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WISE-TV

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Fort Wayne, Indiana
Branding NBC 33
Indiana's NewsCenter
My TV Fort Wayne (on DT2)
Slogan A Network of Indiana's NewsCenter
Channels Analog: 33 (UHF)

Digital: 19 (UHF)

Affiliations NBC
MyTV (on DT2)
Owner Granite Broadcasting Corporation
Licensee WISE-TV License, LLC
First air date November 21, 1953
Call letters' meaning WISE or "wisdom"
Sister stations(s) WPTA
Former callsigns WKJG-TV (1953-2003)
Transmitter Power 589 kW (analog)
285 kW (DT)
Height 235 m (analog)
239.3 m (DT)
Facility ID 13960
Website NBC 33's Website

WISE-TV, ch. 33, is the NBC-affiliated TV station for Fort Wayne, Indiana. It's transmitter is located on West State Boulevard. Owned by Granite Broadcasting Corporation, the station is sister to ABC affiliate WPTA. That station is owned by the Malara Broadcast Group but operated by Granite through a LMA. WISE-TV & WPTA share studios on Butler Road. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Dr. Phil, Seinfeld, M*A*S*H & Ellen. WISE-TV operates the area's MyNetworkTV affiliate on it's 2nd DT subchannel. Known on-air as My TV Fort Wayne, it's also offered on Verizon FiOS cable ch. 9 & Comcast digital cable ch. 252. Syndicated programming on WISE-DT2 includes: Frasier, One on One, George Lopez & Oprah.

DTVEdit

DT channels
Channel Programming
33.1 / 19.1 main WISE-TV programming / NBC HD
33.2 / 19.2 "My TV Fort Wayne" (MyNetworkTV)
33.3 / 19.3 "INC NOW"

Analog-to-DT conversionEdit

After the analog TV shutdown & DT conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 17 2009, WISE-TV will remain on it's current pre-transition ch. #, 19. However, through the use of PSIP, DTV receivers will display WISE-TV's virtual ch. as 33.

HistoryEdit

The station was founded on November 21, 1953 with the call letters WKJG-TV. It was the 1st TV station in Fort Wayne & affiliated with NBC. The station was owned by William Kunkle who operated The Journal Gazette (with both entities forming the call letters), WKJG radio & other TV stations. On September 30 1971, the radio stations were sold. Their call letters became WMEE-AM & WMEF-FM respectively. Today, the FM station has the calls WMEE. The AM station went through a variety of call signs including WQHK, WHWD & WONO. It went back to the original WKJG on November 3, 2003 & to this day, is Fort Wayne's ESPN Radio affiliate. However, both radio stations are owned by a different company & have no connection with the TV station. For a time, WKJG-TV was owned by Thirty Three Inc, a Tony Hulman company. That broadcaster also owned 2 other TV stations in Indiana, WTHI-TV in Terre Haute & WNDY-TV in Indianapolis. When Hulman died in 1977, WKJG became owned by Joseph R. Cloutier who had been a Terre Haute-based long time employee of Hulman's company. After Cloutier's death, a trust fund (called the Corporation for General Trade), was formed that made his son (Joseph A. Cloutier) the majority share holder with 51%. That company continued to own WKJG until it was sold in 2003. The daily management of WKJG was performed by Hilliard Gates, who doubled as a sportscaster for the station, until his retirement in 1993. John Siemer, a newcaster & announcer @ the station, was known @ that time as "Engineer John" who introduced cartoons.

On January 13 2003, the Corporation for General Trade was sold for $20 million dollars to New Vision TV. The station changed it's call letters to the current WISE-TV on May 26 to celebrate it's 50th anniversary. A new transmitter with a stronger signal & new HD options was installed on the tower. The station was sold again in March of 2005 to Granite Broadcasting Corporation for $44.2 million. Granite sold ABC station WPTA to Malara Broadcasting for $45.3 million. A LMA was established that called for Granite to provide operation services to WPTA as well as for Malara's other new station, KDLH in Duluth, Minnesota. Malara files it's SEC reports jointly with Granite which lead to allegations that Granite uses Malara as a shell corporation to evade the FCC's rules on duopolies. The FCC does not allow common ownership of 2 of the 4 largest stations in a single market. Fort Wayne has only 6 full-power stations which is too few to allow duopolies in any case. After emerging from bankruptcy in the Summer of 2007, Granite stock was taken over by Silver Point Capital of Greenwich, Connecticut which is a privately owned hedge fund. Silver Point Capital now controls Granite broadcasting according to a Buffalo, New York news article printed on September 16, 2007. According to the same article, Granite will be sold to other parties & many of it's stations have been laying off employees or cutting salaries up to 20%. Back on January 24 2006, The WB & UPN announced that they would end broadcasting & merge.

The new combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the 1st initial of it's corporate parents, CBS (the parent company of UPN) & the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. On February 22, News Corporation announced that they would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be a sister network to FOX, would be operated by FOX TV Stations & it's syndication division, 20th Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN & WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming independent. It was also created to compete against The CW. CBS affiliate WANE-TV aired UPN on a 2nd DT subchannel. The Fort Wayne affiliate of The WB was cable-only "WBFW" which was part of The WB 100+. The station was co-owned with WPTA by Malara Broadcasting. It was announced in March of 2006 that WBFW would affiliate with The CW via The CW+ (a similar operation to The WB 100+). WPTA decided to create a new 2nd DT sub-channel to simulcast WBFW & offer access to CW programming for over-the-air viewers. On September 18, The CW debuted on WBFW (which became officially known as having the WPTA-DT2 calls). The station became known on-air as "Fort Wayne's CW". On September 5, WISE-TV moved NBC Wx+ from it's 2nd DT subchannel in order for it to become the area's affiliate of MyNetworkTV. Wx+ then began airing on WISE-TV's 3rd DT subchannel.

Cable TV ControversiesEdit

On December 3 2008, it was announced that viewers in Grant County, Indiana would no longer be able to view WISE-TV & WPTA-TV on Bright House Networks in Marion, Gas City & Jonesboro after December 31, 2008.

News operationEdit

As a result of Granite acquiring WISE-TV, it moved the station to WPTA's facilities (even though WISE-TV is the senior partner in the agreement). Also, 57 employees of WISE-TV (including both on-air personalities & production staff) were fired. Granite kept longtime weeknight anchor Linda Jackson to help smooth over the transition. Viewers did not react favorably & much of the negative feedback was given in "The Rant" section of The News-Sentinel where readers voiced their opinions. Many people were upset about the breakup of the news team especially the firing of meteorologist Greg Shoup. He was quickly hired by the market's current news leader WANE-TV where he is currently the weekday morning & Noon meteorologist. WISE-TV produces 5 newscasts using 3 different "news teams". These newscasts are co-produced with WPTA & are essentially the same newscast with different anchors. The newscasts on WISE-TV & WPTA are branded as Indiana's NewsCenter.

When Granite acquired WISE-TV in 2005, the station began airing a weeknight newscast @ 7 which was the 1st & only 1 in the state of Indiana. On September 11 2006, this newscast was replaced with an extra episode of Dr. Phil due to low ratings. Starting back on July 24, WISE-TV began airing a weeknight 10 PM newscast on it's 2nd DT subchannel that was an affiliate of NBC Wx+. With the addition of "My TV Fort Wayne" on it's 2nd DT subchannel & "Fort Wayne's CW" on WPTA's 2nd DT subchannel, the newscast moved over to those stations. The combined productions of WISE-TV & WPTA have cost them ratings. WANE-TV has dominated the last 8 ratings periods according to Nielsen Media Research. In the latest ratings period, which took place in February of 2007, WANE-TV won each newscast in every time slot. These ratings are the best in 25 years for that station. Until recently, WISE-DT3 carried NBC Wx+ under the branding "Indiana's NewsCenter Wx+".

However, with the announcement of that network's closure by the end of 2008, the channel switched to a new format. It's now known on-air as "Pinpoint VIPIR HD Channel" and featured rotating weather maps with audio from the National Weather Service. WISE-DT3 is also offered on Comcast digital cable ch. 249 & Verizon FiOS digital cable ch. 460. On December 8, the station will change formats again to a 24/7 NewsChannel & be known as "INC Now". WPTA rebroadcasts it's weekday morning newscast on "My TV Fort Wayne" from 7-9 AM. In addition, there is a rebroadcast of WPTA's weekday Noon news on that station from 12-12:30 PM. "My TV Fort Wayne" also re-airs WPTA's weeknight 6 PM newscast @ 6:30. The 2 stations co-produce a webcast entitled Indiana's NewsCenter exPRESS that is shown online every weekday @ 1 PM. The program is 5 minutes long & includes news updates from Corinne Rose & weather from weather presenter Chris Daniels. WISE-TV does not air newscasts on the weekdays @ Noon, 5 or 6 PM. On the weekends, WISE-TV airs newscasts simulcasted from WPTA. Also, there are local news & weather updates provided during the weekend editions of The Today Show. The 2 stations utilize the VIPIR radar system branded as "Pinpoint VIPIR HD." Their old radar, known as SUPERCELL LIVE Doppler Radar, can still be seen on their Web site.

News teamEdit

Anchors

  • Jennifer Blomquist - weekday mornings & monthly specials
  • Linda Jackson - weeknights
  • Eric Olson - weekends & reporter

Indiana's NewsCenter Meteorologists

  • Curtis Smith (AMS & NWA Seal of Approval) - Chief seen weeknights
  • Chris Daniels - weekday mornings
  • Jason Meyers - weekends & fill-in
    • weather reporter
  • Jay Walker - weather reporter

Sports (all are seen on The Score)

  • Dean Pantazi - Director seen weeknights @ 10 & 11
  • Tommy Schoegler - weekends & fill-in
    • sports reporter
  • Kent Hormann - fill-in

Reporters

  • Ryan Elijah - host of Impact & "In Your Corner" segment producer
  • Eric Clabaugh - multimedia video journalist
  • Carl Smith - multimedia video journalist
  • Chris Erick - multimedia video journalist
  • Corinne Rose - crime & politics
  • Jane Hersha
  • Brien McElhatten
  • Laura Donaldson
  • Jeff Neumeyer

Notable alumniEdit

Most were part of WISE-TV's news team (highlighted in bold) before the station merged with WPTA in March of 2005.

  • Susan Alderman - anchor (now Media Director @ IPFW)
  • Rich Apuzzo - Meteorologist in 1986-87 (now owner/operator/meteorologist @ SkyEye Weather in Cincinnati, OH)
  • Jim Bailey - anchor from 1995 until the late-1990's (now main anchor @ WJHL-TV in Johnson City, Tennessee)
  • Amy Bradley - former morning co-anchor (now @ WBRE in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania)
  • Dalia Dangerfield - reporter in the early 2000s (now @ Bay News 9 in Tampa)
  • Dick DeFay - sports anchor (died on February 21, 2007)
  • Jim Flink - anchor in the early 1990s (now @ KMBC-TV in Kansas City)
  • Dick Florea - news director & anchor in the 1970s & 1980's & Editor's Desk host (retired in 2001 after 35 years)
  • Eric Franke - former producer & sports anchor (now main news anchor @ WISC-TV in Madison, WI)
  • Angela Holdsworth - weekend anchor (-2001??), went to KPSP-TV in Palm Springs, CA
  • Heather Herron - weekend anchor/producer (??-1995) (now main anchor @ competitor WANE)
  • Marni Hughes - former weekend anchor (now @ KMSP in Minneapolis)
  • Betsy Kling - weekend meteorologist (now @ WKYC in Cleveland; married to former reporter Paul Thomas)
  • Kelly Koh - reporter (Briefly worked @ WANE - currently freelancing via Koh Reports)
  • Dan Krauth - former anchor, until 2005 (now @ WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan)
  • Janette Luu - former anchor & reporter from 1998-2003 (now @ CKXT-TV (SUN TV) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  • Alexis Means - reporter in the late 1990s (now @ WTVG in Toledo, Ohio)
  • Zach Myers - morning anchor, from 1998-2005 (now reporter @ WXIN in Indianapolis)
  • Jake Miller - former main anchor, until 2005 (now @ WGEM in Quincy, Illinois)
  • Tonya Mosley - reporter & anchor, until 2004 (now @ KING in Seattle)
  • Jim O'Brien - weekend meteorologist (now morning meteorologist @ WXIN in Indianapolis)
  • Nicole Pence - former reporter (until 8/2008) (now @ WLEX-TV in Lexington, Kentucky)
  • Kristen Pflum - former reporter (now @ WLEX-TV in Lexington, Kentucky)
  • Audrey Port - left for WFLD in Chicago & WBBM also in Chicago
  • Steve Rappaport - former sports director in 2000 (now @ WVIR in Charlottesville, Virginia)
  • Susan Samples - reporter (??-1995) (now @ WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan)
  • Sarah Simmons - reporter/fill-in anchor
  • Greg Shoup - chief meteorologist, until 2005 (now meteorologist @ competitor WANE)
  • Roxanna Smith - reporter (now @ Carter Communications in San Rafael, CA)
  • Robert Tabern - morning news producer (now @ WDJT-TV in Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
  • Paul Thomas - reporter in mid-1990s (now reporter & anchor @ WKYC in Cleveland; married to former WISE meteorologist Betsy Kling)
  • Jessica Toumani - former reporter (until 8/2008) (now @ KABB in San Antonio, Texas)
  • John Thornert - weekend meteorologist in early 2000s (now @ Fort Wayne International Airport)
  • Susan Ware - weekend meteorologist in the mid/late 1990s (now meteorologist @ WTVG in Toledo, Ohio)
  • Jesse Wells - investigative reporter from 2002-2005 (now @ KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

External linksEdit

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