WPIX: Wikis

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WPIX
WPIX11.svg
New York, New York
Branding PIX or PIX 11 (general)
PIX News (newscasts)
(Pronounced as "picks")
Slogan New York's home of The CW
Channel Digital: 11 (VHF)
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations The CW
Estrella TV (DT2)
LATV (DT3)
Owner Tribune Company
(WPIX, Inc.)
First air date June 15, 1948
Callsign meaning New York's Picture (PIX) Newspaper (after nameplate slogan of the Daily News, its founding owner)
Former channels Analog: 11 (VHF, 1948-2009)
Digital: 33 (UHF, 1999-2009)
12 (VHF, 2002-2004)
Former affiliations Independent (1948-1995)
The WB (1995-2006)
Effective power 7.5 kW
Height 405 m (1,329 ft)
Facility ID 73881
Antenna coordinates 40°44′54″N 73°59′10″W / 40.74833°N 73.98611°W / 40.74833; -73.98611
Website www.wpix.com/
WPIX Plaza

WPIX, channel 11, is a television station in New York City built, signed on, and owned by the Tribune Company. WPIX also serves as the flagship station of The CW Television Network[1]. The station's signal covers the tri-state New York metropolitan area and WPIX is also available as a regional superstation via satellite and cable in the United States and Canada.

Contents

History

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Independent station

An early WPIX test pattern, c. 1948.

WPIX made its on-air debut on June 15, 1948 as New York's fifth television station and second independent outlet. It was also the second of three stations to start up in the New York market during 1948, one month after Newark-based independent WATV (channel 13, now WNET) and two months before ABC-owned WJZ-TV (channel 7, now WABC-TV).

Like its longtime sister station WGN-TV in Chicago (which first signed on in April 1948), WPIX's call letters come from the slogan of the newspaper that founded it—in this case, it was the New York Daily News, whose tag was "New York's Picture Newspaper". Both the paper and the station were owned by the Tribune Company. Then and now, WPIX's studios and offices are located in the News Building, at Second Avenue and East 42nd Street (alternatively called "11 WPIX Plaza") in Midtown Manhattan. In its earliest years, WPIX also had another studio (called "Studio Five") located at 110 Central Park South, where programs with a studio audience were produced.

Through the early 1990s, WPIX was operated separately from the other Tribune television and radio outlets through the News-owned license holder, WPIX, Incorporated, which in 1963 purchased New York radio station WBFM (101.9 MHz). The News soon changed that station's call letters to WPIX-FM, and in 1988, the station became WQCD. The two stations were separated from the Daily News in 1991, when British businessman Robert Maxwell bought the newspaper. Tribune retained WPIX and WQCD, and the radio station was sold to Emmis Communications in 1997 (it is now WRXP).

From the outset, WPIX featured programming that was standard among independents: old movies, syndicated reruns of network programs, public affairs programming, religious programs, and sports—specifically, the New York Yankees baseball team, whom WPIX carried from 1951 to 1998. At various points, WPIX also aired the New York (baseball) Giants, the New York Giants and New York Jets football teams, the NHL's New York Rangers, and local college basketball. But it was through its coverage of Yankees baseball that WPIX gained perhaps its greatest fame and identity.

To generations of New York children, channel 11 was also the home of memorable personalities. In 1955 Joe Bolton, an original WPIX staffer who had been a weather forecaster in the station's news department, donned a policeman's uniform and became "Officer Joe", hosting several programs based around Little Rascals and Three Stooges films, and later Popeye animated shorts. Another early WPIX personality, Jack McCarthy (television), also hosted Popeye and Dick Tracy cartoons as "Captain Jack" in the early 1960s, though he was better known to adults as the longtime host of channel 11's St. Patrick's Day Parade coverage, from 1949 to 1992. WPIX aired a local version of Bozo the Clown (with Bill Britten in the role) from 1959 to 1964, and comic performer Chuck McCann also hosted a program at WPIX during the mid-1960s before moving to other entertainment work in Hollywood. Jazz singer Joya Sherrill hosted a weekday children's show called Time For Joya, later known as Joya's Fun School. Channel 11 also produced the Magic Garden series, which ran on the station from 1972 to 1984.

The first 11 Alive logo, which was used from 1976 to 1982.

From its early years through the 1960s, WPIX, like the other two major independents in New York—RKO General's WOR-TV (now WWOR-TV) and Metromedia's WNEW-TV (now WNYW)—struggled to acquire other programming. By the mid 1970s, WPIX was the clear number-two independent station in the city, behind WNEW-TV. It identified on-air as 11 Alive from September 1976 to 1986, a slogan made popular by stations like Atlanta's WXIA-TV, who also started using 11Alive themselves from September 1976 and still do so today. In 1978, WPIX was launched on satellite and became a Superstation. In 1980, WPIX began 24 hour a day operations along with WOR-TV.

WPIX suffered from declining ratings in the late 1980s and early 1990s. During this time, now-Fox-owned WNYW and a resurgent WWOR, then owned by MCAUniversal, relegated WPIX to sixth place among New York's VHF stations. After president Levitt Pope stepped down as general manager but remaining president and CEO of WPIX, a new general manager, Michael Eigner, was transferred to WPIX from Los Angeles sister station KTLA in 1989, the station engineered a slow turnaround that eventually resulted in WPIX becoming the leading independent station in the New York market. In 1994, the station became the exclusive home of the New York City Marathon, carrying the five-borough running event for the next five years.

WB affiliation

In January 1995, WPIX became an affiliate of the WB Television Network. Through Tribune's ownership interest in the WB (initially 12.5 percent in 1995, and later expanded to 22 percent), channel 11 could have been referred to as the WB's "flagship" station -- though this is a designation in name only. The Warner Bros. Television division of Time Warner was the majority owner of the WB, and programming was distributed from the WB's facilities in Los Angeles.

Initially, WPIX continued with its usual programming. But due to industry changes, the station shifted directions beginning in 1996. As WB network and syndicated daytime programming (such as Maury, Judge Mathis, and The Jerry Springer Show) became more prominent on channel 11's schedule, most of the station's local-interest programming began to disappear. WPIX was once home to the St. Patrick's Day, National Puerto Rican Day and Columbus Day parades, and Macy's Independence Day fireworks program. Along with the New York City Marathon these events moved to WNBC-TV, and the Marathon and the Macy's show are now carried on the NBC network.

The first WB 11 logo, used from 1995-2006. Also used without the "THE" box on the left side with only the "WB". By the end of The WB's run, the "11" was slimmer.

WPIX lost its over-the-air broadcast rights to the Yankees to WNYW following the 1998 baseball season, more a result of regional cable sports networks (in this case, the Madison Square Garden Network) gaining team broadcast rights, leaving broadcast stations with fewer games to air. In 1999 the station replaced them with the New York Mets, which up until that point had spent their entire televised history with WOR/WWOR. Ironically, beginning in 2005, over-the-air Yankees broadcasts were aired by WWOR, which was as synonymous with the Mets as WPIX was with the Yankees.

In recent years, WPIX has revived The Yule Log, a special holiday program that combines Christmas music with a film loop of logs burning inside a fireplace. The film was made early in the holiday season of 1966 and shows a fire burning in the fireplace at New York's official mayoral residence, Gracie Mansion; it was done with the cooperation of then-Mayor John Lindsay. The Yule Log aired on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas morning, initially from 1966 until 1989, and viewer response brought it back in 2001. The revival of the Yule Log has proven to be just as popular, and several other Tribune-owned stations have carried the WPIX version, complete with its audio soundtrack, over the past several years. Channel 11 also airs a live broadcast of the Midnight Mass, from St. Patrick's Cathedral, on Christmas Eve.

As children's programming began to fade from broadcast television, The WB dropped its morning cartoon block in 2000, leaving the time for local stations to carry their own programming. On June 5 of that year, WPIX launched the WB 11 Morning News (now PIX Morning News), which has grown to challenge the established network morning programs as well as its more direct competitor, WNYW's Good Day New York. The station continued to carry Saturday morning cartoons from Kids WB up to May 17, 2008 when it was bought by 4Kids Entertainment, but the afternoon cartoon block was discontinued on December 30, 2005.

Screencap of the frozen WPIX image.

On September 11, 2001, the transmitter facilities of WPIX as well as eight other New York City television stations and several radio stations were destroyed when two hijacked airplanes crashed into and destroyed the World Trade Center towers. The station's lead engineer, Steve Jacobson, was among those who were lost in the tragedy. WPIX's satellite feed froze on the last video frame received from the WTC mast, an image of the Twin Towers burning (this was ironic, considering a long-running WPIX advertising campaign in the early 80s, in which a fictitious ad man repeatedly fails to understand that the Twin Towers would make a good logo for Channel 11); the image remained on the screen for much of the day until WPIX was able to set up alternate transmission facilities (the microwave relay for WPIX's satellite feed was also up there). Since then, WPIX has transmitted its signal from the Empire State Building.

CW affiliation

On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN networks announced that they would merge into a new service, The CW Television Network, named for its corporate parents CBS (the parent company of UPN) and Warner Bros. Television. The new network signed a 10-year affiliation deal with most of Tribune's WB stations, including WPIX. Unlike in its relationship with the WB, Tribune does not have an ownership interest in The CW -- meaning, once again, WPIX is the network's "flagship" station in name only. However, this does make WPIX, not only the largest CW affiliate that is not owned by the network, but also the largest English language network affiliated television station that is not an O&O of its respective network, as well as the only major New York City television station to be a non-O&O.

WPIX's The CW logo from September 18, 2006 to November 30, 2008

In the summer of 2006, WPIX began the transition to the new CW by unveiling its new branding, CW 11, with on-air promos, on-screen program bugs, and an outdoor advertising campaign. WPIX was officially re-branded as CW 11 on September 17, 2006, the day before The CW launched. The rebranding began with the 10 p.m. newscast, which aired at the conclusion of The WB's final night of programming. Prior to the newscast, the station aired a video montage of past WPIX logos, starting with a 1948 test pattern and concluding with the official unveiling of the new CW 11 logo.

On April 2, 2007, Chicago-based investor Sam Zell announced plans to purchase the Tribune Company, with intentions to take the firm private. The deal was completed on December 20, 2007. Prior to the close of the sale, WPIX had been the only New York City commercial television station to have never been involved in an ownership transaction.

On April 26, 2008, WPIX began broadcasting its news in high-definition, becoming the fourth television station in New York City to do so.

Digital television

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Digital channels

Channel Name Video Aspect Programming
11.1 PIX 11 1080i 16:9 Main WPIX/CW programming
11.2 Estrlla TV 480i 4:3 Estrella TV
11.3 LATV 480i 4:3 LATV

Analog-to-Digital Conversion

WPIX ended programming on its analog signal, over VHF channel 11, on June 12, 2009 [2] at 12:30 PM, as part of the DTV transition in the United States. The station had been broadcasting its pre-transition digital signal over UHF channel 33, but returned to channel 11 for its post-transition operations. [3] [4]

News programming

News has played an important role on channel 11 from the station's beginnings. As most stations did in the late 1940s and early 1950s, WPIX aired filmed coverage of news events, The station's first news program, TelePIX Newsreel, was the first in New York to consist entirely of filmed coverage.

WPIX also produced many acclaimed news documentary films during the 1950s and early 1960s through its production arm, WPIX International. Among its productions included The Secret Life of Adolf Hitler, Cuba, Castro and Communism, and The Most Powerful Woman of the Century, a profile of Evita Peron. Channel 11's efforts first got attention when the station covered the collision, and later, sinking of the New York-bound oceanliner SS Andrea Doria off the coast of Nantucket in 1956.

From 1974 to early 1984, WPIX used the Action News title and format for its local news programs. In 1977, the station commissioned "Move Closer to Your World" as their theme music. A 30-minute newscast aired at 7:30 p.m., and a one-hour program (at some points it was also 30 minutes) ran at 10:00 p.m..

From June 1980 until June 1990, WPIX produced and syndicated Independent Network News (INN), a national newscast for independent stations. The program featured the same talent that worked on WPIX' local newscasts. WPIX transmitted the national show's live feed weeknights at 9:30 p.m. (Eastern). In New York, WPIX paired a 10 p.m. replay of the national show with a live local newscast at 10:30 p.m., called the "Action News Metropolitan Report."

As part of a midday expansion of INN starting in 1981, channel 11 also experimented with a newscast at 12:30 p.m. co-anchored by Marvin Scott. During the decade, WPIX also offered INN affiliates The Wall Street Journal Report, a business-oriented show; and From the Editor's Desk, a Sunday newsmaker show hosted by Richard D. Heffner, host of the long-running public-affairs program The Open Mind.

WPIX was also famous for the many post-news editorials from 1969 to 1995 that were delivered by Richard N. Hughes, the station's vice president of news operations. His editorials ended with the legendary tagline, "What's your opinion? We'd like to know." Periodically, he would read excerpts from viewers' letters in response to the editorials, invariably closing each excerpt by saying, "And that ends that quote."

The station dropped Action News in 1984 and renamed its programs as The Independent News. In 1986, the national INN newscast, which was contained within the 10:00 show, was renamed USA Tonight, while the 7:30 program retained the title Independent News. When INN was cancelled, the 7:30 program ended as well, and WPIX focused its efforts on the 10:00 program.

Over the years, channel 11 has won many awards for news, and was the first independent station to win a New York-area Emmy Award for outstanding newscast, first gaining the statuette in 1979 and earning it again in 1983. It was a significant comeback for a news operation that was accused of falsifying news reports broadcasts in the late 1960s, such as labeling stock footage as "via satellite", and saying a voice report was live from Prague when, in actuality, it was made from a pay telephone in Manhattan. As a result, a group called Forum Communications — led by future PBS and NBC News president Lawrence Grossman — approached the FCC to challenge WPIX Inc.'s license to operate channel 11, but after years of litigation, WPIX and the Daily News prevailed in 1979.

As a sidenote, WPIX's questionable news gathering practices of the late 1960's became fodder for jokes, and may have been the inspiration for Chevy Chase's running gag on the Weekend Update segments of Saturday Night Live during that show's first season (1975-1976) in which he would introduce a "file report" from a correspondent in the field, and as the file report (some of which used clips of old 1930's cartoons or comedy one-reelers that were passed off as "File Footage," although the clips had almost nothing to do with the story being reported) ends, the "correspondent" is revealed to be Chevy himself, in the studio, using an alias and holding his nose to get the "pinched" effect of voices heard by telephone.

On December 1, 2008, along with the revised circle 11 logo, WPIX's newscasts were also rebranded as PIX Morning News and PIX News at Ten. The PIX call letters are pronounced phonetically, similar to the word "picks".

Nearly 19 years after its final INN early evening newscast aired, WPIX launched a new early evening Newscast on September 14, 2009.[5] [6] The broadcast is called PIX News at 6:30 and airs seven nights a week. With the launch of the WPIX newscast all but one of the major New York area stations now air a nightly news program before 10 PM at least five days a week (WWOR, which airs their newscast weeknights at 11 PM and does not air weekend news, is the only one that doesn't).

Personalities

Current On-Air Talent

Current Anchors

Reporters

  • Arthur Chi'en - general assignment reporter
  • James Ford - morning reporter
  • Emily Frances - evening reporter
  • Chris Glorioso - general assignment reporter
  • Allison Haunss - general assignment reporter
  • Rob Hoell - general assignment reporter
  • Larry Hoff - general assignment reporter
  • Allison Kaden - general assignment reporter
  • Jennifer Jordan - general assignment reporter
  • Lisa Mateo - general assignment reporter
  • Larry Mendte - commentator
  • Jill Nicolini - morning reporter
  • Thalia Patillo - general assignment reporter
  • Marvin Scott - general assignment reporter
  • Shon Gabels - general assignment reporter
  • Monica Morales - general assignment reporter

Weather Team

  • Irv "Mr. G" Gikofsky - Chief "Meteorologist;" weeknights at 6:30PM and 10PM
  • Linda Church (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings
  • Chris Knowles - Meteorologist; weekends at 6:30PM and 10PM

Sports Team

  • Lolita Lopez - Sports Anchor; weeknights at 6:30PM and 10PM
  • Glenn Petraitis - sports reporter

Notable alumni

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • Three Star News (1948-1955)
  • Telepix: The Channel 11 Newsreel (1955-1962)
  • Television 11/TV 11 News (1962-1974)
  • Channel 11 News (1974-1977 and 1989-1997)
  • Action News (1977-1984)
  • Independent Network News (1980-1984, concurrent with Action News)
  • INN: The Independent News (1984-1990)
  • USA Tonight (1986-1987)
  • New York Tonight (1987-1989)
  • WB11 News (1997-2006)
  • CW11 News (2006-2008)
  • PIX News (2008-present)

Station Slogans

  • New York's Movie Station (early-mid 1990s)
  • New York's Home of The CW (2009-present)
  • News to Talk About (2009-present; variation of CW network slogan)
Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

Weekly programs

Metro Residential TV

  • This program is hosted by news reporter/fill-in anchor Cathy Hobbs and Jeff Appel. It airs every Sunday Morning at 9:00 a.m.

Toni On! New York

  • This program is hosted by Toni Senecal and airs every Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 11:30 am.

Public affairs and special events

In addition to its news-oriented broadcasts, WPIX was a leader in public-affairs and special events programming, inspired by its roots as the television station of the Daily News. Early on, it offered the first in-depth program to look at New York City government, called City Hall. WPIX children's show personality Jack McCarthy anchored the station's coverage of the St. Patrick's Day Parade, and the station later added the Columbus Day and National Puerto Rican Day Parade to its stable. Later on, the station produced Essence, a TV show inspired by Essence magazine and hosted by the publication's chief editor, Susan L. Taylor.

Editor's Desk host Richard Heffner was and still is the host of the longtime interview show The Open Mind, which was produced by channel 11 (and was concurrently aired on PBS stations) before moving to other New York studios.

Logos

"Circle 11 logo" redirects here.
WPIX's Circle 11 logo.

WPIX's famous Circle 11 logo -- pre-dating the World Trade Center, which it closely resembled -- was first unveiled in 1969. (A Yankee Stadium advertising billboard for WPIX with the Circle 11 logo appeared that year.)

The station dropped Circle 11 when it adopted the 11 Alive moniker in September of 1976 (though it continued to appear during station editorials until around 1982), but re-incorporated the Circle 11 into the 11 Alive branding in 1984. The Circle 11 logo returned full-time in the fall of 1986. Its relaunch featured a series of humorous promos in which a fictitious station employee, "Henry Tillman", was searching for a "big idea", for something uniquely New York in nature to serve as the perfect symbol for WPIX. The running gag in these commercials was the fact that Tillman was constantly surrounded by -- but never noticed -- objects resembling a giant eleven, most notably the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

The station revised its look when it unveiled a stylized 11 logo during WPIX's broadcast of the 1994 New York City Marathon. The new numerical look eventually became the full-time logo, augmented with the WB logo after the station became a WB affiliate in 1995.

The station's CW 11 logo was first used for promos and teasers announcing the imminent change to The CW, and then first used as a full-time logo on the station's 10:00 newscast on September 17, 2006. The newscast was preceded by a graphic of all of WPIX's logos throughout the years, ending with the CW 11 logo.

The CW 11 logo has been replaced with a modernized version of WPIX's Circle 11 logo featuring the WB era "11" figure in a slimlined form within the circle. The station began a gradual on-air transition in mid-October 2008 by including the new look in program promos. The station featured the new logo in a half-hour New York Jets football pre-game show special on November 13, 2008. The transition was completed on December 1, 2008. [7] The CW logo is sometimes used next to the circle 11 logo, primarily in local advertisements for CW network programming.

See also

References

External links


New creation Broadcast Home of the New York Yankees
1951–1998
Succeeded by
WNYW Channel 5
1999–2001
Preceded by
WWOR-TV Channel 9
1962–1998
Broadcast Home of the New York Mets
1999–present
Current holder

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