|Binghamton, New York
|Branding||NBC 5 (general)
NewsChannel 34 (newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 20 (UHF)
WIVT-DT 34.2 (UHF)
Virtual: Virtual: 20 (PSIP)
|Owner||Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||1996|
|Call letters' meaning||BinGHamton|
|Sister station(s)||WIVT, WETM-TV,
|Former callsigns||W08DL (1996–1997)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
8 (VHF, 1996-2001)
20 (UHF, 2001-2015)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1996–1997)|
|Transmitter power||0.04 kW
345 kW (WIVT-DT2)
278 m (WIVT-DT2)
|Public license information:||Profile
WBGH-CD is the Class A, NBC-affiliated television station for the Eastern Twin Tiers of Southern Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Licensed to Binghamton, it broadcasts a low-powered digital signal on UHF channel 20 from a transmitter at its studios on Ingraham Hill Road southwest of downtown. The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 5 (hence the NBC 5 branding) and in full high definition on digital channel 1203.
Owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, WBGH is sister to ABC affiliate WIVT and the two outlets share studios. It can be seen in 720p high definition over-the-air on its own signal and on the second digital subchannel (UHF channel 34.2) of full power WIVT from the same tower.
The original construction permit for the station was granted on November 10, 1993 and issued the call sign W08DL, reflecting its facilities on VHF channel 8. W08DL applied for a license to cover the permit in July 1996 and was granted it on August 12. That same year, Elmira NBC affiliate WETM-TV became Binghamton's default NBC affiliate after WICZ-TV (channel 40), the market's longtime NBC affiliate, switched to Fox in wake of similar affiliation switches in other parts of the country. Initially, through a form of local marketing agreement (LMA), a cable-only Binghamton version of WETM was launched in April 1996; under this arrangement, Time Warner Cable sold Binghamton-market advertising and replaced syndicated programs that aired on other Binghamton stations with programming acquired by WETM for the Binghamton market, while WETM sold regional advertising seen in both markets.
W08DL changed its call letters to WBGH-LP on August 22, 1997; on October 23, original owner David Grant sold WBGH to Smith Broadcasting, owner of WETM, with plans to make channel 8 an over-the-air semi-satellite of WETM. As time went on, WBGH largely separated from the WETM partial simulcast but continued to air that station's newscasts.
In 2000, Smith Broadcasting sold WBGH-LP to the Ackerley Group of Seattle, Washington, which also entered into an LMA to take over operations of WETM. With this sale, WBGH's last ties with WETM were severed as Ackerley already owned WIVT (channel 34). WBGH moved its operations into WIVT's studios on Ingraham Hill south of Binghamton.
In 2001, the station upgraded to Class A status, moved to UHF channel 20 (to accommodate WICZ's digital signal on channel 8), and changed call letters to WBGH-CA. Ackerley merged with Clear Channel Communications on June 14, 2002. On April 20, 2007, the company entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Newport Television, a broadcasting group established by Providence Equity Partners; the deal was completed on March 14, 2008.
As a low-powered Class A television station with limited range, reception of WBGH is limited to the immediate Binghamton area. However, in order to serve the rest of the region, full power sister station WIVT has carried WBGH on its second digital subchannel in 720p high definition since February 9, 2010.
Newport announced on July 19, 2012 that it would sell twelve of its stations, including WBGH and WIVT, to Nexstar. The sale was finalized on December 3. On September 16, 2013, it was announced that Mission Broadcasting would acquire WICZ and low-powered MyNetworkTV affiliate WBPN-LP from the Stainless Broadcasting Company subsidiary of Northwest Broadcasting. Upon the deal's completion, the stations' operations would have been taken over by Nexstar making them sisters to WBGH and WIVT. In March 2015, Mission's purchase of WICZ and WBPN was canceled; as a result, Stainless withdrew the license assignment applications on March 18.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|20.1||720p||16:9||WBGH-CD||Main WBGH programming / NBC|
|20.3||N/A||HD simulcast of WIVT|
Throughout its entire existence, WBGH has never had its own news operation. In the late-1990s as a semi-satellite of WETM, it simulcast that station's local newscasts. After the sale to Ackerley in 2000, WIVT's weeknight newscasts began to be simulcast on WBGH. The early weeknight shows (from 5 to 6:30) eventually began originating from secondary studios in the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City featuring unique segments including exclusive musical performances.
On June 5, 2009, WBGH and WIVT announced there would be a consolidation of news operations with WETM after Newport Television made across the board cuts. WBNG reported all but two people from the news staff and all production personnel for the news department would be terminated. The Press & Sun-Bulletin later identified the two personnel remaining as News Director Jim Ehmke and news anchor Peter Quinn but also said fifteen other members of the original 28 person staff, including non-news personnel, would remain based in Binghamton. The two stations would continue to be locally operated and maintain engineer staff at the studios on Ingraham Hill Road. WBGH and WIVT then began simulcasting WETM's newscasts with only regional weather coverage of the Eastern Twin Tiers.
A separate newscast specifically focusing on the Binghamton area was brought back to WBGH and WIVT on June 28, 2009 through a simulcast on both stations. This effort originally consisted of a 6 p.m. weeknight newscast entirely produced from WETM's studios in Elmira. Eventually, production of the news and sports portions of the broadcast shifted back to the Ingraham Hill Road facility. These segments are recorded earlier in the day (usually by 5 o'clock) and feature locally based photojournalists in Binghamton. A repeat of the 6 o'clock newscast at 11 was subsequently added to the schedules of WBGH and WIVT. During the broadcast, WSYR-TV in Syracuse provides a local weather forecast (featuring rotating meteorologists) that is also recorded in advance. Soon after adding the hyper-local Binghamton news, WIVT ceased simulcasting WETM's newscasts making the taped weeknight newscast the only local news shown on the station. However, WBGH continued to air WETM's weekend 11 p.m. newscast until some point in late 2013.
- Channel 5 branded TV stations in the United States
- Channel 20 low-power TV stations in the United States
- "Application Search Details (WBGH-CD, 1)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- "Call Sign History (WBGH-CD)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- "Application Search Details (WBGH-CD, 2)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- Ross, Chuck (April 22, 1996). "TV STATION HOOKS UP WITH CABLE OUTLET; NEW YORK'S WETM CRAFTS LOCAL MARKETING AGREEMENT". Advertising Age. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- "Application Search Details (WBGH-CD, 3)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- Fybush, Scott (September 11, 1997). "Fire at WVIP". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- Fybush, Scott (March 24, 2000). "WFAU Loses A Tower, WFNX Gains A State, NERW Visits California's Coast". North East RadioWatch. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- "Application Search Details (WBGH-CD, 4)". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- "Radio giant acquires The Ackerley Group". Eugene Register-Guard. June 15, 2002. p. 15A. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- Malone, Michael (April 20, 2007). "Clear Channel Sells Stations". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- "Clear Channel Completes Sale to Providence Equity Partners". Broadcasting & Cable. March 14, 2008. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
- "Newport Sells 22 Station For $1 Billion". TVNewsCheck. July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- Malone, Michael (September 16, 2013). "Nexstar to Acquire Citadel's Iowa Stations for $88 Million". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- Corbett, Dennis P. (March 18, 2015). "Re: Withdrawal of File Nos. BALCDT-20130927A11G, BALTVL-20130927AHH, and BAPDTL-20130927AH1" (PDF). CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
- "News department at WIVT-WBGH combined with WETM". YNN Binghamton. June 5, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Official website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WBGH-CD
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WBGH-CD