WTTV: Wikis


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WTTV: Bloomington/Indianapolis, Indiana
WTTK: Kokomo/Lafayette, Indiana
Branding Indiana's 4
Slogan live Indiana.
Channels Digital: WTTV: 48 (UHF)
WTTK: 29 (UHF)
Virtual: WTTV: 4 (PSIP)
Subchannels 4.1 The CW
4.2 This TV
Owner Tribune Company
(Tribune Broadcast Holdings, Inc.)
First air date WTTV: November 11, 1949
WTTK: May 6, 1983
Call letters’ meaning WTTV:
Tarzian TeleVision
(after founding owner Sarkes Tarzian)
Sister station(s) WXIN
Former callsigns WTTV: none
WTTK: WWKI (1983-1987)
Former channel number(s) WTTV:
Analog: 10 (VHF, 1949-1954)
4 (VHF, 1954-2009)
Analog: 29 (VHF, 1983-2009)
Digital: 54 (UHF)
Former affiliations NBC (1949-1956)
ABC (secondary, 1949-1954)
DuMont (secondary, 1949-1956)
Independent (1956-1995)
UPN (1995-1998)
The WB (1998-2006)
Transmitter Power WTTV:
870 kW
550 kW
Height WTTV:
318 m
300 m
Facility ID WTTV: 56523
WTTK: 56526
Transmitter Coordinates WTTV:
39°24′27″N 86°8′52″W / 39.4075°N 86.14778°W / 39.4075; -86.14778
39°53′20″N 86°12′7″W / 39.88889°N 86.20194°W / 39.88889; -86.20194 (WTTK)
Website indianas4.com

WTTV, channel 4, is a television station licensed to Bloomington, Indiana, serving as The CW Television Network affiliate for the Indianapolis, Indiana television market. WTTV is owned by the Tribune Company, and is one-half of a duopoly with WXIN (channel 59), the market's Fox affiliate. The two stations share a studio in the northwest side of Indianapolis, and WTTV's transmitter is located in Trafalgar, Indiana.

WTTV simulcasts its programming on a satellite station, WTTK (channel 29) in Kokomo, Indiana (50 miles / 80 km north of Indianapolis), which serves the northern areas of the market as well as the neighboring Lafayette area. WTTK's transmitter is located near Windfall, Indiana.



WTTV began operation on November 11, 1949; on channel 10 as Indiana's second television station, after WFBM-TV (channel 6, now WRTV). It has made the claim to being Indiana's oldest 'continuously operating' television station because WFBM-TV had a transmitter failure which put it off the air for an extended period of time shortly after WTTV went on. The station was owned by Sarkes Tarzian, a Bloomington-based radio manufacturer, and was an NBC affiliate with secondary ABC and DuMont affiliations. In 1957, the station activated its current tower in Trafalgar (Geographical coordinates: 39°24′27.4″N 86°8′52.2″W / 39.407611°N 86.147833°W / 39.407611; -86.147833). At 1,171 feet (357 m), it is the tallest structure in Indiana.

WTTV moved from channel 10 to channel 4 on February 21, 1954. It dropped ABC two months later after WISH-TV (channel 8) signed on. In 1956, NBC moved its affiliation to WFBM-TV, and WTTV became an independent station. Also in 1956, it moved its studios from Bloomington to Indianapolis. At that point, the station signed on air weekdays at 2:00 p.m., and showed a test pattern until 4:00 p.m., when its programming began. The station initially ran old movies and low budget syndicated shows as well as producing some of its own local programming.

Throughout the 1960s, 70s and early 80s, WTTV was known in Central Indiana for its local programming, including children's shows Janie (previously Popeye and Janie) and Cowboy Bob's Corral (previously Chuckwagon Theatre, both starring Bob Glaze as Cowboy Bob). By then, WTTV was on the air by 6am and stayed on until at least 2am. In addition to local programming, WTTV aired plenty of movies in the early afternoon and prime time slots. They also aired cartoons both mixed in with locally produced children's shows in the afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m. In the evenings, WTTV aired off-network sitcoms. Horror movies were presented late-nights by Sammy Terry, a ghoulish vampire character portrayed by Bob Carter. The station frequently ran local advertising included Dave Mason Buick, "Old Dave needs the money", who was often shown in the stands during coverage of the Marion County fair. During the 1970s, WTTV became a regional superstation available on many cable systems in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, though it disappeared from cable systems outside Indiana in the mid-1980s. Although it was one of the strongest independent stations in the country, it remained an independent station when Fox debuted in 1986; the network opted to affiliate with future sister station WXIN.

By the mid 1980s, WTTV added more cartoons during the day, as well as airing more recent off-network sitcoms during the evening. The station was on 24 hours a day by then as well. During the day, WTTV began airing first-run syndicated talk shows. In 1989, Sarkes Tarzian bought WWKI-TV (channel 29) in Kokomo, and made the station a full-time satellite of WTTV as WTTK. Channel 29 had signed on in 1987. WTTV's tower is located farther south than the other major Indianapolis stations due to FCC regulations requiring that a station's transmitter be no farther than 15 miles (24 km) from its city of license (in this case, Bloomington, which is 50 miles (80 km) south of Indianapolis). As a result, it only provided a grade B ("rimshot") signal to Indianapolis' northern suburbs until the purchase of channel 29.

In the late 1980s, it produced a film noir-styled mystery show titled Hide & Sneak that was related to a scratch-off game distributed at local supermarkets. Solving the mystery presented in one of the skits led to prizes. Each episode aired only once, however, because of its time-sensitive nature.

The station was sold to River City Broadcasting in 1991 and became a charter UPN affiliate in 1995. It came under the ownership of the Sinclair Broadcast Group following the group's merger with River City. The station became a The WB affiliate in 1998 after swapping affiliations with WNDY-TV. It disappeared from most cable systems outside the Indianapolis market in the late 1990s, but is still available on cable on the Indiana side of the Terre Haute market.

In 2002, the station was sold by Sinclair to Tribune, making WTTV and WXIN sister stations. Although WTTV was longer established, Tribune kept Fox programming on WXIN due to WTTV's weaker signal in the northern part of the market.

On November 11, 2008, WTTV began celebrating its 60th year on the air and to commemorate the occasion, began airing promos to commemorate the occasion.



The station also referred to itself as "Indiana's Sports Station" for years, having been Indianapolis' home of Big Ten basketball - with a focus on Indiana University and Purdue University - since the 1950s, via both in-house productions and later syndication deals with Raycom Sports and ESPN Plus. In fact, many cable systems in Indiana began carrying WTTV simply to get the Hoosiers and Boilermakers.

WTTV also presented other Big Ten football and men's basketball matchups on Saturdays, but when the Big Ten Network launched in August 2007, all Big Ten sports left the station. To replace this a Big East basketball game is now shown on Saturdays instead (presumably due to the large following of Notre Dame in the area).

The station is also the flagship for Indianapolis Colts preseason games.

WTTV traditionally produced the boys' and girls' state high school basketball "Final Fours" and football class championship games; however, after the Indiana High School Athletics Association converted its basketball tournament from single-class to multi-class in 1997, WTTV chose not to renew those rights due to declining ratings.

WTTV also served as the television flagship for the Indiana Pacers from the team's days in the original ABA, except for a period in the mid-'80s when WXIN held those rights. However, the Pacers left WTTV beginning in the 2006-2007 season [1], as the Pacers decided to go with cable-only local telecasts, via FSN Indiana (the Indiana-branded feed of FSN Midwest).

In August 2008, the newly branded "Indiana's 4" started running "Hoosier High-School Sports Overtime," a weekly half-hour program devoted to Indiana high school athletics. The show airs Sunday mornings at 11:30 and is hosted by Jeremiah Johnson.

Debuting in November 2008, "Hoosier High-School Sports Classics" re-airs past Indiana State championship games in football and basketball with present day interviews of coaches and athletes that were involved. It also runs Sunday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 am.

From The WB to The CW

On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN networks announced they would merge. The newly combined network would be called The CW, the letters representing the first initial of its corporate parents CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. WTTV was announced as one of the network's charter affiliates.

Indiana's 4

In August 2008, the station changed their branding from CW 4 to "Indiana's 4" in a corporate effort by Tribune to strengthen the local branding of their stations and reduce the dependence on the use of the "CW" in their stations' brandings.

Bob and Tom

Indianapolis radio icons Bob and Tom formed a partnership with Tribune Company for cable superstation WGN America based in Chicago. As part of the deal WTTV Indianapolis would air their nightly 1 hour show first. It is WTTV's and Tribune's attempt at bringing back local programming to the station.


WXIN primary morning anchors seen weekdays.

From 1950 until 1991, WTTV operated a news department. In 1991, WTTV began airing a 10:00 pm newscast produced by WRTV - McGraw-Hill Broadcasting bought time on WTTV to air "6News at 10", and the news open began with a mention of WTTV. The newscast was canceled when Tribune bought the station so as to not compete with WXIN's news.

Except for WXIN airing its 10pm news on WTTV during MLB playoffs, no newscasts aired on WTTV at all until 2008, when it began simulcasting the four hours of WXIN's morning news as of March 31, 2008 until September 18, 2009 (the last three hours from January 2 to March 28 of 2008), in addition to airing WXIN's 10 p.m. newscast when Fox programming or sports delays the news on WXIN. There is no "News at Ten" logo in place of "FOX 59 News," unlike its Hartford (Connecticut) sister station. If there's anything close to news on WTTV/WTTK, it is Indy's MarketPlace (or Indiana's Market). Indy's MarketPlace airs weekdays at 11:30am. Beginning on September 21st, 2009, it will air at 8am and Indiana's Market will air at 11:30am. As of Monday, October 12th, 2009, WTTV simulcasts FOX 59 Morning News once again. However, it only airs from 4:30am to 6am.

Notable WTTV Alumni

  • Doug Rafferty, anchor 1974-1991 (went to WGME Portland, ME, now semi-retired)
  • Jim Lockwood, anchor of Morning News and later New Dircector, now deceased
  • Barbara Stock, (host of the talk show "Mid-Morning", best known as Susan Silverman on the detective drama "Spenser: For Hire")
  • Eric Halvorson, (reporter, now anchor at rival WISH)
  • Chuck Marlowe, (longtime sports director, now retired)
  • Billie Boucher, television host and women's director 1962-1968
  • Sal Collura, photo journalist 1961-1981
  • Sammy Terry, late night horror movie show host
  • Bob Glaze, "Cowboy Bob", longtime children's show host and producer of many local programs on WTTV.
  • Janie Hodge, longtime morning children's show host.
  • Peggy Nicholson, former children's show host of "Peggy's World" and "Popeye & Peggy".
  • Rich Green, weekend anchor, host of talk show "Mid-Morning"
  • Gary Lee, former sports director
  • Jerry Baker, high school sports announcer, also WIBC sports director
  • Chuck Workman, weekend sports anchor, now a columnist for Nuvo Newsweekly
  • Jim Gerard, longtime talk show host, now deceased
  • Hilliard Gates, longtime sports announcer and basketball sideline reporter, now deceased
  • Suzanne McAllister, "Mid-Morning" co-host
  • Michael O. Davenport, Longtime Master Control
  • Steve Miller, Producer/Director/Booth Announcer 1968-1974
  • Bob Wade, Producer/Director (passed 8-19-09)
  • Paul Poteet, meteorologist (now at WZPL)
  • Frank Edwards, Host of "Stranger Than Science", A locally produced program on UFO's and the paranormal from 1955 to 1959 and 1961 to 1962. (passed 1967)

Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • Capital News Beat (1969-1971)
  • Channel 4 News (1971-1974)
  • News 4 Indiana (1974-1979)
  • The Ten O'Clock News/The Nine O'Clock News (standard time), (1979-1988)
  • The Indiana Nightly News (1988-1989)
  • TTV4 News (1989-1991)
  • 6 News at Ten on TTV4 (1991-1998)
  • 6 News at Ten on WB 4 Indiana (1998-2002)
  • FOX 59 News on Indiana's WB 4 (October 2003-September 2006; during MLB Playoffs)
  • FOX 59 News on CW 4 (October 2006-August 2008)
  • FOX 59 News on Indiana's 4 (August 2008-September 18th, 2009 and October 12th, 2009-Present)

Station Slogans

  • Live Indiana. (2008-present)
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Digital television

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion (June 12, 2009) [1], WTTV continued digital broadcasts on its current pre-transition channel number, 48 [2], while WTTK-TV moved its digital broadcasts back to its previous analog channel number, 29. [3] Digital television receivers display WTTV's virtual channel as 4 through the use of PSIP.

See also

External links



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