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For the related radio station with the same call letters, see WTMJ (AM).
WTMJ-TV Logo.png
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
Branding Today's TMJ4
Slogan "Your Home Team"
Channels Digital: 28 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
Subchannels 4.1 NBC
4.2 Laff
4.3 Cozi TV
Affiliations NBC
Owner E. W. Scripps Company
(Journal Broadcast Corporation)
First air date December 3, 1947
Call letters' meaning W The Milwaukee Journal
Sister station(s) WTMJ, WKTI
Former channel number(s) Analog:
3 (VHF, 1947–1953)
4 (VHF, 1953–2009)
Former affiliations All secondary:
CBS (1948–1953)
ABC (1948–1953)
DuMont (1949–1953)
NBC Weather Plus (2006–2009)
Local AccuWeather (2009–2014)
TheCoolTV (2009–2011)
Live Well Network (2011-2015)
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 272.6 meters (894 ft)
Facility ID 74098
Transmitter coordinates 43°5′28.5″N 87°54′7.3″W / 43.091250°N 87.902028°W / 43.091250; -87.902028
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.tmj4.com

WTMJ-TV, virtual channel 4 (UHF digital channel 28), is an NBC-affiliated television station located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company. WTMJ-TV maintains studio facilities located on Capitol Drive in Milwaukee (this Art Deco facility is known as "Radio City" in tribute to the New York complex of the same name), and its transmitter is located approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) north of downtown Milwaukee.


The Journal Company (owner of the Milwaukee Journal, which was consolidated with the Milwaukee Sentinel in 1995 to become the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) was granted its first television station license in September 1931 for experimental station W9XD, using a low-definition electromechanical system. The station conducted field tests from 1931 to 1933, before converting its facilities to experimental high-fidelity apex radio unit W9XAZ in 1934. Its license was withdrawn by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1938 as part of an effort to limit broadcast licenses to stations that actively engage in the development of television. No publicly announced television programming was broadcast by W9XD during this experimental period.

The Journal Company obtained one of the first commercial television construction permits issued by the FCC on December 7, 1941, under the call letters WMJT (for "Milwaukee Journal Television"), and built a new broadcast facility by August 1942. But the U.S. War Production Board halted the manufacture of television and radio broadcasting equipment for civilian use from April 1942 to August 1945, suspending the company's television plans.

WTMJ-TV (referencing The Milwaukee Journal) first signed on the air on December 3, 1947,[1] originally broadcasting on VHF channel 3. It was the first commercial television station in Wisconsin, the fourth commercial station in the Midwest, the first station to affiliate a major television network outside the Eastern Time Zone and the 15th commercial station to sign on the air in the United States. At the time, there were only 500 television sets in Milwaukee, that number jumped to 2,050 by the following April. Milwaukee is close enough to Chicago that television stations from that market could be and still are viewable in Milwaukee, hence the existence of television sets there before WTMJ-TV. At its official sign-on, it was one of several flagship media properties owned by Journal, which in addition to the Journal newspaper, also owned radio stations WTMJ (1020 AM, now at 620 AM). In 1959, these properties were joined by WTMJ-FM (102.1 FM, now WKTI at 94.5).

WTMJ has been affiliated with NBC since its sign-on, owing to its radio sister's longtime affiliation with the NBC Red Network, although it also initially carried programming from CBS, ABC and DuMont. It lost CBS when WCAN-TV (channel 25, now defunct) signed on in September 1953, and lost ABC and DuMont when WOKY-TV (channel 19, now WVTV on channel 18) signed on a month later. WTMJ is the only television station in Milwaukee to have been affiliated with the same network throughout its history, and is currently NBC's second-longest tenured affiliate, behind only KSDK in St. Louis (which signed on as KSD-TV eleven months earlier in January 1947).

WTMJ moved to VHF channel 4 on July 11, 1953 to avoid interference with WKZO-TV (now WWMT) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which is nearly directly across Lake Michigan. This was a part of the FCC's complete revision of the Table of Channel Assignments as issued in its Sixth Report and General Order issued on April 14, 1952. This move forced the CBS affiliate on channel 4 in Chicago, WBKB-TV (now WBBM-TV), the first commercially licensed television station outside of the Eastern Time Zone to move to channel 2, doing so on July 5, 1953.

WTMJ-TV was one of the first stations in the country to purchase color equipment, and in December 1953, it broadcast the color television program Amahl and the Night Visitors from NBC, when only two prototype color sets existed in Milwaukee. The first color television sets in the city were sold in March 1954; by July of that year, WTMJ broadcast its first local color program originating from its studios, The Grenadiers, becoming the third television station in the U.S. with live color capability.[2] About 3000 color sets existed in Milwaukee in February 1957.

Over the years, Journal gradually expanded its chain, acquiring, among other stations, KTNV-TV in Las Vegas (acquired in 1979); KGUN-TV in Tucson, Arizona (acquired in 2005); KIVI-TV in Boise (acquired in 2002); WGBA-TV and WACY-TV in Green Bay (the former being acquired in August 2004, with the latter operated under a local marketing agreement until Journal acquired it outright in 2012); and WTVF in Nashville (acquired in 2012).

WTMJ inaugurated the current "Today's TMJ4" brand in July 1992, coinciding with the start of the 1992 Summer Olympics (variants of this brand were later used by other stations such as KTHV in Little Rock). The first generation of the "TMJ4" branding lasted until July 2004 and the 2004 Summer Olympics, as part of a graphical overhaul that resulted in the retirement of the "sailboat 4" logo that had been in use since 1978. In 2001, Journal entered into a local marketing agreement with WPXE-TV (channel 55) as a result of NBC's partial ownership interest in Pax TV (now Ion Television) and a related management agreement with its owned-and-operated stations. This resulted in the two stations sharing certain programs and WTMJ handling advertising sales for channel 55; it also allowed WPXE to air rebroadcasts of channel 4's 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. newscasts on a half-hour delay. The LMA ended on July 1, 2005 upon Pax's rebranding as i: Independent Television. However, WTMJ continues to provide engineering assistance for WPXE-TV.

Summer 2013 Time Warner Cable carriage dispute[edit]

WTMJ-TV was removed from Time Warner Cable's southeastern Wisconsin systems at midnight on July 25, 2013,[3] due to a dispute between the cable provider and Journal Communications that also affected four other Journal-owned stations (the provider's agreement with Journal expired on June 30);[4] The Local AccuWeather Channel and Live Well Network subchannels were pulled earlier on July 10 as they were not protected under the sweeps rule that disallows cable providers from pulling the main signal of a carried station (such as WTMJ 4.1) during such ratings periods, including that occurring in July.[5] On August 15, GSN replaced WTMJ on its designated channel 4 slot, while Starz Kids & Family replaced the two subchannels on digital channels 994 and 999, before being replaced by the Hallmark Movie Channel in September.[6]

A group of Time Warner Cable subscribers filed a class action lawsuit against the provider on August 8 under grounds of breach of contract.[7] Journal Broadcast Group claimed on its website that TWC was distracted due to its dispute with CBS Corporation (which resulted in the removals of CBS Television Stations outlets in select markets and the Showtime Networks premium channel suite nationwide, until it signed a new agreement on September 2, 2013).[8] Journal also asked state authorities to intervene in the dispute.[9]

WTMJ was restored at 7:00 p.m. on September 20, 2013, as a result of a new carriage agreement between Journal and TWC. WTMJ was relocated to channel 2 on its digital tier and channel 14 on its analog service (GSN remained on channel 4). WTMJ's high definition feed stayed on digital channel 1004, with Journal executives citing that the HD slot was more important than the declining analog and standard definition viewership. In the Racine, Kenosha and Plymouth area for the time being, WTMJ will be seen on channel 83 while Time Warner finds a lower channel slot.[10] However, its second and third subchannels remain unavailable on TWC's systems, with those channels now only receivable over-the-air as they are not carried on Charter Communications, DirecTV and Dish Network.[11]

Management realignment and sale to Scripps[edit]

In the winter of 2014, Journal made several management changes to split responsibilities between its radio and television division. Some of the changes included the appointments of Debbie Turner (executive vice president and general manager at WTVF) as the company's vice president of television, Steve Wexler (executive vice president of Journal's Milwaukee radio and television stations) as executive vice president for the company's radio division, and Joe Poss (general manager of Journal's Green Bay duopoly of WGBA/WACY) as WTMJ-TV's general manager. Janet Hundley (longtime assistant news director at ABC owned-and-operated station WLS-TV in Chicago) was also hired as the station's news director in May 2014, following the resignation of Bill Berra.[12][13][14]

On July 30, 2014, the E. W. Scripps Company announced that it would acquire Journal Communications in an all-stock transaction. The combined firm would retain their broadcast properties, including WTMJ-TV and its radio siblings, with the print assets being spun off as Journal Media Group.[15] The deal was approved by the FCC on December 12, 2014,[16] with shareholders of the two companies approving it on March 11, 2015;[17] the merger/spin-off between Journal and Scripps formally closed on April 1. Through its ownership by Journal, WTMJ had been one of the few television stations in the country not owned by a major network that has had the same callsign, owner and primary network affiliation throughout its history; it was also the last major television station in the Milwaukee market to be locally owned.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[18]
4.1 1080i 16:9 WTMJ-DT Main WTMJ programming / NBC
4.2 480i 4:3 WTMJ-WX Laff
4.3 16:9 Cozi TV Cozi TV
4.4 TBA Escape TV Escape launches soon

On June 15, 2015, WTMJ added a SAP channel for Descriptive Video Service audio description and Spanish language audio, becoming the last major network affiliate in the market do so before FCC requirements involving audio description came into effect for the Milwaukee market on July 1.

WTMJ-DT2 (LAFF)[edit]

On March 1, 2006, WTMJ-TV launched TMJ4 Weather Plus, a 24-hour weather channel (originally affiliated with NBC Weather Plus) featuring a mix of local and national current conditions and forecasts as well as local weather updates from the station's meteorologists. The station is carried on digital subchannel 4.2; until the July 2013 dispute with Journal, it was previously carried on Time Warner Cable digital channel 999. In June 2006, WTMJ changed the weather branding on the station's newscasts from "Storm Team 4" to "TMJ4 Weather Plus", as had most NBC stations airing the service. After NBC Weather Plus was discontinued in November 2008, the former "Storm Team 4" brand was restored; the subchannel itself rebranded as the Storm Team 4 Channel on January 1, 2009, and was later renamed "Storm Team 4 TV". In mid-December 2009, Storm Team 4 TV became an affiliate of The Local AccuWeather Channel. Uniquely, the station shared the affiliation for AccuWeather in the market with PBS member station WMVS (channel 10), which broadcasts a non-commercial version of the AccuWeather channel on WMVS-DT4.

In mid-December 2014 with the operations of Local AccuWeather winding down, 4.2 was brought in-house and became internally originated, with additional traffic camera loops, feature segments and a news headline ticker added to the new widescreen setup as "TMJ4 Plus", using website partner WorldNow's "channel in a box" coordinating automation technology.[19]

WTMJ-DT3 (Cozi TV)[edit]

WTMJ launched digital channel 4.3 as an affiliate of TheCoolTV in early July 2009, becoming the first full-power station to carry the network as a digital subchannel; it was later carried by stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group (except for WVTV, channel 18, and WCGV-TV, channel 24, locally due to WTMJ's carriage of the network) and LIN TV, and in November 2010 by WTMJ's Green Bay sister station WGBA. The station featured music videos and concert programming, which locally was customized by WTMJ. The subchannel was co-branded with WTMJ-TV's sister radio station WLWK-FM, which airs a random music format.

In September 2011, Journal Communications filed a $257,000 lawsuit against TheCoolTV's parent company Cool Music Network, LLC, alleging non-payment of broadcast services since before June 2011.[20] Because of this, WTMJ replaced TheCoolTV with ABC Owned Television Stations' Live Well Network, while WGBA replaced it with Me-TV on October 1.[21][22] WTMJ eventually converted the channel's aspect ratio to 480i widescreen optimized for 16:9 displays in line with LWN's default screen presentation; select Live Well programming (consisting of Motion and Deals) was broadcast in high definition during Saturday late night slots on the station's main channel until the network was removed.

On January 12, 2015, a week before Live Well Network was to originally end all operations, it was replaced on WTMJ-DT3 with NBC's own subchannel service, Cozi TV. The station did not re-add Live Well Network, even after it was given a three-month reprieve.

New subchannels[edit]

On May 18, 2015, Scripps and Katz Broadcasting announced that two of three of their subchannel networks would be added to WTMJ-TV in the near future. WTMJ will carry LAFF, and Escape (Sinclair's WCGV-TV already carries Grit over their DT3 channel). WTMJ launched Laff on WTMJ-DT2 on September 28, 2015, though Escape's DT4 subchannel has not yet launched. TMJ4 Plus was fully discontinued the same day, when the station officially took their new Scripps-designed website out of beta.[23] Currently undetermined is if Scripps will pursue cable carriage for their subchannels in the market.

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WTMJ-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 4, at noon 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 28.[24][25] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 4.

As part of the SAFER Act,[26] WTMJ-TV kept its analog signal on the air until 2 p.m. that afternoon to inform viewers of the digital television transition.


WTMJ broadcasts the entire NBC schedule, with the exception of program preemptions for breaking news or severe weather coverage. From the 1960s to the 1990s, preemptions on the station were more common (examples include the preemptions of NBC's daytime game show and soap opera lineup, Sanford and Son airing on Saturday nights instead of Fridays in the 1970s, and its replacement of Gimme a Break! and Mama's Family in favor of the syndicated drama Fame on Thursday nights during the 1983–1984 season). Although NBC had long been less tolerant of preemptions than the other networks, it usually did not raise objections to WTMJ's preemptions, since it has been one of the network's strongest affiliates. NBC was also helped by independent station WVTV often picking up leftover NBC programming for their own schedule, with WCGV also doing so when they came to the air in 1980.

The station's most controversial move came in 1979 when it asked NBC for permission to delay The Tonight Show to 11 p.m., in order to air reruns of Maude in the talk show's 10:30 slot; although the network vetoed the move, WTMJ went ahead and did it anyway as the station was already running an advertising campaign for Maude and began delaying Tonight to 11 at this point. It tried again in 1984, wanting to move Tonight to 11:30 p.m., in order to air reruns of Trapper John, M.D. after the 10 p.m. newscast starting that September. NBC, already not happy with WTMJ moving the program to 11 p.m., refused again, and opted to contract then-independent station WVTV to carry the program instead, airing at 10:30 p.m. from September 1984 to September 1988, when WTMJ gave in to running the program at its network-designated timeslot. The station also delayed Late Night with Conan O'Brien to 12:05 a.m. from the program's 1993 debut until 2001. It also aired Days of Our Lives at 2 p.m. (one of the program's alternate network timeslots), until it moved to 1 p.m. on September 10, 2007 after the cancellation of The Montel Williams Show. WTMJ pre-empted the entire run of the low-rated primetime poker game show Face the Ace with paid programming in August 2009, it was the first time any Milwaukee station preempted a significant portion or all of an entire primetime network series since the early 1990s. It is unknown if moral objections by WTMJ management (as sister station WGBA carried the series) or ratings concerns played into the pre-emption.

WTMJ currently airs Today in two blocks from 7–9 a.m. and 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (with a breakaway at 9 a.m. for The Morning Blend). Generally, the station does not air NBC programming preempted due to extended breaking news coverage (besides Days). The only weekday syndicated program carried by WTMJ-TV is Access Hollywood Live, with Alliant Energy Powerhouse and the brokered religious program Time of Grace airing during the weekend; the latter is carried by many of Milwaukee's stations in varying timeslots under the same arrangement. The only additional station-produced program outside of news is the brokered Sunday morning New Home Building Today, which is usually produced by a local homebuilder with the assistance of WTMJ's advertising/sales department to sell a home and/or subdivision plot.

WTMJ had been the long-time Milwaukee home for the nighttime Wheel of Fortune since 1984 (replacing the nighttime Family Feud, which moved to WITI for the final season of its first incarnation) and Jeopardy! from its 1984 premiere until September 2005, when both shows moved to WDJT-TV; it was also the first station to air The Oprah Winfrey Show until a group-wide distribution deal with Hearst Broadcasting in 1994 resulted in the program being moved to WISN. WTMJ (and WPXE, during its LMA with Journal) had aired Martha Stewart Living and then Martha until September 2007, when the latter program moved to WISN. Like WNBC in New York, WTMJ aired It's Showtime at the Apollo after Saturday Night Live for its entire 21-year run, with Soul Train (another long running syndicated staple since 1972 when it joined the station's lineup) following that show until its own end in 2006.

Green Bay Packers partnership[edit]

WTMJ-TV has served as Milwaukee's 'official station' of the Green Bay Packers since the mid-1990s, giving it rights to air the team's non-nationally televised preseason games, which as a result of a March 2012 broadcast agreement, are shared with sister stations WGBA in Green Bay and KMTV-TV in Omaha, in addition to the existing television broadcasters across Wisconsin.[27] WTMJ holds the broadcast rights to the weekly coaches show (which airs Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. during the NFL season) and other shows involving the team. As part of the deal, Packers Radio Network color commentator Larry McCarren (who resigned as sports director of Green Bay's WFRV-TV in March 2012) now also serves as a Packers analyst for WTMJ and WGBA; until McCarren became WGBA's sports director upon the end of his non-compete clause in April 2013, his segments appeared during the Packers Extra sports segment from the WTMJ set. McCarren resigned his sports director duties at the end of March 2015 to solely focus on his Packers duties.

Because of the Summer Olympics, which are not allowed any pre-emptions by the network, WTMJ sub-licensed some preseason games to then-LMA partner WPXE-TV in 2004 and to CW affiliate WVTV in 2008. The 2012 opening preseason game against the San Diego Chargers that occurred during the Olympics was an ESPN Monday Night Football broadcast carried by WISN, which averted the need for sub-licensing any games that season. Regular season games televised over-the-air locally are split between WITI (channel 6; through Fox's rights to the team's National Football Conference division), and WDJT-TV (for select games televised by CBS in which the Packers play against an AFC opponent), with WTMJ carrying non-preseason games via NBC's Sunday Night Football on occasions when a game involving the Packers is scheduled.


WTMJ-TV was the original local television outlet of the Milwaukee Brewers, carrying at least 25-40 games a season, mostly on the road, from 1970 to 1980. Among the broadcasters who worked on the WTMJ Brewers telecasts, they include Merle Harmon, Jim Irwin (who also worked as a WTMJ-AM sportscaster during this time, as well as serving the radio voice of the Packers and Wisconsin Badgers football), Eddie Doucette (then also the radio/TV voice of the Milwaukee Bucks), Mike Hegan (who later became a longtime announcer for the Cleveland Indians), and current primary Brewers radio play-by-play man and Milwaukee native Bob Uecker. The team made the decision to move to WVTV starting with the 1981 season, because the station (being unaffiliated with a network at the time) offered to televise more games than what WTMJ was able to do, due to Channel 4's NBC commitments.

The station also televised selected Milwaukee Braves games in each of the team's final four seasons in the city, before re-locating to Atlanta after the 1965 season. Prior to 1962, the Braves had a long-held policy not to televise games, because they perceived that it would affect attendance, which ironically played a part of the franchise moving to Milwaukee from Boston after the 1952 season.

The Morning Blend[edit]

WTMJ produces a The Morning Blend, a local talk show that debuted on September 12, 2006 at 10 a.m. (it moved to its current 9 a.m. slot in September 2007). It is hosted by Tiffany Ogle (who replaced original co-host – and former WISN reporter – Alison de Castro, after she left the program in October 2009 to relocate with her family to Chicago) and Molly Fay (formerly a morning anchor at WITI). The show's format was derived from that of Daytime on Tampa's WFLA-TV, WTMJ's version features a mix of paid and unpaid segments; all segments promoting a certain product or company feature on-air disclaimers. The program is produced through WTMJ's advertising sales department; as such, news segments are not provided by its hosts, breaking news or severe weather coverage is instead ceded to the station's news staff.[28] In June 2008, The Morning Blend began airing on Green Bay sister station WGBA, also at 9 a.m., after that station dropped its morning news programs (the program's timeslot on WGBA has since replaced with syndicated programs).

The program is WTMJ's first attempt at a local program that was not news or public affairs-based, since the short-lived A New Day premiered in 1979; it was co-hosted by Terry Meeuwsen (now co-host of The 700 Club) and news anchor/radio host (and former WTMJ-TV reporter) Pete Wilson.[29] The Morning Blend format and branding has since been adapted by several other Journal stations: local versions debuted on WFTX-TV in Fort Myers, Florida in mid-2009; KGUN-TV in Tucson, Arizona and KMTV-TV in Omaha, Nebraska in late April 2010; and KTNV-TV in Las Vegas in early July 2010.

News operation[edit]

WTMJ-TV presently broadcasts 42 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 6½ hours on weekdays, three hours on Saturdays and 2 hours on Sundays); it is one of the few Big Three stations in the United States whose weekly news programming total exceeds 40+ hours (which is more common with news-producing affiliates of the post-1986 broadcast networks, such as Fox affiliate WITI locally). In addition, the station produces Sunday Insight, a "week in review" public affairs debate program hosted by WTMJ radio personality Charlie Sykes, which airs on Sunday mornings after Meet the Press. WTMJ-TV maintains a news and weather content agreement with sister radio stations WTMJ and WKTI (all three stations are based out of the Radio City studio), and until the split of Journal Media Group, partnered with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, to provide news stories and weather forecasts seen in the co-owned newspaper, maintaining an auxiliary studio in the Journal Sentinel‍ '​s State Street headquarters for a regular segment on the station's 3 p.m. newscast called "JSOnAir". The station currently has no print partner, although WTMJ Radio has a business news agreement with the Milwaukee Business Journal; an existing television partnership with WITI precludes that publication from partnering with WTMJ-TV.[30] The station also provides a pre-game news segment, and pre-game and post-game "ride home" weather segments for the Milwaukee Brewers, which are carried on the scoreboard at Miller Park.

"Wisconsin on Demand 411", a video on demand service offered to Time Warner Cable subscribers throughout southeastern Wisconsin, carries the station's morning, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts starting two hours after each program's original broadcast and for three days afterward; along with certain WTMJ news reports, "I-Team" investigations, consumer stories, and editions of Sunday Insight. The station also utilizes and promotes Time Warner Cable's Start Over feature for its locally based and select local programs, allowing viewers to restart a program from the beginning if they tune in late.

Since Today expanded to four hours in September 2007, WTMJ has shifted its programming focus very heavily towards local news, as replacement syndicated programming for Martha, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! after the programs all moved to other stations in the market, and Montel's August 2008 departure from syndication failed to spark viewer interest outside of local/network hours. On August 25, 2008, the station expanded its 6 p.m. newscast to one hour (though it reverted to a half-hour on Tuesday nights during the NFL season due to Mike McCarthy's coaches show), after Extra moved to WITI; this was followed on September 8 by the debut of an hour-long newscast at 3 p.m.,[31] whose segments include "Ask the Experts", an interactive 'sound off' segment featuring viewer calls and social media contributions, and a 'hot topics' section which features WTMJ radio afternoon host Jeff Wagner among the regular panelists. The 3 p.m. newscast, which consistently trailed syndicated talk and court programming on the other local stations, ended on September 11, 2015 and was replaced with the syndicated program FABLife the following Monday for the 2015-16 season, a move in the making before the Scripps acquisition was announced.[32] The same month also saw the Saturday morning news block move to 5 a.m.-7 a.m. (rather than an 8 a.m-10 a.m local block coming out of Today airing live at 6:00 a.m.) and the Sunday morning 8 a.m. newscast quietly discontinued, mainly to allow Meet the Press to air live rather than delayed an hour as it has for years on the station, and to allow better schedule flow to allow the station to get in all their E/I programming during heavy weekends of sports pre-emptions, along with an official Packers pre-game show to air in the hour before the network pre-game shows.

WTMJ's morning and noon newscasts were simulcast on Green Bay sister station WGBA-TV beginning on July 14, 2008, with local weather inserts from WGBA meteorologists. The simulcast ended in early 2009, due to viewer disinterest in Milwaukee-focused news (WGBA relaunched a local morning newscast in January 2011). The station also began to provide forecasts to that station during its weekend newscasts. Until April 2013, when Larry McCarren became WGBA's sports director, all sportscasts on WGBA were provided by WTMJ.

On April 7, 2009, WTMJ became the first television station in Milwaukee and the second in Wisconsin (behind WISC-TV in Madison) to begin broadcasting its local newscasts and other local programming in high definition.[33] With the conversion, a new music package (High Velocity by 615 Music) and graphics from Renderon Broadcast Design, the main graphics company for all Journal Broadcast Group stations, was introduced.[34] Segments broadcast from the main studio and news video from the field are presented in the format, as with most of the station's live units and skycam system. The remainder of the station's skycams and "Chopper 4" are equipped for digital widescreen upconverted for HD broadcast in the control room. On August 13, 2012, WTMJ moved all newscasts from Studio A to a temporary set in Studio D, with the new set in Studio A being launched on September 9, 2012 during the 5 p.m. newscast.

The 6:30 p.m. newscast was dropped on April 11, 2011 (it was replaced with Access Hollywood – which previously ran on WTMJ from its 1995 debut until it moved Late Night to its network-mandated 11:35 p.m. slot in 2000 – which moved to WTMJ after WISN expanded its 10 p.m. newscast to one hour in January 2011; the consequence of this being WISN moving Access from its longtime 10:30 p.m. slot to 12:30 a.m., resulting in NBCUniversal Television Distribution asking for an early release from its contract in order to move to WTMJ).[35] On February 4, 2013, the station debuted the locally produced newsmagazine Wisconsin Tonight in the 6:30 p.m. timeslot (which airs on digital channel 4.2 twice a week during Packers season due to its broadcasts of Packers Live on Mondays and The Mike McCarthy Show on Tuesdays; Access Hollywood moved to 1:35 a.m. Finally, Access moved to WITI at 11:35 p.m. on September 8, 2014, with Access Hollywood Live being restored to WTMJ's 2 p.m. slot on September 15, 2014).[36] On January 20, 2014, WTMJ officially expanded its weekday edition of LIVE at Daybreak to 4:30 a.m., the fourth and final station in the market to do so; it had effectively begun to do so two weeks earlier due to that month's record cold temperatures requiring early coverage of school and business closings.[37] As of October 2014, WGBA in Green Bay now also carries their own version of Wisconsin Tonight on nights without Packers team programming, with some shared content from WTMJ.

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

Station cameo appearances[edit]

  • WTMJ's logo is shown on the top of the scoreboard in the 1989 film Major League, which was filmed at Milwaukee County Stadium; the stadium was used as a stand-in for Cleveland's Municipal Stadium, where the Cleveland Indians played at the time the film was produced. The Indians are also interviewed by a WTMJ reporter, which for the purpose of continuity in the film, was depicted as Cleveland's NBC affiliate. WTMJ's logo currently resides in the bottom left-hand corner of Miller Park's board as part of the station's sponsorship with the Brewers.
  • WTMJ is also announced in the last scene of the final episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 as Mike Nelson and the robots are sitting in a Milwaukee-area apartment on a Saturday afternoon, when The Crawling Eye comes on TV, the first movie seen on the nationally syndicated version of MST3K.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dick Golembiewski, Milwaukee Television History: The Analog Years, Marquette University Press, 2008. ISBN 978-0-87462-055-9.


  1. ^ "Planning Pays Off for New WTMJ-TV" (PDF). Broadcasting. December 1, 1947. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Ed Reitan, Local Television Stations with Early Live Color Capability, 2006.
  3. ^ Dudek, Duane (25 July 2013). "Conspiracy theories, frustration multiply as Time Warner pulls WTMJ-TV". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Kirchen, Rich (28 June 2013). "Time Warner Cable, Channel 4 owner agree to extension". The Business Journal (Milwaukee). Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Dudek, Duane (10 July 2013). "Stalemate in Journal Broadcast negotiations with Time Warner". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  6. ^ Kabelowsky, Steve (August 15, 2013). "GSN now in WTMJ-TV's slot on Time Warner Cable". OnMilwaukee.com. Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ Reynolds, Mike (9 August 2013). "TWC Customers File Lawsuit over Retrans Disconnect with Milwaukee Station; Plaintiffs Seek Class-Action Status over Disconnect with Journal Broadcast's WTMJ". Multichannel News. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "JBG Answers". Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Kabelowsky, Steve (14 August 2013). "Journal asks state to force Time Warner to credit customers". OnMilwaukee.com. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Dudek, Duane (September 20, 2013). "Journal Broadcast, Time Warner finally reach agreement; Channel 4 moves to Channel 2". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  11. ^ "TWC Conversations: Q: Why are WGBA-D2 (Me TV), WTMJ-D2 (Storm Team), WTMJ-D3 (Live Well) no longer available? A: We have agreed with Journal to carry the channels that we believe deliver the most value to our customers.". Time Warner Cable. 21 September 2013. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
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