24-Hour News 8 (newscasts)
|Slogan||We're Indiana's Own
Your 24-Hour News Source (news)
|Channels||Digital: 9 (VHF)
Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
8.2 LWS & WIIH-CA
8.3 Forecast 8 Doppler
(Indiana Broadcasting, LLC)
|First air date||July 1, 1954|
|Call letters’ meaning||wish (as in making a wish)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
Channel 8 (1954-2009)
|Transmitter Power||19.5 kW (digital)|
|Height||284 m (digital)|
WISH-TV channel 8 is the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis, Indiana. Its transmitter is also located in Indianapolis. The station is owned by LIN TV, which also owns area station WNDY-TV (a MyNetworkTV affiliate). WISH-TV & WNDY-TV are co-located in a building on Meridian Street, which also serves as an operations hub for other LIN TV stations in the Midwest.
WISH also offers a 24-hour weather service, LWS, to central Indiana cable systems, on its 2nd digital subchannel, on its website as live video, and on WIIH-CA.
The station began broadcast operations at 6pm on July 1, 1954 and was owned by C. Bruce McConnell along with WISH-AM 1310 (now WTLC). It was a primary ABC affiliate with a secondary DuMont affiliation. It also carried several CBS and NBC shows turned down by WFBM-TV (now WRTV) and WTTV, respectively. In 1956, McConnell sold the station to the Indiana Broadcasting Company, who also owned WANE-TV in Fort Wayne. The new owners persuaded CBS to move its affiliation from WFBM-TV. Indiana Broadcasting became the Corinthian Broadcasting Corporation in 1957, with WISH-TV as the flagship station.
Corinthian merged with Dun & Bradstreet in 1971. Dun sold its entire broadcasting unit to Belo in February 1984. However, the merger left Belo two stations over the FCC's ownership limits of the time. Belo sold WISH and WANE to LIN Broadcasting (the predecessor of LIN TV) one month later. LIN was headquartered in Indianapolis for many years; it has since moved to Providence, Rhode Island.
From the mid-1980s until 2002, WISH was the leading news station in the Indianapolis market until WTHR took over the position. This was due largely because most of its news team has been at the station for over 20 years. At one time, WISH boasted that "more people in Central Indiana get their local news from 24-Hour News 8 than from any other source" at the close of many newscasts and in promos.
Mike Ahern was the station's main evening news anchor, as well as the de facto face of WISH's newsroom for more than thirty years--longer than anyone in Indianapolis television history. He joined the station as a reporter in 1967 and became the station's top anchorman in 1974. He retired from the anchor chair on December 1, 2004. His longtime co-anchor, Debby Knox, joined him in 1980 and is still on the air today. Stan Wood served as the station's main weatherman for much of the 1960s through 1991, while Patty Spitler was an afternoon news anchor and entertainment reporter from 1982 to 2004. News director Lee Giles, who left the station in 2004, was one of the longest-tenured news directors in local broadcasting.
Currently, WISH is a distant runner-up behind WTHR in most timeslots, except during the early news when it runs neck and neck with WRTV. However, due to the recent strength of CBS' primetime lineup (and being the lead-in for Indianapolis native David Letterman), WISH has recently regained the lead at 11 pm. WISH-TV does not air the weekend editions of the CBS Evening News. The Saturday edition of The Early Show airs on sister station WNDY. Also helping WISH regain ratings is the success of the Indianapolis Colts, whose games air on WISH as part of CBS' coverage of the NFL on Sunday afternoons, and whose games have not been blacked out due to strong ticket sales.
WISH-TV's newsroom began to produce WNDY's 10pm newscast in 2005, when LIN purchased WNDY from Viacom.
Since 1991 all of WISH's news music themes have used components of the song Back Home Again in Indiana. The first theme to do so was specially composed for WISH by Stephen Arnold Music. The current theme is a version of 615 Music's "In-Sink" music package.
On April 25, 2007, WISH-TV debuted a new state of the art FX Group set and Giant Octopus Graphics.
On May 18, 2007, LIN TV announced that it was exploring strategic alternatives that could result in the sale of the company.
On September 8, 2008, WISH-TV and WNDY became the second station in Indiana (and Indianapolis) to broadcasting their newscasts in high definition.
On September 15, 2008, it was announced that LIN TV, owners of WISH and WNDY, and Time Warner Cable were at an impasse in retransmission consent deals. Bright House Networks, a major cable provider for Indianapolis, negotiates retransmission consent through Time Warner Cable. LIN TV was requesting compensation for carriage, much like cable networks. The deal with Bright House expired October 2. By 12:35am on October 3, LIN TV stations were replaced by substitute programs. 26 days later, LIN TV and Time Warner Cable reached an agreement, and LIN TV service was restored.
|8.2||Local Weather Station (LWS)|
|8.3||Live Doppler Radar|
WISH-TV permanently ceased its analog signal on June 12, 2009, continuing digital broadcasts on its pre-transition channel number, 9.  Through the use of PSIP, WISH-TV's virtual channel is displayed as 8.
Current logo, used since the mid-90s (around 1996-97).