|Binghamton, New York
|Slogan||Your Weather Authority
Dare to Defy
|Channels||Digital: 7 (VHF)
Virtual: 12 (PSIP)
(WBNG License, LLC)
|First air date||December 1, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||BiNGhamton|
|Former callsigns||WNBF-TV (1949–1973)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
12 (VHF, 1949–2009)
|Transmitter power||20.4 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WBNG-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Eastern Twin Tiers of Southern Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Licensed to the city of Binghamton, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 7 (or virtual channel 12.1 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Ingraham Hill Road in the town of Binghamton. The station can also be seen on Charter Spectrum channel 2, in HD on digital channel 1209, and in Otsego County on digital channel 1211. Owned by Quincy Media, WBNG has studios on Columbia Drive in Johnson City.
The station signed-on December 1, 1949 as WNBF-TV and was originally owned by Clark Associates Inc. along with WNBF radio (1290 AM and 98.1 FM, now WHWK). At its launch, WNBF carried programs from all four American television networks at the time (CBS, DuMont, NBC, and ABC) since it was the market's first television outlet to launch. For many of its early years, WNBF was the only station available to viewers in the nearby Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania market as set owners pointed their roof-top antennas north towards Binghamton. The station subsequently lost its affiliations with DuMont in 1956 after the network's collapse, and the others when new UHF stations arrived in town, NBC on WINR-TV (channel 40, now WICZ-TV) in 1957 and ABC to WBJA-TV (channel 34, now WIVT) in 1962.
Philadelphia-based Triangle Publications, owner of various broadcasting and newspaper properties, purchased the WNBF stations in 1955. As part of Triangle's exit from broadcasting in 1972, WNBF-AM-FM-TV and sister stations in Altoona and Lancaster (both in Pennsylvania) were sold to Gateway Communications. Gateway was a new broadcasting concern majority-owned by the publishers of the Bergen Record of Hackensack, New Jersey and headed by George Koehler, president of Triangle's broadcast division. As a condition of the purchase, Gateway sold the WNBF radio stations to Des Moines-based Stoner Broadcasting and retained channel 12 which was renamed to its current call sign, WBNG-TV.
In September 1998, an agreement between WBNG, The WB 100+ Station Group and the area's cable provider allowed the station to launch WB affiliate "WBXI" cable channel. Since it was a cable-exclusive outlet, the call sign was not officially recognized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). WBNG provided sales and promotional opportunities to "WBXI".
In 2000, Gateway was purchased by SJL Broadcasting which reduced staff from 100 to 58 over five years to fit the aggressive SJL automation model. In 2002, WBNG's digital signal on VHF channel 7 signed-on. In April 2006, it was announced that Granite Broadcasting made a deal to acquire the station from Television Station Group License Subsidiary, LLC (successor to SJL and a subsidiary of Alta Communications) for $45 million. The required money was funded by a new senior credit facility created after the previously announced sales of Detroit's WMYD and San Francisco's KBWB fell apart. Granite would close on its purchase of WBNG on July 26, 2006.
As part of the transaction, Les Vann (formerly President and General Manager of CBS affiliate WTVH in Syracuse) was promoted to Executive Vice President of the company's Central and Southern New York operations. His duties were regional in nature with responsibilities at both WBNG and WTVH. This station's digital signal began broadcasting network programming in high definition in late-January 2007. Beginning in September 2007, CW affiliate "WBXI" began to be simulcasted on a new second digital subchannel of WBNG. That station then began using WBNG-DT2 as its call letters in an official manner as opposed to the faux "WBXI" call sign which was inherited from the former WB 100+ cable-only channel.
In December 2008, it was announced a deal was reached between Granite and Time Warner Cable to carry WBNG's high definition feed throughout the Binghamton region. This was the first time HD programming from CBS was available to customers in the Southern Tier of New York State without using an antenna. On January 19, 2009, the station went off-the-air for about thirty minutes around 11 p.m. due to a power failure.
WBNG-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 12, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 7. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 12.
On February 11, 2014, Quincy Newspapers announced that it had reached a deal to purchase WBNG from Granite along with other company-owned and/or managed stations in three other markets. The sale was approved on September 15, 2015 and completed on November 2.
Until April 25, 2009, WBNG served as the longtime default CBS affiliate for the Elmira and Corning area. On that date, ABC affiliate WENY-TV signed-on a new second digital subchannel in order to offer access to CBS for the first time ever in that market. On November 22, 2015, WBNG also lost its status as the default CBS affiliate for most of Otsego County in the Utica market (as did former sister station WTVH in Syracuse for the rest of that DMA), when NBC affiliate WKTV's second digital subchannel became CBS' first full-time affiliate in that area. However, WBNG continues to be shown in Otsego County (alongside WKTV-DT2) as a result of viewer complaints caused when the station was taken off Time Warner Cable systems on August 31, 2016. The WBNG signal was restored January 25, 2017.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||PSIP Short Name||Video||Aspect||Programming|
|12.1||WBNG-DT||1080i||16:9||Main WBNG-TV programming / CBS|
|12.2||720p||Binghamton CW 11|
WIVT eventually began simulcasting some of WETM's newscasts featuring regional weather coverage but not a full news focus of the Eastern Twin Tiers region. A separate newscast (recorded in advance from Elmira) specifically covering the Binghamton area was subsequently brought back to WIVT on June 28.
- Channel 7 digital TV stations in the United States
- Channel 12 virtual TV stations in the United States
- "Triangle spins off last seven stations." Broadcasting, December 6, 1971, pg. 38. 
- "FCC grants approval of $16 million in Triangle transfers." Broadcasting, September 25, 1972, pg. 12. 
- "End of an era." Broadcasting, November 6, 1972, pg. 36
- O'Steen, Kathleen (September 22, 2003). "The WB's Radical Genesis" (PDF). Television Week: 14. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- O'Steen, Kathleen (September 22, 2003). "Cable, Broadcast Unite" (PDF). Television Week: 19. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- O'Steen, Kathleen (September 22, 2003). "Forging an Identity" (PDF). Television Week: 20. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Quincy Buying Stations From Granite, Malara". TVNewsCheck. February 11, 2014. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- Letter, CDBS Public Access Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 15 September 2015
- Wilson, Doug (November 2, 2015). "Quincy Newspapers Inc. acquires four TV stations". Quincy Herald-Whig. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
- WKTV bringing CBS affiliation to Utica
- Time Warner Cable takes WBNG off the air in Otsego County
- ON THE AIR: WBNG to return to Otsego County this month
- RabbitEars TV Query for WBNG
- "News department at WIVT-WBGH combined with WETM". YNN Binghamton. June 5, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2012.