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WBRE-TV
Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, Pennsylvania
Branding WBRE (general)
WBRE Eyewitness News (newscasts)
Channels Analog: 28 (UHF)

Digital: 11 (VHF)

Translators see article
Affiliations NBC
Owner Nexstar Broadcasting Group
First air date January 1, 1953
Call letters' meaning Baltimore Radio Exchange (original owners, call sign was kept when radio sisters were sold and it unofficially means Wilkes-BarRE)
Sister stations(s) WYOU
Transmitter Power 3,020 kW (analog)
30 kW (DT)
Height 509 m (analog)
471 m (DT)
Facility ID 71225
Website WBRE Eyewitness News' Website

WBRE-TV, ch. 28, is the NBC-affiliated TV station for northeastern & north central Pennsylvania that is licensed to Wilkes-Barre. It's transmitter is located in Mountaintop. Owned by Nexstar Broadcasting, the station operates CBS affiliate WYOU (which is owned by Mission Broadcasting) through a JSA. WBRE & most of WYOU's operations are based @ studios on South Franklin Street in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Syndicated programming on WBRE includes: Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, I Love Lucy & Oprah.

RepeatersEdit

Like most stations in northeastern & north central Pennsylvania, WBRE must rely on repeaters to serve it's coverage area. The market is 1 of the largest east of the Mississippi River & is very mountainous. In addition, Scranton / Wilkes Barre is a "UHF island" due to the fact that it's too close to Philadelphia & New York City for VHF analog service.

Call Letters Analog Channel Digital Channel City of License Transmitter Location
W24BL 24 24 1 3 Pottsville southwest of downtown
W30AN 30 30 1 3 Williamsport tower near downtown
W51BP 51 51 1 3 Clarks Summit north of Scranton between I-81 & I-476
W64AL 64 47 1 4 Stroudsburg Foxtown Hill
  1. WBRE currently has a construction permit for a digital TV translator on this channel.
  2. The channel will be a digital flash cut.
  3. The channel will be a displacement of the current analog channel.
  • W47CY on UHF ch. 47 is a translator run under special temporary authority by Florida Power & Light in Waymart, PA. Windmills run by FP&L in the area surrounding Waymart interfere with full power TV signals from the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market.

HistoryEdit

On January 1 1953, WBRE signed on becoming the 1st TV station in the market. It was owned by the Baltimore family along with WBRE radio (1340 AM - now WYCK & 98.5 FM - now WKRZ). Although it appears that the call letters stand for Wilkes-BaRrE, they actually refer to Baltimore 'Radio Exchange, the Baltimore family's company. The radio stations were sold off in 1980. In 1972, disaster struck @ WBRE when it's offices were flooded by Hurricane Agnes. Most of the station's equipment was moved above ground & survived but a film archive located in the basement was destroyed. After numerous changes of ownership, Nexstar Broadcasting Group acquired the station in January of 1998. Nexstar already owned WYOU but opted to keep WBRE & sold WYOU to Mission Broadcasting. However, Nexstar continues to control WYOU's operations through a JSA. On January 3 2007, Nexstar named Louis J. Abitabilo as VP & GM for the station. In 2009, WBRE will continue DT broadcasts on ch. 11 when the analog to DT transition is complete.

NewscastsEdit

  • WBRE Eyewitness News @ 5 AM
  • WBRE Eyewitness News @ 5:30 AM
  • WBRE Eyewitness News @ 6 AM
  • WBRE Eyewitness News @ 6:30 AM
  • WBRE Eyewitness News @ 9 AM (Weekend Mornings)
  • WBRE Eyewitness News @ 9:30 AM (Weekend Mornings)
  • WBRE Eyewitness News @ 11 AM
  • WBRE Eyewitness News Live @ 5
  • WBRE Eyewitness News @ 5:30
  • WBRE Eyewitness News @ 6
  • WBRE Eyewitness News @ 11

News operationEdit

Ch. 28 led the ratings throughout the 1950s until ABC affiliate WNEP-TV jumped ahead of it in 1959. During the 1950s & 1960s, mirroring the longstanding rivalry between Scranton & Wilkes-Barre, WBRE ruled Wilkes-Barre while WDAU-TV (now WYOU) dominated Scranton. WBRE jumped back in the lead in the early-1960s & went back & 4th for 1st place with WYOU until 1978 when WNEP took a lead. It fell to 3rd for most of the 1980s. In the mid-1990s, the station surpassed perennial leader WNEP for a short amount of time then fell again to 2nd after the ownership change to Nexstar. In 2002, WBRE & WYOU dropped their separate weekday morning & Noon newscasts in favor of Pennsylvania Morning & Pennsylvania Midday which were jointly-produced & simulcasted on both stations. Since the 2 stations have both trailed WNEP in the news ratings by a wide margin for most of the last 30 years, a major shakeup in format occurred in the Fall of 2006. While WYOU went with a talk / debate format for it's weeknight shows, WBRE News became more of the traditional news program. This set a more clear competition against WNEP. WYOU generally does a traditional newscast whenever WBRE has programming that bumps their newscast back by a significant amount of time. At the beginning of 2008, WYOU dropped the shared productions & started airing the 1st hour of the nationally syndicated morning show, The Daily Buzz @ 6 AM. It also debuted it's own Noon news. On June 9 2008, there were several more changes on the 2 stations.

WBRE re-launched it's news operation as WBRE Eyewitness News. The station had previously used the "Eyewitness News" moniker from the mid-1980s until 2004. This coincided with a new set, music package, graphics & weather system upgrade. There were also some on-air personnel changes. Anchor Andy Mehalshick became a reporter. Candice Kelly, who had been anchoring on WYOU, moved to the weeknight newscasts on WBRE back in mid-May. She was joined by newcomer Drew Speier. In addition, WBRE & WYOU’s midday shows switched anchors. Mark Hiller moved from WBRE’s 11 AM news to WYOU’s Noon news. Eva Mastromatteo switched over to WBRE @ 11 AM. Hiller also debuted as anchor of WYOU’s First @ 4 broadcast. The station is the 1st one in the market to broadcast local news @ 4 PM. This is followed @ 4:30 by The Insider which moved from it's 7 PM slot. WYOU then dropped their 5 PM news & airs 2 episodes of Judge Judy. Finally, weeknights @ 6, Lyndall Stout (who anchored on WBRE) joined Eric Scheiner for the half-hour WYOU Inter@ctive. That station also launched a new weeknight newscast, WYOU News @ 7. WNEP already airs local news @ that time on the weeknights. All of the preceding changes will attempt to better compete against WNEP & get more ratings. Along with their main studios, WBRE operates 2 news bureaus (1 of which is shared with WYOU). The Stroudsburg Bureau is on Main Street & the Williamsport Bureau located on West 4th Street (shared with WYOU). That station also operates a Scranton Newsroom & sales office on Lackawanna Avenue.

News teamEdit

Anchors

  • Doug Currin - WBRE Eyewitness News @ 5, 6 & 11 AM
  • Eva Mastromatteo - WBRE Eyewitness News @ 5, 6 & 11 AM
  • Candice Kelly - WBRE Eyewitness News LIVE @ 5, 5:30, 6 & 11 PM
  • Drew Speier - WBRE Eyewitness News LIVE @ 5, 5:30, 6 & 11 PM
  • Kyla Campbell - WBRE Eyewitness News @ 9 & 9:30 AM (weekends)
  • Eva Mastromatteo - WBRE Eyewitness News @ 6 & 11 PM (weekends)
  • Dia Wallace - WBRE Eyewitness News @ 6 & 11 PM (weekends)

WBRE Eyewitness News AccuWeather Meteorologists

  • Josh Hodell (AMS & NWA Seals of Approval) - WBRE Eyewitness News LIVE @ 5, 5:30, 6 & 11 PM
  • Kristi Capel - WBRE Eyewitness News @ 5, 6 & 11 AM
  • Kevin Derk - WBRE Eyewitness News @ 9 & 9:30 AM (weekends)
  • Dave Skutnik - WBRE Eyewitness News @ 6 & 11 PM (weekends) & weather reporter

Sports

  • Phil Schoener - WBRE Eyewitness News @ 6 & 11 PM
  • Colin Riccobon - WBRE Eyewitness News @ 6 & 11 PM (weekends) & sports reporter

Reporters

  • Andy Mehalshick - WBRE I-Team Lead Investigator
  • Jeff Chirico - Consumer Reporter & WBRE I-Team
  • Joe Holden - WBRE I-Team
  • Laurie Monteforte - Stroudsburg Bureau seen weeknights
  • Jeremy Deebel - Williamsport Bureau Chief
  • Mike Trim - Fill in Anchor/WBRE I-Team
  • Eric Deabill
  • Kyla Campbell

External linksEdit

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