Fox 44 (on DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 45 (UHF)
Virtual: 44 (PSIP)
(HD simulcast of 44.2)
|Affiliations||CBS (since 1995)|
|Owner||Bayou City Broadcasting
(Bayou City Broadcasting Evansville, Inc.)
|First air date||November 17, 1983|
|Call letters' meaning||EVansVille
(EVV is also the FAA airport designation for Evansville Regional Airport)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
44 (UHF, 1983-2009)
|Former affiliations||independent (1983–1987)
|Transmitter power||500 kW|
|Public license information:||Profile
WEVV-TV is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Evansville, Indiana. The station operates on digital channel 45, or virtual channel 44 via PSIP, from a transmitter located in Henderson, Kentucky. WEVV is owned and operated by Bayou City Broadcasting, The station has studios located on Main Street in Downtown Evansville. WEVV also operates a digital subchannel (44.2) that is currently affiliated with Fox and MyNetworkTV.
WEVV began broadcasting on November 17, 1983. It was the first full-market independent station in the Tri-State, and the first full-market commercial station in the market since WTVW (channel 7) hit the air waves 27 years earlier. WLCN (channel 19, later WAZE-TV and now defunct) had signed on a month later, but only served part of the market at the time. It became a Fox affiliate in 1987, originally branded as Fox 44 and later as WEVV Fox TV.
In 1995, Banam Broadcasting, a subsidiary of BankAmerica, sold WTVW (channel 7) to Petracom Broadcasting. Fox then acquired a 20% equity stake in Petracom; this led to a three-way affiliation swap in which WTVW ended its affiliation with ABC after 39 years and affiliated with Fox on December 3, 1995. Conversely, the ABC affiliation moved to WEHT (channel 25) ending its affiliation with CBS after 41 years.
On July 1, 1995, WEVV-TV signed an affiliation agreement with CBS to become the network's new affiliate for the Tri-State market. On September 18, 1995, WEVV aired its first CBS program with an episode of The Price is Right. Eventually, the station picked up CBS This Morning after it was dropped by WEHT; WEVV officially became a full-time CBS affiliate on December 4, 1995, when the remainder of CBS' programming lineup was added to the station.
In June 2006, ComCorp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Western District of Louisiana. In September of that year, WEVV began broadcasting a digital high definition signal; at the time, a digital subchannel was added on virtual 44.2, which was affiliated with MyNetworkTV and was simulcast on WTSN-LP (and as such, was branded as "MyTSN"). In 2009, the relationship with WTSN-LP ended and channel 44.2 changed branding to My44, with WTSN moving to air America One (Me-TV in December 2011, and now Heroes & Icons) programming.
On April 24, 2013, Communications Corporation of America (owner of WEVV) announced the sale of its entire group to the Nexstar Broadcasting Group (owner of ABC affiliate WEHT). Since there are fewer than eight full-power stations in the Evansville market, Nexstar and its partner company Mission Broadcasting (owner of CW affiliate WTVW), cannot legally buy WEVV. So WEVV was planning to be sold to a female-controlled company called Rocky Creek Communications. Nexstar would have operated the station under a shared service agreement, forming a triopoly with WEHT and WTVW. However, on August 4, 2014, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced that it would instead sell WEVV to Bayou City Broadcasting for $18.6 million. The sale was completed on January 1, 2015.
In January 2015, WEVV and WEVV-DT2 was removed from Dish Network in the Evansville market, despite the offer made by Bayou Broadcasting. The reason according to Bayou was that Dish thought that their customers didn't value the programming provided. Dish, however, claimed the new owners wanted transmission fees higher than other local broadcasters. Ultimately the issue was resolved with all Bayou stations returning to Dish Network.
WEVV broadcasts all of the CBS television programming schedule, including CBS This Morning (weekdays and Saturday morning edititons). Unlike most CBS affiliates in the Central Time Zone, WEVV airs The Young and The Restless at 11:00 a.m., immediately after The Price Is Right. WNKY-DT2, the second subchannel of NBC affiliate WNKY in Bowling Green, Kentucky, also follows that practice.
Syndicated programs on WEVV include but not limited to The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Phil, Two and a Half Men, and Everybody Loves Raymond among others. Some movies from a few syndicated movie packages are also shown.
Sports Programming: Past and present
Since WEVV became a CBS affiliate in December 1995, all of CBS Sports content on the regular network is shown, including most of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts regular season games via the NFL on CBS, because the Colts compete in the AFC, which CBS usually have broadcast rights to. Due to its proximity to areas of western Kentucky, a few Tennessee Titans regular season games are shown on the station when the Colts are to be broadcast either in primetime or when the Colts host an NFC opponent in a Sunday afternoon timeslot. In terms of College Basketball, any Indiana Hoosiers, Louisville Cardinals, or Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball game covered by CBS is also aired on the station. All three of those college teams are longtime fixtures of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, so WEVV typically gets high ratings during that event, but the involvement of TBS, TNT and TruTV in the coverage since 2011 cuts into the ratings, depending on the game scheduling.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|44.1||1080i||16:9||WEVV-DT||Main WEVV-TV programming / CBS|
|44.2||480i||WEVV-FX||WEVV-DT2 / FOX & MyNetworkTV|
WEVV-TV discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 44, 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 UHF channel 45, using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 44.
On May 11, 2011, WEVV signed an affiliation agreement with Fox, reuniting WEVV with its first network affiliation, after WTVW lost its affiliation due to a dispute between Fox and owner Nexstar over Fox's demands of a share of retransmission consent earnings (WTVW then became an independent station); CBS programming remained on digital channel 44.1, and Fox began airing on July 1, 2011 on WEVV digital channel 44.2. MyNetworkTV programming moved from the 7-9 p.m. primetime slot to 9-11 p.m. The subchannel is branded as Fox 44 and uses a logo that resembles those used by its sister Comcorp-owned Fox affiliates such as WGMB in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and KWKT in central Texas, though with a plain midpoint bullet between calls and city rather than a decorative outline, and continuing to use WEVV's longtime "44" logo. In a sense, this resulted in WEVV regaining the Fox affiliation it had lost 16 years earlier.
On June 24, 2011, WEVV-TV signed on a new digital low-power station on channel 47. This station, which holds the low-power translator calls W47EE-D, is used to air the Fox/MyNetworkTV schedule in 720p high definition to cable/satellite providers and local antenna viewers in the immediate Evansville/Henderson area. WEVV is currently working with all of the market's cable and satellite providers to place WEVV-DT2's high definition signal on their systems, and move the station's standard definition channel from the extended digital lifeline tier to the basic tier which every viewer in the area can receive.
WEVV established a news department in 1992, with local news, branded Fox 44 News at Nine, originally airing weeknights at 9 p.m. With the switch to CBS, the 9 p.m. newscast was dropped, and the news operation was relaunched as NewsNow, adding newscasts at noon, 5 p.m., 10 p.m., and weekends. NewsNow later became CBS 44 News.
Other newscasts were added to mornings, and the 5 p.m. newscast moved to 6 p.m. However, none of these additions/time period changes helped the news ratings, and the station remained stubbornly in fourth place behind WFIE, WEHT and WTVW. WEVV shuttered its news department in June 2001. There has been no local news programming since then, though WeatherVision does provide weather content for the station. WEVV is one of the few Big Three affiliates that doesn't air any local newscasts, a group that includes WWJ-TV in Detroit, Michigan (CBS) and WTWC-TV in Tallahassee, Florida (NBC).
In December 2014, WEVV announced it would restart its news department in 2015. WEVV announced that local newscasts will re-launch in August 2015 with staffers including Amanda Decker, formerly of WGFL in Little Rock, Arkansas, Chris Cerenelli, formerly of WTVF in Nashville, Tennessee, Chad Evans of WLFI in Lafayette, IN (and previously on rival WEHT) as chief meteorologist and sports director will be Andrew Keesee from KWES-TV in Midland, Texas.
Notable former on-air staff
- Miles, Laureen (May 15, 1995). "Fox eyes Evansville station". Mediaweek. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- "Fox buys interest in group owner". Broadcasting & Cable. May 22, 1995. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- "SATURDAY SPECIAL: "Great Affiliation Switch" captivated Tri-State viewers in '95". Jake's DTV Blog. July 31, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Nexstar Selling WEVV For $18.6 Million, TVNewsCheck, August 4, 2014.
- Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Update on CBS44 and Dish Network | CBS44 WEVV
- Raycom Sports Big Ten Syndication Package Brochures (1989-1995) (PDF). Raycom Sports. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WEVV
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "FOX ends affiliation with WTVW," from Evansville Courier & Press, 5/11/2011
- Official website
- Official Fox 44 website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WEVV
- Query the FCC's TV station database for W47EE
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WEVV-TV