WNNE: Wikis

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WNNE
(semi-satellite of WPTZ
Plattsburgh, New York /
Burlington, Vermont)
Wnne tv 2007.png
Hartford, Vermont /
Hanover, New Hampshire
Branding NewsChannel 31 (general)
NewsChannel 5 (newscasts)
Slogan Where the News Comes First
Channels Digital: 25 (UHF)
Subchannels 31.1 NBC
Translators W65AM 65 Lebanon, NH
Owner Hearst Television
(Hearst Stations, Inc.)
First air date July 26, 1966 (original incarnation)
July 20, 1978 (current incarnation)
Call letters’ meaning Northern New England
Sister station(s) WPTZ
WMUR-TV
WMTW
Former callsigns WRLH-TV (1966-1976)
Former channel number(s) 31 (UHF analog, 1966-1976 and 1978-2009)
Former affiliations none
Transmitter Power 117 kW
Height 651 m
Facility ID 73344
Transmitter Coordinates 43°26′36″N 72°27′15″W / 43.44333°N 72.45417°W / 43.44333; -72.45417
Website wptz.com/wnne

WNNE is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Connecticut River Valley (a.k.a. Upper Valley) area of eastern Vermont and western New Hampshire that is licensed to Hartford. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 25 from a transmitter on Mount Ascutney in Windsor County, Vermont. Owned by the Hearst Corporation, WNNE has studios on Dewitt Drive in White River Junction, a village within the town of Hartford, as part of the old Regency Inn & Suites property. It operates a repeater, W65AM channel 65, that is licensed to Lebanon, New Hampshire with a transmitter west of the town on Crafts Hill.

Contents

Overview

WNNE is sister station and semi-satellite of WPTZ, the NBC affiliate for the Burlington / Plattsburgh, New York market. Its master control is located at that station's studios on Television Drive in Plattsburgh. Although it has its own Web address, wnne.com, it redirects to a separate section of WPTZ's Web site.

While it clears all of channel 5's programming, it maintains a separate identity in terms of station identifications and local advertisements. In western New Hampshire, the station's coverage area includes Sullivan and Grafton Counties. Although technically part of the Burlington / Plattsburgh market, most of WNNE's viewership comes from the southern New Hampshire sub-market. This sub-market is part of the Greater Boston DMA.

Ironically, WNNE's coverage area is within the coverage area of a former translator of sister station WMTW in Portland, Maine, based in the Mascoma area of Hanover, New Hampshire (though it was licensed to White River Junction). In 2005, the translator was activated to make up for lost coverage when WMTW signed off from Mount Washington back in 2002. FCC regulations do not allow that two or more stations from two or more different markets have coverage in the same location (in this case, White River Junction). This rule, however, does not apply to repeaters. (Hearst sold the translator to New Hampshire Public Television in 2009, after taking it silent following the loss of its transmitter site lease.) Additionally, WNNE shares its coverage area in New Hampshire with another sister station, WMUR-TV.

History

Channel 31 signed on for the first time on July 26, 1966 with the call letters WRLH-TV. The station was a low-powered, black-and-white NBC affiliate operating out of studios in Lebanon.[1] [2] A construction permit had been issued as early as 1954.

WRLH brought NBC programming to much of the region for the first time ever. Although this area is part of the Burlington/Plattsburgh market, WPTZ was the only station in the market that didn't operate any translators. However, WRLH didn't make any headway in the ratings, in part because it couldn't air programming in color. It finally went dark in 1976.

Taft Broadcasting Inc. bought the dormant channel 31 license, moved it across the border to Vermont, and returned it to the air on July 20, 1978[3] with the current call letters WNNE from its current facility in White River Junction. From then until 1991, it was its own self-supporting station, running its own syndicated lineup, as well as network programming from NBC. Its longtime slogan was "Your Hometown Station".

In 1991, Heritage Media, then-owner of WPTZ, bought WNNE and turned it into a semi-satellite of WPTZ. For a time, most programming still originated out of WNNE, but certain shows were relayed from Plattsburgh via microwave. In 2000, WPTZ moved WNNE's master control to its studios in Plattsburgh. In July 2001, WNNE's website was integrated into a separate section of WPTZ's website. [4]

On July 20, 2005, the station's 27th anniversary, WNNE began broadcasting its digital signal on UHF channel 25. However, the station never offered NBC Weather Plus on a digital subchannel, unlike WPTZ, which offered it and refered to it as "NewsChannel 5 Weather Plus". Nevertheless, the stations' newscasts have common weather graphics carrying the branding of "5 & 31 Weather Plus".

On February 17, 2009, the station shut down its analog signal and became exclusively digital.

News operation

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As a separate station

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, WNNE had its own news department, heavily staffed for a station of its size. Reporters would often shoot, edit, and produce their own pieces. The station's news programming was known as News 31. During the week, WNNE offered local news and weather updates at :25 and :55 past the hour during Today, full newscasts at Noon, 6, and 11 P.M., and local weather updates during network and syndicated programming. The station did not air any local news on weekends. All broadcasts aired out of WNNE's studios in the basement of the Pines Motel, now the former Regency Inn & Suites property and the location of the current WPTZ news bureau.[5]

In the mid-1980s, NBC decided it wanted satellite truck coverage in the northeast. WNNE's location was a perfect fit, and a new satellite truck, partially funded by the network, was stationed at the White River Junction studio. The station also maintained its own satellite truck, which assisted in news gathering efforts in the Upper Valley.[6] In the mid-1990s, both satellite trucks, including the NBC satellite truck, were acquired by WPTZ; the latter remained in service with a channel 5 logo until 2003.

In 1989, WNNE began the process of downsizing its staff; this ultimately culminated in the cancellation of WNNE's newscasts in June 2001. By then, it had already eliminated local morning and midday news broadcasts, with the station simulcasting WPTZ's morning newscast and Today cut-ins[7], as well as airing an infomercial at noon.[8]

As a semi-satellite

After WNNE canceled its newscasts, the station began airing news updates on weeknights from the channel 31 studios within a simulcast of the WPTZ newscasts. The microwave link between the two stations was re-built in order for live news coverage from WNNE to air on WPTZ; it also allowed WPTZ's news reports from Montpelier and New York State to be seen on WNNE. In 2007, the WNNE news updates were quietly discontinued, and the station's studios became a full-time Upper Valley bureau for WPTZ, being referred to as such on channel 5's newscasts; it employs a full-time reporter. After the removal of the news updates, there was only the separate newscast opening that remained to indicate that WNNE was ever a separate station. Eventually, the news opening was dropped as well. Today, the only visual difference between the two stations are some local advertising and station identifications.

WPTZ and WNNE use the "NewsChannel" branding. During all newscasts, the station superimposes its channel 31 logo over the channel 5 logo in the right hand corner of the screen. Occasionally, when WNNE has technical problems, WPTZ's logo will peak through.

Weeknights during 5:30 Now, there is a regional summary of news headlines from New York State, Vermont, and the Upper Valley. The Upper Valley segment is live with a reporter broadcasting from channel 31's newsroom. In addition to the Upper Valley and a Vermont bureau in Colchester, WPTZ also airs national news from a Washington D.C. bureau that is operated by Hearst. The bureau employs several reporters who give live reports to the various Hearst affiliates.

Due to WNNE sharing its coverage area in New Hampshire with nearby sister station and ABC affiliate WMUR-TV, WPTZ and that station occasionally share news video.

Although the two stations do not own or operate weather radars of their own, they use live NOAA National Weather Service radar data from five regional radar sites. It is presented onscreen in a forecasting system known as "Storm Tracker 5000". The main signal comes from a radar located at the NWS Local Forecast Office at Burlington International Airport.

Unlike most other NBC affiliates, WPTZ and WNNE do not air a weekday Noon newscast. The stations had aired news at that time until 2005, but it was dropped in favor of 5:30 Now.

With the departure of primary co-anchor Thom Hallock on November 23, 2007, the stations were left with an all woman anchor team. That changed with the arrival of Gus Rosendale. He left WPTZ and WNNE in 2005 to report at sister station WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. Rosendale made his debut back at the two stations in mid-December. See the WPTZ article for a complete listing of current news personalities.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • 31 Newsday (1978-1980s)
  • News 31 (1980s-2001)
  • NewsChannel 5 (2000-present; during WPTZ simulcasts)

Station slogans

  • Good Folks, Good Life, 31 (1980s; used during period station used Frank Gari's "Good News")
  • Come Home to 31 (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Close to Home, It's the Place to Be! (1990-1991; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Vermont and New Hampshire's #1 News Source (1995-1996)
  • News for Your Hometown (1999-2001)
  • Where the News Comes First (2000-present)

WNNE news team

These news personnel were employed by WNNE when it produced its own newscasts. [9] [10] [11]

Anchors

  • Mike Harding - original
  • Bruce Lyndes - News Director
    • now in public relations
  • Diana Jones - News Director
  • Brett Davidson - now at WHEC-TV
  • Alan LaGarde - News Director in the 1980s
  • Kate Amara - weekday morning update anchor and reporter
  • Caroline Cornish - weekday morning update anchor and reporter
  • Steve Roulier - weekday morning update anchor
  • Heather Hamel - now at WMUR-TV
  • Axia Diaz - now at WESH
  • Tom Melville - now News Director at NECN
  • Karen Meyers - weeknights
    • now anchor at NECN
  • Rachael Ruble - now at KCPQ
  • Tina Detelj - reporter
  • Bob Bradovich
  • Darlene McCarthy
  • Beth Sheldon
  • Mindy Todd
  • Ross Joel
  • Maureen Hayes
  • Julie Beaty
  • George Brooks

Meteorologists

  • John Yacavone - original
  • Bob Burnett-Kurie
  • Bob Shaw
  • Mike Glaiser
  • Tom Hoyt

Sports

  • Mike McCune - Director seen weeknights
  • Dominick Aielli - Director seen weeknights
  • J.J. Cioffi - now at WCAX-TV
  • Mark Sudol - now at NECN
  • Tom Caron - now at NESN
  • JP Smollins - anchor and reporter
  • Paul Johnson
  • Brett Haber - Now Sports Director at WUSA-TV in Washington, formerly anchor of ESPN's "SportsCenter"
  • Mark Asciola

Reporters

  • Elissa Burnell - now at WFFF-TV
  • Katherine Duffy - now at WCAX-TV
  • Mike Kmack - now producing at WMTW
  • Mark Sudol - now reporter at NECN
  • Brian Crandall - now reporter at WJAR
  • Dan Leonard
  • Paul McGonagle - now at WFXT-TV, Assistant News Director
  • Craig Shibley
  • Malka Dohrety
  • Debra Bogstie
  • Nicole Bell
  • Brenda Devlin

References

External links


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