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Bowling Green, Kentucky
Branding NBC 40
CBS 40 (on DT2)
Slogan Bowling Green's
Channels Digital: 16 (UHF)
Subchannels 40.1 NBC
40.2 CBS
Owner Max Media
(MMK License, LLC)
First air date December 17, 1989
Call letters’ meaning We're NBC KentuckY
Former callsigns WQQB (1989-1992)
WKNT (1992-2001)
Former channel number(s) 40 (UHF analog, 1989-2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1989-1992)
Fox (1992-2001)
Transmitter Power 120 kW
Height 177.5 m
Facility ID 61217
Transmitter Coordinates 37°2′4″N 86°10′40.8″W / 37.03444°N 86.178°W / 37.03444; -86.178

WNKY is the NBC-affiliated television station for South Central Kentucky that is licensed to Bowling Green. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 16 from a transmitter southeast of Smiths Grove between I-65 and U.S. 60 / KY 80. Owned by Max Media, the station has studios on Emmett Avenue in the city. Syndicated programming on WNKY includes: King of the Hill, Entertainment Tonight, Jeopardy!, and Judge Judy.

They operate the area's CBS affiliate on a second digital subchannel. Known on-air as CBS 40, this can also be seen on Insight channel 10 and in high definition on digital channel 912. Syndicated programming on WNKY-DT2 includes: My Name Is Earl, Friends, The Insider, and Judge Mathis. Its logo includes the network's "eye logo" representing the "0" in "40".


Although granted a construction permit in 1983, the station began broadcasting on December 17, 1989. At that time, it operated as an independent station under the call sign WQQB on analog UHF channel 40. The channel had a general entertainment format with a mixture of sitcoms, old movies, and cartoons. In its early days, the picture and sound quality of the station was very poor which resulted in a low-budget feel. Programs would often broadcast mis-tracked, sticking, and skipping. Sometimes, the picture would appear clear but the sound would consist of complete static. They had little presence in the market at that time. Many people in the area did not know the station even existed.

It would later become a Fox affiliate for the Southern Kentucky region and change its calls to WKNT. Ultimately the station became a NBC affiliate in 2001, changed its calls to the current WNKY, and boosted its power from 776,000 watts to 1,640,000 directional with a null to the east. Before changing to NBC, the network's Nashville affiliate WSMV was the default station in the area. Even after WNKY flipped to NBC, WSMV could still be received in the Bowling Green market in parts that WNKY could not. In March 2003, Max Media bought the station.

On December 12, it signed-on its digital signal on UHF channel 16 from its broadcasting tower in Smiths Grove. WNKY-DT was then added to digital cable systems including Insight in Bowling Green and Electric Power Board in Glasgow. On August 7, 2004, WNKY-DT began airing NBC in full 1080i high definition. This upgrade was made in time to broadcast special coverage of the 2004 Summer Olympics from Athens, Greece. WNKY also installed a Dolby model 569 AC-3 surround sound encoder to relay the 5.1 full surround audio from the network. As of November 2006, ABC affiliate WBKO has yet to install any AC-3 audio encoding equipment according to that station's website.

WNKY signed a long term affiliation deal with CBS to air the network on a new second digital subchannel. This launched on February 1, 2007 and until that point, Bowling Green did not have its own affiliate. Nashville's WTVF or Louisville, Kentucky's WLKY-TV were formerly the default CBS stations in the market. The distant CBS and NBC affiliates, including WSMV, have now been mostly removed from cable providers in South Central Kentucky. Bowling Green currently has every major network affiliate except MyNetworkTV and ION Television.

Local programming

WNKY as a Fox affiliate competed with WBKO's newscasts in the mid-1990s. Their full news operation was short-lived and they are now slowly re-entering with a weather-only approach that only partially competes with that station. In October 2005, WNKY discontinued its agreement with WeatherVision of Jackson, Mississippi and decided to produce its own weather forecasts from their Bowling Green studios. At that time, the station partnered with AccuWeather of State College, Pennsylvania. It then began airing five minute long First Look AccuWeather forecasts on weeknights. In December, weekend weather forecasts were added to the schedule at 10 P.M. In January 2006, local weather updates began airing during NBC's Today on weekday mornings from 7 to 11.

They cover severe weather in addition to the regular broadcasts. Their weather team currently consists of three people although a fourth non-human member of the weather team, Radar the Weather Dog, can be seen on-air. Radar is a Border Collie adopted from the Bowling Green / Warren County Humane Society and has served as the station's mascot since the weather shows began with former meteorologist Chris Sowers. Viewers can often catch Radar interacting with one of the three meteorologists as they begin their broadcasts. The weather dog idea may have been inspired by Houston, Texas-based KPRC-TV who also has a "Radar, the Weather Dog". WNKY's former sister station in Tyler, Texas KYTX took a similar approach with "Stormy, the Weather Dog".

In late-January 2009 to increase its presence against WBKO, WNKY launched a weekday morning show at 6:30 called Bowling Green Today. It airs for a half-hour in partnership with the Bowling Green Daily News. This is re-aired at 9 on the CBS channel. Weather forecasts from the station can also be heard on WBGN-AM 1340, WBVR-FM 96.7, WUHU-FM 107.1, and WLYE-FM 94.1.

SkyWatch 40 Meteorologists

  • Jay Brandon - Lead seen Monday through Thursday nights at 4:55, 6, and 10
    • Sundays at 10
    • "Around Town" and "Finding Forever Families" segments producer
  • Kristi Fox - weekday morning Today and Early Show cut-ins
    • Bowling Green Today host and producer
    • "Word From Radar" segment producer
  • Lindsey Collins - Friday nights at 4:55, 6, and 10
    • Saturdays at 10
    • "WKU Connection" segment producer

External links



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