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Not to be confused with WBNX-TV.
WBNS-TV Logo.png
Columbus, Ohio
United States
Branding 10TV (general)
10TV News (newscasts)
Slogan Central Ohio's news leader
New. Fresh. Up to the minute. (secondary)
Channels Digital: 21 (UHF)
Virtual: 10 (PSIP)
Subchannels 10.1 CBS
10.2 Decades
Affiliations CBS
Owner Dispatch Broadcast Group
(WBNS-TV, Inc.)
Founded March 1948[1]
First air date October 5, 1949; 66 years ago (1949-10-05)
Call letters' meaning derived from sister station WBNS radio
Sister station(s) WBNS, WBNS-FM
Former channel number(s) Analog:
10 (VHF, 1949–2009)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 279 m (915 ft)
Facility ID 71217
Transmitter coordinates 39°58′15.5″N 83°1′39.2″W / 39.970972°N 83.027556°W / 39.970972; -83.027556
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.10tv.com

WBNS-TV, channel 10, is a television station in Columbus, Ohio, USA. The station is an affiliate of the CBS Television Network and is owned by the Dispatch Broadcast Group along with WBNS radio (1460 AM and 97.1 FM). WBNS-TV's studios, offices and transmitter are co-located west of Downtown Columbus, near the confluence of the Olentangy and Scioto rivers..

WBNS-TV currently broadcasts in stereo and uses its SAP channel for a variety of purposes, including simulcasts of its radio sister and simulcasts of NOAA weather radio. The Dispatch Broadcast Group broadcasting operations also include WTHR, the NBC affiliate in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Former WBNS-TV broadcast tower (left), next to the candelabra tower from which WBNS-TV and WBNS-FM now broadcast. WCMH-TV as well as the majority of Columbus FM radio stations also broadcast from the candelabra tower.

WBNS-TV began operations on October 5, 1949.[2] WBNS radio had been a CBS Radio Network affiliate for almost 20 years, so channel 10 immediately joined the CBS television network. It is currently the ninth longest-tenured CBS affiliate. Channel 10 has used the on-air branding of 10TV since 1977. It is also one of only a few stations in the country to have had the same owner, call letters and primary network affiliation throughout its history, as well as the only major station in the city still owned by Ohio interests.

The WBNS stations maintained common ownership with The Columbus Dispatch, the city's lone remaining daily newspaper, until 2015 under a exemption of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s cross-ownership rules. The FCC has largely prohibited common ownership of co-located print and broadcast media since the middle-1970s. The Wolfe family, who purchased the Dispatch in 1905, sold the newspaper and related assets to New Media Investment Group in June 2015.

WBNS-TV was known for its locally produced shows Flippo the Clown, Luci's Toyshop, Franz the Toymaker, and programs hosted by popular Columbus Zoo and Aquarium personality Jack Hanna (Hanna's Ark). The station also featured "Fritz the Nite Owl," who hosted midnight movies during the 1970s and Sunday state government talk called Capital Square in the 1990s. Throughout much of the 1990s and early years of the millennium WBNS-TV was home to the 10TV Kids News Network (KNN); a local show, "produced by kids, for kids." The half-hour show aired Saturday mornings. Several KNN kids have gone on to pursue careers in television news or public relations in central Ohio.

In 1995, WBNS-TV replaced Cleveland's WJW-TV as the default affiliate in the Mansfield area (part of the Cleveland-Akron DMA) after WJW became a Fox broadcast outlet. The new Cleveland CBS affiliate, WOIO, unlike WBNS-TV, did not reach Mansfield with a Grade B signal. WBNS also replaced Toledo CBS affiliate WTOL on cable television in the Lima DMA.

The first live high-definition broadcast on the station's digital signal took place in September 1998 in which the broadcast was a football game between Ohio State and West Virginia, making the station a pioneer in American digital television. The station claims this to have been the first locally produced HD broadcast in the US; however, as several other stations throughout the country also lay claim to this distinction, the veracity cannot be verified.

The station has strong ties to the athletic department of Ohio State University. For many years, it has produced the coaches shows for both the football and men's basketball teams, along with other shows about Ohio State athletics. Additionally, its radio sister has been the flagship station of Ohio State football and basketball for decades. Prior to the launch of the Big Ten Network in September 2007, the station aired Ohio State games offered by ESPN Plus in both sports, including prime-time pre-emptions of CBS network programming for games. Because of the Big Ten Network's exclusive contracts to cover live Ohio State sports, WBNS now only carries selected CBS Big Ten basketball broadcasts on weekends and latter portions of the conference tourney, although the programming outside of live sports remains produced by WBNS-TV. It has been the market's home of the syndicated runs of Wheel of Fortune since 1983 and Jeopardy! since 1984, one of the few stations to carry the entire run of both series.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
10.1 1080i 16:9 WBNS TV Main WBNS-TV programming / CBS
10.2 480i 4:3 WBNSTV2 Decades

As of September 15, 2012, the high-definition feed for WBNS-TV was dropped from Dish Network due to a contractual dispute between the two sides.

On June 12, 2009, WBNS-TV launched Doppler 10 Now, a weather subchannel, carried on channel 10.2, based on the Local AccuWeather platform.[4] On May 28, 2013, WBNS-TV announced that the 10.2 subchannel would begin carrying Antenna TV.[5] WBNS' promotions for the network, tagged as "Ridiculously Retro", showcase clips from Flippo the Clown and Lucy's Toyshop, hinting that old, local favorites could return to the airwaves.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WBNS-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 10, on June 12, 2009, as part of the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television.[6][7] The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 21,[8] using PSIP to display WBNS-TV's virtual channel as 10 on digital television receivers.

News operation[edit]

WBNS-TV Eyewitness News open, 2004.

WBNS-TV was the first television station in the Columbus market to debut a news helicopter, "10TV SkyCam" (now "Chopper 10") in 1979, satellite news truck "10TV Skybeam" in 1986 and launch the Ohio News Network in 1997, which shared studio and office space with WBNS until ONN ended on August 31, 2012.

Appropriately for a station with roots in a newspaper, WBNS-TV has been a consistent ratings leader in programming and news for most of the time since records have been kept. In fact, for many years a popular saying in Columbus was "4 and 6 don't equal 10", referring to WBNS-TV and its rivals, WLWC/WCMH-TV (Channel 4) and WTVN-TV/WSYX (Channel 6). In 1983, the station, under the leadership of general manager Gene D'Angelo, news director Larry Maisel, and marketing director David Sams, took out a full page back cover ad in Weekly Variety touting its dominance as having the #1 local evening newscast in the nation (53 share at 6 p.m., top 50 markets).

The first major challenge to Channel 10's dominance occurred in 1985, two years after WCMH began featuring the popular anchor team (and then-married couple) of Doug Adair and Mona Scott. From then until the mid-2000s, WBNS-TV and WCMH alternated holding the dominant ratings position for their 11 p.m. newscasts (and were virtually tied for ratings leads). However, since 2002, WBNS-TV has returned to a dominant position due to stronger CBS programming and CBS' reacquisition of Sunday-afternoon NFL telecasts. WBNS-TV usually rotates games among the three teams with followings in the Columbus market—the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals (all of whom are part of the CBS package for the American Football Conference).

During the Super Bowl XLI, channel 10 debuted a large marketing campaign to promote the launch of 10TV News in high definition. The song "Carousels (Dreaming of Tomorrow)" by Columbus rock band Alamoth Lane was used throughout the course of the campaign. Some of the band members were shot playing on the roof of WBNS with the Columbus skyline behind them. The song was also used to promote sister station WTHR's 50th Anniversary in 2007.

The station began making preparations for the transition to HD in late March 2007, and debuted its 5:00 p.m. newscast in high definition on April 2, becoming the first television station in Central Ohio to produce newscasts in HD. The station's newscasts are now known as "10TV News"; "10TV News HD" was used from 2007 to 2012, after being known as "10TV Eyewitness News" for many years.

On November 7, 2008, WBNS-TV's morning-noon anchor Heather Pick died of breast cancer. Pick learned in 2004 that the disease she overcame in 1999 had returned. In her last public appearance, Heather hosted the "Spirit Celebration with Heather Pick", raising almost $500,000 for the Columbus Cancer Clinic.[9]

On January 3, 2011, WBNS expanded its weekday morning newscast to 2½ hours, starting at 4:25 a.m. Weekend anchors Jeff Hogan and Angela An replaced Chuck Strickler and Anietra Hamper as anchors, and weeknight 5:30 p.m. anchor Tracy Townsend replaced Hamper and Strickler as noon anchors.[10]

On May 11, 2011, WBNS-TV gained high-profile advertising when WBNS logos and a news ticker replaced those belonging to WCMH-TV on the Casto Building at the corner of High and Broad streets in downtown Columbus. Beginning in 2008, the building was leased by rival station WCMH-TV to house its NBC 4 on the Square newscast. When WCMH discontinued the newscast, WBNS assumed the lease but decided not to utilize the street-level studio space.[11]

On October 1, 2012, WBNS-TV launched a redesigned set.[12]

On September 17, 2013, Maria Tiberi, the 21-year-old daughter of WBNS-TV sports director Dom Tiberi, was killed in a car accident along Interstate 270 in Hilliard. Although authorities stated that Maria was distracted at the time of the accident, they did not claim that the distraction was a cell phone. In honor of Maria, WBNS has launched a campaign known as "Maria's Message", an awareness program which aims to prevent such accidents from occurring.[13] On April 8, 2014, the 130th Ohio General Assembly signed into law Senate Bill 294, which officially designated September as "Safe Driving Awareness Month" in honor of Maria.[14]

Notable alumni[edit]

Comedian Jonathan Winters, then known as Johnny Winters, promoting Gambrinus Beer in the early 1950s for August Wagner Breweries, Inc. on WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio.


  1. ^ "FCC grants three commercial video." Broadcasting - Telecasting, March 22, 1948, pg. 93.
  2. ^ "WBNS-TV opens; Tele-Center dedicated." Broadcasting - Telecasting, October 24, 1949, pg. 48.
  3. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WBNS
  4. ^ Glen Dickson (19 June 2009). "WBNS Launches AccuWeather Channel". Broadcasting & Cable (broadcastingcable.com). Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  5. ^ ‘Antenna TV’ To Launch On WBNS-10TV's 10.2 Channel In June, WBNS-TV, 28 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-04
  6. ^ "WBNS-10TV Delays DTV Transition To June 12". WBNS. 6 February 2009. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  7. ^ List of Digital Full-Power Stations
  8. ^ "DTV Transition Status Report". FCC. 16 April 2009. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  9. ^ "WBNS-10TV Remembers Heather Pick". WBNS-TV. 7 November 2008. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  10. ^ "WBNS Expands Early Morning News". TVnewscheck.com. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  11. ^ "10TV Debuts Signs At Broad And High". WBNS. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 
  12. ^ http://www.10tv.com/content/slideshows/2012/10/slideshow-wbns-10tv-set-debut.html
  13. ^ http://dispatch.clientmediaserver.com/splashpage/20140206_marias_message/
  14. ^ http://archives.legislature.state.oh.us/BillText130/130_SB_294_EN_N.pdf
  15. ^ "Phil Keating Bio". Fox News. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 

External links[edit]