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WRTV
Indianapolis, Indiana
Branding RTV6 (general)
6 News (newscasts)
Slogan On Your Side
Channels Analog: 6 (VHF)

Digital: 25 (UHF)

Affiliations ABC
Owner McGraw-Hill
Licensee McGraw-Hill Broadcasting Company, Inc.
First air date May 30, 1949
Former callsigns WFBM-TV (1949-1972)
Former Affiliations Primary:
CBS (1949-1956)
NBC (1956-1979)
Secondary:
DuMont (1949-1955)
ABC (1954-1956)
Transmitter Power 100 kW (analog)
898 kW (DT)
Height 279 m (analog)
294 m (DT)
Facility ID 40877
Website 6 News' Website

WRTV, ch. 6, is the ABC TV affiliate in Indianapolis, Indiana. It's transmitter is located in Indianapolis.

The station's audio signal can be heard on 87.7 MHz on the FM dial in much of central Indiana. This is because the audio signal of ch. 6 is located @ 87.75 MHz. This frequency assignment applies to all ch. 6 TV stations in countries using the NTSC-M standard. However, this service will no longer be available after the full switch to DT in February 2009.

HistoryEdit

The station signed on the air on May 30, 1949 under the call sign WFBM-TV with a documentary entitled Crucible of Speed covering the history of the Indianapolis 500, followed by the inaugural live TV broadcast of the event. It's Indiana's oldest TV station. It was owned by Consolidated TV & Radio Broadcasters along with WFBM-AM 1260 (now WNDE).

It was originally a CBS affiliate with secondary ABC & DuMont affiliations. When WTTV signed on a few months later, WFBM shared ABC programming until 1954, when WISH-TV signed on & took over the ABC affiliation. In 1956, WFBM took the NBC affiliation from WTTV.

Consolidated merged with Time-Life in 1957. As part of an FCC-mandated sale, WFBM-TV was sold to McGraw-Hill in 1972 along with sister station KLZ-TV (now KMGH-TV) in Denver, Colorado; KOGO-TV (now KGTV) in San Diego & KERO-TV in Bakersfield, California. At that time, the station assumed it's current calls, WRTV. In 1979, WRTV traded affiliations with WTHR & became an ABC affiliate. NBC was the lowest rated network in the late 1970s while ABC rose to the ranks of the highest rated network that same time & was seeking out stronger local stations in many markets, thus motivating this affiliation switch in Indianapolis. WRTV is 1 of the few stations in the country to have been a primary affiliate of all 3 original networks.

DTVEdit

The station's DT channel is multiplexed. After the analog TV shutdown & DT conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 17 2009, WRTV will continue DT broadcasts on it's current pre-transition ch. #, 25. However, through the use of PSIP, DTV receivers will display WRTV's virtual ch. as 6.

Virtual
Channel
Physical
RF Channel
Video Aspect Programming
6.1 25.1 720p 16:9 Main WRTV-TV programming / ABC HD
6.2 25.2 480i 4:3 6 News 24/7 / 24-hour news, weather & sports updates

WRTV today Edit

WRTV has been a leader in adding innovation to Indiana broadcasting. Some of WRTV's innovations over the years, have included the 1st station in the state to broadcast in color, the 1st use of videotape, the 1st to use news mini-cams, the 1st use of microwave (a pre-runner to satellite) (Insta-Cam), the 1st satellite truck (NewStar 6), the 1st cable news on NewsChannel 64 (now 6 News 24/7), the 1st use of non-linear digital editing, the 1st use of digital news cameras, the 1st entry into web publishing (TheIndyChannel.com) & the 1st into cellphone delivery of news (6 News On The Go) & VODcasting.

RTV6 has lagged in the ratings behind WTHR & WISH in the market. This has gone on since the mid 90's.

On September 10 2007, the same day the new anchor team of Todd Wallace & Trisha Shepherd debuted, WRTV launched a 7 PM newscast, a 1st for the Indianapolis market (& the 2nd in Indiana). Station VP & GM Don Lundy attributes the decision to "longer commutes & longer work days" that prevent viewers from being home by 5 or 6. 6 News First @ 5, the 1st 5 PM newscast launched in 1988 remains @ 5 PM. The syndicated EXTRA airs @ 5:30 followed by 6 News @ 6, then followed up by ABC World News with Charles Gibson @ 6:30 & the new 6 News @ 7.

NewscastsEdit

WRTV continues to air the entire ABC network schedule, although the station has no weekend morning local newscasts.

On October 12 2008, WRTV-TV became the 3rd station in Indiana (& Indianapolis) to broadcast their newscasts in HD. In the 6 PM weekend newscast, the station unveiled a number of new aspects to their newscasts. Featuring all new graphics, an updated news set, all new opens & rejoins. As well as updated music from the ABC O&O news music package & an updated logo for all newscasts. The new graphics are brighter & much more vibrant. Featuring shades of bright yellow & blue.

ABC in the Terre Haute Market Edit

When WBAK in Terre Haute (now WFXW) left ABC for FOX, WRTV became the default ABC station for the Indiana side of the market. It's viewable in Terre Haute with a rooftop antenna & is carried by all cable systems on the Indiana side of the Terre Haute market. For the Illinois counties in the Terre Haute TV market, many systems offer WICD from Champaign, Illinois or WEHT from Evansville, Indiana.

PersonalitiesEdit

AnchorsEdit

  • Todd Wallace - Weeknights @ 5, 6, 7 & 11
  • Trisha Shepherd - Weeknights @ 5, 6, 7 & 11
  • Grace Trahan - Weekday mornings & noon
  • Dan Spehler - Weekday mornings
  • Erica Flye - Weekend evenings @ 6 & 11

Weather:

  • Kevin Gregory - Weeknights (Chief Meteorologist)
  • Paul Poteet - Weekday mornings & noon
  • Crystal Wicker - Weekend evenings @ 6 & 11
  • Bob McLain
  • Scott Akin

Sports:

  • Dave Furst - Weeknights (Sports Director)
  • Kip Lewis - Weekends
  • Brad Brown

ReportersEdit

  • Jennifer Carmack
  • Norman Cox
  • Tom Davis
  • Rick Hightower
  • Cheryl Jackson
  • Renee Jameson
  • Stacia Matthews
  • Joni Michaels (Good Morning Indiana LiveDrive traffic reporter in SkyCam 6)
  • Ben Morriston
  • Julie Pursley
  • Jack Rinehart
  • Rafael Sanchez
  • Tanya Spencer
  • Derrik Thomas

Notable WRTV AlumniEdit

  • Ken Beckley (former news anchor, recently retired as VP of Advertising for the H. H. Gregg appliance store chain)
  • Barbara Boyd (longtime consumer reporter)
  • Phil Bremen (former weekend anchor, currently Telecommunications Professor @ Ball State University)
  • Jeremy Brilliant (reporter; now reporter @ WTHR)
  • Cullen Browder (reporter/anchor 1996-1998; now @ WRAL-TV in Raleigh, NC)
  • Angela Cain (weekend anchor in the late 80s/early 90s; now Community Affairs Director @ WTHR)
  • Howard Caldwell (anchor for many years, now retired)
  • Tom Carnegie (longtime Sports Director & public address announcer @ the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; retired in 1985)
  • Ray Cortopassi (anchor until 2007; reporter until 2008; now @ competitor WTHR)
  • Bill Crawford (former weatherman, died in 1964)
  • Chris Denari (former sports reporter; now Indiana Pacers play-by-play announcer for FSN Indiana)
  • Gerry Dick (reporter, now host of Inside Indiana Business)
  • Reid Duffy (feature reporter, critic & pundit; now correspondent for "Across Indiana" on WFYI)
  • Paul Emmick (weekend meteorologist; now evening meteorologist @ WDRB in Louisville)
  • Dave Erickson - Weekend Anchor/Reporter (Currently Main Anchor @ KXLY-TV in Spokane, WA)
  • Frances Farmer (former actress, hosted Frances Farmer Presents afternoon movie show; died in 1970)
  • Gilbert Forbes (1st news anchor; died in 1961)
  • Hal Fryar (aka "Harlow Hickenlooper"; host of the Three Stooges show, now with a Senior Relations firm in Indianapolis)
  • Don Baker Director of News, now teaches broadcasting @ Columbus East High School
  • Bob Gamble (longtime news director/editorial commentator; retired in 1986)
  • Jim Gerard (midday talk show host, now retired)
  • Brian Hammons (sports anchor, now @ The Golf Channel)
  • Scott Hoke (former sports anchor; currently @ WFYI-FM 90.1 & TV 20)
  • Shane Hollett (meteorologist/reporter; now Associate Director of the National College Access Network)
  • Tracey Horth (reporter/anchor, now with the Domestic Violence Network of Greater Indianapolis)
  • Durward Kirby (sidekick of Garry Moore & Allen Funt)
  • Karen Layton (investigative reporter)
  • Clyde Lee (anchor 1976-2001, now married to former co-anchor Diane Willis)
  • Barbara Lewis (anchor from the late 1980s to mid 1990's, now health reporter for Inside Indiana Business)
  • Dave McGhee (former reporter/assignment editor; died 7-23-07)
  • Mindy Mintz (reporter; currently with Maryland Public Television)
  • Marilyn Mitzel (reporter; now Adjunct Professor @ Florida International University)
  • Gerald "Curley" Myers (personality/performer; still performs with Hal Fryar, among others, on occasion)
  • Dan O'Rourke (anchor/reporter, 1976-1979; video & film producer/director, Twin Lion Communications Houston)
  • Jim Parsons (reporter, now @ WTAE in Pittsburgh)
  • Joe Pickett (former booth announcer & personality, now retired)
  • Dave Piontek (former NBA star later sports anchor, died in 2004)
  • Phil Ponce (reporter, now @ WTTW in Chicago)
  • Rob Powers (sports reporter; now Sports Director @ WTVG in Toledo)
  • Jake Query (sports intern; now @ WIBC radio)
  • Vytas Reid (Meteorologist, now @ WBFF in Baltimore)
  • Craig Roberts (1970s sports anchor, a popular sportscaster in Houston for decades; now host of Sports Off Center @ KTBU-TV)
  • Karen Rowe (Anchor/Reporter, Good Morning Indiana, 1995-1997)
  • Rick Sallinger (reporter, now @ KCNC in Denver)
  • Lou Sherman (booth announcer/personality; died in 1998)
  • Ed Sorenson (Former Sportscaster, Current status unknown)
  • Hendrik Sybrandy (reporter, now @ KMGH in Denver)
  • Greg Todd (weekend anchor 1980-1994, now Managing Editor @ XETV in San Diego, CA)
  • John Totten (former sports anchor, deceased)
  • Brian Trauring (reporter; now News Director @ WTVG in Toledo)
  • Jerry Vance (aka Captain Starr, co-star of local children's show "All Hands On Deck"; died in 1975)
  • Judy Waugh (public affairs director)
  • Martha Weaver (main anchor 1995-2007; moved home to Minnesota with her husband & their daughter)
  • Eric Weisfeld (morning anchor; now morning anchor @ WZVN in Fort Myers, FL)
  • Diane Willis (anchor 1987-2001, now married to former co-anchor Clyde Lee)
  • Scott Edwards (aka Scott Lawler (on Facebook)) Carmel,IN

TriviaEdit

  • One of WRTV's former news staff was Emily Gimmel. Gimmel was the youngest of news reporters @ WRTV @ the age of 22.
  • Dan O'Rourke, after news internship became WRTV's youngest reporter @ age 21 & youngest anchor @ 22.
  • Kevin Gregory (the chief meteorologist) is the son of former WTHR chief meteorologist Bob Gregory.
  • Bob McLain, who still appears occasionally, was the station's primary meteorologist from 1972-2001; he covered the Super Outbreak of 1974 & the Great Blizzard of 1978.
  • In 1993, local video of hockey game & the station logo is used in the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
  • Hal Fryar (aka "Harlow Hickenlooper") was 1 of 9 local Three Stooges show hosts from across the country cast as villains in the Three Stooges full-length feature "The Outlaws Are Coming! The Outlaws Are Coming!"
  • Bill Crawford, weatherman during the 1950s & early 1960s, was really a dentist by profession. Meteorology was only his hobby.
  • 1 of the station's newest projects is a hilarious online series of videos called "Off the Cuff" featuring their meteorologist Paul Poteet & traffic reporter Tom Davis. The shows features random comedic antics from Paul & Tom & other players such as Morning News Anchor Grace Trahan & Director Betty Barista.
  • Harlow Hickenlooper's famous rendition of "Happy Birthday", which always resulted in his getting a pie in the face, was patterned after Jerry Colonna who always exaggerated certain songs. It can be heard on Hal Fryar's website www.harlowhickenlooper.com.

External linksEdit

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