- Not to be confused with WSHM.
Bay City, Michigan
|City of license||Flint|
Fox 66 News (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 16 (UHF)
Virtual: 66 (PSIP)
66.3 ZUUS Country
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WSMH Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||March[when?] 1985|
|Call letters' meaning||We Show More Hits|
|Sister station(s)||WEYI-TV, WBSF, WWMT, WPBN-TV / WTOM-TV, WGTU / WGTQ, WLUC-TV|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
66 (UHF, 1985-2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1985–1986)
The Tube (2006–2007)
|Transmitter power||245 kW|
|Height||365.5 metres (1,199 ft)|
WSMH, (branded Fox 66), is the Fox-affiliated television station for the Flint/Tri-Cities market that is licensed to Flint. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 16 from a 245 kilowatt, 365.5 metres (1,199 ft) high transmitter on Amman Rd (near Gary Rd) near St. Charles, Michigan. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, it also operates NBC affiliate WEYI-TV (owned by Howard Stirk Holdings) and CW affiliate WBSF (owned by Cunningham Broadcasting). The station has studios on West Pierson Road in Mount Morris Township (though with a Flint address). Originally launched as an independent station in March 1985, it has been affiliated with Fox since the network's launch on October 9, 1986.
The station digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|66.1||720p||16:9||WSMH-DT||Main WSMH programming / Fox|
WSMH discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 66, on May 21, 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 16, using PSIP to display WSMH's virtual channel as its virtual channel as 66 on digital television receivers, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.
The station was assigned the call letters of WSMH on September 27, 1984. WSMH signed on in March 1985 as an independent station. A fire at the transmitter in April 1985 forced the station to go off the air for about 1 month until repairs could be effected. On October 9, 1986, it became a charter Fox affiliate. Sinclair Broadcast Group bought the station in 1996. From 1990 to 1997, WSMH was the Mid-Michigan provider of the now defunct syndication package Disney Afternoon.
The retransmission agreement between the Sinclair Broadcast Group and Comcast was set to expire on February 5, 2007. An extension was granted twice so the sides could negotiate. During the talks, Comcast stated that it would not pay cash for retransmission rights but were willing to give free commercial time to WSMH in exchange for retransmission rights. On March 9, Sinclair and Comcast signed a new deal to extend retransmission rights for four years to expire on March 1, 2011.
Per a new five-year carriage agreement reached between owner Sinclair Broadcast Group and the Fox Broadcasting Company on May 15, 2012, WSMH will remain a Fox affiliate until at least December 31, 2017.
On the afternoon of August 31, 2012, TheCoolTV was dropped from all 32 Sinclair stations that carried the channel, including WSMH, with no replacement.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
On October 28, 2002, WSMH started up a news department and began airing local broadcasts every night at 10. Known as Fox 66 News at 10, it was powered by Sinclair's controversial News Central operation. Local news originated from WSMH's studios while national news, weather, and sports aired from News Central headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The station was the first Sinclair-owned property to use the News Central service and marked the first time it had ventured into the local news market. In January 2006, Sinclair announced plans to end its News Central operation due to low ratings and expense. Other company-owned stations in Buffalo, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Tampa were also notified of the decision and had their newscasts either outsourced to other stations or dropped all together.
On April 10, Sinclair announced that CBS affiliate WNEM-TV would begin producing a nightly 10 o'clock show on WSMH known as TV 5 News at 10 on Fox 66. This began airing on April 24 from WNEM's studios on North Franklin Street in Downtown Saginaw. After the final News Central broadcast on April 21, many local WSMH news employees were laid off. It had been expected that some personalities would join the WNEM-produced newscast in the future according to a press release. This was the case for former WSMH reporter David Custer who joined the WNEM news team on May 3. Custer left WNEM and is now a weeknight anchor at NBC affiliate WNWO-TV in Toledo, Ohio. Another member, Jim Kiertzner, joined Detroit's NBC affiliate WDIV-TV, and is now at WXYZ TV Detroit.
The final News Central broadcast featured, in its last few minutes, clips from past shows. At the end, the studio was darkened and Kiertzner and his boss left for the last time. Even after WSMH shut down its news operation, Mark E. Hyman's controversial "The Point" editorials continued to air following the end of the WNEM-produced newscasts. Hyman ended his commentaries on November 30. On May 1, 2009, the 10 o'clock news title was re-branded and the broadcast received updated graphics. Every night at 10:45, a fifteen-minute sports highlight show called Sports Extra airs. There is also a segment called "Fugitive Files" airing every week on Mondays which is a common segment offered by local news departments operated by Sinclair. Although WNEM upgraded its newscasts to 16:9 enhanced definition widescreen on October 14, 2010, the newscasts on WSMH remain in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition because this channel lacks a modern master control facility at its separate studios to receive the newscast in widescreen.
- "Digital TV Market Listing for WSMH". Listing. RabbitEars.info. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "WSMH TV Channel 66 Flint". Station Listings. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WSMH
- radiodiscussions.com: "Sinclair drops theCoolTV from stations", August 31, 2012.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- Sinclair Reups With Fox, Gets WUTB Option, TVNewsCheck, May 15, 2012.
- "Sinclair links with The Country Network to fill digital TV tier". Television Business Report. August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2010.
- "Television". Flint and Tri-Cities Radio and TV Dial Guide. Retrieved 12 September 2012.