WKYC-TV: Wikis

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WKYC
WKYC Logo.png
Cleveland, Ohio
Branding WKYC Channel 3 (general)
Channel 3 News (newscasts)
Slogan We Keep You Connected
Channel Digital: 17 (UHF)
Virtual: 3 (PSIP)
Subchannels 3.1 NBC
3.2 WX
Affiliations NBC
Owner Gannett Company
(WKYC-TV, Inc.)
First air date October 31, 1948
Callsign meaning KYW Cleveland
(nod to former calls of KYW-TV)
Former callsigns WNBK (1948–1956)
KYW-TV (1956–1965)
WKYC-TV (1965-present)
Former channels Analog:
4 (VHF, 1948–1952)
3 (VHF, 1952-present)
Digital:
2 (VHF, 1999-2009)
Effective power 868 kW (digital)
Height 296.1 m (digital)
Facility ID 73195
Antenna coordinates 41°23′9.7″N 81°41′20.5″W / 41.386028°N 81.689028°W / 41.386028; -81.689028
Website www.wkyc.com

WKYC, channel 3, is an NBC-affiliated television station located in Cleveland, Ohio, owned by the Gannett Company. Its studio is located on the shores of Lake Erie, while its transmitter is located in Parma, Ohio.

Contents

History

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Early years

The station made its on-air debut on October 31, 1948, as WNBK on channel 4. It was the second station in Cleveland to sign on, eleven months after WEWS (channel 5), and was the fourth of NBC's five original owned-and-operated stations launched by the network, three weeks after WNBQ (now WMAQ-TV) in Chicago. WNBK was a sister station to WTAM radio (1100 AM), owned by NBC since 1930.

Although there was no coaxial cable connection to New York City, AT&T had just installed a cable connection between WNBK, WNBQ, WSPD-TV (now WTVG) in Toledo, KSTP-TV in St. Paul, Minnesota and KSD-TV (now KSDK) in St. Louis, creating NBC's Midwest Network. WNBK became one of the originators of programming for the regional network, along with WNBQ.

Two days after signing on, on November 2, 1948, WNBK transmitted its coverage of the Truman/Dewey election results to the NBC Midwest Network. On January 11, 1949, WNBK began carrying NBC's New York-originated programming live via a cable connection to Philadelphia. In 1952, as a result of the Federal Communications Commission's Sixth Report and Order, WNBK moved to channel 3, swapping frequencies with fellow NBC affiliate WLWC (now WCMH-TV) in Columbus in order to alleviate same-channel interference with another NBC station, WWJ-TV (now WDIV) in Detroit.

Westinghouse moves in

In 1956, NBC swapped WNBK and WTAM-AM-FM to Westinghouse Electric Corporation in return for KYW radio and WPTZ-TV in Philadelphia. Although Cleveland was a top-10 television and radio market at the time, NBC had long wanted to "trade up" its holdings to a larger market. Also, Philadelphia was the largest market in which it didn't own a station. The swap became official in February 1956, as NBC moved its operations (including much of its Cleveland staff) to Philadelphia to operate the renamed WRCV-AM-TV. Westinghouse took over the former WNBK/WTAM operation and changed its call letters to KYW-AM-FM-TV.

Under Westinghouse ownership, KYW-TV launched Barnaby, a children's program which starred Linn Sheldon as the title character. The show premiered in 1956 and was an immediate hit, running on weekday afternoons for ten years. Another Westinghouse creation was the country's first one-and-a-half-hour news block in 1959, called Eyewitness (a precursor to the Eyewitness News format), which comprised 75 minutes of local news with the then-15-minute Huntley-Brinkley Report. In 1961, channel 3 originated a local 90-minute weekday daytime variety talk show with former band singer Mike Douglas, which went up against WEWS's One O'Clock Club. Quickly eclipsing the competition, The Mike Douglas Show became so popular that Westinghouse decided to carry the program on its other stations in 1963, and eventually to syndicate the program nationwide.

Perhaps even more notable was the exclusion of one NBC program from KYW-TV's schedule. The Tonight Show was dropped by channel 3 soon after Westinghouse took control in 1956, and was replaced with a late-night movie following the 11:00 p.m. newscast. Almost immediately, NBC was able to agree to terms with WEWS to carry the program in Cleveland.

NBC returns

Despite its success in Cleveland, Westinghouse was unhappy with how the 1956 trade with NBC played out. Almost as soon as the ink dried on the trade, Westinghouse complained to the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice, claiming NBC extorted it into agreeing to the deal. The investigatiors discovered that NBC had made several offers to buy the Philadelphia stations, only to be rebuffed each time by Westinghouse. Group W had only agreed to the deal after NBC threatened to remove its affiliation from WPTZ and Westinghouse's other NBC affiliate, WBZ-TV in Boston, unless Westinghouse agreed to the trade. In 1965, after an investigation that lasted nine years, the FCC ruled in favor of Westinghouse, the swap was rendered null and void and NBC was not allowed to realize any profit from the deal. According to many sources, a major factor in NBC's changed attitude was Westinghouse's 1955 decision to affiliate newly-purchased KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh with CBS, even though KDKA radio had been an NBC affiliate for over 30 years.

NBC re-assumed control of the Cleveland stations on June 19, 1965. It changed the call letters to WKYC-AM-FM-TV, mostly as a nod to the success that Westinghouse experienced during its stewardship of the stations. WKYC-TV was separated from its sister stations in 1972, when NBC sold WKYC radio (formerly WWWE and now WTAM once again) and WKYC-FM (formerly WWWM and now WMJI) to Ohio Communications.

In a reverse of what took place in 1956, some radio and television staffers who worked for Westinghouse in Cleveland moved to Philadelphia along with the KYW call letters. This included news reporter Tom Snyder, news director Al Primo, and Mike Douglas. WKYC-TV continued to air the Mike Douglas Show for many years after both the host and the program moved to Philadelphia, where it remained until 1978. Westinghouse also took the Eyewitness News name and format with it to Philadelphia; it would later return to Cleveland, being used on WEWS from 1972 to 1990. Other Westinghouse employees – such Linn Sheldon, Clay Conroy (who played Barnaby's sidekick "Woodrow the Woodsman" before getting a spinoff show of his own), and staff announcer Jay Miltner (who had been with the station since its inception in 1948) – remained in Cleveland. To this day, the Philadelphia stations (which are now owned by CBS) insist they "moved" to Cleveland in 1956 and "returned" to Philadelphia in 1965 after the trade was voided.

NBC also relocated many of their top Philadelphia radio and television executives and some on-air personalities to Cleveland, such as meteorologist Wally Kinnan. Kinnan's arrival displaced Dick Goddard, who had been with channel 3 since 1961. Goddard moved to Philadelphia with Westinghouse but returned to Cleveland weeks after the switch and joined WJW-TV (channel 8), where he has remained for more than 40 years. One show that made the jump to Cleveland was the award-winning documentary series Montage, produced and directed by Dennis Goulden. This nationally-acclaimed series of over 250 episodes investigated the issues and lifestyles of the Cleveland community during the 1960s and 1970s. The Tonight Show also returned to WKYC-TV's schedule in September 1965, after airing on WEWS during channel 3's Westinghouse years.

For much of the time between NBC's repurchase of the station and the dawn of the 21st century, WKYC-TV's news department was usually a very distant third in the ratings. Part of the reason was that during most of its second stint as an NBC-owned station, it served mainly as a farm system for NBC with almost no local talent. Given Cleveland's status as a mid-major television market, most of the promising reporters or anchors that NBC employed at WKYC could end up being promoted to other higher-profile NBC-owned outlets, especially flagship WNBC-TV in New York City. Most notably, WKYC alumnus (and current Today Show weatherman) Al Roker has gone on to a long and successful career with the network.

As a result of this practice, turnover at channel 3 was very high, and it was unable to establish a cohesive news department and successfully compete against either WJW-TV or WEWS in the ratings. Two of the few long-tenured personalities during this time included Joe Mosbrook and Del Donahoo. Both staffers joined WKYC in 1967 (Donahoo from WOW radio in Omaha) and enjoyed long tenures at the station. Mosbrook retired in 2002, while Donahoo was co-host of Today in Cleveland with Tom Haley until 1997 and a feature reporter (under the "Del's Folks" banner) until 2006.

At the same time, channel 3 enjoyed several technical advances with NBC's parent company, RCA (and since 1986, General Electric). It was Cleveland's first television station to broadcast full-time in color on September 13, 1965, the first to broadcast in stereo in 1985, and the first VHF station to closed-caption their local newscasts for the hearing-impaired in 1990.

From 1973 until 1984, WKYC tried to use the Action News newscast branding several times (later employed by WOIO in an unrelated manner), while also using the music and graphics associated with NBC-owned stations, which employed the NewsCenter name. On March 19, 1984, the station dropped the Action 3 News name and adopted its current moniker, Channel 3 News. WKYC also adopted a new logo and a new slogan called "Turn to 3"; the accompanying jingle was composed by Frank Gari. The "Turn to 3" jingle and image campaign was borrowed by many TV broadcasters around the world. Various anchors – such as Virgil Dominic, Doug Adair, Mike Landess, Dave Patterson, Mona Scott, Judd Hambrick, Leon Bibb and Dick Feagler – news sets, and imaging campaigns were tried out, usually with little to no success. Finally, after years of sagging ratings and continuing to be NBC's weakest owned-and-operated station, the network sold majority (51 percent) control of WKYC to Multimedia, Inc. in 1990. Due to its long ownership by NBC, to this day channel 3 is the only major station in Cleveland to have never changed its primary affiliation.

At that time, Multimedia also operated Multimedia Entertainment (now a part of NBC Universal Television), which produced a number of weekday TV talk shows. As a result, Multimedia-produced talk shows such as The Jerry Springer Show (who himself had come from then-sister station WLWT in Cincinnati), Sally Jessy Raphael, and Donahue ended up on WKYC's daily schedule.

The station, now no longer owned and operated by NBC, tried to rebuild the station's news department with an emphasis on local talent and continuity, under the tagline "We're building our station around you." In 1993, the NBC peacock was dropped from the primary station logo, which took a red-white-blue color scheme, though WKYC was still identified (and still is) as "Channel 3". WKYC even set up a telephone feedback hotline, dubbed "Talkback 3", intended to field suggestions and comments from viewers.

As an NBC affiliate

WKYC did not immediately reap any windfall from longtime CBS affiliate WJW-TV's switch to (and eventual purchase by) Fox in 1994. However, ratings for WKYC's newscasts gradually began to improve towards the end of the decade. The station started to finish in first in assorted timeslots and posted some of the highest ratings books in the station's history. The Gannett Company purchased Multimedia in November 1995, and acquired the remaining 49 percent of the station from NBC in early 1999.

Even after Gannett's purchase of WKYC, the station continued to suffer. For instance, in September 1999, WKYC expanded its 6 p.m. newscast to one hour. This aggravated viewers because NBC Nightly News was preempted until 7:00 p.m. This practice was reversed in July 2000 when NBC Nightly News was moved back to 6:30, and the second half hour was used to start a 7:00 p.m. newscast.

WKYC accomplished another first in Cleveland television history by becoming the first station in Northeast Ohio to broadcast in high-definition in 1999. Soon after Gannett bought full control of the station, it moved from its longtime studios in the former East Ohio Gas building on East Sixth Street in downtown Cleveland[1] to a state-of-the-art studio on the shores of Lake Erie.

Ratings emergence

WKYC finally became a factor in the Cleveland television race in 2002, when it picked up the Dr. Phil show and placed it in the 5–6 p.m. slot. This move proved to be very successful for two reasons. First, at 5 p.m., all of the other local stations were broadcasting news, so this gave viewers an alternative. Second, WKYC was able to get many viewers to change channels at the end of WEWS's 4 p.m. broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show to Dr. Phil at 5:00 (the syndication contracts for both shows disallow them from airing against each other).

During Dr. Phil, WKYC did heavy promotion of its 6 p.m. newscast, which began to experience sharp ratings increases. This also helped the 7 p.m. newscast. In early 2004, viewers began turning away from WJW-TV and WEWS's hard-hitting newscasts to the more traditional WKYC. This helped WKYC rise to first place in the news ratings for the first time in decades. All of its newscasts won their timeslots. WKYC even managed to push WJW's popular morning newscast into second place.

This continued until May 2005, when WKYC made two major changes in their newscasts. First, they had reporters lengthen the time of their stories, hoping to provide more detail. Second, in attempt to combat the common viewer complaint that "all news is bad", WKYC started inserting more "happy" stories into their newscasts. The combination of the two resulted in less "real" news, and viewers began turning away.

Over the summer of 2005, while Dr. Phil was airing repeats, WKYC lost the top spot at 6 to WEWS. However, channel 3 retook the top spot at 6 p.m. during the November 2005 sweeps period. Additionally, despite fears due to a weak NBC prime time schedule, WKYC retained its top spot at 11 p.m. which it has held for 17 straight ratings periods. In the February 2006 ratings period, WKYC continued its first place streak by placing first at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Its morning newscast was second only to WJW's.

In the November 2006 ratings period, WKYC's airing of Dr. Phil continued to lead at 5 p.m., and its 11 p.m. newscast held on to first place (though by a very slim margin over WOIO), although it slipped from first to third at 6 p.m. It came in last place at noon (it was the only "Big Four" affiliate station in Cleveland not to air a newscast at that time slot). Channel 3's late-afternoon and early-evening slump continued since that time, reaching its nadir to date in the February 2008 ratings period, when both Dr. Phil and the 6 p.m. newscast finished third behind WJW's and WEWS's newscasts.[2]

On May 22, 2006, WKYC-TV began broadcasting all of their local newscasts in high-definition, becoming the second station in the Cleveland market to do so. Channel 3 also debuted a new graphics package at this time.

Local programming

WKYC's Good Company program is one of two locally produced mid-morning television shows airing at 10am in the Cleveland television market. Good Company is a general interest show which features interviews, cooking, health topics, movie reviews, fashion shows, and other features that resemble WEWS's former The Morning Exchange. This may be partially due to the fact that former Morning Exchange host Fred Griffith is a co-host of Good Company.

The premise for Good Company was actually formed over five years before the program’s debut. After The Morning Exchange went off the air in September 1999, Griffith left WEWS despite the fact that he was offered a new position at the station. In May 2000, Griffith resurfaced at WKYC to host Fifteen Minutes with Fred, a daily segment that took up the second half of the noon newscast. For the most part, the segment featured Griffith interviewing an expert in a certain field.

In May 2002, WKYC briefly expanded Fifteen Minutes with Fred into a 30-minute show airing in the afternoon. The show included the expert interviews, but also added cooking and crafting segments.

At the end of September 2003, WKYC eliminated their noon newscast replacing it with an 11 a.m. newscast called The Midday Report. Along with the new newscast came the premiere of Studio 3, which replaced Fifteen Minutes with Fred and starred Fred Griffith and morning meteorologist Hollie Strano. Studio 3, which aired at 11:30 a.m., featured topics similar to that of the former Morning Exchange. However, ratings for the show were low throughout its entire run.

At the start of the new TV season in September 2005, WKYC needed to fill the hour gap left by the syndicated Life and Style which went out of production. WKYC decided to expand Studio 3 into the one-hour Good Company which airs at 10 a.m. The show is hosted by Griffith, Andrea Vecchio (who did the entertainment reports on Studio 3), and Michael Cardamone (a local who appeared on NBC’s Average Joe.) Former WKYC weekend forecaster Eileen McShea had been a co-host of the show from its inception, but left at end of September 2008 over a pay dispute.[3]

Many people wondered why WKYC decided to expand the show to one hour despite Studio 3’s low ratings. The truth is that unlike The Morning Exchange, most of the Good Company’s guests are from companies that advertise on WKYC. As part of the contract between the company and WKYC, the company gets commercial air time plus a segment on Good Company in which they essentially promote their product(s). As a result, WKYC profits off of the show regardless of the ratings.

Sports programming

WKYC-TV has been airing 20 Cleveland Indians baseball games per season since the 2006 baseball season, through a ten-year contract. This deal brought the Indians back to over-the-air TV after four years of the team being exclusively on cable. WKYC also handles production for SportsTime Ohio (STO), a regional sports network owned by the team itself, which airs the remainder of Indians games on cable and satellite, and simulcasts the games shown on Channel 3. During the season Channel 3 airs a weekly half hour Indians-themed program, Indians Tonight, Sundays at 11:35 p.m.

WKYC also airs all non-nationally televised pre-season games of the NFL's Cleveland Browns. Channel 3 also airs 90 minutes of Browns-related programming during the pre-season and regular season as well: Browns Pregame Huddle, Browns Tonight, and The Point After.

Matt Underwood and Rick Manning are the broadcast crew on Indians telecasts, and Channel 3 sports director Jim Donovan and Bernie Kosar are in the booth for Browns contests. All games are broadcast in High-definition.

Digital television

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Digital channels
Virtual
Channel
Video Aspect Programming
3.1 1080i 16:9 Main WKYC programming / NBC HD
3.2 480i 4:3 3 Weather

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion was completed on June 12, 2009, WKYC digital broadcasts moved from channel 2 to channel 17. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers continue to display WKYC's virtual channel as 3.1. WKYC was the "nightlight" station for the Cleveland market, providing DTV transition and Emergency Alert System information. On June 16, 2009, the -TV suffix was removed from the station's call sign; the station is now known simply as WKYC. The signed it off on June 19, 2009.

Personalities

Current On-Air Talent

(as of January 2010)
Current Anchors

  • Fred Griffith - host of Good Company
  • Maureen Kyle - weekdays at noon
  • Eric Mansfield - weeknights at 7 p.m.
  • Jeff Maynor - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Mark Nolan - weekday mornings
  • Monica Robins - weeknights at 7 p.m. (also health reporter)
  • Romona Robinson - weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Kim Wheeler - weekend mornings and noon (also education reporter)

Reporters

  • Tom Beres - political reporter
  • Pat Butler - WTAM 1100 traffic reporter (embedded at WKYC)
  • Micheal Cardamone - co-host of Good Company/feature reporter
  • Del Donahoo - senior issues reporter
  • Tom Meyer - investigative reporter
  • Kevin Myeroff - financial expert
  • Lynn Olszowy - general assignment reporter
  • Mike O'Mara - general assignment reporter
  • Dick Russ - managing editor/general assignment reporter
  • Darrielle Snipes - general assignment reporter
  • Dave Summers - general assignment reporter
  • Paul Thomas - general assignment reporter (husband of Betsy Kling)
  • Chris Tye - general assignment reporter
  • Andrea Vecchio - co-host of Good Company/entertainment reporter
  • Kim Wendel - web reporter

Weather Team*

  • Betsy Kling (AMS Certified/NWA Seals of Approval) - Meteorologist; weeknights
  • A.J. Colby (AMS Certified Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; Monday-Wednesday at noon, weekend evenings
  • Bruce Kalinowski (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekend mornings and noon
  • Hollie Strano (NWA Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings

(*) - WKYC's weather team also provides forecasts for WTAM, WMJI, and WMVX Radio.

Sports Team*

  • LeCharles Bentley - Browns Analyst
  • Jim Donovan - Sports Director; weeknights (also Browns play-by-play analyst)
  • Dave Chudowsky - Sports Anchor; weekends (also sports reporter)
  • Doug Dieken - Browns analyst
  • Tony Grossi - Browns analyst
  • Al Pawlowski - fill-in anchor
  • Sam Rutigliano - Browns analyst
  • Jason Stanford - Indians analyst

(*) - WKYC's sports team is also regularly featured on SportsTime Ohio

Notable alumni

 

News/Station Presentation

Newscast titles

  • The Sohio (Esso) Reporter (1948–1956)
  • Today's News/Tonight's News (1956–1959; sponsored by Texaco)
  • Eyewitness (1959–1961)
  • Eyewitness News (1961–1965; first station to use this branding)
  • Channel 3 News (1965–1973 and 1984–present)
  • The Sixth/Eleventh Hour Report (1965–1973)
  • TV-3 News (1973-1975)
  • Action 3 News (1976–1984)

Station Slogans

  • Cleveland's Channel 3: Living Color (1965-1969)
  • Cleveland's Most Respected Television News Organization (1970–1973; news slogan)
  • People in Action (1976)
  • Where You Belong (1977)
  • Action 3 News is Everywhere (1977; accompanied the "Where You Belong" campaign)
  • You've Got a Friend on 3 (1979)
  • Channel 3, Proud as a Peacock (1979-1981; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 3, Our Pride is Showing (1981-1982; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 3, Just Watch Us Now (1982–1983; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 3, WOW, Be There! (1983-1984; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Turn to 3 (1984-1990; it had an accompanying upscale musical jingle by Frank Gari)
  • Come Home and Turn to 3 (1986-1987; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to the Feeling, Turning to 3 (1988-1990; local version of NBC "Come Home to the Best, Only on NBC" promotional campaign)
  • Channel 3: Turn to Us (1990-1992; local version of NBC "The Place to Be" ad campaign)
  • The New Channel 3 (1991-1992)
  • We're Building Our Station Around You (mid-1990s)
  • News That's More Local (early 2000s)
  • Report the Facts. Respect the Truth. (2004-2010)
  • We Keep You Connected (2010-present)

Cable coverage in Canada

When atmospheric conditions allow, WKYC's signal can be picked up as far away as Detroit and in Ontario in Windsor and London. The station is readily available over-the-air to Kingsville, Leamington, and Pelee Island, and was once one of the three stations from Cleveland carried on local cable in those three locations; WEWS and WJW-TV were the others available until 2000, when Cogeco displaced Shaw Cable as the cable provider for Essex County.

On October 16, 2009, the Windsor Star had notified readers that digital subchannels of the Detroit and Toledo stations would be added, while the Cleveland stations (such as WKYC) and some Toledo stations would have to be dropped from the listings to make room for them, starting with the next issue of the TV Times, released the next day. The only Cleveland local station remaining in the Windsor-area TV Times is WUAB.

WKYC was also carried on cable channel 3 in London, Ontario prior to 1974, but was bumped to make room for the newly-launched Global Television Network.

References

External links


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