Baltimore, Maryland
Branding WJZ 13 (general)
Eyewitness News (newscasts)
Slogan Maryland's News Station; Complete Coverage
Channels Analog: 13 (VHF)

Digital: 38 (UHF)

Affiliations CBS
Owner CBS Corporation
First air date November 2, 1948
Call letters' meaning named after the former callsign of what is now WABC-AM, which stood for it's original location in New Jersey
Former callsigns WAAM (1948-1957)
Former Affiliations ABC (1948-1995)
DuMont (secondary, 1948-1955)
Transmitter Power 316 kW (analog)
1000 kW (DT)
Height 292 m (analog)
312 m (DT)
Facility ID 25455
Website WJZ 13's Website

WJZ-TV, channel 13, is an O&O TV station of the CBS TV Network, located in Baltimore, Maryland. WJZ-TV's studios & offices are located on Television Hill in the Woodberry section of Baltimore, adjacent to the transmission tower it shares with 4 other Baltimore TV stations.

History Edit

Baltimore's 3rd TV station started on November 2, 1948 as WAAM, owned by brothers Ben & Herman Cohen. It's first broadcast was the 1948 presidential election returns. It's studio was the 1st in Baltimore specifically designed for TV. Ironically, it was the only station in Baltimore without ties to a radio station.

Ch. 13 was originally an ABC affiliate; it was the second primary affiliate of the fledgling network. Until 1956, it carried a secondary affiliation with the DuMont TV Network & originated many Baltimore Colts games for DuMont.

The Westinghouse Electric Corporation purchased WAAM in 1957 & renamed it WJZ-TV. The WJZ call letters had previously resided on ABC's flagship radio/TV combination in New York City, which changed it's calls to WABC-AM-TV in 1953. However, Westinghouse's history with that set of call letters went back even further, as it was the original owner of WJZ radio, the flagship station of NBC's Blue Network, which would eventually become ABC.

In 1959, WJZ-TV built the world's 1st 3-antenna candelabra tower, shared with WMAR-TV & WBAL-TV. The 730-foot (220 m) tower significantly improved the station's coverage in central Maryland & also added new viewers in Pennsylvania & Delaware. It still operates from this 730-foot (220 m) tower today, which can be seen from I-83 in Baltimore. However, the FCC Antenna Structure Registration page gives the tower's height as 997 feet (304 meters).

Over the years, WJZ-TV frequently pre-empted ABC programming in favor of local shows & syndicated content from Westinghouse's broadcasting division, Group W. However, ABC was more than satisfied with ch. 13, which was 1 of it's strongest affiliates. Additionally, Baltimore viewers could watch ABC programs on Washington, D.C.'s WMAL-TV/WJLA-TV, whose signal decently covers most of the Baltimore area.

From 1957-1964, 1 of the station's highest-rated programs was The Buddy Deane Show, an in-studio teen dance show modeled after ABC's American Bandstand. Deane's program was the inspiration for the John Waters 1988 motion picture Hairspray & it's subsequent Broadway musical version, which in turn has been made into a film.

In 1976, Oprah Winfrey became an anchor for the station's 6 PM newscast. She also co-hosted ch. 13's local talk show, People Are Talking with Richard Sher, which premiered on August 14, 1978 & ran until she left for Chicago in 1983. The segment continues to run on the morning newscasts.

In 1994, ABC agreed to an affiliation deal with the broadcasting division of the E.W. Scripps Company, which called for 3 of Scripps' TV stations to become ABC affiliates. ABC agreed to the deal as a condition of keeping it's affiliation on Scripps' 2 biggest stations, WXYZ-TV in Detroit & WEWS in Cleveland. Both stations had been heavily wooed by CBS, which was about to lose it's longtime Detroit & Cleveland affiliates to FOX. 1 of the stations due to switch was Baltimore's then-NBC affiliate, WMAR-TV.

Westinghouse Broadcasting felt betrayed by ABC after so many years of loyalty; @ the time, ch. 13 had been affiliated with ABC longer than any station not O&O by the network. As a safeguard, it began to shop for an affiliation deal of it's own. Eventually, Westinghouse agreed to a longterm affiliation contract with CBS. As a result, WJZ-TV & it's sister stations in Philadelphia & Boston became CBS affiliates (Westinghouse's 2 other TV stations, in Pittsburgh & San Francisco, were already CBS affiliates).

The affiliation switch, the 2nd in Baltimore TV history, occurred on January 2 1995, ending WJZ-TV's 47-year link with ABC. As a result, ch. 13 became the 3rd station in Baltimore to affiliate with CBS. The network had originally affiliated with WMAR-TV in 1948 before moving to WBAL-TV in 1981. Westinghouse then bought CBS in early 1996, making WJZ-TV a CBS O&O station.

WJZ-TV has used it's current "Stylized 13" logo, using a font face exculsive to Westinghouse Broadcasting, since 1967. The only real change came in May 1997, when it added the CBS Eye to it's logo. WJZ currently does not brand under the CBS Mandate & uses it's call letters in it's branding.

WJZ-TV is the Baltimore-area affiliate of the It's Academic high school quiz competition. Ch. 13 has also served 2 stints as the TV home of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team & has been the over-the-air home of the Orioles since 1994. It's 1 of the few "Big 3" stations that airs baseball on a regular basis.

DTV Edit

The station's DT channel:


WJZ-DT broadcasts on DT ch. 38

Channel Name Programming
13.1 WJZ-DT main WJZ-TV/CBS programming

Analog-to-DT conversionEdit

After the analog TV shutdown scheduled for February 17 2009, WJZ-TV will return to ch. 13.


Soon after Westinghouse bought WJZ-TV, it significantly beefed up the station's news department. Within a few years, it passed WMAR-TV for 2nd place. Like the other Group W stations, WJZ-TV adopted the Eyewitness News format pioneered @ sister station KYW-TV in Philadelphia. By the early 1970s, WJZ-TV had passed WBAL-TV for 1st place - a lead it held for over 30 years. In recent years, however, WBAL-TV has taken over the top spot @ 5, 6 & 11 PM, though WJZ-TV is still a strong 2nd.

WJZ-TV was the 1st station in Baltimore to hire a full-time consumer reporter, as well as the first station to organize an investigative reporting team. In 1965 - shortly after it adopted the Eyewitness News format - Wiley Daniels became the 1st African-American reporter in Baltimore. He was joined 2 years later by Jerry Turner, 1 of the most popular anchormen in Baltimore TV history. Between 1977 & 1987, Jerry Turner & Al Sanders were the top news team until Turner's death. Denise Koch succeeded Turner upon his death in 1987; she remains @ the anchor desk alongside Vic Carter, who succeeded Sanders following the latter's death in 1995. Like other CBS-owned stations, ch. 13 offers a web only newscast, "WJZ @ Your Desk", shown weekdays.

Since 1987, WJZ-TV's news theme has been "Chroma Cues" by Music Oasis, which was specifically written for the station.

News TeamEdit


  • Vic Carter - Eyewitness News @ 4:30, 6 & 11 PM
  • Kai Jackson - Eyewitness News @ 4 & 5 PM
  • Denise Koch - Eyewitness News @ 4:30, 6 & 11 PM
  • Don Scott - Rise & Shine, Eyewitness News Morning Edition & @ Noon
  • Sally Thorner - Eyewitness News @ 4 & 5 PM


  • Mary Bubala - Eyewitness News @ Noon / General Assignment Reporter
  • Jessica Kartalija - Eyewitness News Weekend Morning Edition / General Assignment Reporter
  • Kellye Lynn - Fill-In Anchor for Eyewitness News Morning Edition, @ 4, 5 or 6 PM / Healthwatch Reporter
  • Adam May - Eyewitness News Weekend / General Assignment Reporter


  • Marty Bass - Rise & Shine, Eyewitness News Morning Edition & @ Noon (also anchors)
  • Bob Turk - Eyewitness News @ 4, 4:30, 5, 6 & 11 PM
  • Tim Williams - Eyewitness News Weekend Morning Edition (also anchors)
  • Bernadette Woods - Eyewitness News Weekend


  • Stan Saunders - Weekend Sports Anchor / Sports Reporter
  • Mark Viviano - Sports Director @ 6 & 11 PM


  • Sharon Gibala - Eyewitness News Morning Edition, @ 4 & 5 PM / General Assignment Reporter on Sunday Mornings


  • Gigi Barnett - General Assignment Reporter
  • Suzanne Collins - Investigate Reporter
  • Alex DeMetrick - General Assignment Reporter
  • Dennis Edwards - General Assignment Reporter
  • Mike Hellgren - General Assignment Reporter
  • Weijia Jiang - General Assignment Reporter
  • Ron Matz - General Assignment Reporter / Guest personality on the "Eyewitness News Morning Edition"
  • Kelly McPherson - General Assignment Reporter
  • Mike Schuh - General Assignment Reporter
  • Richard Sher - General Assignment Reporter
  • Derek Valcourt - General Assignment Reporter
  • Pat Warren - General Assignment Reporter

Other On-Air personalitiesEdit

  • Captain Jeff Long - SkyEye Chopper 13 Pilot / Reporter

Notable alumniEdit

  • George Bauman, deceased
  • Kathryn Brown, now works for CBS News
  • John Buren, long-time sports anchor - now works in Real Estate in the Baltimore area
  • Boomer Esiason (interned at WJZ-TV as a student @ the University of Maryland)
  • Al Sanders, anchorman (1972 - 1995), deceased
  • Jerry Turner, anchorman (1962 - 1987), deceased
  • Oprah Winfrey

External linksEdit

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