WFIE

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WFIE
Wfie.png
Evansville, Indiana/
Henderson/Owensboro, Kentucky
United States
CityEvansville, Indiana
Branding14 WFIE (general)
14 News (newscasts)
MeTV Tri-State (on DT2)
Grit (on DT3)
SloganThe Tri-State's News & Weather Leader
ChannelsDigital: 46 (UHF)
(to move to 26 (UHF))
Virtual: 14 (PSIP)
Subchannels14.1 NBC
14.2 MeTV
14.3 Grit
AffiliationsNBC (Secondary through 1956)
OwnerRaycom Media
(sale to Gray Television pending[1])
(WFIE License Subsidiary, LLC)
First air dateNovember 15, 1953 (64 years ago) (1953-11-15)
Call letters' meaningWe're First In Evansville or "FInE" from Fine family
Sister station(s)WAVE, KFVS-TV, WQTV-LP/WQWQ-LP
Former callsignsWFIE-TV (1953–2003)
Former channel number(s)Analog:
62 (UHF, 1953–1961)
14 (UHF, 1961–2009)
Former affiliationsAll secondary:
DuMont (1953–1956)
ABC (1953–1956)
PTEN (1993–1997)
DT2:
NBC WX+ (2005–2008)
14Xtra (2008–2014)
DT3:
The Tube (2006–2007)
This TV (2009–2013)
Movies! (2013–2014)
MeTV (2014)
Transmitter power250 kW
168 kW (CP)
Height310 m (1,017 ft)
Facility ID13991
Transmitter coordinates37°53′14″N 87°31′7″W / 37.88722°N 87.51861°W / 37.88722; -87.51861
Licensing authorityFCC
Public license information:Profile
CDBS
Websitewww.14news.com

WFIE is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Evansville, Indiana, United States, serving the Tri-State area of southwestern Indiana, northwestern Kentucky and southeastern Illinois. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 46 (or virtual channel 14 via PSIP) from a transmitter in the Wolf Hills section of Henderson, Kentucky. Owned by Raycom Media, the station has studios on Mount Auburn Road in Evansville. On cable, WFIE is available on WOW! and Charter Spectrum channel 4.

History[edit]

WFIE was granted a construction permit on June 10, 1953, and began broadcasting on November 15, 1953 on analog UHF channel 62. The station, Indiana's sixth, was originally co-owned by Jesse, Isadore, and Oscar Fine. WFIE was the first station to be based in Evansville proper; WEHT (channel 25), while licensed to Evansville and having launched a month and half before WFIE, has always had their studios located across the Ohio River in Henderson, Kentucky.

WFIE was originally a primary NBC outlet with secondary ABC (shared with WEHT) and DuMont affiliations.[2] Both of those networks were dropped in August 1956 with the launch of WTVW (which took ABC) and the shutdown of DuMont. This left WFIE as a full-time NBC affiliate. It is the only station in the market to have never changed its primary affiliation; as such, WFIE has the distinction of being the longest-tenured NBC affiliate in the state of Indiana. Also in 1956, WFIE became the area's first station to telecast color programming (by virtue of its NBC affiliation).

The WFIE viewing area; counties where the station's signal reaches either over-the-air, on cable or satellite are shown in light red.

The Fine family sold the station to the George Norton family of Louisville, Kentucky (owners of fellow NBC affiliate WAVE-TV) in 1956. The Nortons' broadcasting holdings would eventually become known as Orion Broadcasting. With FCC approval, it moved to channel 14 in August 1961. It was the first station in Evansville to telecast live and local color programs beginning on March 10, 1966.

In October 1981, Orion merged with Cosmos Broadcasting Corporation, a subsidiary of insurance and broadcasting conglomerate Liberty Corporation. WFIE became the first television station in the market to broadcast in stereo in September 1985. Liberty bowed out of the insurance business in 2000 bringing WFIE directly under the company banner. In May 2002, the station began broadcasting digitally on channel 46.

On February 1, 2006, Liberty Corporation merged with Raycom Media, with ownership remaining steady for over 12 years.

Pending sale to Gray Television[edit]

On June 25, 2018, Atlanta-based Gray Television announced it had reached an agreement with Raycom to merge their respective broadcasting assets (consisting of Raycom's 63 existing owned-and/or-operated television stations, including WFIE), and Gray's 93 television stations) under the former's corporate umbrella. The cash-and-stock merger transaction valued at $3.6 billion – in which Gray shareholders would acquire preferred stock currently held by Raycom – will result in WFIE gaining new sister stations in nearby markets, including fellow NBC affiliate WNDU in South Bend (currently Gray's only Indiana station) and ABC/Fox affiliate WBKO in adjacent Bowling Green, Kentucky, in addition to its current Raycom sister stations.[3][1][4][5]

Subchannel history[edit]

14.2 launched in 2006 as a locally-originated automated feed of weather conditions from the station's weather computers known as "14Xtra". In November 2006, WFIE added music video network The Tube on digital channel 14.3 along with many other Raycom Media stations. It was regarded as a failure, and the network ended operations on October 31, 2007, along with 14.3 going dark until February 4, 2009, when it was relaunched as the market's This affiliate. On November 1, 2013, Raycom's contract with This ended and it began to carry Movies! until October 28, 2014, when it took over the MeTV affiliation from WTSN-CD (channel 20), which replaced 14Xtra 14.2, with 14.3 becoming an early affiliate of Grit.

WFIE-DT2 currently carries ACC Network programming, including college basketball and football games.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[6]
14.1 1080i 16:9 WFIE-DT Main WFIE programming / NBC
14.2 480i 4:3 MeTV MeTV
14.3 Grit Grit

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WFIE discontinued regular programming on its analog signal, over UHF channel 14, 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 46,[7] using PSIP to display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 14.

Programming[edit]

Syndicated programming on WFIE includes Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Crime Watch Daily, and Right This Minute.

News operation[edit]

The station currently carries 32 hours of local newscasts per week (with six hours on weekdays, and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays); in addition, the station produces a half-hour weeknight-only newscast for its second digital subchannel, bringing the total amount to 34½ hours per week. As a result of the merger of the news operations of WTVW and WEHT on December 1, 2011, WFIE and CBS affiliate WEVV-TV are now the only independent local news operations in the Evansville market.

In August 1977, the station became first in Evansville to remotely broadcast local news, sports, and weather outside its studios. It was the second station in Indiana (first in Evansville) to build its own Doppler weather radar system (located adjacent to the studios) in February 1988. In Fall 2005, it launched a 24-hour local weather channel on digital channel 14.2. Known as "First Alert Weather Now", it was part of NBC Weather Plus and featured continuous weather and news information, with local and national forecasts, as well as metro Evansville and regional traffic updates. With the shutdown of the national service in 2008, WFIE-DT2 remained as a local weather channel until October 28, 2014.

On April 3, 2006, WFIE abandoned 615 Music's popular "News One" theme music in favor of "NBC Flagship" as part of "The NBC Collection" by Gari Communications. This marked the station's first theme change since 1996. In early-August 2006, it began branding its newscasts as 14 News dropping the NewsWatch 14 identity. In a further transition, the station rebranded the weather department under the "First Alert" label on September 22, 2006. This is a departure from the "Storm Team" brand used since the mid-1990s.

On April 16, 2007, WFIE introduced "Dual Doppler" to the market with the debut of a second weather radar in Owensboro, Kentucky atop the Owensboro Medical Health System Hospital main building on East Parrish Avenue (KY 54). In addition to its main studios, the station operates Western Kentucky Newsrooms in Owensboro and Madisonville. It is the only channel in the area to have a weekday morning show that begins at 4:30. WFIE-DT2 also airs a prime time newscast weeknights at 9 p.m., which competes with an hour-long show on CW affiliate WTVW.

On July 11, 2011, WFIE began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition during the station's 5 p.m. newscast, becoming the first station in the Evansville market to begin offering local newscasts in high definition. On September 12, 2011, WFIE debuted a 4 p.m. newscast that competes against the 4 p.m. newscast on ABC affiliate WEHT; Jackie Monroe (currently the anchor of the station's 10 p.m. newscast and the 9 p.m. newscast seen on digital channel 14.2) serves as anchor of the new late-afternoon newscast, which lasted until 2013.[8]

WFIE maintains a "sister-station" relationship with a television station in the western Ukraine city of Ternopil.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Miller, Mark K. (June 25, 2018). "Gray To Buy Raycom For $3.6 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  2. ^ "The History of WFIE-TV". The Boneyard. Retrieved 2007-02-12.
  3. ^ "GRAY AND RAYCOM TO COMBINE IN A $3.6 BILLION TRANSACTION". Raycom Media (Press release). June 25, 2018.
  4. ^ John Eggerton (June 25, 2018). "Gray Buying Raycom for $3.6B". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
  5. ^ Dade Hayes (June 25, 2018). "Gray Acquiring Raycom For $3.65B, Forming No. 3 Local TV Group". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
  6. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for WFIE
  7. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  8. ^ 14WFIE planning HD news launch on July 11, will add new 4PM newscast beginning Sept. 12, Jake's DTV Blog, June 28, 2011.

External links[edit]