WDSU: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

WDSU
WDSU.jpg
New Orleans, Louisiana
Branding WDSU (general)
WDSU News (newscasts)
Slogan On Your Side
Channels Digital: 43 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
Subchannels 6.1 WDSU / NBC HD
6.2 WDSU eXact Weather, News & Traffic
Affiliations NBC
Owner Hearst Television
(New Orleans Hearst Television, Inc.)
First air date December 18, 1948
Call letters’ meaning DeSoto Hotel
(station's former location)
Joseph Uhalt
(founder of WDSU radio)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
6 (VHF, 1948-2009)
Former affiliations DuMont (secondary, 1948–1955)
CBS (secondary, 1948–1957)
ABC (secondary, 1948–1957)
Transmitter Power 1000 kW
Height 230 m
Facility ID 71357
Transmitter Coordinates 29°57′0.1″N 89°57′27.6″W / 29.950028°N 89.957667°W / 29.950028; -89.957667
Website www.wdsu.com

WDSU is the NBC affiliate for the New Orleans, Louisiana television market. It is owned by Hearst Television, which in turn is wholly owned by the Hearst Corporation. It broadcasts on virtual channel 6. Its transmitter is located in Chalmette, Louisiana; while its studios are located in downtown New Orleans.

The station also serves as the default NBC affiliate for most of the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi (including Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula) since that area doesn't have an NBC affiliate of its own, and is carried on Cable One systems in southern Mississippi. The station's current tagline is "6 On Your Side." also "6 On Your Side. South Mississippi"

Contents

History

WDSU-TV signed on the air on December 18, 1948 as the first television station in Louisiana. It was owned by New Orleans businessman Edgar B. Stern, Jr. along with WDSU radio (1280 AM, now WODT; and 93.3 FM, now WQUE-FM).

The station initially carried programming from NBC, CBS, ABC and DuMont. Even after WJMR-TV on channel 61 (now Fox affiliate WVUE on channel 8) signed on in 1953 as a primary CBS and secondary ABC affiliate, WDSU continued to "cherry-pick" a few of the higher-rated CBS and ABC programs until 1957, when WWL-TV signed on as a full-time CBS affiliate. At that time, WJMR took the ABC affiliation full-time, leaving WDSU as an exclusive NBC affiliate. It lost DuMont when that network ceased operations in 1956.

The radio station was originally located at the DeSoto Hotel (now Le Pavillion) on Baronne St. WDSU-TV began operations in the Hibernia Bank Building, at that time the tallest building in New Orleans. It moved into the historic Brulatour Mansion on Royal Street in the French Quarter in April 1950. At that point, Stern reorganized his broadcast holdings as the Royal Street Corporation. The transmitter site remained at the Hibernia Bank Building until 1955 when the new transmitter facilities were completed in Chalmette, LA, where the tower remains today.

In the 1950s WDSU-TV became the springboard for the career of Dick Van Dyke, first as a single comedian and later as emcee of a comedy program.[1]

WDSU was the ratings leader in New Orleans for over a quarter century, largely because of its strong commitment to local coverage. It originated the first live broadcasts of the Sugar Bowl and Mardi Gras, and was the first area station to have extensive local coverage of a hurricane.

Royal Street merged with Cosmos Broadcasting of Columbia, South Carolina in 1972. Cosmos had to sell off the radio stations because it was over the FCC's ownership limit of the time. Cosmos eliminated much of the local flavor that had been the station's hallmark, opting to concentrate on its already strong news operation (it had been saluted by Time as a news pioneer in 1966). By the early 1980s, rival WWL-TV had overtaken WDSU as the ratings leader. WDSU has been a solid runner-up to WWL for most of the last quarter-century, though in recent years it has had to fend off a strong challenge from a resurgent WVUE.

WDSU building on Howard Avenue

Cosmos sold WDSU to Pulitzer in 1989. Pulitzer sold its entire television division, including WDSU, to Hearst-Argyle Television (predecessor to the present-day Hearst Television) in 1999. The station moved into a new facility on Howard Avenue and Baronne Street in March 1996.

WDSU became the first station in the market to provide color telecasts in 1955, and the first New Orleans station with its own doppler weather radar in the 1990s (Super Doppler 6000).

On November 11, 2006, after a remarkable 51 years in New Orleans broadcast television -- nearly all of them with WDSU -- anchor and former news director Alec Gifford officially announced his retirement. His retirement became effective in December 2006.[2]

WDSU looked back on 6 decades of broadcasting on December 18, 2008. [3]

The station contracts with Citadel Broadcasting's New Orleans FM cluster (KKND, KMEZ, WDVW & WMTI) to provide additional channels of audio simulcasting during hurricane coverage.

Hurricane Katrina

WDSU's New Orleans studios ceased operations around 9:30pm Sunday, August 28, 2005, allowing staff at the station to take shelter. At that point, WDSU broadcasts began originating from sister Hearst-Argyle station WAPT-TV, the ABC affiliate in Jackson, Mississippi, to which some WDSU on-air staff had already evacuated. Sister station WESH, the NBC affiliate in Orlando, Florida, also originated some on-air weather content. In the immediate weeks following the hurricane, WDSU's news content originated from WAPT with a hybrid team of WAPT and WDSU meteorologists and anchors, with programs simulcast in Jackson and New Orleans.

WDSU's analog and digital transmitters were both destroyed in the hurricane.[4] WDSU arranged to transmit via Ion Television affiliate WPXL channel 49 through the end of December 2005; reduced-power service was restored on channel 6 in October 2005.[1] WDSU replaced their transmitter building with an elevated and rugged hurricane resistant building to house their analog and digital transmitters. Construction of this building was completed in early February 2008.[2][3] On August 1, 2007 WDSU's digital signal was restored, temporarily sharing a frequency with WHNO's digital channel 21. In late February 2008 their analog signal was restored to full power and their digital signal on channel 6.1 was restored on March 6, 2008.

Hurricane Gustav

In 2008, WDSU broadcast nonstop coverage of the approach, landfall and aftermath of Hurricane Gustav for five consecutive days. The storm prompted a massive evacuation of much of the station's viewing area. On September 1, 2008 WDSU's coverage of Hurricane Gustav aired nationally on DirecTV channel 361. Coverage was also available on the station's website, and its audio was carried by the Citadel group of radio stations in New Orleans. C-SPAN 2, and ABC affiliate WBRZ (channel 2) in Baton Rouge made portions of live coverage available as well.

WDSU tapped the resources of its parent company, Hearst-Argyle Television, and brought in personnel from across the country to assist in various capacities. Some WDSU news team members were relocated to support studios in Baton Rouge and Orlando and provided reports via satellite. All three locations stayed operational throughout the storm. One of WDSU's sister stations, ABC affiliate KOCO-TV (channel 5) in Oklahoma City, also provided coverage of Hurricane Gustav via its second digital subchannel for evacuees who came to Oklahoma City.

Digital Television

WDSU-DT

The station's digital channel on UHF 43, is multiplexed:

Digital channels

Digital channel Programming
6.1 WDSU Main Programming / NBC HD 1080i
6.2 6 WDSU eXact Weather: News & Traffic by AccuWeather.com SD 480i

WDSU broadcasts "6 WDSU eXact Weather: News & Traffic" on channel 6.2, with weather shots provided by AccuWeather.com's national feed. Channel 6.2 can bee seen on digital cable channel 108 for Cox Communications customers in the New Orleans viewing area, and on channel 115 for Charter Communications customers in the surrounding parishes.

Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display WDSU's virtual channel as "6".

Currently, the local newscasts are broadcast in 4:3 upconverted 480i with pillarboxes.

Digital Retransmission Disputes

In October 2006, a dispute between WDSU's owner, Hearst-Argyle and Cox Communications caused WDSU's HDTV signal to be pulled from New Orleans area cable TV systems.[5] As a result, no high-definition television content was available from WDSU via any medium (over the air, cable, or satellite), forcing New Orleans viewers looking for high-definition NBC programming to attempt to pull in a signal from Baton Rouge affiliate WVLA. In April 2007, WDSU-DT was added to DirecTV's lineup, after which local cable carriers one-by-one began to add it also.

On September 27, 2007, Cox Communications and Hearst-Argyle announced an agreement to restore WDSU-DT to Cox's New Orleans area cable systems[4]; WDSU-DT and WDSU's WeatherPlus channel were added to Cox's channel lineup the next day.[5]

News Operation

On December 14, 2008 The Sun Herald, a local newspaper on the Mississippi Gulf Coast partnered with WDSU-TV to give more news and weather coverage for South Mississippi.

On September 14, 2009, WDSU dropped its noon newscast in favor of a new hour-long 4 p.m. newscast, making it the only TV station in the New Orleans market to offer a newscast at that timeslot. [6]

News Staff

Current personalities

Anchors

  • Melanie Hebert - weekday mornings and consumer reporter
  • LaTonya Norton - weekend mornings and reporter
  • Norman Robinson - 6 and 10 pm weekdays
  • Randi Rousseau - traffic reporter (mornings) and 4 pm anchor
  • Camille Whitworth - 5 pm anchor and reporter
  • Scott Walker - 4 and 5 pm anchor and reporter
  • Rachel Wulff - weekend evenings and reporter

Meteorologists

  • Dan Milham (AMS Seal of Approval) - part-time (semiretired) meteorologist for severe weather and hurricanes
  • Margaret Orr (NWA and AMS member, chief meteorologist)
  • Damon Singleton - Weekend evenings
  • Ron Smiley (AMS/NWA member) - Weekend Mornings
  • Jay Galle - Weekday Mornings

Sports

  • Fletcher Mackel - Sports Director, weekday sports anchor
  • Keli Fulton - weekend sports anchor

Reporters

  • Heath Allen - Northshore Bureau Chief/general assignment reporter (married to former WWL-TV/WVUE-TV reporter Janet Gross)
  • Dr. Corey Hebert - chief medical editor (On Call)
  • Ken Jones - general assignment reporter
  • Travers Mackel - investigative reporter (twin brother of Fletcher Mackel)
  • Howard Robertson - crime and safety expert
  • Gina Swanson - general assignment reporter

Hearst Television Washington Bureau

  • Sally Kidd - Washington bureau reporter
  • Nikole Killion - Washington bureau reporter
  • Laurie Kinney - Washington bureau reporter

Former On-Air Staff

  • Richard Anderson - weekend anchor
  • Charlie Adams - sports director
  • Cammie Aldridge - reporter
  • Richard Angelico - senior investigative reporter (1983-2009; semiretired)
  • Elizebeth Curren
  • Lisa Bacques (now traffic reporter for Clear Channel Radio in New Orleans)
  • Steve Bellas (now communications faculty member at Southeastern Louisiana University)
  • Stephanie Boswell (1997-2005)
  • Ro Brown - now at Cox Sports TV
  • Leslie Carde - Anchor/Health & Science Editor (1982-1989); later at CNBC, WWL Radio, WGNO, CNN and E!; now Executive Producer/Host of California Kickin
  • Bob and Jan Carr - "Midday" and "Second Cup" hosts
  • John Corporon - news director (later manager at Washington Post TV stations)
  • Ed Daniels - sports (now sports director at WGNO)
  • Trevous Dickerson - Reporter
  • Bernard "Buddy" Diliberto - sportscaster (1980-1990; later worked for WWL Radio; deceased)
  • Byron Dowty - sports
  • Clancy DuBos (now publisher of the New Orleans Gambit Weekly newspaper)
  • Kriss Fairbairn - 6 and 10pm weekdays anchor/reporter (1990-2010; semiretired)
  • Devin Fehley - reporter (now at WAGA in Atlanta)
  • Terry Flettrich - "Midday" host (1950-1975) and "Mrs. Muffin"
  • Lynn Gansar (Zatarain) - reporter and news anchor (1983-1992)
  • Richard Gauthereau - announcer
  • Clem Gendron - weatherman
  • Joe Giardina - reporter (now regional general manager for Lindmark Outdoor Advertising)
  • Alec Gifford - longest serving reporter at WDSU (1955-1966 and 1980-2006; also took on a correspondent job with NBC News for a year)
  • Joe Glover - anchor
  • Mason Granger - general manager
  • Andria Hall
  • Michael Herrera - later at WVUE and WWL-TV
  • Leslie Hill - reporter (early 90's)
  • Nancy Holland - anchor/reporter (1970s-1985); later NASA reporter at KHOU-TV; retired
  • Marcia Kavanaugh - anchor/reporter (1970s-1980s); now Director of Local Initiatives at WYES-TV
  • Jim Kemp - reporter; later at WVUE-TV and CNN; retired
  • Peggy Scott Laborde (now at WYES-TV)
  • Mel Leavitt
  • Rich Lenz - weekend news anchor/reporter, sports anchor and sports director (1994-2007; now at KOTV in Tulsa)
  • Joan Malter - anchor/reporter (1970s-1980s)
  • Vince Marinello - sportscaster; later with WWL Radio (convicted December 13, 2008 of second-degree murder of his wife, Liz Marinello; now serving mandatory life sentence without parole)
  • Michael Marsh - now at WBRZ-TV
  • Gary Mattingly -Faculty University of South Carolina Upstate
  • Juli Miller - morning news anchor with Steve Bellas & reporter (late 1990's)
  • Bill Monroe - original news reporter (left for NBC in Washington and eventually became the host of NBC's Meet the Press)
  • Helena Moreno - weekday mornings and consumer reporter (2000-2008; defeated in Democratic primary race for Congress)
  • Ann Mulligan
  • Edward Planer - news director (became news executive with NBC)
  • Ed Reams reporter / fill-in anchor (1998-2006, now News Director at WHSV in Harrisonburg, Virginia)
  • Ep Roberts
  • Roop Raj - weekday mornings and noon anchor (2002-2009; now at WJBK-TV in Detroit, his hometown where Raj replacing Charles Pugh)
  • Nash Roberts - meteorologist (1948-1973; later at WVUE and WWL-TV; retired)
  • Susan E. Roberts (now at CBS News)
  • Susan Roesgen (did a stint at WGNO; now at CNN)
  • Melanie Sanders - now at WNCN-TV
  • Rose Stabler (Wife of Ken Stabler), former weekend Weather Anchor.
  • Mike Sanders (now with St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office)
  • Al Shea - entertainment critic (now at WYES)
  • Scott Simmons (now at WAPT in Jackson, Mississippi)
  • William "Bill" Stanley - host of WDSU's Breakfast Edition (1957-1987; died March 7, 2001)
  • Jimmy Steele - weekend sports anchor (late 1970s)
  • Dan Thomas - meteorologist (now at WSMV in Nashville, Tennessee)
  • Dick Van Dyke (had his own variety show before Hollywood came calling)
  • Stan Verrett - sports (now at ESPN)
  • Terry Wood
  • Charles Zewe (previously with WWL-TV; formerly at CNN; now Vice President of Communications for the Louisiana State University System)
  • Reid Corcoran, Jr. - Reporter (1979-81

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • Your Esso Reporter (1948-1956)
  • WDSU-TV News (1956-1962)
  • The Six O'Clock Report/The Eleventh Hour Report (1962-1966)
  • Channel 6 News (1966-1974)
  • Newswatch 6 (1974-1982)
  • NewsCenter 6 (1982-1987)
  • 6 News (1987-1994)
  • Channel 6 News (1994-2000)
  • NewsChannel 6 (2000-2006)
  • WDSU NewsChannel 6 (2006-2009)
  • WDSU News (2009-present)

Station Slogans

  • Comin' On TV-6 (1980-1987)
  • You're What Makes New Orleans Great! (1985-1987; used during period station used Frank Gari's "Turn to News")
  • Your 24-Hour News Source (1990-1994)
  • We're Building WDSU Around You (1994-2004)
  • Local. Live. Latebreaking. (2004-2006)
  • On Your Side (2006-present; reporters also often use "We're On Your Side" as tags at the end of reports just before identifying the newscast title)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

References

  1. ^ New Orleans TV: The Golden Age, documentary produced by WYES-TV New Orleans Channel 12, broadcast 2009 July 18; see the documentary's web site at WYES). See also WDSU Serves New Orleans Since 1948 and Dave Walker, That old-time TV: New book celebrates 60 years of local stars.
  2. ^ Walker, Dave. On The Air The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Louisiana. Printed 11 November, 2006.
  3. ^ WDSU-TV Celebrates 60th Anniversary WDSU.com
  4. ^ Hearst-Argyle Television Announces Results for the Third Quarter and Nine Months Investor Calendar. 27 October, 2005.
  5. ^ Bachman, Katy. H-A Pulls Six HD Signals Off Cox Systems MediaWeek. Posted 02 October, 2006
  6. ^ WDSU Announces Fall Lineup, Launch Of 4 P.M. Newscast WDSU.com

External links








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message