFSB does not), showing Face the Nation in its entirety, and broadcasting The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in its regular time slot (as opposed to WFSB which airs the program on a thirty minute tape delay). In addition, this station airs separate local commercials inserts and legal identifications. Master control and some internal operations of WSHM are based at WFSB's studios on Capital Boulevard in Rocky Hill, Connecticut.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[1]
3.5 1080i 16:9 WSHM-HD Main WSHM programming / CBS
3.6 480i 4:3 WSHM-D2 "CBS 3 NOW"

History[edit]

It signed-on as W42AU in 1988 airing a low-powered analog signal, on UHF channel 42, from a transmitter on Mount Tom in Holyoke. The station served as a repeater of Trinity Broadcasting's national religious network. In 1994, it moved to UHF channel 67 and became W67DF. Originally, CBS was seen in the Pioneer Valley on WHYN-TV (now WGGB-TV) from 1953 until 1958. At that point, WFSB (then known as WTIC-TV with no relation to the current station except for the same calls) became the network's Connecticut affiliate. Due to its strong analog signal on heritage VHF channel 3, the station also became CBS' affiliate of record in Springfield. Later on, WTIC/WFSB would begin purchasing syndicated programming to air in the Hartford/New Haven and Springfield/Holyoke markets (this practice continues today). It also blocked several attempts by WGGB to switch from ABC back to CBS.

Sometime in 2003, the Meredith Corporation (having acquired WFSB in June 1997) purchased W67DF in order to set up a separate operation in the Pioneer Valley. Reasons for such a launch ranged from advertising opportunities to complaints from New England Patriots fans in weeks when the station chose to air other National Football League games from the American Football Conference. In November of that year, the station joined CBS and adopted the call sign WSHM-LP after upgrading to official low-powered status. It immediately replaced WFSB on Pioneer Valley cable systems. The station became known on-air as "CBS 3" based on the cable channel location in order to encourage longtime WFSB viewers to stay with WSHM after the switch.

Right from the start of its CBS affiliation, it was a semi-satellite of WFSB and cleared its syndicated programming except for those shows already seen on the other stations based in Springfield. WSHM did not simulcast any local newscasts from its parent even though this could have been possible because it was operated out of WFSB's "Broadcast House" studios at Constitution Plaza in Downtown Hartford.

In August 2006, this station changed its logo from one resembling sister station KPHO-TV to a logo resembling (but unrelated to) KYW-TV in Philadelphia. On May 25, 2007, WFSB's studios were flooded by a water main break. The flooding knocked out power and phone service to the building which in turn caused WFSB to go dark. WSHM's master control was also affected and the station went black for about an hour mid-afternoon and intermittently throughout the evening. There were some points during the weekend that its "CBS 3 Springfield" IDs were being seen on WFSB and that station's IDs were seen on WSHM. On June 27, master control and internal operations of WFSB and WSHM moved to the former's new facilities in Rocky Hill.

Since it is a low-powered station, WSHM was exempt from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) mandated switch to digital-only broadcasting on or before June 12, 2009. Back on February 28, 2008, a high definition feed of this station was added to Comcast replacing WFSB-DT which moved to digital channel 291 and became a standard definition feed. Charter followed suit two years later. An application filed with the FCC calling for WSHM to launch its own low-powered digital station on channel 49 was dismissed in June 2006. Another application to move the existing analog signal to channel 45 was dismissed in 2004 at the station's request.

More recently, WSHM had a construction permit to air a low-powered digital signal on UHF channel 21 from a new transmitter.[2] On November 22, 2010, this became active after WSHM finally gained a "license to cover" allowing it to turn-off its analog signal on channel 67 and activate its own digital signal for the first time. Through PSIP, the signal appears as 3.5[3] which is based on WFSB's virtual channel identification. Normally, it would be 67.1 taken from WSHM's defunct analog signal.[4] On January 7, 2011 to reflect the change to digital-exclusive transmission, its calls were officially changed to WSHM-LD.[5]

WFSB's current digital signal can be reached in southern areas of the Pioneer Valley giving the area access to two CBS affiliates. In September 2010, WSHM began to carry select live UMass Minutemen sports programming on its second digital subchannel in addition to airing local weather. WSHM-LD2 can also be seen on Comcast digital channel 293 and Charter digital channel 230. It can also be viewed on the UMass Amherst campus on channel 79.[6]

On June 18, 2014, Meredith announced that it would acquire WGGB from Gormally Broadcasting creating a duopoly with WSHM. Although FCC broadcast ownership rules normally forbid same-market ownership of two of the four highest-rated television stations (based on monthly total-day ratings), which often constitute stations affiliated with the four major broadcast networks (the Springfield market has only three full-power television stations, too few to allow a duopoly in any normal circumstance), the deal is permissible under FCC rules which allow common ownership of full-power and low-power television stations (the respective class designations of WGGB and WSMH) in all markets.[7]

News operation[edit]

News open.

In October 2005, WSHM established a news department and began producing local newscasts from its Springfield studios. It was the first station in the United States to use Grass Valley's "Ignite" control room system.[8] Originally, CBS 3 Springfield News was seen Monday through Saturday nights at 6, Sundays at 6:30, and every night at 11. Initially after entering the local newscast race in the Pioneer Valley, it struggled to make a dent in the ratings of longtime market leader NBC affiliate WWLP and established runner up ABC outlet WGGB. Eventually, this station grew substantially across the board during the May 2009 sweeps period to within decimal points of WGGB in several key demographics. Compared with the area's two other commercial television stations, WSHM tends to have more of a flashier format in its newscasts featuring fast-paced coverage.

Fending off a challenge by WGGB, WSHM debuted the area's first prime time newscast on August 18, 2008. Known as CBS 3 Springfield Non-Stop News at 10, the twenty-minute program aired in a commercial-free format on its local weather channel seven nights a week and was also streamed live on its website. The launch beat Fox affiliate WGGB-DT2 which started its own nightly prime time show at 10 on September 8. At some point in time for an unknown reason, WSHM's 10 p.m. broadcast was dropped. On August 24, 2009, it began airing a thirty-minute show on weekday afternoons called CBS 3 Springfield News First at 4. It was the first Pioneer Valley station to make such a launch and currently remains the only local newscast seen in the time slot. The program was expanded to an hour on February 4, 2013.[9]

In September 2010, the station began promoting an updated local news format that contains the top stories of the day and a full weather segment shown in the first five minutes of all newscasts before a commercial break. To go along with the change, a new logo debuted with an updated music package and graphics theme identical to sister station WFSB. In the past during weather forecast segments, this station had been exclusively using WFSB's Doppler weather radar. Known as "Early Warning Pinpoint Doppler", this is based on top of a terminal building at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Live NOAA National Weather Service radar data from several regional sites is used interchangeably with WFSB's radar and branded on WSHM as "Pinpoint Doppler".

CBS' O&O station in Boston, WBZ-TV, shares resources with WSHM for coverage of Eastern Massachusetts and this station does the same for western areas of the state. In addition, WSHM and WFSB will use each other's resources (such as reporters and live trucks) when covering major news stores that affect the region as a whole. Clear Channel Communications-owned radio stations WHYN-AM 560 and WHYN-FM 93.1 partner with WSHM for severe weather coverage and winter weather storm closings. There is no regular sports segment seen during its newscasts although there is a Sunday night sports highlight show that airs after its 11 p.m. news. Unlike most CBS affiliates, WSHM does not broadcast local newscasts in several day parts. This includes weekday mornings, midday during the week, in the 5 o'clock hour on weeknights, and early evenings on weekends.

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