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Erie News Now (newscasts)
The CW Erie (on DT2)
|Slogan||Coverage You Can Count On: Your News. Now.|
|Channels||Digital: 21 (UHF)|
Virtual: 35 (PSIP)
|Translators||W32DZ-D 32 (UHF) Mayagüez, Puerto Rico|
35.3: Erie News Now Plus
35.4: Heroes & Icons
|Licensee||Lilly Broadcasting of Pennsylvania, LLC|
|First air date||April 24, 1954|
|Call sign meaning||SEE alludes to CBS eye logo|
|Sister station(s)||WICU-TV, WENY-TV|
|Former call signs||WSEE (1954–1981)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
35 (UHF, 1954–2009)
16 (UHF, until 2018)
|Transmitter power||96 kW|
|Height||296 m (971 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
WSEE-TV, virtual channel 35 (UHF digital channel 21), is a dual CBS/CW+-affiliated television station licensed to Erie, Pennsylvania, United States. The station is owned by Lilly Broadcasting, which also operates NBC affiliate WICU-TV (channel 12) under a shared services agreement (SSA) with owner SJL Broadcasting. The two stations share studios on State Street in downtown Erie and transmitter facilities on Peach Street in Summit Township, Pennsylvania. On cable, WSEE-TV is available on Spectrum channel 5 and in high definition on digital channel 1005.
WSEE's over-the-air digital broadcast signal covers Erie, Warren, and Crawford counties in Pennsylvania; reaches east to Jamestown, New York, west to Ashtabula, Ohio, north to London and Hamilton in Ontario, Canada, and south to Clarion, Pennsylvania. The station can be seen via satellite in North America and the Caribbean through C band. It is available in Costa Rica through one of the country's major cable providers, Cabletica, and in Puerto Rico on all three cable companies serving the island (via translator W32DZ-D in Mayagüez) as well as part of the locals package on Dish Network.
Until 2017, WSEE was simulcast in standard definition on WICU's third digital subchannel on very high frequency (VHF) channel 12.3 from a separate transmitter in Greene Township; this was dropped on May 29, 2017, in favor of Ion Television. An upgraded multiplexer allowed the restoration of the WSEE simulcast to WICU on January 24, 2018, this time on 12.4, in 720p high definition; it was dropped again in March 2019 in favor of Start TV.
WSEE began broadcasting on April 24, 1954. The station was originally owned by the Mead family, publishers of the Erie Times-News. ABC programming was shared by WSEE and WICU-TV until WJET-TV signed-on in 1966. The Meads sold the station to Gillett Broadcasting in 1978. In 1981, the "-TV" suffix was added to the WSEE calls. Gillett then sold the station to SCS Communications in 1982. In 1988, SCS sold WSEE to Price Communications. Price sold WSEE along with three of its stations (WAPT in Jackson, Mississippi, WZZM in Grand Rapids, Michigan and WNAC-TV in Providence, Rhode Island) to Northstar Television Group in 1989. UPN content was aired on weekends by WSEE-TV beginning January 16, 1995.
Back in 2002, WICU-TV entered into a local marketing agreement with WSEE-TV. From that point until June 1, 2009, the station continued to operate from studios on Peach Street in Downtown Erie. On that date, WSEE-TV merged into WICU-TV's facilities on State Street. WSEE has been digital-only since February 17, 2009.
WICU-TV and WSEE-TV merged their websites in June 2011.
WSEE-DT2 is the CW+-affiliated second digital subchannel of WSEE-TV, broadcasting in 720p high definition on UHF channel 21.2 (or virtual channel 35.2 via Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP)).
What would become WSEE-DT2 signed-on in September 1998 after WSEE-TV entered into a partnership with The WB 100+, a national programming service operated by The WB for television markets ranked below 100, and Time Warner Cable. At the time, it was a cable-exclusive station, and as a result, used the call sign "WBEP" (standing for "The WB Erie, Pennsylvania") in a fictional manner for identification purposes. WSEE-TV provided local advertisement and promotional duties for the outlet based at the CBS affiliate's original facilities on Peach Street/US 19 in Downtown Erie. From January 11, 1995, until 1998, when "WBEP" signed on, The WB programming was only available in the Erie, Pennsylvania market via Chicago-based WGN-TV's national Superstation feed, or via off-market stations, such as WBPA-LP (now WPCW) in Pittsburgh. On January 24, 2006, CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Television announced that they would shut down their UPN and The WB networks and combine their resources by creating a new programming service called The CW Television Network.
The letters would represent the first initial of the names of the new network's respective corporate parents. On September 18 of that year, The CW officially launched nationwide at which point WSEE-TV added a new second digital subchannel to simulcast "WBEP" allowing non-cable subscribers access to the new network. From its launch on January 16, 1995, until The CW signed-on, WSEE-TV carried the network through a secondary arrangement and aired some of the network's programming on weekends. With the launch of WSEE-DT2, "WBEP" began official use of the former call sign and became part of CW+, a successor to The WB 100+.
WICU-TV dropped its simulcast of WSEE-DT2 in favor of MeTV in September 2016.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming |
|35.1||1080i||16:9||WSEE-DT||Main WSEE-TV programming / CBS|
|35.2||720p||CW||Northwest Pennsylvania's CW|
|35.3||480i||ENN+||Erie News Now Plus|
|35.4||H&I||Heroes & Icons|
WSEE-TV is available on some cable systems in Canada that serve communities on Lake Erie. Atlantic Broadband, the cable provider that serves McKean County, Pennsylvania, and portions of Cattaraugus County, New York, announced that WSEE-TV would replace Buffalo's WIVB-TV. Though an agreement was eventually reached with WIVB-TV, WSEE-TV was kept on the Atlantic Broadband lineups. However, Time Warner Cable announced it would remove WSEE-TV (along with WICU-TV) from its cable lineups in Westfield and Dunkirk, New York in favor of CFTO-TV from Toronto and YNN Buffalo. This despite the fact that Westfield and Dunkirk are arguably within WSEE-TV's must carry territory, although both are located in Chautauqua County (part of the Buffalo market).
WSEE is also available on cable and over-the-air in portions of Ashtabula County, Ohio, which is part of the Cleveland market despite much of the county being located geographically closer to either the Erie or Youngstown markets.
From November 1997 to November 2019, WSEE-TV was available via the Primetime 24 package, when it replaced Raleigh's WRAL-TV due to that station's regular preemptions of CBS programming. The service provides American network television service to C band satellite and some cable viewers in Latin America, the Caribbean, and in rural parts of the United States where local signals are not available. This feed of WSEE-TV, which is carried on all three cable providers in Puerto Rico and is relayed via Mayaguez-based W32DZ-D, varies from its local one where local commercials are replaced with ads directed towards the Caribbean. The station's local newscasts and some syndicated shows are sometimes replaced with infomercials, although there is a taped Caribbean weather forecast by WSEE-TV's weather staff nightly at 11, available through a WSEE-TV-managed website specific to Caribbean weather and is branded as "One Caribbean Weather". On November 19, 2019, Lilly completed the purchase of WCVI-TV in the U.S. Virgin Islands from Family Broadcasting Corporation (which already carried a modified feed of sister ABC affiliate WENY-TV from Elmira, New York on their second digital subchannel under a lease agreement), adding the modified WSEE feed to that station's main feed the next day to allow it over-the-air coverage in the region. Once the purchase was completed, WCVI-TV and W32DZ-D took the place of WSEE-TV in the package's lineup.
Although the shared services agreement between WSEE-TV and WICU-TV was established in 2002, the actual beginning of newscast consolidation between the two did not start until WSEE-TV actually moved into WICU's studios. WSEE-TV aired the final newscast from its separate Peach Street studios on May 28, 2009. With the challenges of moving, this station went without local news for nearly four days while technical and logistical arrangements were finalized.
When it resumed broadcasts, WSEE-TV's weeknight news at 11:00 p.m. was recorded while it broadcast live on the CW at 10:00 p.m.
After WSEE-TV moved its operations into the State Street facility, the existing studio set was split in two, allowing each station's newscast to look unique.
For one year starting in March 2009, a special feed of WSEE-DT2 (incorrectly identified on-air as "WBEP-DT2 Northwest Pennsylvania CW") was aired in the portions of Cattaraugus County, New York, served by Atlantic Broadband. This special feed replaced the first run of the prime time news at 10:00 p.m. with a replay of WICU-TV's weeknight show seen earlier at 6:00 p.m.. The practice was performed to compensate for the fact that WICU-TV is not seen on Atlantic Broadband (whereas WSEE-TV and WSEE-DT2 both are). Without explanation, "WBEP-DT2" was discontinued in March 2010, and Cattaraugus County viewers began receiving the same WSEE-DT2 feed as viewers in Pennsylvania including the WSEE-TV-produced 10:00 p.m. newscast.
Originally, WSEE-TV's sixty-minute weekday morning show Mornings Live was recorded at 4:00 a.m. and then aired in the 6 o'clock a.m. hour. It retained the show's branding (as made obvious by the lack of current conditions during weather forecasts) despite the actual operation. During the 2012–13 season, following the national trend toward 4:00 a.m. newscasts, Mornings Live was actually seen "live" from 4:00 a.m.–5:00 a.m. on WSEE-DT2 in addition to being taped for its later showing on WSEE-TV.
Until January 2013, this station's weeknight news at 6:00 p.m. was usually recorded during the mid-afternoon. The studios were unable to air two live broadcasts at the same time until a second high-definition production control room was added. Sister station WICU-TV airs a midday show weekdays at 12:30 p.m. following WSEE-TV's long-running noon newscast. On weekends, the two stations jointly produce local news at 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. These shows are known as Weekends Now. The WSEE-TV news department also produces a weekly public affairs program The Insider, which airs weekends Sunday morning on WSEE-TV.
During the week, WSEE-TV and WICU-TV maintain talent for news and sports that generally appear on one station. Most video footage and content is shared, coming from the same newsroom. In cases of breaking news, severe weather, or election coverage, the two simulcast newscasts and occasionally include the CW subchannel as well. On weekday mornings, WSEE-DT2 provides a simulcast of the first hour of WICU's 12 News Today at 5:00 p.m. and the NBC affiliate's midday show at 12:30 p.m.. It also airs the nationally syndicated broadcast The Daily Buzz from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. with other CW Plus stations.
Along with their sister station WICU-TV, WSEE-TV upgraded newscasts to high definition in November 2012. The Newswatch branding was dropped after 28 years to coincide with the switch. WSEE's newscasts are now branded as SEE News.
In September 2015, Lilly Broadcasting announced that WICU-TV and WSEE-TV would no longer produce separate morning and evening newscasts as of October 12; the two stations now simulcast newscasts in these time periods. The stations' executive vice president, John Christianson, said that the WICU and WSEE newscasts were seen by viewers to have been essentially the same newscast with different anchors.
Notable former staff
- Micah Johnson - reporter and news anchor (1984–1985); now CEO of Entegy Group
- Leila Feinstein - reporter (1995–2000); now at KTLA
- Lloyd Newell - primary news anchor (1984–1986); now professor at Brigham Young University and host of Music and the Spoken Word
- Dave Price - reporter (1997); served as weekday weather anchor for The Early Show, now a weather anchor at WNBC, New York
- John Stehr - news anchor and reporter (1980); worked for several other stations as well as an anchor at CNBC and correspondent at CBS News, now at WTHR in Indianapolis
- Steve Scully - now at C-SPAN 
- Channel 21 digital TV stations in the United States
- Channel 35 virtual TV stations in the United States
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2009-12-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Lilly Broadcasting and SJL Choose Axcera for Digital Television Transmitters, 12 April 2007 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-05-01. Retrieved 2007-05-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Radio Station World Archived January 11, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- SJL Broadcasting Group Archived January 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- Brainy History.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2012-04-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Weiss, Gerry (September 21, 2015). "Changes come to Erie TV news lineups". Erie Times-News. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
- "John Stehr bio". Archived from the original on 17 October 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- "Interview with Steve Scully, C-SPAN – December 2004". journalismjobs.com. Archived from the original on May 7, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011.