|New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Branding||WWL-TV Channel 4 (general)
Channel 4's Eyewitness News (newscasts)
|Slogan||The Spirit of Louisiana
Louisiana's News Leader
|Channels||Digital: 36 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||4.1 WWL / CBS HD
4.2 Live Well Network
Live Well Network (DT2)
|First air date||September 7, 1957|
|Call letters' meaning||World
(after Loyola University New Orleans, founder and former owner)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
4 (VHF, 1957-2009)
WWL-TV, virtual channel 4, is the CBS-affiliated television station serving New Orleans, southeast Louisiana and parts of southern and coastal Mississippi, and is the primary CBS station for South and Coastal Mississippi. It broadcasts on UHF digital channel 36. Its main studios and offices are located on Rampart Street in the historic French Quarter, with a North Shore bureau located on North Causeway Boulevard in suburban Mandeville. Its transmitter is located at 4 Cooper Road in Gretna, Louisiana. The station can also be seen on Cox Communications channel 3 in standard definition and digital channel 1003 in high definition.
Digital television 
The station's digital signal on UHF 36, is multiplexed:
|4.1||WWL-HD||1080i||16:9||Main WWL programming / CBS|
|4.2||LIVEWEL||480i||Live Well Network|
WWL-TV signed on the air on Saturday, September 7, 1957 as, oddly enough, the fourth television station in New Orleans, behind WDSU-TV, WJMR (now WVUE), and WYES. It was owned by Loyola University New Orleans along with WWL radio (AM 870 and FM 105.3). WWL-AM had been a CBS affiliate since 1935 so WWL-TV naturally joined CBS. It competed head to head with NBC affiliate WDSU in the 1960s and 70s. However, after WDSU was sold to out-of-town owners, it began deemphasizing local features in favor of its highly regarded news format. By comparison, WWL, as the only locally-owned station, heavily stressed its local roots. By the early 1980s, WWL had emerged as the market's ratings leader.
In 1988, WWL and Cox Communications, the cable company serving the Greater New Orleans area south of Lake Pontchartrain, began a joint venture called NewsWatch 15. It was one of the first regional cable news networks in the United States at the time. Viewed on cable channel 15, the network broadcasts recent editions of "Eyewitness News" around the clock as well as simulcasts live newscasts and breaking news.
In 1989, Loyola sold its media properties to different owners. WWL-TV's employees formed a group called Rampart Broadcasting (named after the station's studios on Rampart Street), led by general manager J. Michael Early and longtime news director and station editorialist Phil Johnson, and bought the station. It was the first (and thus far, only) time an employee-investor group acquired a local television station. Current owner Belo bought the station in 1994.
WWL-TV preempted moderate amounts of CBS programming from the 1960s through the 1980s These included, most notably, the 9-10 a.m. weekday timeslot, and, prior to the debut of Late Show with David Letterman in 1993, CBS' late-night lineup. Also, WWL-TV preempted the last hour of Saturday children's programming, between Noon and 1 p.m., during the 1970s. In the late 1980s, WWL-TV dropped the weekday morning CBS news show in favor of an additional hour of local news and Regis at 8 a.m. Eventually the local news was expanded into the 8 a.m. hour.
In 1990, WWL began running one of the most successful station image campaigns in the United States with its "Spirit of Louisiana" promotions. The one minute spots feature the region's musical and cultural heritage as well as showcases life in southeastern Louisiana. Many of the ads feature well-known area musicians and singers. The campaigns continue today. 
In 2005, Viacom, which owned WUPL at the time, made an offer to buy WWL-TV. After Belo rejected Viacom's offer, Viacom instead made a deal to sell WUPL to Belo. This would have created a duopoly with WWL and WUPL. However, due to uncertainty created by Hurricane Katrina concerning the New Orleans market, Belo delayed the deal to purchase WUPL. As a result, CBS Corporation (which took over WUPL after Viacom split into two companies) filed a lawsuit against Belo in February 2006 for breach of contract. The litigation has apparently been settled as Belo agreed to complete the purchase of WUPL in late February 2007. The deal has already received regulatory approval, and closed on February 26, 2007. In April 2007, Belo moved WUPL's operations into the WWL facility. WWL-TV celebrated a half a century of broadcasting on September 7, 2007; it recently observed its 55th anniversary half a decade later, in 2012.
Hurricane Katrina 
WWL began 24-hour continuous coverage of Hurricane Katrina on August 27, from its New Orleans studio. At 10:45 p.m. CDT Sunday operations moved to the Manship School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. LSU students and staff helped produce the telecast with WWL-TV staff in a 'bare bones' fashion.
The station briefly returned to its Rampart Street studios in New Orleans Monday, August 29, at 4 p.m. Flooding forced the station to again move operations back to LSU, as well as a makeshift studio at the transmitter site in Gretna. The station relayed its signal via fiber optics and the use of a satellite truck from sister station KHOU-TV in Houston.
Beginning September 1, the station again moved operations, this time to the studios of Louisiana Public Broadcasting in Baton Rouge. This provided WWL with a much larger facility and expanded their audience to include LPB's statewide network. This coverage was also aired by many PBS stations. WWL would finally return to New Orleans about six weeks later.
After Hurricane Katrina, some of the station's most visible talent - including weekend anchor/reporter Josh McElveen and reporter Stephanie Riegel - left the station to pursue other opportunities. Fans were also shocked to hear that 10 p.m. anchor Karen Swensen was leaving the station to work at NECN in Boston. Meteorologists David Bernard and John Gumm also left (David Bernard was already scheduled to leave before the storm.)
The station has also brought back an old WWL-TV tradition, the editorial. Modeled after the editorials of Phil Johnson, the station's long-time and very popular news director/station manager, today's editorials are in the form of WWLTV'S political analyst Clancy Dubos reading from a script, speaking about current political issues related to the post-Katrina redevelopment of New Orleans. This only happens on WWLTV's 6PM newscast on Tuesday nights.
The station and Belo announced plans to construct a new multi-million dollar broadcasting facility for WWL, WUPL and WWLTV.com at 700 Loyola Avenue in downtown New Orleans. It was originally scheduled to be completed in late 2007-early 2008 and is to be called the J. Michael Early Broadcast Center, after the former general manager. Ground was actually broken for the new facility on July 25, 2005 (before Katrina hit); however, its construction has been delayed (as of recently, the site is still a parking lot). As a result, WWL-TV and WUPL will remain at their Rampart Street studio location for the foreseeable future.
Hurricane Gustav 
The same agreement for the use of LPB studio facilities and the statewide LPB simulcast listed above was also utilized for coverage of Hurricane Gustav in early September 2008. WWL's coverage also aired on the digital subchannels of fellow Belo sister stations WFAA-TV 8.2 in Dallas and KHOU-TV 11.2 in Houston for the convenience of evacuees.
News operation 
The station has used the Eyewitness News format since February 26, 1968 (having altered its title from "Evening News"), and according to local AC Nielsen ratings, has had the leading newscast in New Orleans for nearly 30 years. The November 2007 sweeps period—the first major ratings period in New Orleans reported to Nielsen since Hurricane Katrina—affirmed that WWL continued to lead its nearest competitors, WDSU and WVUE, by a wide margin.
In March 2006, WWL began "I-News", a 30-minute newscast featuring more in-depth reporting on topics important to viewers. The newscast also features live interviews with local, state and national officials. The newscast aired weekday evenings on the station's website after the 6 p.m. newscast and was rebroadcast on Channel 4; the webcast has since been canceled.
On June 4, 2007, WWL-TV began airing a 30-minute weeknight newscast called "Eyewitness News at 9" on WUPL-TV. It was anchored by "Eyewitness News Nightwatch" anchors Lucy Bustamante and Mike Hoss until Bustamante departed WWL-TV for Belo sister station WVEC-TV in Hampton, Virginia on October 1, 2010. Bustamante was replaced by the woman she replaced, Karen Swensen, on February 24, 2011 as anchor of the 10 p.m. and the WUPL 9 p.m. newscast; in the interim, Mike Hoss anchored the newscast on WUPL with rotating co-anchors.
Since the anchor changes, WWL-TV has lost significant ratings, according to Nielsen Media reports, but is still the top-rated station for news in New Orleans. Where it once doubled the ratings of each of its competitors in every time period, WWL-TV's lead declined to as little as one household rating point (at 6 p.m.) in the July 2011 Nielsen sweeps period, where WDSU placed second. At 5 p.m., WWL-TV led WDSU by 2 household ratings points; at 10 p.m., WWL-TV led WVUE by 1.9 household ratings points.
In April 2010, the station became the second in the market to install a new HD-based weather system.
Former WDSU morning anchor Melanie Hebert joined the station in January 2012 and didn't make any on-air appearances until July of that year.
On October 25, 2012, WWL-TV introduced a new news set for the first time in over 15 years after upgrading the prior set a few times in that time period. This new set was designed by FX Group and gives meteorologists a full size area for the first time in the station's history. The newscasts remain in standard definition widescreen.
News/station presentation 
Newscast titles 
- Shell News (1957–1959)
- Newsroom (1959–1963)
- TV-4 News (1963–1966)
- News 4/Evening News (1966–1968)
- Eyewitness News (1968–1989)
- Channel 4 Eyewitness News (1989–present)
Station slogans 
- "The South's Most Complete and Comprehensive Coverage of News, Sports and Weather" (1970–1976?)
- "The Best Things in Life Are Here on 4" (1979–1984)
- "Louisiana's News Leader" (1984–present; news slogan)
- "The Spirit of Louisiana" (1987–present; general slogan)
- Melanie Hebert - weekday mornings Eyewitness News Early Edition/Eyewitness Morning News (4:30-6 a.m.); also host of "The 504" on WUPL at 9 p.m.
- Mike Hoss - weekday mornings Eyewitness News Early Edition (4:30-6 a.m.)
- Katie Moore - Saturdays at 5 and 6, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.; also weeknight reporter
- Eric Paulsen - weekday mornings Eyewitness Morning News (6-9 a.m.) and noon
- Sally-Ann Roberts  - weekday mornings Eyewitness Morning News (6-9 a.m.) (sister of Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts)
- Karen Swensen - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Dennis Woltering - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.; also host of Sunday Edition with Dennis Woltering
Eyewitness News Pinpoint Weather
- Carl Arredondo (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 6, and 10 p.m.
- Laura Buchtel - meteorologist; weekday mornings Eyewitness News Early Edition (4:30-6 a.m.) and Eyewitness Morning News (6-9 a.m.)
- Alexandra Cranford - weekend meteorologist; Saturdays at 5, 6, and 10 p.m. and Sundays at 5:30 and 10 p.m.
- Derek Kevra (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekdays at noon and 5:00 p.m.
- Bradley Handwerger - WWLTV.com sports writer
- Juan Kincaid - sports anchor and on-site reporter
- Doug Mouton - sports director weeknights 5, 6, and 10 p.m. [Link}
- Bryan Salmond - weekend sports anchor/reporter
- Darren Sharper - Saints analyst, Former Saints and NFL free safety: also analyst for NFL Network [Link}
- Bill Capo - consumer reporter ("Action Report")
- Tania Dall - general assignment reporter
- Frank Davis - semi-retired feature reporter ("In the Kitchen" Tuesday mornings, "Naturally N'Awlins" 6pm Wednesday mornings.)
- Don Dubuc - feature reporter ("The Fishing Game" Thursdays at 6pm.)
- Meg Farris - health reporter ("Medical Watch")
- David Hammer - investigative reporter
- Monica Hernandez - general assignment reporter
- Paul Murphy - general assignment reporter
- Mike Perlstein - investigative reporter
- Ashley Rodrigue - Northshore Bureau Chief reporter
- Maya Rodriguez - general assignment reporter
- Scott Satchfield - general assignment reporter
- Sheba Turk - morning traffic reporter
Notable former on-air staff 
- Nancy Russo Chapman -meteorologist (1993-1998)
- Jean Doherty - meteorologist (1967; "The Weather With Jean"); first female meteorologist in New Orleans
- Al Duckworth - meteorologist (1968-1984; died August 17, 2001 at age 71)
- Jim Basquil - sports (now at ESPN)
- Susan Edwards - reporter (died on December 29, 2010 at age 34 of liver cancer)
- Bill Elder - anchor/investigative reporter (1965–2000; nicknamed the "Mike Wallace of Louisiana"; died September 17, 2003 at age 65 of complications from brain cancer treatment)
- Hap Glaudi - sports anchor (1961–1978); subsequently moved to WWL(AM); died December 29, 1989; longtime on-air rival of Buddy Diliberto, who succeeded him at WWL-AM)
- Hoda Kotb - anchor/reporter (1992–1997; now with NBC News as co-host of The Today Show)
- Jim Henderson - Long-time sports director from May 1, 1978 to January 31, 2012. The radio voice of the New Orleans Saints and now at WVUE-DT as Saints analyst and commentator
- Taylor Henry - reporter (1981-1986). Later with CNN and winner of the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for investigating reporting.
- Larry Matson - sports anchor (1981–1986; now with the St. Charles Parish Recreation Department)
- Jim Metcalf - anchor/reporter/host of A Sunday Journal (1966–1977; died March 8, 1977 at age 49, the Jim Metcalf Memorial Award is named in his honor)
- Chris Myers - sports reporter/anchor (1982–1986; now with Fox Sports)
- Susan E. Roberts - anchor/reporter (1995–1997; now with WPRI-TV)
- Nash C. Roberts Jr. - meteorologist (1978–2001; died December 19, 2010 at age 92)
- Garland Robinette - anchor/reporter (1970–1990; married to co-anchor Angela Hill from 1978–1987; now at WWL-AM/WWL-FM)
- Norman Robinson - reporter (1978–1992; now at WDSU)
- Charles Zewe - anchor/reporter (1971–1976; later at WDSU and CNN; now Vice President of Communications for the Louisiana State University System)
- Rob Nelson - anchor/reporter (2007–2010; now with ABC News as co-host of World News Now)
-  "Belo Purchases WUPL-TV, Expanding Its Presence in New Orleans." Belo press release. Retrieved February 28, 2007
- WWL news open April 15, 1986 (Eyewitness News Nightwatch, Jim Kirk Theme)
- WWL Channel 4 Eyewitness News Open
- Spirit of Louisiana Gospel WWL-TV Channel 4
- WWL-TV reporter Susan Edwards loses battle with cancer, WWLtv.com, December 29, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: WWL-TV|
- WWLTV.com - Official WWL-TV Website
- WUPLTV.com - Official WUPL-TV Website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WWL-TV
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WWL-TV