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This article is about the TV station in Toledo, Ohio. For the former WTVG-TV in Newark, New Jersey, see WFUT-DT.
WTVG 2013 Logo.png
Toledo, Ohio
City of license Toledo, Ohio
Branding 13 ABC (general)
13 ABC Action News (newscasts)
Slogan This Is Home
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Subchannels 13.1 ABC
13.2 Live Well Network
13.3 13abc WeatherNation TV
Owner SJL Broadcasting
(Sale to Gray Television pending)
(WTVG, Inc.)
Founded July 21, 1948; 66 years ago (1948-07-21)
Call letters' meaning We're TV in the Glass City (nickname for Toledo)
Former callsigns WSPD-TV (1948–1979)
Former channel number(s) Analog: 13 (1948-2009)
Digital: 19 (1996-2009)
Former affiliations Primary:
NBC (1948-1955 & 1969-1995)
CBS (1955-1958)
ABC (1958-1969)
DT3: AccuWX (2006?-2013)
CBS (1948-1955)
NBC (1955-1969)
ABC (1948-1958)
DuMont (1948-1956)
Transmitter power 16.7 kW
Height 305.4 m
Facility ID 74150
Transmitter coordinates 41°41′0″N 83°24′49″W / 41.68333°N 83.41361°W / 41.68333; -83.41361
Website www.13abc.com/

WTVG, channel 13, is the ABC-affiliated television station for Northwest Ohio and licensed in Toledo, Ohio. WTVG's studios and offices are located in Toledo and its transmitter is located in Oregon, Ohio. It is owned by SJL Broadcasting. Syndicated programming on WTVG includes Live! with Kelly and Michael, Rachael Ray, Katie, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and Inside Edition.


The station signed on the air on July 21, 1948 as WSPD-TV, owned by Storer Broadcasting along with WSPD radio (AM 1370 and FM 101.5, now WRVF). The studios were originally located at 136 Huron St. in downtown Toledo. It was Toledo's first television station, and the first television station in the Storer Broadcasting chain.

Originally, the station carried programming from all four television networks: NBC, ABC, CBS and DuMont. However, it was a primary NBC affiliate, owing to its radio sisters' long affiliation with NBC radio. In 1955, Storer changed its primary affiliation to CBS, as Storer and CBS had strong corporate ties. DuMont shut down in 1956, leaving WSPD-TV as a primary CBS affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation.

In 1958, however, CBS moved its affiliation to newly signed-on WTOL-TV, owing to its long affiliation with WTOL radio. Conventional wisdom suggested that WSPD-TV would go back to NBC. Instead, channel 13 switched its primary affiliation to ABC, while sharing NBC with WTOL. This was very unusual for a two-station market; ABC would not be on par with CBS and NBC in terms of programming until the 1970s. This didn't pose a problem for Toledo viewers, however, as Detroit's WWJ-TV (now WDIV-TV) and WXYZ-TV provided a fairly decent signal to most of the market. WSPD-TV became an exclusive NBC affiliate in 1969 when Overmyer Broadcasting, then owner of then-independent WDHO-TV, channel 24 (now WNWO-TV), persuaded ABC to move its affiliation there.

Storer also owned WJBK-AM-FM-TV in Detroit and WJW-AM-FM-TV in Cleveland. Both WJBK-TV and WJW-TV were longstanding CBS affiliates. WSPD-TV provided city-grade coverage to most of Detroit's suburbs, while its grade B signal could be seen in Detroit and Cleveland. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) grandfathered this situation under its "one-to-a-market" rule in the 1970s. Storer sold off WSPD-FM in the early 1970s and WSPD-AM in 1979, and channel 13 became WTVG on October 1.

The Storer stations were taken over by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) in 1985. As a result, WTVG lost its grandfathered protection and was not sold to Gillett Communications along with the other Storer stations in 1987. Instead, it was sold to a local employee/investor group called "Toledo Television, Inc." Toledo Television, in turn was bought out by SJL Broadcast Management in 1991.

As an ABC-owned station[edit]

In 1994, New World Communications, the owner of most of WTVG's former sister stations, signed an affiliation deal with Fox Broadcasting Company, resulting in most of New World's stations switching affiliation to Fox, but some stayed with NBC (which later bought the New World stations that did not go to Fox). Among the stations due to switch was WJBK, Detroit's longtime CBS affiliate. To avoid being consigned to UHF in what was then the ninth-largest market, CBS heavily wooed Detroit's longtime ABC affiliate, WXYZ.

WXYZ's owner, the E.W. Scripps Company, then told ABC that unless it agreed to affiliate with Scripps-owned stations in four smaller markets, it would switch WXYZ to CBS.[1] As a contingency, ABC approached SJL about buying WTVG and WJRT-TV in Flint, Michigan. As mentioned above, WTVG provides grade B coverage of Detroit itself and city-grade coverage to most of Detroit's suburbs, which would have come in handy had WXYZ switched to CBS. The deal, valued at $120 million,[2] closed on August 29, 1995. However, WTVG's affiliation contract didn't run out until October, so ABC had to run WTVG as an NBC affiliate for two months while NBC looked for a new affiliate in the area. On October 28, 1995, WTVG rejoined ABC, sending the NBC affiliation to WNWO-TV. As it turned out, ABC agreed to the affiliation deal with Scripps as well, and WXYZ retained its ABC affiliation. ABC chose not to trade its newly acquired stations for former O&O WXYZ-TV (because of ABC's ownership of WJR-AM and two other FM stations in Detroit), and Scripps was looking to exit the radio business completely. In 1996, Capital Cities/ABC was acquired by Disney.

WTVG was one of only two ABC-Disney owned-and-operated stations (the other being KTRK-TV in Houston; WJRT aired it into the early 1990s, but lost it to CBS affiliate WNEM-TV by the time WJRT was acquired by ABC) which never aired The Oprah Winfrey Show since its debut on September 8, 1986. Oprah aired on WTOL for its entire run in Toledo (as did fellow CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston).

WTVG was the smallest station in the country that was an O&O of any major network, not counting semi-satellites (this includes WOGX in Ocala/Gainesville, Florida; which is a semi-satellite of WOFL in Orlando).

Sale back to SJL Broadcasting[edit]

On November 3, 2010, Broadcasting & Cable magazine announced that SJL Broadcasting, now owned by the principal owners of Lilly Broadcasting, made an agreement with Disney to buy back WTVG and WJRT, upon speculation that Disney may sell off ABC. Both stations are expected to retain their affiliations with ABC.[3] SJL teamed up with a new private equity partner, Bain Capital, whose affiliated offshoot Sankaty Advisors provided the capital for the purchases (which amounted to $16.8 million on WTVG's end of the $30 million deal). WTVG began being owned by SJL Broadcasting again beginning April 1, 2011.[4] On April 12, 2011, the new management dismissed around 20 people from a pre-sale work force of approximately 100—all behind-the-scenes staff—from the station, despite promising earlier that they would make no staff cuts. Similar cuts occurred at WJRT, though cuts there also involved that station's veteran newscasters Bill Harris and Joel Feick.[5]

Sale to Gray Television[edit]

On July 24, 2014, SJL announced that it would sell WTVG and WJRT again, this time to Gray Television, for $128 million—a value higher than that of their original sale to ABC. Gray also plans to add The CW to one of the station's digital subchannels.[2]

Digital television[edit]

Channel Video Aspect Name Programming
13.1 720p 16:9 WTVG HD Main WTVG programming / ABC
13.2 480i 16:9 WTVG 2 Live Well Network
13.3 4:3 WX Now 13abc WeatherNation TV

On June 12, 2009, at 12:32 AM, WTVG turned-off its analog signal forever. The station's digital signal shifted to channel 13 following the digital transition.[6] Channel 13 DTV transmits at a lower power than it did on Channel 19 DTV, so in some locations, there has been a reduction in coverage. Many VHF stations are applying to the FCC for power increases to restore their coverage area after moving from UHF back to VHF.

On January 13, 2011, WTVG filed an application to the FCC to increase its power from 14.6 kW to 16.7 kW.[7] The station granted a construction permit on the power increase on March 7.[8]


High Definition Programming[edit]

WTVG broadcasts all of its syndicated programming in high definition.

Ohio Lottery[edit]

On July 1, 2011, WTVG began to broadcast the nightly Ohio Lottery drawings, and broadcast the game show Cash Explosion on Saturday evenings. WTVG took over broadcasting the lottery drawings and game show from rival station WTOL.[9]

Detroit Lions[edit]

Starting in 2014, WTVG will air the entire Detroit Lions preseason schedule, bringing NFL football back to the station after a eight-year absence. During the regular season, the Lions' coaches' show, Ford Lions Report Live with Lions head coach Jim Caldwell and WXYZ-TV/Southfield, Mich. sports director Tom Leyden (who also announces the Lions' preseason games), will air Sunday mornings. Both the Lions games and the Ford Lions Report are produced by WXYZ-TV.

News operation[edit]

WTVG airs over two hours of local news shows every Sunday. The shows are each a half hour and talk about different types of topics. The shows include: Conklin and Company (11:00-11:30), Bridges (11:30 a.m.-12:00 noon), Roundtable (12:00-12:30 p.m.) and Full Plate (12:30-1:00 p.m.). All four shows are also broadcast in high definition.

WTVG ended the show Coffee with the Fords on June 19, 2011. The show was hosted by former Toledo mayor Jack Ford and his wife Cynthia. Coffee with the Fords was shown between 12:30-1:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons and was on the air for over four years.[10]

WTVG also airs two special Friday night sports programs, Football Friday showcasing High School football games across Northwest Ohio, during the High School football season and Basketball Friday showcasing girls and boys Basketball across Northwest Ohio during the High School basketball season.

WTVG utilizes the Sony PDW510 XDCAM Camcorder. All Toledo stations (WTVG, WTOL, WNWO, and WUPW) use the Jeep Liberty as an ENG vehicle, due to the fact that they are made locally by Chrysler. WTVG also uses another Jeep-brand vehicle, the Jeep Commander.

WTVG owns and operates a 350,000 Watt Doppler Radar named Live Doppler 13000 HD.

Alexis Means won an Ohio Associated Press award for best spot news coverage for "Gunmen in the School," a breaking news story in which a gunman was allegedly seen walking into a Toledo Public School.

In 2011, WTVG received 6 Emmys from the Lower Great Lakes chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. WTVG also received over 15 nominations for their news, a record for the station.[11]

In June 2011, news anchors at WTVG began using iPads to read news stories instead of paper. WTVG is the first television station in Toledo to use the technology. WTOL began using iPads in late September 2011.

On April 4, 2012, WTVG announced that longtime chief meteorologist Stan Stachak would retire from the station at the end of May 2012. Stan Stachak has been at WTVG for over 30 years and became the chief meteorologist for the station back in 1980. Chief meteorologist Stan Stachak has overseen many technological advances during his spectacular 30-plus year tenure including the addition of Toledo's only Doppler radar in 2003. Stan Stachak stepped down as being the chief on April 20, 2012. Stachak's final broadcast was during the 11:00 p.m. newscast on May 27, 2012.[12][13]

High Definition Newscasts[edit]

On April 13, 2010, WTVG became the last ABC-owned station (as well as the first station in the Toledo DMA) to have upgraded its news productions to 16:9 widescreen enhanced definition. On July 2, 2010, WTVG became the first news station in Toledo and the ninth ABC-owned station to broadcast its newscasts in high definition. The in-studio cameras are in 720p high definition, and field coverage is in 16:9 widescreen enhanced definition. WTVG began using new HD graphics on January 17, 2012, and began broadcasting high definition commercials in May 2012. WTOL channel 11 began broadcasting their newscasts in high definition on April 21, 2011. WNWO began broadcasting newscasts in 16:9 enhanced definition widescreen on August 15, 2011. WUPW began broadcasting their newscasts in HD on May 31, 2012.

Newscast titles[edit]

  • The WSPD-TV Newsreel (1948-1953)
  • Your Esso Reporter (1953-1958)
  • Deadline (1958-1969)
  • The Venner-Ward Report (1969-1976)
  • TV-13 News (1976-1979)
  • 13 Strong News (1979-1984)
  • 13 News (1984–1993)
  • 24-Hour News 13 (1993-1995)
  • 13 Action News (1995–2005)
  • 13 ABC Action News (2005–present)

Station slogans[edit]

  • 13 Strong (1977–1984)
  • The Team to Watch (1982-?)
  • Come on Home to 13 Strong News (1984)
  • TV-13, The Winners! (1984–1986)
  • Toledo's Home Team (1986-1987)
  • Your Home Team (1987-?)
  • Your 24-Hour News Source (1993–1995)
  • Where The Action Is (2001–2006)
  • Get Connected (2006–2013)
  • This Is Home (2013–present)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

Action News team[edit]

Current on-air staff[edit]

(as of July 2014)[14]


  • Sashem Brey - weekday mornings on 13abc Action News Good Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Kristian Brown - weeknights at 5:30 p.m.; also weekday reporter
  • Lee Conklin - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Tony Geftos - weekend mornings on 13abc Action News Good Morning (6:00-8:00 and 9:00-10:00 a.m.); also weekday reporter
  • Bill Hormann - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also weekday reporter
  • Diane Larson - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also weekday reporter on "Money Matters" at 5:30 p.m.
  • Jeff Smith - weekday mornings on 13abc Action News Good Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Christina Williams - weekend mornings on 13abc Action News Good Morning (6:00-8:00 and 9:00-10:00 a.m.); also weekday reporter

Weather team

  • Jay Berschback (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Ross Ellet (AMS-CBM Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Ben Cathey - meteorologist; weekend mornings on 13abc Action News Good Morning (6:00-8:00 and 9:00-10:00 a.m.)
  • "Blizzard" Bill Spencer (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on 13abc Action News Good Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Kelly Heidbreder - meteorologist, fill-in; also host of the Extreme Weight Loss Challenge

Sports team

  • Dave Holmes - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Joe Nugent - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Steve Slivka - sports reporter


  • Lissa Guyton - general assignment reporter
  • Shaun Hegarty - investigative reporter; also general assignment reporter
  • McKenzie Kuehnlein - general assignment reporter
  • Nichole Langley - traffic reporter; weekday mornings on 13abc Action News Good Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Kristi Leigh - general assignment reporter
  • Christine Long - general assignment reporter
  • Alexis Means - general assignment reporter
  • Daryl Kirkland-Morgan - general assignment reporter
  • Amy Montgomery - general assignment reporter
  • Sanaa Orra - general assignment reporter
  • Melissa Voetsch - general assignment reporter
  • Rebecca Regnier - "The Trend" feature reporter; weekday mornings on 13abc Action News Good Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon

Washington D.C. Bureau

  • Lauren Adams - Washington D.C. correspondent
  • Jacqueline Policastro - Washington D.C. bureau chief

Local program hosts

  • Lee Conklin - Conklin & Company (Sundays at 11:00 a.m.)
  • Doni Miller - Bridges (Sundays at 11:30 a.m.)
  • Jeff Smith - Roundtable (Sundays at 12:00 p.m.)
  • Rebecca Regnier - Full Plate (Sundays at 12:30 p.m.)

Notable past on-air staff[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Circle 7 logo - WTVG's Circle 13 logo is a derivative of the Circle 7 logo


  1. ^ Counterstrike: CBS targets Scripps; will bid for television networks affiliated with Scripps Howard Broadcasting, Broadcasting & Cable (via HighBeam Research), June 6, 1994.
  2. ^ a b "Gray Buys Stations in Flint, Toledo For $128M". TVNewsCheck. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Broadcasting & Cable: "EXCLUSIVE: Disney to Sell Two Stations", November 3, 2010.
  4. ^ http://beta.toledoblade.com/TV-Radio/2011/03/19/Zamichow-steps-down-at-WTVG.html
  5. ^ The Blade: "Ch. 13's new owners cut 20-plus jobs", April 12, 2011.
  6. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
  7. ^ https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts?context=25&appn=101413629&formid=301&fac_num=74150
  8. ^ http://licensing.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/pubacc/Auth_Files/1413629.pdf
  9. ^ http://www.ohiolottery.com/WinningNumbers/Drawings
  10. ^ http://www.toledoblade.com/TV-Radio/2011/06/18/Fords-TV-show-ends-run-2.html
  11. ^ http://www.toledoblade.com/TV-Radio/2011/06/24/Ch-13-gets-6-Emmys-Ch-11-3.html
  12. ^ http://www.13abc.com/story/17336007/2012/04/04/13abcs-stan-stachak-announces-retirment
  13. ^ a b http://www.mediabistro.com/tvspy/longtime-toledo-meteorologist-stan-stachak-retiring-wtvg-announces-his-successor_b44393
  14. ^ http://www.13abc.com/story/15285018/news-team-biographies
  15. ^ http://www.wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=50393
  16. ^ http://www.toledoblade.com/TV-Radio/2012/08/02/Local-TV-gets-new-morning-talent.html
  17. ^ http://www.toledoblade.com/Mud-Hens/2010/11/19/Longtime-Mud-Hens-announcer-Frank-Gilhooley-dies.html
  18. ^ http://www.cbn.com/Authors/cbnnews/Efrem-Graham/
  19. ^ http://www.toledoblade.com/TV-Radio/2013/11/30/Ch-13-meteorologist-is-on-the-move.html
  20. ^ http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/bio?section=resources/inside_station/newsteam&id=7053189
  21. ^ http://www.mediabistro.com/tvspy/susan-ross-wells-says-goodbye-to-wtvg_b55144

External links[edit]