WCMH-TV: Wikis


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Columbus, Ohio
Branding NBC 4
Slogan Where Accuracy Matters
Channels Digital: 14 (UHF)
Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
Subchannels 4.1 NBC
4.2 RTN
Affiliations NBC
Owner Media General
(Media General Communications Holdings, LLC)
First air date April 3, 1949
Call letters’ meaning Columbus

(CMH = Columbus's IATA airport code)
Former callsigns WLWC (1949-1976)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
3 (VHF, 1949-1952)
4 (VHF, 1952-2009)
Transmitter Power 902 kW
Height 264 m
Facility ID 50781
Transmitter Coordinates 39°58′15.5″N 83°1′39.2″W / 39.970972°N 83.027556°W / 39.970972; -83.027556
Website www.nbc4i.com

WCMH-TV, channel 4, is a television station in Columbus, Ohio, affiliated with the NBC television network and owned by Media General. The station's studio and transmitter are located in Columbus. The network currently broadcasts partly from their station in downtown Columbus. The stations is located at the corner of High and Broad street and is called "NBC 4 on the Square". The studio includes a large window behind the anchor desk that allows the camera to capture the activity of the Downtown workday.[1] They also broadcast from their studio near the Ohio State University.



Columbus' first television station began operations on April 3, 1949 as WLWC on channel 3. The station's original owner was the Cincinnati-based Crosley Broadcasting Corporation, a division of the Avco Company. Crosley also owned WLW radio and WLWT television in Cincinnati, as well as WLWD television (now WDTN) in Dayton. Together these stations comprised the "WLW Network", and they emphasized their connection to each other within their on-air branding: the Columbus station was known as WLW-C.

Like all of the WLW television stations in Ohio, WLWC was an NBC affiliate, though it carried some programming from the DuMont network until WTVN-TV (now WSYX) took the DuMont affiliation when that station launched in August 1949. In 1952, following the release of the FCC's Sixth Report and Order, a VHF frequency realignment forced WLWC to move channel 4, trading channels with NBC-owned WNBK (now WKYC-TV) in Cleveland.

The Crosley TV station group, which would later grow to include WLWI (now WTHR) in Indianapolis, WOAI-TV in San Antonio, and WLWA (now WXIA-TV) in Atlanta, adopted the Avco name during the middle 1960s. Along with NBC programming, the Crosley/Avco stations in Ohio and Indianapolis also aired common programming, including The Paul Dixon Show, Midwestern Hayride, The Ruth Lyons 50-50 Club (later to become The Bob Braun Show), The Phil Donahue Show, and telecasts of Cincinnati Reds baseball.

In 1970, the common ownership of WLWC, WLWT, and WLWD, was given protection through a "grandfather clause" from a new FCC rule which prohibited media companies from owning two or more television stations with overlapping signals. In 1975, Avco announced the sale of its broadcasting outlets, and WLWC was sold in April 1976 to the Providence, Rhode Island-based Outlet Company, who changed the station's call letters to the current WCMH-TV.

Outlet sold its broadcast interests to NBC in 1996, and channel 4 was converted into an NBC owned-and-operated station, spending much of the next decade as one of two stations in the market to hold such status; the other was UPN's WWHO (owned by that network from 1997 to 2005; it has since been sold to LIN TV).

WCMH-TV was placed up for sale by NBC-Universal on January 9, 2006, along with sister stations WJAR-TV in Providence, WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Alabama, and WNCN-TV in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Media General, the Richmond, Virginia-based company which already owned five NBC affiliates in the southeastern United States, announced it would purchase the four stations on April 6, 2006; the sale was finalized on June 26, 2006. [1] As a result, channel 4 became Media General's first station in the Great Lakes region.

For several months after the ownership change, WCMH's website and those of the other three stations remained in the format used by the websites of NBC-owned stations. In December 2006, WNCN and WJAR launched redesigned websites, which are no longer powered by Internet Broadcasting. On December 11, 2006, WVTM's website followed suit, followed by WCMH on December 14. Media General has since located the master control for all Media General NBC affiliates at its Columbus studios. [2]

Digital television

The station's digital channel, UHF 14, is multiplexed:

Digital channels

Virtual Channel Digital Channel Programming
4.1 14.1 Main WCMH-TV programming / NBC HD
4.2 14.2 WCMH Retro Television

Analog-to-digital conversion

WCMH-TV shut down its analog signal on June 12, 2009 as part of the DTV transition [3], it remained on channel 14 [4] using PSIP to display WCMH-TV's virtual channel as 4 on digital television receivers.

News operation

WCMH-TV studio in downtown Columbus

For most of its history, WLWC/WCMH-TV has been second in the Columbus ratings, except for the station's 11:00 p.m. news, which frequently beats market leader WBNS-TV. For nearly 20 years, Hugh DeMoss anchored channel 4's evening newscast, called The DeMoss Report. By the late 1970s into the early 1980s, however, the NBC affiliate languished in third place. In 1983, the station brought in veteran news anchor Doug Adair and his then-wife, reporter Mona Scott, from WKYC-TV in Cleveland as the station's main anchoring team. They brought a "happy talk" format to the market for the first time, as well as launching the 5:30 p.m. newscast. WCMH began a slow rise that would result in the station overcoming WBNS to reach number-one in the market, and in the process, the mid-1980s NewsWatch 4 team of Adair, Scott, meteorologist Jym Ganahl, and sportscaster Jimmy Crum (who joined the station shortly after its 1949 debut) became the most popular anchor team in Columbus television history. This also coincided with NBC's becoming the number one network during that time.

The 1990s brought changes to the normally stable WCMH-TV. In 1990, Mona Scott decided to leave channel 4, and was replaced by Angela Pace. Pace would leave for WBNS-TV in 1992, and Doug Adair and Jimmy Crum both retired in 1994. Pace's and Adair's replacements, respectively, were Colleen Marshall and Cabot Rea, and the pair have helmed WCMH-TV's evening newscasts since then. The changes resulted in an earlier audience fall-off, but channel 4 once again passed WBNS-TV for the overall lead for a time in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and often won 11 o'clock news ratings over WBNS (due to NBC winning prime time and late night ratings over CBS during those years).

Within the last year WCMH corporate parent Media General has enacted mass layoffs and has parted ways with several key anchors and reporters. As a result, the ratings have slipped dramatically. WCMH's recent ratings downfall is partly attributable to the economic downturn; NBC's weakening ratings; WSYX-TV, which has newly surged in the news ratings along with its network ABC; and Media General's layoffs of talent. Media General's television stations have been primarily in small markets. Acquiring the NBC O&O's was an attempt to "trade up" to larger more profitable markets. It is believed that the opposite effect has occurred. The former NBC O&O stations have been brought down to a small market operation with staffing levels and operating expenditures. Revenues have dropped significantly at the former NBC O&Os under Media General ownership even before the economic downturn.

The station's chief meteorologist, Jym Ganahl, has been involved in a recent controversy [2] concerning his views on the causes of global warning. Ganahl insists that global warming is caused primarily by sun spots, not man-made. Ganahl attributes the broad public acceptance of the theory that global warming is man-made to mind-control power of the media.

News team

Current Personalities

  • Mikaela Hunt - weekday mornings and 12 noon
  • Mindy Drayer - weekend mornings
  • Ellie Merrit- 5 pm
  • Mike Jackson - weekday mornings, 5pm
  • Candice Lee - weekend evenings
  • Colleen Marshall - 6 & 11 PM
  • Cabot Rea - 6 & 11 PM
  • Marshall McPeek - weekend morning co-anchor/meteorologist/reporter
  • Jym Ganahl - chief/weeknight meteorologist (since January 15, 1979)
  • Ben Gelber - weekend evening meteorologist
  • Marshall McPeek - weekend morning meteorologist
  • Bob Nunnally - morning/midday meteorologist
  • Omar Ruiz - weekends
  • Jerod Smalley - sports director/weeknights
  • Matt Alvarez
  • Mike Bowersock
  • Monica Day (traffic)
  • Lauren Diedrich
  • Mikaela Hunt
  • Ana Jackson
  • Tom McNutt (garden expert)
  • Patrick Preston (investigative)
  • Marcus Thorpe

Notable alumni

  • Doug Adair
  • Ron Allen
  • Kyle Anderson
  • Allison Ashe
  • Bret Atkins
  • Tylar Bacome
  • Tommy J. Bebout (Died Nov. 4th 2008)
  • Jerry Beck
  • Leon Bibb
  • Diann Burns
  • Nancy Burton
  • Robb Case ([3])
  • Paul Chambers
  • Lauren Crowner
  • Jimmy Crum (died January 5, 2009 [4])
  • Hugh DeMoss
  • Andy Dominianni now at WSYX-TV
  • Michelle Gailiun
  • Angela Ganote
  • Duarte Geraldino
  • Aneitra Hamper (December 26, 2008)
  • Phil Hayes
  • Mike Headrick
  • Larry Hoff
  • Gail Hogan
  • Holly Hollingsworth
  • John Huffman (former host of PM Magazine)
  • John Ivanic
  • Lee Jordan (former host of PM Magazine)
  • Margot Kim
  • Doug Lessells
  • Dave Maetzold
  • Vic Mason
  • Robin Meade
  • Larry Mendte (fired from CBS 3 in Philadelphia)
  • Jill Miles
  • Monique Ming Laven
  • Andre Moreau
  • Tacoma Newsome, now at FOX 5/WAGA-TV
  • Stu Nicholson
  • Katrina Owens
  • Angela Pace
  • Ben Piscitelli
  • Clark Powell
  • Jerry Rasor
  • Marty Reid
  • Larry Roberts
  • Elizabeth Scarborough
  • Dennis Schreefer
  • Jim Schroeder
  • Jim Scott
  • Mona Scott
  • Sarah Shelton
  • Rich Skidmore
  • Ron Specht
  • Leslie Siegel
  • Bob Singleton
  • Dave Trygar
  • Mike Valpredo
  • Joe Weasel

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • The DeMoss Report (1960s-1976)
  • NewsWatch 4 (1976-1992)
  • News 4 (1992-1997)
  • NewsChannel 4 (1997-2002)
  • NBC4 News (2002-present)

Station Slogans

  • 4 Country (early-mid 1970s)
  • Proud of the Difference (late 1970s; custom version of NBC's "Proud as a Peacock" campaign)
  • That's What Friends Are 4 (early 1980s)
  • Sharing It All Together (late 1980s-1992)
  • News 4: The News Channel (1992-1994)
  • Where News Comes First (24 Hours a Day) (1997-2002)
  • Working 4 You (1994-1997 and 2002-2007)
  • Where Accuracy Matters (2007-present)
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