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WTVJ

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WTVJ
Miami / Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Branding NBC 6 (general)
NBC 6 News (newscasts)
Slogan South Florida's News Leader
Channels Analog: 6 (VHF)

Digital: 31 (UHF)

Translators W44AC 44 Key West
W58BU 58 Hallandale
Affiliations NBC (secondary 1949-56; primary 1989-present)
NBC Wx+ (on DT2)
Owner NBC Universal
(sale to Post-Newsweek Stations pending approval)
Licensee NBC Telemundo License Company
First air date March 21, 1949
Call letters' meaning randomly assigned by the FCC
Sister stations(s) WSCV
Former channel number(s) 4 (1949-1995)
Former Affiliations CBS (full-time 1949-1989)
ABC (secondary 1949-1957)
DuMont (secondary 1949-1956)
Transmitter Power 100 kW (analog)
1,000 kW (DT)
Height 549 m (analog)
311 m (DT)
Facility ID 63154
Website NBC 6 News' Website

WTVJ, ch. 6, is the NBC O&O TV station for South Florida that is licensed to Miami. It's analog transmitter is located in Redland. The station's DT transmitter is located near Dolphin Stadium in north Miami-Dade County. Owned by NBC Universal, the station is sister to South Florida's Telemundo O&O station, WSCV. The 2 share studios @ Peacock Plaza in Miramar. Syndicated programming on WTVJ includes: Access Hollywood, Extra, Ellen & Merv Griffin's Crosswords. Because the audio signal of ch. 6 is located @ 87.75 MHz, it's audio signal can be heard on 87.7 MHz on the FM dial in most parts of South Florida. This frequency assignment applies to all ch. 6 TV stations in countries using the NTSC-M standard. During the year, WTVJ promotes the use of 87.7 MHz for those listening in their automobiles. During hurricane season, the station promotes 87.7 FM as an additional way to follow the station's hurricane coverage. After the analog to DT switch on February 17 2009, this will no longer be possible.

RepeatersEdit

In addition to it's main signals, WTVJ is also carried on 2 repeaters. W58BU channel 58 is necessary because of WTVJ's transmitter location in Redland which is 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Miami. This location is farther south than other Miami TV stations. As a result, Fort Lauderdale & the rest of Broward County receives a Grade B signal. At 1 point, WTVJ was carried by a 3rd translator, W52BB ch. 52, in Big Pine Key. However, there are no longer any FCC records of this station.

Call Letters Channel City of License Transmitter Location Licensee
W44AC 44 Key West center of town Miranda Broadcasting Company of Key West, LLC
W58BU 58 Hallandale Pembroke Park NBC Universal

DTVEdit

WTVJ's DT signal, which has been operating at a maximum legal power of 1,000 kW since it's sign-on in July of 2003, is multiplexed. On or before February 17 2009, WTVJ will shut down ch. 6 & continue broadcasting on ch. 31 to complete it's analog to DT conversion using PSIP to display the station's virtual ch. as "6".

Virtual
Channel
Physical
RF Channel
Video Aspect Programming
6.1 31.1 1080i 16:9 main WTVJ programming / NBC HD
6.2 31.2 480i 4:3 NBC Wx+*
  • NBC announced on October 7, 2008 that NBC Wx+ would be phased out by the end of the year, after the NBC affiliates expressed a desire to shut the service down. According to NBC, Wx+ will begin it's phase-out late November & NBC affiliates will drop the "Weather Plus" name from their weather reports, with it's closure date set for December 1, 2008.

HistoryEdit

WTVJ went on the air @ Noon on March 21, 1949. It was Florida's 1st TV station & the 16th in the country. Originally broadcasting on ch. 4, WTVJ was owned by Wometco Enterprises, a national movie theater chain headquartered in Miami. The original studios were located in the former Capitol Theater in Downtown Miami, which was Wometco's 1st theater when the company was founded in 1926. The station carried programming from all 4 major networks but was a primary CBS affiliate. WTVJ was the only commercial station in Miami until December 24 1954, when WFTL-TV signed on from Ft. Lauderdale as an NBC affiliate. However, WFTL had no success whatsoever against WTVJ, in part because TV sets were not required to have UHF tuning. NBC continued to allow WTVJ to cherry-pick NBC programming until WCKT (now WSVN) signed on in 1956 & WFTL went dark. (By this time, WFTL had been purchased by Storer Broadcasting & changed it's call letters to WGBS-TV in honor of George B. Storer, the President of Storer Broadcasting. Storer owned the station as an independent until it went dark sometime in 1956. The frequency which was used by WFTL-TV/WGBS-TV is now occupied by WLTV, whose only common tie to the earlier station is the fact that it was launched by the same company that took the earlier station off the air years before.) It continued to share ABC with WCKT until 1957 when WPST (now WPLG) signed on. It also doubled as the CBS affiliate for West Palm Beach until WTVX (now a CW affiliate) signed on in 1966. WTVJ served as the producing station for CBS's Jackie Gleason Show after the comedian moved the program from New York City to Miami Beach in 1964.

Soon after WTVJ signed on, it hired Ralph Renick, who had just graduated from the University of Miami, as it's 1st anchorman & News Director. Renick would be the face of WTVJ for nearly 36 years best known for his catchphrase @ the end of every newscast, "Good night & may the good news be yours". At the same time, the station also hired Bernie Rosen & Bob Weaver. 1 of the nation's 1st ever TV news meteorologists, Weaver reported weather for the station for more than 5 decades. Rosen, who went on to run the station's award winning sports department for more than 3 decades, is the only remaining original employee still working @ the station. He just began his 60th consecutive year @ WTVJ. On February 6th 2008, Rosen was presented with the prestigious Golden Circle Award from the National Academy of TV Arts & Sciences. The Academy honored Rosen for his more than 50 years of service to the South Florida TV community. Many of South Florida's veteran TV personalities have received the 'Silver Circle' Award, honoring them for 25 years in the business. But the 'Golden Circle' Award has been given only once before in South Florida. In 2004, it went to the late Bob Weaver, also a lifelong WTVJ employee.

Wometco founder & president Mitchell Wolfson died in 1983 & a long-rumored secret plan to run the company after his death was never found. Remaining Wolfson heirs had no desire to keep the company in the family & it quickly unraveled, making it a ripe takeover target. Investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. took over Wometco in 1984 in a deal worth 1 billion dollars, the largest corporate buyout ever to that date. In 1985, the FCC raised the TV station ownership limit from 7 VHF stations & any number of UHF stations to 12 stations regardless of frequency. KKR sold most of Wometco's entertainment assets to Wometco chief operating officer Arthur Hertz in 1985. With the cash from this sale, KKR bought Storer Broadcasting. It bought the stations because values were rising rapidly and the goal was to sell the stations in a few years.

In 1986, KKR opted to sell WTVJ & the Storer stations to separate owners. It had plans to sell WTVJ for a record price of close to half a billion dollars, although the station was actually worth far less. CBS saw a chance to get an O&O TV station in the fast-growing Miami market. However, it lost a bidding war to TV syndication firm Telepictures (now part of Warner Bros. Television). CBS then suggested that it intended to purchase WCIX (now WFOR-TV), South Florida's FOX affiliate owned by Taft Broadcasting of Cincinnati. Such a deal would have made WTVJ the area's FOX affiliate. Although CBS only made a half-hearted bid for WCIX, Telepictures realized that the value of it's purchase would be significantly depreciated with the loss of CBS. Also, while it was a major force in TV syndication in it's own right, Telepictures did not anticipate having to buy an additional 15 hours per day of programming (FOX had just debuted & would not air a full week's worth of programming for 7 years). It walked away from the deal later in 1986 & sold off it's only other TV station, WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, to Renaissance Broadcasting.

Over the next few months, the only offers for WTVJ came from companies that owned large groups of independent stations, such as Tribune Broadcasting, Pappas Telecasting Companies & Chris-Craft Industries / United Television. These & other companies wanted to make WTVJ an independent station, or a FOX affiliate, for a price far lower than KKR's asking price. The only way that KKR could make such a large profit was to sell WTVJ to another network, as the only potential buyers who had no interest in keeping CBS while paying the asking price were ABC & NBC. A major network had never bought a station affiliated with another network. CBS did not believe that KKR would sell WTVJ to another network, so it returned with a very low offer. KKR turned the CBS offer down almost out of hand & then approached the other networks. ABC was not interested, since it was more than satisfied with it's longtime affiliate, WPLG. However, NBC was very interested because it's longtime affiliate, WSVN, pre-empted whatever shows NBC aired weekdays from 10 AM-Noon, as well as an occasional primetime show. NBC was far less tolerant of pre-emptions than CBS & ABC & was particularly annoyed @ losing valuable advertising in such a fast-growing market. NBC realized that buying it's own station with less restrictive ownership laws would guarantee that all of it's shows would air. Hence, it made an offer almost as high as Telepictures did a few months before & in 1987, KKR agreed to sellIX intellectual unit moved to ch. 4, but changed it's call letters to WFOR-TV. Even though the FCC wanted WTVJ to NBC, giving Florida it's first O&O TV station.

NBC assumed control of WTVJ in mid-September of 1987. However, both WTVJ's & WSVN's existing affiliation contracts lasted until December 31, 1988. As a result, NBC faced the prospect of having to run WTVJ as a CBS affiliate for over a year. This did not sit well with NBC & CBS & both approached WSVN's owner, Ed Ansin, (Sunbeam TV) about ending his station's NBC affiliation early. However, Ansin refused because he wanted to air NBC's strong lineup that year, which included the Summer Olympics, the MLB World Series, along with the many hit shows airing on NBC @ that time. He also wanted to take the CBS affiliation @ the beginning of 1989. NBC did strip nearly all CBS branding from the station & began showing any NBC programming pre-empted by WSVN, thus pre-empting some CBS shows on WTVJ. Those pre-empted CBS shows aired on WCIX. CBS then formally approached WCIX, despite the fact that it would have provided a much weaker signal to Ft. Lauderdale than that provided by WTVJ or WSVN. WCIX's transmitter was located near Homestead, 20 miles southwest of Downtown Miami. This gave Ft. Lauderdale only a Grade B signal which was weaker than all of the other TV stations in the market. Accordingly, CBS persuaded longtime ABC affiliate WPEC in West Palm Beach to change it's affiliation to CBS, so that it could continue to get a city-grade signal in Broward County. In the spring of 1988, CBS announced that it was purchasing WCIX from the TVX Broadcast Group, who had purchased the station in 1987 as Taft was restructuring to become Great American Broadcasting.

The changeover occurred on January 1, 1989. WTVJ ended it's 40-year affiliation with CBS & became the 3rd station in Miami to carry NBC. CBS moved the rest of it's programming over to WCIX, while WSVN became the new FOX affiliate for South Florida & most of WCIX's syndicated programming went to WDZL (ch. 39, now WSFL-TV). In 1992, when Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida, WTVJ was the only station to give complete coverage of the story non-stop with meteorologist Bryan Norcross. In 1994, Westinghouse & it's broadcasting division Group W, signed a long-term deal with CBS in which the 3 Group W stations not already affiliated with CBS would become CBS affiliates while 2 other stations had already been CBS affiliates. 1 of the stations was Philadelphia's longtime NBC affiliate KYW-TV. CBS decided to sell off it's longtime O&O TV station in that same market, WCAU-TV. This led to a deal in 1995 between CBS & NBC, where CBS sold the ch. 6 facility to NBC as compensation for the loss of KYW & Westinghouse's other NBC affiliate, WBZ-TV in Boston. In return, CBS received the stronger ch. 4 facility and cash as compensation for the loss of WCAU. (KCNC in Denver & KUTV in Salt Lake City were also spun to CBS in this deal, causing NBC to find new homes in both markets on KUSA-TV & KSL-TV respectively.)

On September 12 1995, WTVJ & WCIX swapped dial positions. WTVJ's entire intellectual unit (calls, shows, NBC network & staff) moved from ch. 4 to ch. 6. However, it's studios remained the same. The entire FCC records list ch. 6 as changing it's calls from WCIX to WTVJ on September 12, the stations themselves did not change hands, only the transmitting facilities. This was the result of the 2 stations being required to swap licenses in addition to the transmitting facilities. This move led to WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach picking up NBC market share in Broward County from WTVJ, as WTVJ's transmitter was near the Broward-Dade border before the move & in South Dade after the move. WPTV's signal in Ft. Lauderale is actually closer to city-grade than WTVJ's (though still Grade B). Most of WTVJ's archive from 1949-2004 (as well as other Florida TV stations) are stored @ the Lynn & Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives in downtown Miami. On March 19 2008, NBC Universal announced that it was putting WTVJ on the market for an estimated $350 million dollars. On March 21 2008, WTVJ celebrated it's 59th anniversary & began it's 60th year of continuous broadcasting.

On July 18, long-time WTVJ anchor Bob Mayer made the official announcement live on the station's mid-day talk show (South Florida Today) that the station was being sold to Post-Newsweek (see external link below). If approved by the FCC, the purchase would create a duopoly between WTVJ & WPLG (currently owned by Post-Newsweek). An FCC rule allows the purchase of a station in the same market if "at least 1 of the stations in the combination is not ranked among the top 4 stations in terms of audience share". As of May 2008 ratings period, WTVJ ranks 6th overall in total-day Nielsen ratings & WPLG rated #1 which allows the possibility of a purchase. A TV Newsday published report indicates that in a July 25 FCC filing, Post-Newsweek bought WTVJ for $205 million dollars. Industry experts had estimated the station would bring in up to $350 million. However, the sale did not include real estate. In this deal, WTVJ will move operations to the new WPLG studios on Hallandale Beach Boulevard in Pembroke Park. Post-Newsweek bought all the new HD production equipment that was recently installed in the Miramar sudios (including WSCV). A formal petition has been filed with the FCC against the proposed sale. On October 6, the Federal Trade Commission cleared the sale of WTVJ to Post-Newsweek.

News operationEdit

In 1997, WTVJ & the Sun-Sentinel began co-producing a nightly 10 PM newscast on WB affiliate WDZL known as WB 39 News @ 10. The WB station became a CW affiliate on September 18, 2006. They changed their call letters to WSFL & the newscast title changed to CW News @ 10. The newscast was broadcasted from a secondary set @ WTVJ's studios & was a similar operation to other Tribune-outsourced newscasts that are seen on KRCW-TV & WPHL-TV. Tribune did not renew the partnership because of the pending sale of WTVJ to newspaper competitor Post-Newsweek. The final WSFL newscast aired on August 31, 2008. On September 10 2007, (in hopes of catching a new audience) WTVJ launched the market's 1st weeknight 7 PM news. All of the station's local newscasts can be watched via live streaming video on it's website. On March 5 2008, WTVJ began broadcasting it's local news in HD. It's the only TV station in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale market to have made the upgrade. WTVJ does not air news @ Noon during the week. Instead, it airs an 11 AM edition of it's morning news. There is, however, a webcast @ Noon that features the top stories of the day & an updated weather forecast. Additionally, WTVJ no longer airs a newscast @ 5 PM opting to show The Ellen DeGeneres Show instead. During weather segments, WTVJ uses 2 weather radar systems, "Weather Plus TITAN Radar" & "Weather Plus VIPIR Radar". The station offers NBC Wx+ on it's 2nd DT subchannel & Comcast digital cable ch. 216.

Newscast titlesEdit

  • Televiews of the News (1949-1951, 6:15 PM)
  • The Ralph Renick Report (1953-1984, 6 PM news)
  • News 4 With Ralph Renick (1984-1985, 6 PM news)
  • Newsnight with Dick Bate (1965-1967, 11 PM news)
  • Twenty-Four Hours (1967-1969, 11 PM news)
  • The Prescott Robinson Report (1969-1973, 11 PM news)
  • News at Noon with Del Frank (1965-1985)
  • Channel 4 News (mid 1970s-early 1980s)
  • News Weekend With Bob Mayer (1974-1982, 6 & 11 PM news)
  • The World Tonight With Jim Brosemer (1973-1983, 11 PM news)
  • News 4 (1983-1989), (WFOR-TV returned title as News 4 South Florida)
  • Channel 4 News (1989-1995, shortened to "4 News" in graphics)
  • Live @ 11 (1992, used for AM news, talk & interviews)
  • Channel 6 News (1995-1997, used when the station moved to ch. 6)
  • NBC 6 News (1997-present)
  • Today in South Florida (1989-present)
  • South Florida Today (11 AM, 2004-Present)
  • South Florida Nightly News (7 PM news, 2007-present)
  • South Florida Tonight (11 PM news, 2006-present)

News teamEdit

Anchors

  • Pam Giganti - weekday mornings
  • Bob Mayer - weekday mornings & 11 AM
    • weekday Noon webcast
  • Kelly Craig - weekdays @ 11 AM
  • Tony Segreto - weeknights @ 6 & "The Spirit of South Florida" segment producer
  • Julia Yarbough - weeknights @ 6 & 11 PM
  • Jackie Nespral - weeknights @ 7 & 11 PM
  • Joel Connable - weeknights @ 7 PM & consumer reporter
  • Sharon Lawson - weekend mornings/weekday reporter
  • Amara Sohn - weekend evenings/weekday reporter

NBC 6 Wx+ Meteorologists

  • Paul Deanno (AMS & NWA Seals of Approval) - Chief seen weeknights
  • Ryan Phillips (AMS & NWA Seals of Approval) - weekday mornings & weekday Noon webcast
  • Trina Robinson - weekdays @ 11 AM
    • fill-in & reporter
  • Jennifer Gray (AMS Seal of Approval) - weekend mornings
  • John Gerard (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - weekend evenings

Sports

  • Joe Rose - weeknights at 6, 7 & 11
    • host of Sunday Sports Final & heard on WQAM-AM 560
  • Andrea Brody - sports reporter & fill in sports anchor
  • Adam Kuperstein - weekend evenings
    • host of Fins TV & appears on Sunday Sports Final

Reporters

  • Patricia Andreu - environmental & "Going Green" segment producer
  • Evan Bacon- freelance reporter
  • Nick Bogert - political and judicial
  • Jeff Burnside - special projects
  • Claudia Decampo- freelance reporter
  • Willard Shepard - investigative & fill-in anchor
  • Diana Gonzalez - health
  • Victoria Langley - freelance journalist based in Tallahassee
  • Tisha Lewis - weeknights
  • Tom Llamas - evenings
  • Ian Wood - on-air & website
  • Steve Litz - mornings
  • Roxanne Vargas - weekday morning traffic
  • Sharon Lawson
  • Gray Hall
  • Ari Odzer
  • Amara Sohn
  • Hank Tester

Station alumniEdit

  • Katie Couric - now anchoring the CBS Evening News
  • David Bloom - born 1963 / died March, 2003 covering start of Iraq war
    • former journalist for NBC News
  • Fred Francis - retired from NBC News in Nov 2004
  • Ralph Renick - (d. July 11, 1991), (1949 - 1985)
  • Bob Weaver - (1949-2003)
  • Roy Firestone - anchor, sports reporter - now @ HD Net
  • Larry King - now @ CNN
  • Nancy O'Dell - now @ Access Hollywood
  • Jerry Penacoli - now @ Extra
  • Rick Sanchez - now @ CNN
  • Michelle Kosinski - now @ NBC News
  • Bryan Norcross - moved to WFOR-TV & CBS News, now retired, (1990-1996)
  • Charlie Van Dyke - now a radio announcer
  • Chris Myers - now a FOX Sports sportscaster
  • Lonnie Quinn - now a weekday meteorologist @ WCBS-TV & on Saturday Early Show
  • Jim Brosemer - (1973-1988)
  • Jim Dyer
  • Ike Seamans - retired from WTVJ in 2007
  • Gordon Stevens
  • Robin Cole (Robin Swoboda) - now @ WJW
  • Susan Lichtman Taylor - now @ KNSD-TV, (1986-1992)
  • Karen Curtis - moved to WCBS-TV as helicopter reporter, has since departed from station
  • Beverly White - now @ KNBC-TV
  • Martha Sugalski - now @ WESH-TV
  • Guy Rawlings - now Sports Director @ WESH-TV
  • John Guaraldi - now @ WPLG-TV
  • Tom Randles - now @ WSMV-TV, (1990 - 1992)
  • Marti Skold - now @ KTVX
  • Michael Williams - now @ WFOR-TV
  • Alycia Lane - former weekend anchor & reporter
    • later 6 & 11 PM co-anchor @ KYW-TV in Philadelphia
  • Danielle Knox - moved to WFOR-TV, now runs her own body care company & anchors @ WGCL-TV in Atlanta
  • Ileana Varela - moved to WFOR-TV as weekend anchor & reporter from 1989-2008
  • Alicia Ortega
  • Teresa Rodriguez - now @ Univision
  • Gerri Helfman
  • Karen Kelly
  • Roland Steadham - now @ KUTV
  • John Hambrick - Retired to Texas - doing commercials & movies (1985-1990)
  • Jennifer Valoppi
  • Carlos Vegara - now @ KSBW in Salinas, CA
  • Hetal Gandhi
  • Scott Zamost - now an investigative producer @ CNN
  • DeMarco Morgan - now weekend anchor @ WNBC

External linksEdit

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