Bay City, Michigan
|City of license||Flint|
|Branding||general: Fox 66
newscast: Fox 66 News
|Channels||Digital: 16 (UHF)
Virtual: 66 (PSIP)
|Subchannels||.1 720p 16:9 WSMH-DT
.2 480i 4:3
.3 480i 4:3
|Affiliations||.1 Fox (1986-present)
.2 GetTV (2014-present)
.3 ZUUS Country (2013-present)
|Owner||Sinclair Broadcast Group
(WSMH Licensee, LLC)
|First air date||March[when?] 1985|
|Call letters' meaning||We Show More Hits|
|Sister station(s)||WEYI-TV, WBSF, WWMT, WPBN-TV / WTOM-TV, WGTU / WGTQ, WLUC-TV|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
66 (UHF, 1985-2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1985–1986)
The Tube (2006–2007)
|Transmitter power||245 kW|
|Height||365.5 metres (1,199 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WSMH, (branded Fox 66), is the Fox-affiliated television station for the Flint/Tri-Cities market that is licensed to Flint. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 16 from a 245 kilowatt, 365.5 metres (1,199 ft) high transmitter on Amman Rd (near Gary Rd) near St. Charles, Michigan. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, it also operates NBC affiliate WEYI-TV (owned by Howard Stirk Holdings) and CW affiliate WBSF (owned by Cunningham Broadcasting). The station has studios on West Pierson Road in Mount Morris Township (though with a Flint address). Originally launched as an independent station in March 1985, it has been affiliated with Fox since the network's launch on October 9, 1986.
The station was assigned the call letters of WSMH on September 27, 1984. WSMH signed on in March 1985 as an independent station. A fire at the transmitter in April 1985 forced the station to go off the air for about 1 month until repairs could be effected. On October 9, 1986, it became a charter Fox affiliate. Sinclair Broadcast Group bought the station in 1996. From 1990 to 1997, WSMH was the Mid-Michigan provider of the now defunct syndication package Disney Afternoon.
On October 28, 2002, the station launched its first newscast, "News At Ten", the first using a centralization model for all Sinclair stations.
On September 30, 2006, WSMH began broadcasting The Tube on its secondary subchannel. Channel 66 dropped its local news staff in 2006, opting instead to contract with WNEM to replace its 10 p.m. newscast.
The retransmission agreement between the Sinclair Broadcast Group and Comcast was set to expire on February 5, 2007. An extension was granted twice so the sides could negotiate. During the talks, Comcast stated that it would not pay cash for retransmission rights but were willing to give free commercial time to WSMH in exchange for retransmission rights. On March 9, Sinclair and Comcast signed a new deal to extend retransmission rights for four years to expire on March 1, 2011.
Per a new five-year carriage agreement reached between owner Sinclair Broadcast Group and the Fox Broadcasting Company on May 15, 2012, WSMH will remain a Fox affiliate until at least December 31, 2017.
In late 2010 and early 2011 with new carriage deals by owner Sinclair, WSMH added two music video networks to its digital subchannels, TheCoolTV on 66.2 and The Country Network (now ZUUS Country) on 66.3.
In late August 2012, TheCoolTV was dropped from all 32 Sinclair stations that carried the channel, including WSMH, with no replacement due to non-renewal of affiliation.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|66.1||720p||16:9||WSMH-DT||Main WSMH programming / Fox|
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
On October 28, 2002, WSMH started up a news department and began airing local broadcasts every night at 10. Known as Fox 66 News at 10, it was powered by Sinclair's controversial News Central operation. Local news originated from WSMH's studios while national news, weather, and sports aired from News Central headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The station was the first Sinclair-owned property to use the News Central service and marked the first time it had ventured into the local news market. In January 2006, Sinclair announced plans to end its News Central operation due to low ratings and expense. Other company-owned stations in Buffalo, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Tampa were also notified of the decision and had their newscasts either outsourced to other stations or dropped all together.
On April 10, Sinclair announced that CBS affiliate WNEM-TV would begin producing a nightly 10 o'clock show on WSMH known as TV 5 News at 10 on Fox 66. This began airing on April 24 from WNEM's studios on North Franklin Street in Downtown Saginaw. After the final News Central broadcast on April 21, many local WSMH news employees were laid off. It had been expected that some personalities would join the WNEM-produced newscast in the future according to a press release. This was the case for former WSMH reporter David Custer who joined the WNEM news team on May 3. Custer left WNEM briefly, becoming a weeknight anchor at NBC affiliate WNWO-TV in Toledo, Ohio, before returning to WNEM in 2012. Another member, Jim Kiertzner, joined Detroit's NBC affiliate WDIV-TV, and is now at WXYZ-TV in Detroit.
The final News Central broadcast featured, in its last few minutes, clips from past shows. At the end, the studio was darkened and Kiertzner and his boss left for the last time. Even after WSMH shut down its news operation, Mark E. Hyman's controversial "The Point" editorials continued to air following the end of the WNEM-produced newscasts. Hyman ended his commentaries on November 30. On May 1, 2009, the 10 o'clock news title was re-branded and the broadcast received updated graphics. Every night at 10:45, a fifteen-minute sports highlight show called Sports Extra airs. There is also a segment called "Fugitive Files" airing every week on Mondays which is a common segment offered by local news departments operated by Sinclair. Although WNEM upgraded its newscasts to 16:9 enhanced definition widescreen on October 14, 2010, the newscasts on WSMH remained in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition as the channel lacked a modern master control facility at its separate studios to receive the newscast in widescreen.
Effective April 27, 2015, sister Sinclair operated station WEYI-TV took over production of WSMH's 10 p.m. newscast. Concurrently, WNEM-TV relocated its 10 p.m. newscast to its "My5" digital subchannel. Since WEYI's takeover, the live newscast is currently shot in HD (being the only local HD programming on WSMH), and was shortened from one hour to 30 mintues.
- "Digital TV Market Listing for WSMH". Listing. RabbitEars.info. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "WSMH TV Channel 66 Flint". Station Listings. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- "Sinclair to increase news output". Digital Spy (National Magazine Company Ltd). October 7, 2002. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
- "Form 10-Q Quarterly Report". Yahoo!. SINCLAIR BROADCAST GROUP INC. 14 Aug 2006. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
- "Flint area watchers can find major networks, cable on tube". The Flint Journal (Mlive Media Group). May 5, 2009. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
- Sinclair Reups With Fox, Gets WUTB Option, TVNewsCheck, May 15, 2012.
- "Sinclair links with The Country Network to fill digital TV tier". Television Business Report. August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2010.
- "Television". Flint and Tri-Cities Radio and TV Dial Guide. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
- Malone, Michael (January 2, 2013). "TheCoolTV Signs Up New Stations". Broadcasting and Cable (NewBay Media, LLC). Retrieved July 9, 2014.
- "GetTV Signs Big Affiliation Deal With Sinclair". TVNewsCheck. June 23, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
- Dodson, Andrew (March 26, 2015). "WNEM TV 5 newscast on Fox 66 being replaced by WEYI 25 starting battle for 10 p.m.". MLive.com. Retrieved March 26, 2015.