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Bowling Green, Kentucky
Branding WBKO 13
South Central
Kentucky CW (on DT3)
Slogan When You Need To Know
Channel Digital: 13 (VHF)
Subchannels 13.1 ABC
13.2 FOX
13.3 The CW
Affiliations Jewelry Television (overnight on DT2)
Owner Gray Television
(Gray Television Licensee, Inc.)
First air date June 3, 1962
Callsign meaning We're Bowling Green,
Kentucky's Own
Former callsigns WLTV (1962-1971)
Former channels Analog:
13 (VHF: 1962-2009)
33 (UHF: 2000-2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1962-1967)
Effective power 22 kW
Height 220.5 m
Facility ID 4692
Antenna coordinates 37°3′49.4″N 86°26′6.7″W / 37.063722°N 86.435194°W / 37.063722; -86.435194

WBKO is the ABC-affiliated television station for South Central Kentucky that is licensed to Bowling Green. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 13 from a transmitter north of the city near the intersection of KY 185 and KY 526. Owned by Gray Television, the station has studios on Russellville Road (a.k.a. U.S. 68 and KY 80) in Bowling Green. Syndicated programming on WBKO includes: Wheel of Fortune, Oprah and Ellen. The station operates the area's FOX affiliate on its second digital subchannel. Known on-air as WBKO FOX, it is also offered on Insight channel 8 and in high definition on digital channel 910. Syndicated programming on WBKO-DT2 includes: Everybody Loves Raymond, Two and a Half Men and Frasier. Overnight, it airs Jewelry Television. WBKO also operates the area's CW affiliate on its third digital subchannel. Known on-air as South Central Kentucky CW, it is offered on Insight channel 12. WBKO-DT3 gets all of its programming from The CW Plus.



Digital programming

The station's signal is multiplexed.

Channel Programming
13.1 main WBKO programming / ABC HD
13.3 WBKO-DT3 "South Central Kentucky CW"


The station began broadcasting on June 3, 1962 with the call letters WLTV (standing for Wonderful Live Television). It was an independent station owned by Argus Broadcasting and had studios located in rural Warren County outside Bowling Green proper. On March 6, 1967, WLTV became affiliated with ABC and aired all of its shows. After spending some time off-the-air in late 1969 due to an explosion destroying its transmitter, WLTV changed hands to Professional Telecasting Systems in 1970. The new owner adopted the current WBKO (meaning Bowling Green, Kentucky's Own) call sign and instituted color telecasting for local in-studio programming and newscasts in 1971. Also by this time, the station had moved to studios to downtown Bowling Green. Five years later, a local group known as Bluegrass Media bought WBKO from Professional Telecasting. It remained in their hands until 1983 when broadcaster A. Richard Benedek took over. Under Benedek's management, WBKO built its present studios on Russellville Road in 1985.

In 2000, the station began broadcasting a digital signal on UHF channel 33. In 2002, Benedek sold most of his stations (including WBKO) to current owner Gray Television. Due to its fairly close proximity to Nashville, Tennessee (about 60 miles), WBKO has often competed with that market's ABC affiliate, WKRN, for viewing allegiances. WBKO was one of the few ABC stations nationwide that refused to broadcast NYPD Blue its first season, in 1993. From its startup, WBKO operated the area's cable-only WB affiliate "WBWG" that was known on-air as "WB 12". The call sign was fictional as the station was part of The WB 100+, a group of cable-only WB affiliates that broadcasted in television markets ranked above 100 (the Bowling Green market had a rank of 183). On January 24, 2006, UPN and The WB announced that they would cease 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 September 5, WBKO began to broadcast a Fox affiliate on a new second digital subchannel. This filled a gap created in 2001 when WNKY dropped its Fox affiliation and switched to NBC. The CW launched on September 18 and WBWG became affiliated with The CW via The CW Plus (which is a similar operation to The WB 100+). Also, the station's call letters became WBKO-DT3 officially after becoming available on a new third digital subchannel of WBKO. As a result of the addition of "WBKO Fox", Bowling Green now offers every major network except MyNetworkTV. At some point in time, WNKY has plans to add a new third digital subchannel to broadcast MyNetworkTV. If that network comes to Bowling Green, the city would be able to sustain its own complete television market without relying on other markets for programming. On December 8, 2008, at 1:15 a.m., WBKO shut down its analog transmitter in a flash-cut procedure.[1][2] The station began the process of installing its new digital antenna and other equipment. Originally, its over-the air digital signal was scheduled to move to VHF channel 13 on or immediately after December 22. However, due to inclement weather and the holiday season, the construction took longer with eight more days of construction resuming on January 3, 2009.[3] Due to the installation of the equipment at the transmitter site, the digital signal (on UHF channel 33) was off-the-air during daytime hours.[4] Until the completion of the over-the-air transition, WBKO was seen non-stop on several cable systems.


WBKO's weeknight 6 o'clock news open

The station's first newscasts were branded as Channel 13 News Report and began airing in 1963. In 1973, they became known as NewsCenter 13. Most recently, the newscasts were re-branded to WBKO 13 News. Currently, it airs the only full-length news in the Bowling Green market as dual NBC / CBS affiliate WNKY shows only brief weather updates. WBKO does not air newscasts in the early evening on weekends or weekday mornings at 5. WBKO-DT2 began broadcasting WBKO Fox News at 9 on October 21, 2007. Reporter Sarah Goebel briefly anchored the show until early-2008 when she was promoted to WBKO's weeknight broadcasts. Daniel Kemp anchored the show through early-June until moving to weekend anchor on the main channel. Julie Talley anchored for a short time in mid-2008 then reporter and internet producer Sam Provenzano anchored the show until its end. The show was canceled on November 28, 2008, due to financial issues. WBKO-DT2 continues to rebroadcast Midday Live at Noon. Like all CW plus affiliates in the Central Time Zone, WBKO-DT3 airs the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekdays from 5 to 8 am. WBKO operates its own weather radar, known as "First Alert Live Doppler", at its studios that is South Central Kentucky's only live doppler radar.

Current personalities


  • Lauren Hansen - Assignment Manager seen weekday mornings
  • Laura Rogers - weekday mornings and 11 a.m.
  • Darla Oglesby - weekdays at 11 a.m. and producer
  • Gene Birk - Managing Editor seen weeknights
  • Sarah Goebel - weeknights and reporter
  • Daniel Kemp - weekends and weeknight 6 o'clock reporter
  • Lacey Steele - weekends and reporter

First Alert Storm Team Meteorologists

  • Chris Allen (NWA Seal of Approval) - Director seen weekday mornings and 11 a.m.
  • Shane Holinde (NWA Seal of Approval) - weeknights
  • Jason Berry - weekends


  • James Brandenburg - Director seen weeknights at 6 and 10 p.m.
  • Jeff Woods - weekends and editor


  • Kirk Butts - website and producer
  • Ryan Dearbone
  • Forrest Sanders

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • Channel 13 News Report (1963–1973)
  • NewsCenter 13 (1973-2003)
  • WBKO 13 News (2003-present)

Station Slogans

  • Sharing Kentucky Pride (1980s-1990s)
  • Your Hometown News Leader (2003–2007)
  • When You Need To Know (2007–present)
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  1. ^ WBKO Shuts Down Analog Signal WBKO. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  2. ^ FCC Database Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  3. ^ Digital Transition WBKO. Retrieved on December 19, 2008.
  4. ^ Important Digital Changeover Information WBKO. Retrieved on December 9, 2008.

External links


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