|Slogan||Toledo's News Leader (official)|
Certified Most Accurate (weather)
|Channels||Digital: 11 (VHF)|
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
(WTOL Television, LLC)
|Founded||December 5, 1958|
|Call letters' meaning||TOLedo|
(TOL is also the IATA airport code for Toledo)
|Sister station(s)||WUPW, WKYC, WBNS-TV|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:|
11 (VHF, 1958–2009)
17 (UHF, until 2009)
|Transmitter power||16.9 kW|
|Height||305 m (1,001 ft)|
|Public license information||Profile|
WTOL, virtual and VHF digital channel 11, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Toledo, Ohio, United States, serving northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The station is owned by Tegna Inc., 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's transmitter is located on Cedar Point Road in Oregon, Ohio.
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 as part of Fox's deal with New World Communications. CBS was unable to sign a new Detroit affiliate (WGPR, now owned-and-operated station WWJ-TV) until mere days before the change, partly because of a deal reached by Scripps which saw WXYZ-TV renew its affiliation with ABC and caused three other stations to switch to the network. 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 most of Monroe County and 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.
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.
On January 30, 2012, WTOL replaced its News 11 Now on 11.2 with MeTV. 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 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 Gray'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 McLean, Virginia-based Tegna Inc. would purchase WTOL and sister station KWES-TV in Odessa, Texas for $105 million. The deal was completed on January 2, 2019. This made WTOL a sister station to NBC affiliate WKYC in Cleveland (and later to fellow CBS affiliate WBNS-TV in Columbus from a separate deal), while separating it from WOIO/WUAB.
Even with the ownership changes that have occurred since 2006, WTOL retains its Liberty-era logo.
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|
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.
In March 2019, WTOL attracted viral attention for video it posted on Facebook to motivate local high school students heading into their exams, which featured its anchors excessively using slang. The segment received mixed attention, with some observers considering it to be an exaggerated attempt to appeal to the demographic, but others applauding the anchors willingness to participate in the video. It was quickly removed by the station, but mirrored copies on sites such as Twitter reached as high as 3 million views.
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)
- "RabbitEars TV Query for WTOL". RabbitEars. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
- http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf[permanent dead link]
- "WTOL11 to launch ME-TV on channel 11.2 Jan. 30 - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH". Wtol.com. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- Malone, Michael. "LIN Deals Toledo Fox Affiliate to American Spirit". Broadcasting and Cable. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Baird, Kirk. "TV news merger moving forward". Toledo Blade. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "GRAY AND RAYCOM TO COMBINE IN A $3.6 BILLION TRANSACTION". Raycom Media (Press release). June 25, 2018. Archived from the original on June 25, 2018. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
- Miller, Mark K. (June 25, 2018). "Gray To Buy Raycom For $3.6 Billion". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia. Retrieved 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.
- "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.
- "TEGNA Completes Acquisition of Leading Stations WTOL in Toledo, OH and KWES in Midland-Odessa, TX". TEGNA. January 2, 2019. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
- "StormTrack 11 certified as most accurate - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH". Wtol.com. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- Anderson, Jerry. "Chrys Peterson leaving WTOL 11 to spend more time with family - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH". Toledonewsnow.com. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- "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 July 7, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
- "Voss leaving Toledo market after nearly 5 years". The Blade. January 6, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
- "Leigh to co-anchor newscasts on WTOL-TV, Channel 11". The Blade. February 8, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
- "Longtime anchor Jerry Anderson ready to sign off for last time". The Blade. June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
- Staff, WTOL. "WTOL 11 plays 20 questions with Andrew Kinsey as he swaps the morning shows for the evening". Retrieved June 26, 2018.
- "'Weather's going to be turnt, right?': A news team's experiment in teen slang left viewers 'cringing'". Washington Post. March 28, 2019. Retrieved March 29, 2019.