Weigel Broadcasting is an American locally-based television broadcasting company. The company is based in downtown Chicago, Illinois, alongside its flagship station WCIU-TV (Channel 26), at the apt address of 26 North Halsted Street in the Greektown neighborhood.
The company founded by Chicago broadcasting veteran John Weigel, whose career dated back to the 1930s. With $1,000 of his own money, and another $1,000 from his attorney, Daniel J. McCarthy, Weigel bought the broadcasting license for what became the first UHF television station in the Chicago area. WCIU signed-on the air on February 6, 1964.
Over the years, the company began to acquire and also launch new stations in the adjacent markets of Milwaukee and South Bend, Indiana, at first by placing WCIU translators in those markets to gain a foothold in each market, before programming the stations indepedently. Weigel would end up an unexpected benefactor of the Fox affiliate switches of 1994, as their full power independent station WDJT-TV in Milwaukee ended up with the CBS affiliation late that year, while WBND-LP became the home of ABC programming in South Bend the next year when the original stations of the networks in each market switched to Fox.
Also in that same year, WCIU would drop the Spanish-language Univision network and become Chicago's only true full-power independent station when WGN and WPWR joined The WB and UPN networks respectively, while WGBO became a Univision O&O, allowing the station to pursue sports rights and syndicated programming not previously available and giving WCIU some strength in the market.
In early August 2008, Weigel Broadcasting agreed to sell all three of its South Bend stations -- WBND-LP, WCWW-LP and WMYS-LP, to Schurz Communications, the longtime owner of the local CBS affiliate WSBT-TV, for undisclosed terms. However, in the absence of action by the Federal Communications Commission, the deal was called off in August 2009.
Most of the stations are categorized into separate limited partnerships for licensing purposes.
At the end of 2009, Broadcasting & Cable gave Weigel Broadcasting its first annual Multi-Platform Broadcaster of the Year award. The company makes efficient use of digital TV's multicast capabilities, with one main channel and four subchannels for WCIU in Chicago, and MeTV and This TV on subchannels nationwide.
|Current DMA#||Market||Station-Channel-(Digital)||Current Affiliation||Official Licensee|
|3.||Chicago, Illinois||WWME-CA 23 (39, 23.11, 26.21)||Independent||"Channel 23 Limited Partnership"|
|WCIU-TV 26 (27)||Independent||"WCIU-TV Limited Partnership"|
|FBT (26.61, 4)||Foreign language programming||"WCIU-TV Limited Partnership"|
|This TV (26.41)||MGM and Cookie Jar programming||"WCIU-TV Limited Partnership"|
|WMEU-CA 48 (26.31, 48.11)||Independent||"Channel 48 Limited Partnership"|
|132.||Rockford, Illinois||WFBN-LP 33||Independent||Weigel Broadcasting Company|
|34.||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||WMLW-CA 41 (13, 58.22)||Independent||"Channel 41/63 Limited Partnership"|
|WBME-TV 49 (48)||Independent||"TV-49, Inc."|
|WDJT-TV 58 (46)||CBS||"WDJT-TV Limited Partnership"|
|This TV 58.3||MGM and Cookie Jar programming||"WDJT-TV Limited Partnership"|
|Shorewest TV 58.4||Real estate listings and programming from
Milwaukee-area real estate agency Shorewest Realtors
|"WDJT-TV Limited Partnership"
(time-lease by Shorewest Realtors)
|WYTU-LP 63 (17, 49.43)||Telemundo
(analog channel currently carries WBME's schedule)
|"Channel 41/63 Limited Partnership"|
|89.||South Bend, Indiana||WCWW-LP 25 (27)||CW||"WCWW-TV Limited Partnership"|
|WBND-LP 57 (49)||ABC||"WBND-TV Limited Partnership"|
|WMYS-LP 69 (23)||MyNetworkTV||Weigel Broadcasting Company|
1Carried on a digital subchannel of WCIU
2Carried on a digital subchannel of WDJT
3Carried on a digital subchannel of WBME
4No equivalent analog channel; subchannel has market-wide cable coverage