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WBKI thecwlouisville.png
Campbellsville / Louisville, Kentucky
Branding The CW Louisville
WHAS 11 News
Slogan Where YOU Wanna Be!
Channels Digital: 19 (UHF)
Subchannels 34.1 The CW
Translators WBKI-CA 28 (UHF)
Owner Fusion Communications
(Louisville TV Licenses, LLC)
First air date July 27, 1983
Call letters’ meaning WB KentuckIana
(referring to former affiliation and region station serves)
Former callsigns WGRB (1983-1999)
WWWB (1999-2000)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
34 (UHF, 1983-2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1983-1990)
FOX (1990-1999)
The WB (1999-2006)
Transmitter Power 1,000 kW
Height 341 m
Facility ID 25173
Transmitter Coordinates 37°31′51″N 85°26′45″W / 37.53083°N 85.44583°W / 37.53083; -85.44583

WBKI-TV is the CW-affiliated television station for Louisville, Kentucky that is licensed to Campbellsville. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 19 from a transmitter southwest of Raywick. It is owned by Fusion Communications. Its studios are located on Alliant Avenue in Louisville along I-64. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Oprah, TMZ on TV, The Insider, and The People's Court. Due to WBKI's marginal signal in most of the Louisville area (see below), it also operates a Class A repeater, WBKI-CA channel 28, and a low-powered digital repeater WBKI-LD channel 34. Both signals broadcast from a transmitter north of Floyds Knobs, Indiana.



When the station first signed-on July 27, 1983, it had the call sign WGRB and was a much smaller independent station serving a small rural area. It became a FOX affiliate in 1990 serving areas on the far southern fringe of the Louisville market that could not get a good signal from WDRB. In April 2000, the station shifted its focus towards Louisville by relocating to a taller transmission tower closer to the city and upgrading its signal to the maximum power allowed, five million watts. Shortly before the move, WGRB became Louisville's WB affiliate taking over from religious WBNA-TV. Along with the new affiliation came new calls WWWB (likely in tribute to the dubba-dubba-WB! jingle the network utilized at the time). In September 2000, the call sign changed again this time to the current WBKI-TV.

On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would end broadcasting and merge. The new combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of its corporate parents, CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. On March 1, the Cascade Broadcasting Group (then the owner of WBKI) announced it would affiliate with The CW which debuted on September 18. [1]

In February 2007, Cascade took over operation of W24BW (also known as WYCS) with an option to buy. The station's former owners put it up for sale at an auction, which was won by Fusion Communications. The transaction cleared the FCC and the new ownership became effective in August, 2009. Fusion plans to move WBKI's operations to the Kaden Tower in Louisville.[2]


WBKI's logo as "Louisville's WB".

WBKI's transmitter is located 60 miles south of downtown Louisville. This is necessary so it can stay near enough to its city of license, Campbellsville, to provide it city grade coverage. As a result, the station's main transmitter only provides "rimshot" coverage of Louisville itself, despite its power and height. It is all but unviewable over-the-air in much of the Indiana side of the market even in digital. To make up for this shortfall in coverage, WBKI set up a Class A repeater at the Kentuckiana tower farm northeast of Floyds Knobs shortly after getting the WB affiliation.

WBKI was the first Louisville-market station to go all-digital. Before Cascade was forced into bankruptcy, it had requested to move WBKI's city of license to Bardstown, which would have presumably allowed it to build a new tower closer to Louisville and shut down WBKI-CA. However, at present the station plans to keep its license in Campbellsville and upgrade WBKI-CA to digital as well (although the FCC provides LPTV stations an additional two years past the original digital transition deadline in which to switch to digital).

Due to its transmitter location roughly halfway between Louisville and Lexington (as well as its power and height), WBKI claims the largest coverage area of any station in Kentucky. The station provides at least secondary coverage (Grade B signal or better) from the Tennessee border to southern Indiana. This area includes portions of the Bowling Green and Lexington television markets. Consequently, WBKI maintained solid coverage on most cable systems in these areas for most of its tenure with The WB. For all intents and purposes, it was that network's Lexington affiliate as well, and sent a separate signal to the primary Lexington cable systems with separate identifications. WBKI is available in Louisville on Insight channel 7. With the launch of The CW, WBKI was dropped from most cable systems in the Bowling Green and Lexington areas since that network airs on subcarriers of WBKO and WKYT-TV respectively. WBKI can still be seen over-the-air in much of the Lexington area and on about twenty other cable systems in Central Kentucky. It is also available on cable in three counties in Tennessee.


WBKIair the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekday mornings from 7 to 9. There is also a weekday morning entertainment and lifestyle show called Louisville Live This Morning that airs for an hour at 10 and live on their website. Weeknights at 5:30 a show entitled The CW World Report, produced by Fusion Communications from studios in Davenport, Iowa, focuses on national news. ABC affiliate WHAS-TV produces a nightly 10 o'clock newscast on WBKI. This competes with a broadcast that airs on Fox affiliate WDRB.

The Daily Buzz
(Weekday Mornings 7 to 9)

  • Anchors:
    • Andy Campbell
    • Andrea Jackson
  • News Updates:
    • Kia Malone
  • Weather:

Louisville Live This Morning
(Weekday Mornings 10 to 11)

  • Hosts:
    • Craig Hoffman
    • Julie Smith

The CW World Report
(Weeknights 5:30 - 6:00P.M.)

  • Anchor:
    • Nathan O'Leary
    • Melissa Scott

WBKI News at 10
(10:00 to 10:30 P.M.) Weeknights

  • Anchor: Doug Proffitt
  • Weather: Monty Webb
  • Sports: Kyle Draper


  • Anchor: Joe Arnold
  • Weather: Ben Pine
  • Sports: Danielle Santoro

WBKI features additional news personnel from WHAS and WBKI. See that article for a complete listing.



External links


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