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WMUR-TV
WMUR.jpg
Manchester, New Hampshire
Branding WMUR 9 (general)
WMUR News 9 (newscasts)
Slogan No One Covers New Hampshire Like We Do
Channels Digital: 9 (VHF)
Subchannels 9.1 ABC
Translators W27BL 27 Berlin
WMUR-LP 29 Littleton
W38CB 38 Littleton
Owner Hearst Television
(Hearst Properties, Inc.)
First air date March 1, 1954
Call letters’ meaning Governor Francis P. MURphy (founder)
Sister station(s) WCVB-TV, WNNE,
WPTZ, WMTW
Former channel number(s) 9 (VHF analog, 1954-2009)
59 (UHF digital, 2001-2009)
Former affiliations Fox (two repeaters, 1994-2001)
Transmitter Power 6.5 kW
Height 314 m
Facility ID 73292
Transmitter Coordinates 42°59′1″N 71°35′25″W / 42.98361°N 71.59028°W / 42.98361; -71.59028
Website wmur.com

WMUR-TV is the ABC-affiliated television station for the state of New Hampshire that is licensed to Manchester. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 9 from a transmitter on the south peak of Mount Uncanoonuc in Goffstown. Owned by Hearst Television, the station has studios on South Commercial Street in downtown Manchester. Syndicated programming on WMUR includes: Entertainment Tonight, Oprah, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Ellen. During election seasons, they are well-known for organizing and producing candidate debates for ABC News, as well as CNN, before the first United States presidential primary; the debates have been held at Saint Anselm College.

The station is known on-air as WMUR 9 although there is an occasional reference to "ABC 9". Several parts of WMUR's programming lineup are similar to that of sister station WCVB-TV, Boston's ABC affiliate, as both stations share some syndicated programming. This station airs a localized version of Chronicle, WCVB's longtime signature program. Along with WMUR and WCVB, Hearst also owns NBC affiliate WNNE in White River Junction, Vermont that serves as a semi-satellite of WPTZ (another NBC affiliate and Hearst property).

Contents

Repeaters

Since August 22, 1994, WMUR has operated three repeaters in the northern parts of New Hampshire. Until 2001, two of the stations aired programming from Fox but simulcasted this station's newscasts (the third one simulcasted WMUR itself). The two Fox stations started simulcasting this station when ABC affiliate WMTW-TV in Portland moved its transmitter off Mount Washington. Since all three stations are low-powered, they were exempt from the transition to digital-only broadcasting on June 12, 2009.

Callsign Channel City of license Notes
W27BL 27 Berlin *part of Portland market
*first on-air in 1994
WMUR-LP 29 Littleton *tower shared with W38CB on Cannon Mountain
*formerly W16BC and (briefly) W29CM
W38CB 38 Littleton *tower shared with WMUR-LP on Cannon Mountain
*always aired ABC programming

History

WMUR-TV was established by former New Hampshire governor Francis P. Murphy on March 1, 1954. It was the first television station in the state and aired daily newscasts, local game shows, and movies. The station was sold to Richard Eaton's United Broadcasting in 1959 following Murphy's death a year earlier. In the 1970s, one of its local programs was the children's weekday strip known as The Uncle Gus Show. Unlike Boston's astronaut "Major Mudd" or the widely franchised "Bozo", host "Uncle Gus" wore no costume except an angler's hat.

In July 1981 following Richard Eaton's death, WMUR was sold to Columbus, Mississippi businessman Birney Imes Jr. who also owned that city's WCBI-TV as well as WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Under the ownership of Imes, he made WMUR a major influence in New Hampshire by upgrading its facilities and news department. In September 1987, the station moved from its original studios on Elm Street in Manchester to facilities in the historic Millyard area of the city. Then in 1995, WMUR purchased land and a building at their current location. This building was rebuilt as a state-of-the-art broadcast center with 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) available. They went on-the-air from this new location in January 1996.

In November 1998, WMUR's digital signal began broadcasting on UHF channel 59. In December 2000, Imes Communications sold the station to Emmis Communications. Three months later, Emmis traded WMUR to Hearst-Argyle Television for that company's three radio stations in Phoenix, Arizona: KTAR-AM, KMVP, and KKLT. In 2004, this station celebrated fifty years of broadcasting. On September 23, 2005, WMUR became available on satellite via DirecTV in Coos, Carroll, Grafton, and Sullivan counties in northern New Hampshire.

In the sixth season of The West Wing, congressman Matt Santos running in the Democratic Party Presidential Primary went to the studio of WMUR to run a live ad for his campaign. It used to sign-off with "New Hampshire Naturally" by The Shaw Brothers. The music was synchronized to bucolic scenes of a fly fisherman casting his line into a mountain stream, a covered bridge, the Old Man of the Mountain, flowers, fall foliage, etc. This theme was replaced at some point by The Star Spangled Banner.

New Hampshire network affiliates

Manchester is about 45 miles (72 km) north from Boston while Concord is about 60 miles (97 km). Boston's VHF stations have Grade A signals in Manchester and Grade B signals in Concord while the UHF stations have Grade B signals in Manchester but spotty signals in Concord. It was once thought that southern New Hampshire could break away from Boston and become its own market. If the sub-market were to break away from Boston, it would rank in the top 100 of all U.S. DMAs. However, CBS' ownership of WBZ-TV makes this unlikely as it could dilute that station's ad revenue. In the early-1990s, that station operated a news bureau in Manchester which was re-established on Elm Street in November 2006.

At the start of 1988, the sub-market had WMUR and PBS affiliate WENH. On February 1, 1988, an independent station based in Concord (WNHT) became southern New Hampshire's first CBS affiliate and began to produce local newscasts. WNHT lost the affiliation and stopped broadcasting on March 31, 1989 as a result of low viewership and ratings. There has not been a affiliate of the network based in the state since then.

When WNHT signed-off, WMUR and WENH remained the only network affiliated stations in the state until the creation of MyNetworkTV on September 5, 2006. On that date, another independent station (WZMY-TV, formerly WNDS) based in Derry became the southern New Hampshire and Boston affiliate for MyNetworkTV. There has never been an NBC station based in the state. However since 1978, WNNE has broadcast programming from that network into parts of western New Hampshire from across the state line in Vermont. Much of this area is considered part of the Burlington / Plattsburgh market although WMUR is still available. The rest of the state receives the NBC feed from that network's affiliates in either Boston or Portland.

There were no The WB and UPN affiliates when those networks were active. The CW does not presently have any affiliates in New Hampshire either. WMUR has always promoted the fact that it is the only major network affiliate and consistent local news source in the state. The station's current slogan reflects this.

News operation

Their news open.

WMUR broadcasts around 65 hours of local news each week. In addition to their main studios, they operates two news bureaus in the state. The Lakes Region Bureau is at The Inn at Bay Point in Meredith and the Seacoast Bureau is at Harbor Place in Portsmouth. WTPL-FM 107.7 simulcasts WMUR's newscasts weekdays from 5 to 6 A.M., 12 to 12:30 P.M., and 5 to 6:30. WTSN-AM 1270 simulcasts news from this station weeknights from 5 to 6:30. It broadcasts national news from a Washington D.C. Bureau operated by Hearst. The bureau employs several reporters who give live reports to the various Hearst affiliates. WMUR and WCVB share video when covering each others news and the latter has a live truck based at the Manchester facilities.

Even though WCVB has upgraded their local newscasts to high definition, it is unknown if or when WMUR will follow. Although it does not own or operate a weather radar of its own, they use live NOAA National Weather Service radar data from several regional sites. During weather segments, this data is presented on-screen in a forecasting system called "Storm Watch 9 Storm Tracker" that is provided through the Weather Services International graphics system. A live video feed of this radar is offered on WMUR's website. During instances of severe weather year round, the station may extend local newscasts to provide coverage. There may even be a live video stream offered on its website.

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Newscast titles

  • NewsNine (early 1980s-1993)
  • News 9 (1993–1998)
  • WMUR News 9 (1998–present)

Station slogans

  • Nine's Alive! (1987–1993)
  • News You Can Use (1993–1996)
  • No One Covers New Hampshire Like We Do (2002–present)

News team

Current on-air staff

Anchors

  • Sean McDonald - weekday mornings
  • Erin Fehlau - weekday mornings and Noon
  • Josh McElveen - weeknights at 5 and 5:30
  • Jean Mackin - weeknights at 5 and 5:30 (also weeknight 11 o'clock reporter)
  • Jennifer Vaughn - weeknights at 6 and medical reporter
  • Tom Griffith - weeknights at 6 and 11 and New Hampshire Chronicle co-host
  • Tiffany Eddy - weeknights at 11 and New Hampshire Chronicle co-host
  • Amy Coveno - weekend mornings and reporter
  • Kria Sakakeeny - weekend evenings and reporter

Storm Watch 9 Meteorologists

Sports

  • Jamie Staton - Director seen weeknights
  • Jason King - weekend evenings and sports reporter

Reporters

  • Nikole Killion - weekday morning national correspondent
  • Sally Kidd - national correspondent
  • Aaron Kellogg - Lakes Region Bureau
  • Andy Hershberger - crime
  • Suzanne Roantree - weekday morning traffic and heard on WZID-FM 95.7
  • Ray Brewer
  • Josh Davis
  • Heather Hamel
  • Adam Sexton

Former on-air staff

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External links


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