|Branding||WTOL 11 (general)|
WTOL 11 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Toledo's News Leader (official slogan)|
Certified Most Accurate (weather slogan)
|Channels||Digital: 11 (VHF)|
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
(sale to Gray Television pending; to be resold to Tegna, Inc. thereafter)
(WTOL License Subsidiary, LLC)
|Founded||December 5, 1958|
|Call letters' meaning||TOLedo|
(TOL is also the IATA airport code for Toledo)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
11 (VHF, 1958–2009)
17 (UHF, until 2009)
Ind./Local news (2005–2012)
|Transmitter power||16.9 kW|
|Height||305 m (1,001 ft)|
WTOL is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Toledo, Ohio, United States. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and VHF channel 11 from a transmitter on Cedar Point Road in Oregon, Ohio, and can be seen throughout northwest Ohio, southeast Michigan (including Detroit), and southwestern Ontario, Canada (including Windsor and Essex County, where it was carried by Cogeco cable systems along with ABC affiliate WTVG [channel 13] and NBC affiliate WNWO-TV [channel 24] until 2009). WTOL is owned by Raycom Media, which also operates Fox affiliate WUPW (channel 36) through a shared services agreement (SSA) with owner American Spirit Media. The two stations share studios on North Summit Street in downtown Toledo.
WTOL-TV began broadcasting on December 5, 1958 as a CBS affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation. It shared ABC with then-NBC affiliate WSPD-TV (channel 13, now WTVG) until 1969, when WDHO-TV (channel 24, now WNWO-TV) replaced WSPD-TV as the ABC affiliate. WTOL then became exclusively affiliated with CBS. WTOL is also the only station in Toledo to never change its primary affiliation.
The station was originally owned by the Reams family along with WTOL radio (AM 1230, now WCWA; and FM 104.7, now WIOT). It was sold to Filmways (now part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) in 1962. The Broadcasting Company of the South, a subsidiary of South Carolina insurer Liberty Life Insurance Company, bought WTOL in 1965 and later changed its name to Cosmos Broadcasting Corporation; WTOL was that company's only station located outside the Southern United States. Liberty reorganized itself as a holding company, the Liberty Corporation, in 1974, and WTOL came directly under the Liberty banner after Liberty sold off its insurance business in 2003.
From the mid-1970s to 2003, WTOL was known on-air as "Toledo 11" (sometimes spelled out as "Toledo Eleven"). In December 1994, WTOL replaced Detroit's WJBK on the lineup of Cancom (later Shaw Broadcast Services), which provided American networks to cable and satellite viewers in many areas across Canada (particularly Atlantic Canada and the Prairies). The changeover occurred shortly before WJBK was due to switch its affiliation from CBS to Fox. CBS was unable to sign a new Detroit affiliate (WGPR, now owned-and-operated station WWJ-TV) until mere days before the change, and as Cancom had to seek regulatory approval several months in advance, it elected to go with WTOL, the largest CBS station closest to Detroit. WTOL was carried by Cancom until 1999, when it was replaced with WWJ-TV. During this time, WTOL was the de facto CBS affiliate for the southern part of the Detroit market, as WWJ-TV was all but unviewable in that area at the time. The station provides city-grade coverage to much of southern Wayne and Washtenaw counties, and grade B coverage to most of Detroit itself.
Liberty merged with Raycom Media in 2005. Raycom already owned WNWO, but couldn't keep both because the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not allow one entity to own two of the top four rated stations in a single market. It opted to keep the higher-rated WTOL and sold WNWO to Barrington Broadcasting.
In January 2012, LIN TV Corporation announced it would sell its local Fox affiliate WUPW to American Spirit Media for $22 million. As most of American Spirit Media's stations are operated as duopolies with a Raycom-owned station in the same market, it was expected that WTOL would establish a shared services agreement with WUPW. On April 20, 2012, WUPW finalized its acquisition and its shared services agreement with WTOL. WUPW's remaining staff now operate from WTOL's facilities (though its management and sales departments will remain separate). A shared news site was also unveiled for the two stations, Toledo News Now. On June 1, 2012, WTOL began broadcasting all of its syndicated programming in high definition.
Pending sale to Gray Television and resale to Tegna
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, and Gray's 93 television stations) under the former's corporate umbrella, in a cash-and-stock merger transaction valued at $3.6 billion. Because Gray owned WTVG (which the company acquired in 2014 from SJL Broadcasting), and since WTOL and WTVG rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Toledo market in total day viewership, Gray announced that it would retain WTVG and sell WTOL to an unrelated third party, in order to comply with FCC ownership rules; the SSA involving WUPW would be included in the sale of WTOL. On August 20, it was announced that Tegna, Inc. would buy WTOL and sister station KWES-TV in Odessa, Texas for $105 million. This would make WTOL a sister station to NBC affiliate WKYC in Cleveland.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|11.1||1080i||16:9||WTOL-DT||Main WTOL programming / CBS|
On January 30, 2012, WTOL replaced its "StormTrack 11" radar loop on 11.2 with MeTV. On April 21, 2011, WTOL began broadcast its newscasts in 1080i high definition, becoming the second station in Toledo (after competitor WTVG) to broadcast its news in HD. Although WTOL took over the operations of WUPW on April 20, 2012, the newscasts on that channel remained in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition until May 31 when WTOL installed a new master control for Channel 36 to finally allow the newscasts on WUPW to be transmitted in HD. On November 18, 2014, Grit was added to 11.3 on WTOL.
WTOL's broadcasts became digital-only, effective June 12, 2009. Digital channel 11 transmits at a lower power than it did on digital channel 17, so in some locations, there has been a reduction in coverage. Many VHF stations are applying to the FCC for power increases to restore their coverage area after moving from UHF back to VHF.
WTOL had preempted some network programming for many years, but in recent years has carried the entire CBS network schedule. The only significant exceptions are for the airing of Billy Graham crusades and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital specials. It has been the dominant station in Toledo for the better part of the last 30 years. Syndicated programs broadcast by WTOL include Dr. Phil, Me Time with Frangela, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Jeopardy!, and Wheel of Fortune. (the latter two of which have both aired on WTOL since their debuts in syndication in the early 1980s.)
The Ohio Lottery drawings have been originally shown on WTOL since the televised drawings began. However, on July 1, 2011, WTOL no longer broadcast the nightly drawings or the game show Cash Explosion. The drawings and Cash Explosion were moved over to rival station WTVG.
Ever since its national debut in 1986, WTOL was the Toledo-area outlet for The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was carried on the station until the talk show's 25-year run ended on May 25, 2011. WTOL's 4:00 p.m. time slot was then taken over by the daily lifestyle magazine show America Now co-hosted by Leeza Gibbons and Bill Rancic beginning September 12, 2011. However, due to poor ratings, WTOL switched timeslots for America Now and Dr. Phil beginning on January 23, 2012, with Dr. Phil serving as the lead-in to WTOL's 5:00 p.m. newscast.
WTOL airs regional and national sports programming from CBS Sports. Local teams that appear on WTOL include Cleveland Browns regular season games (from NFL on CBS). Conversely, sister station WUPW carries Detroit Lions regular season games (from Fox NFL). As well, WTOL is affiliated with the Detroit Lions Television Network, carrying the Lions' preseason games and the Ford Lions Report from WJBK and Fox Sports Detroit.
As of September 2017[update], WTOL presently broadcasts 35 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with six hours on weekdays, two hours on Saturdays and three hours on Sundays). In addition, WTOL produces 18½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week for Fox-affiliated sister station WUPW (with 3½ hours on weekdays and a half-hour each on Saturdays and Sundays). Through the shared services agreement with WUPW, WTOL may also simulcast long-form severe weather coverage on channel 36 in the event that a tornado warning is issued for any county in its northwest Ohio viewing area.
In October 2011, WTOL was certified by WeatheRate as having the most accurate forecasts for Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.
On January 2, 2014, it was officially announced that longtime evening news anchor Chrys Peterson would be leaving WTOL after nearly twenty years at the station. Peterson decided to leave the station in order to spend more time with her family. Chrys Peterson's final news broadcast was on February 28, 2014 and an hour-long special aired at 8:00 p.m. in celebration of Peterson's twenty years at WTOL. On April 24, 2014, it was officially announced that Emilie Voss would succeed Chrys Peterson and join Jerry Anderson as the evening anchor on WTOL.
In January 2017, Emilie Voss announced she would leave WTOL after five years. In February, Kristi Leigh (formerly of WNWO, WUPW and WTVG) was named co-anchor of the 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m. broadcasts. In June 2018, Jerry Anderson announced his retirement, with June 15 being his final day on the air. Morning anchor Andrew Kinsey was promoted to the evening shift while longtime reporter and fill-in anchor Tim Miller assumed morning anchor duties as of June 18, 2018. Longtime sports director Dan Cummins, a fixture at WTOL since 1980, also moved to the news desk and is co-anchor of the noon news. Jordan Strack was named the new sports director.
Notable former on-air staff
- Evan Rosen author of The Culture of Collaboration and The Bounty Effect: 7 Steps to the Culture of Collaboration
- Steve Hartman (now at CBS News)
- Miller, Mark K. (June 25, 2018). "Gray To Buy Raycom For $3.6 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- "TEGNA to Acquire the Leading Television Stations WTOL in Toledo, OH, and KWES in Odessa-Midland, TX". Tegna, Inc. August 20, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
- Malone, Michael. "LIN Deals Toledo Fox Affiliate to American Spirit". Broadcasting and Cable. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
- Baird, Kirk. "TV news merger moving forward". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- "GRAY AND RAYCOM TO COMBINE IN A $3.6 BILLION TRANSACTION". Raycom Media (Press release). June 25, 2018.
- John Eggerton (June 25, 2018). "Gray Buying Raycom for $3.6B". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
- Dade Hayes (June 25, 2018). "Gray Acquiring Raycom For $3.65B, Forming No. 3 Local TV Group". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
- "What the Raycom/Gray merger means for WTOL and you". WTOL. Raycom Media. June 25, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- Kirk Baird; Jon Chavez (June 25, 2018). "Big TV ownership deal affects Toledo". Toledo Blade. Block Communications. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- "RabbitEars TV Query for WTOL". RabbitEars. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- "WTOL11 to launch ME-TV on channel 11.2 Jan. 30 - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH". Wtol.com. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
- http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf[permanent dead link]
- "Drawings". The Ohio Lottery. 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
- "StormTrack 11 certified as most accurate - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH". Wtol.com. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
- Anderson, Jerry. "Chrys Peterson leaving WTOL 11 to spend more time with family - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH". Toledonewsnow.com. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
- "Emilie Voss to anchor WTOL 11 News at 5, 6 and 11 - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH". Toledonewsnow.com. Archived from the original on 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2015-10-20.
- "Voss leaving Toledo market after nearly 5 years". The Blade. 2017-01-06. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
- "Leigh to co-anchor newscasts on WTOL-TV, Channel 11". The Blade. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
- "Longtime anchor Jerry Anderson ready to sign off for last time". The Blade. 2018-06-14. Retrieved 2018-06-26.
- Staff, WTOL. "WTOL 11 plays 20 questions with Andrew Kinsey as he swaps the morning shows for the evening". Retrieved 2018-06-26.