WJAC-TV

WJAC-TV
WJAC-tv logo.png
MeTV WJAC.png
Johnstown/Altoona/
State College, Pennsylvania
City of license Johnstown
Branding WJAC-TV(general)
6 News
Me-TV 6 (on DT2)
Slogan Coverage You
Can Count On
Channels Digital: 34 (UHF)
Virtual: 6 (PSIP)
Subchannels 6.1 NBC
6.2 Me-TV
Owner Cox Enterprises
(WPXI, Inc.)
First air date 15th September, 1949
Call letters' meaning Johnstown Automotive
Company (original owner)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
13 (VHF, 1949–1952)
6 (VHF, 1952-2009)
Former affiliations CBS (1949–1953)
ABC (1949-1980s)
DuMont (1949–1955)
all secondary
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 388 m
Facility ID 73120
Transmitter coordinates 40°22′16.9″N 78°58′55.1″W / 40.371361°N 78.981972°W / 40.371361; -78.981972
Website wjactv.com

WJAC-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Allegheny area of Pennsylvania that is licensed to Johnstown. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 34 from a transmitter northwest of the city in Laurel Ridge State Park along the Cambria and Westmoreland County line. Owned by Cox Enterprises, the station has studios on Old Hickory Lane in Johnstown. Syndicated programming on the station includes The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Phil, Regis & Kelly, Entertainment Tonight, The Big Bang Theory, The Insider and Judge Judy.

Contents

Digital programming

WJAC-TV's signal is multiplexed. The Retro Television Network began airing on WJAC-TV's second digital subchannel in late December 2008.[1]

Along with sister station WPXI, WJAC-TV 6.2 transitioned to Me-TV at 12:00am on June 13 2011 immediately following an episode of Ellery Queen at which point the channel was switched to the Me-TV feed for the start of Hogan's Heroes. Sister station WTOV continued airing RTV programming after June 13. [2]

Channel Programming
6.1 main WJAC-TV programming / NBC
6.2 Me-TV

Digital repeaters

Callsign Channel City of license Note Transmitter location
WJAC-TV 22 Altoona Licenced Wopsononock
26 DuBois FCC application pending for construction permit southeast of Luthersburg
29 Bedford construction scheduled to be completed by June 2012 west of borough
W42DG-D 42 State College licensed southwest of Pine Grove Mills

History

Channel 6.2 logo from the RTN era.

WJAC-TV first began its broadcasting operations on 15th September, 1949[3] originally owned by the Johnstown Automotive Company along with WJAC radio (AM 1400, now WKGE at AM 850, and FM 95.5, now WKYE at FM 96.5). At the time, it was the third smallest television station in the country market wise to be granted a commercial license on or before December 31 behind CBS affiliate WBNG-TV in Binghamton, New York and fellow NBC affiliate WICU-TV in Erie. It originally aired an analog signal on VHF channel 13 before moving to VHF channel 6 in 1952. Upon its sign-on, it aired programming from all four networks of the time (NBC, CBS, ABC, and DuMont). CBS disappeared from WJAC-TV's schedule when WARD-TV channel 56 (now Pittsburgh's CW affiliate WPCW on channel 19) signed-on in 1953 followed by DuMont when it shut down network operations in 1955. However, the station continued to air a few ABC shows into the 1980s.

WJAC-TV logo until October 2011

[4]

In the 1960s, Johnstown Automotive sold the WJAC stations to the estate of Anderson H. Walters, the owner of The Tribune-Democrat, who held them until 1984 when tightened Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cross-ownership regulations forced the newspaper to sell off the radio stations. The Walters estate sold off the newspaper to MediaNews Group in 1987 but held on to Channel 6 until 1997 when it was sold to Sunrise Television. WJAC and new sister station WTOV-TV in the Steubenville, OhioWheeling, West Virginia market were sold to Cox in 2000. The two stations and WPXI in Pittsburgh are now occasionally marketed together as a result. WJAC-TV and WTOV were updated to WPXI's on-air graphics after being acquired by Cox, despite WPXI changing its own look in 2004. Most of the graphics introduced to WJAC-TV after the acquisition were used until October 2011, when WJAC-TV updated to WPXI's current look.

WJAC-TV gained a reputation for its locally-produced programs at the station throughout the years. Scholastic Quiz, a game show featuring local high school students, and Seniors Today (a public affairs program targeted to those 65 and older) would become mainstays of the station's programming and make host Ron Lorence (who would later build WADJ-AM, now WBHV, at 1330 AM and then buy WYSN-FM 101.7 now WCCL in Somerset County) a local household name. The station was also one of the stations across the country to produce a local version of the children's TV show ″Romper Room″. In the 1950s and 1960s, WJAC-TV's slogan was "Serving Millions From Atop the Alleghenies."

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion that took place on 12th June, 2009 [5], WJAC-TV remained on its current pre-transition UHF channel number 34. [6] However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display the station's virtual channel as 6.[7] The nearby mountain ridges had prevented most of Altoona and all of State College from receiving the analog signal. Because the audio portion of VHF channel 6 was transmitted at 87.75 MHz, it was possible to listen to the television station on most standard FM car radios (or any standard FM radio for that matter). This was a feature frequently employed by area residents. However, this is no longer an option after the digital conversion.

Out of Market Coverage

WJAC-TV is carried on various cable systems in several counties that are located outside of the Johnstown-Altoona market. These counties include Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana and Westmoreland. [8] [9] In West Virginia, it is carried in Petersburg (93 miles away), Dorcas, Moorefield and Keyser.

WJAC-TV is also broadcast over-the-air on a low-powered repeater, W54BG, in Moorefield, West Virginia.[10] This repeater is owned by Valley TV Cooperative.

60th anniversary

On 15th September, 2009, WJAC-TV celebrated its 60th year of broadcasting. [11] During that month, WJAC-TV aired several commercials advertising the anniversary. One featured a variation of the "Serving Millions from Atop the Alleghenies" slogan creating "Serving Millions Across the Alleghenies." This old slogan was used in various ways in the station's broadcasts and mixed with the station's then-current slogan "Coverage You Can Count On" to form "Coverage You Can Count On Across the Alleghenies" the year before.

WJAC-TV's logo for digital channel 6.2 during its tenure with RTV.

Use of Digital Sub-channels

With the introduction of sub-channels in the years leading up to the 2009 Digital Transition, WJAC-TV partnered with several different providers to provide quality content on its sub-channels. Before its closure in 2008, WJAC-TV carried NBC Weather Plus on DT2. In late 2008, WJAC-TV added the Retro Television Network to digital channel 6.2 to fill the spot left by the closure of NBC Weather Plus. This relationship lasted until June 2011 when RTV was replaced by the Me-TV Network.

News operation

Current 6 News open.

In the late 1960s and 1970s, WJAC-TV had a fifteen minute long news and weather show weekday afternoons at 1 known as The News Today. Its 6 o'clock newscast was known as The News Tonight and the 11 p.m. broadcast was entitled 11th Hour News. The weather segment aired first and was titled "Weather in Motion" with its own sounder and graphics. The sports had a separate theme and was called "Sports Wrap Up." WJAC-TV's weekday morning newscast began as a half-hour broadcast at 6:30 in 1985. In 1987, TCI Cable (now Comcast) in Centre County began producing a WJAC-TV newscast, known as the Centre County Report, specifically targeted to that area.

On 28th November, 2007, The Tribune Democrat reported that the shared news department of Fox affiliate WWCP-TV and ABC affiliate WATM-TV was going to shut down. [12] Under that operation, WWCP had produced an hour-long 10 p.m. news starting in 1992. However, according to a written statement, WWCP and WATM had been operating at a loss for years and the move was needed. The closure resulted in all personalities being released from their contracts. WJAC-TV had on-air positions open but no personnel from those two stations were hired.

Effective 14th January, 2008, WJAC-TV assumed production responsibility of the 10 o'clock broadcast on WWCP (still known as Fox 8 News at 10) which was reduced to 35 minutes on weeknights and thirty minutes on weekends. The WJAC-produced news uses the same music package and some voice-overs seen during segment opens as the former operation had. A new graphics package slightly different from WJAC-TV and new logos similar to the WWCP promo logo introduced in 2007 were created specifically for the primetime broadcast.

Because WJAC-TV has prior commitments with news and weather cut-ins during Today, WATM still produces its own Good Morning America news and weather cut-ins that are seen Tuesday through Saturday. Former WWCP co-anchor Sherry Stalley, who was still under contract when the news department shut down, hosts the updates.[13] The cut-ins use news video from the previous day's WJAC-produced WWCP broadcast and the same graphics package. On Mondays, the cut-ins are filled by WATM promos. In addition, WJAC-TV's nightly 11 o'clock newscast was simulcasted on that station branded as ABC 23 News until March 2011 when it was replaced by syndicated episodes of Senifeld.

WJAC-TV News open used from 2008-2011.

On 8th August, 2008, WJAC-TV unveiled a new set designed by FX Group in Orlando, Florida.[14][15] The station also unveiled a new graphics package and changed its on-air branding from its long standing "Channel 6" to "WJAC-TV" as different cable companies now carry the station on different channels.[16] In addition to its main studios, the station operates bureaus in State College, Altoona, and DuBois.

WJAC-TV officially changed the station's news branding from "WJAC-TV News" to "6 News" on 25 October 2011. This change comes only three years after the change from "Channel 6 News". In addition to the new branding, WJAC-TV updated their on-air graphics and theme music to those of sister station WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh.

Newscast titles

  • Your Esso Reporter (1949-1953)
  • DuBois News (1953-1961)
  • The Big News (1961-1966)
  • 24 Hours (1966-1974)
  • NewsCenter 6 (1974-2001)[17]
  • Channel 6 News (2001-2008)[18]
  • WJAC-TV News (2008-2011)[19]
  • 6 News (2011-present)

Station slogans

  • NewsCenter 6, The News People (1970s)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (2003-2008)
  • Coverage You Can Count On Across the Alleghenies (2008-2011)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (2011-present)

Localized version of NBC's national campaigns

  • Channel 6, Proud As A Peacock!/JAC, Proud As A Peacock! (1980)
  • Channel 6, Our Pride Is Showing/JAC, Our Pride Is Showing (1981-1982)
  • We're Channel 6, Just Watch Us Now/WJAC, Just Watch Us Now (1982-1983)
  • JAC There, Be There (1983-1984)
  • WJAC, Let's All Be There! (1984-1986)
  • Come Home to JAC (1986-1987)
  • Come on Home to 'JAC (1987-1988)
  • Come Home To The Best, Only on Channel 6 (1988-1990)
  • JAC, The Place to Be! (1990-1992)
  • It's A Whole New Channel 6 (1992-1993)
  • The Stars Are Back on 'JAC! (1993-1994)

News team

Anchors

  • Bill Brown - weekday mornings and noon
  • Lindsay Ward - weekday mornings
  • Jen Johnson - weeknights at 5, 5:30, and 6
  • Marty Radovanic - Managing Editor seen weeknights at 6 and 11
  • Nick Ruffner - weekends

Severe Weather Team 6 Meteorologists

  • Jim Burton (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief seen weekday mornings and noon
  • Tony Martin (AMS Seal of Approval) - weeknights
  • Josh Fosbrink (AMS Seal of Approval) - weekends

Sports

  • Matt Maisel - weekends and reporter
  • Mike Tressa - State College Reporter/Sports

Reporters

  • Gary Sinderson - State College Bureau Chief
  • Scott MacFarlane - Washington Bureau
  • Megan Hughes - Washington Bureau
  • Alison Burns - Washington Bureau
  • Bill Wadell - State College Bureau
  • Brittany Boyer - Clearfield County
  • Carol Han - Washington Bureau
  • Nick Ruffner - 11pm Reporter
  • Karissa Shatzer - Blair County
  • Melanie Gillespie - Johnstown Newsroom
  • Maria Miller - Johnstown Newsroom

Notable former on-air staff

  • John Patrick - Weekend Evening meteorologist from 1997-1998 and again from 2001-2003 (now at WZVN-TV)
  • Tim Rigby - Sports Director and Executive Producer from 1981-2011 [20]

References

  1. ^ http://tribune-democrat.com/business/x519181524/WJAC-launches-classic-TV-network
  2. ^ http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/ae/more/s_730137.html
  3. ^ http://www.wjactv.com/60thanniversary/9198153/detail.html
  4. ^ http://www.cambriacountyhistorical.com/newsletters/heritageqtrly/winter2004.htm
  5. ^ http://www.dailyamerican.com/articles/2009/02/08/news/news/news894.txt
  6. ^ WJAC-TV FCC DTV status report
  7. ^ http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/sta_det.pl?Facility_id=73120
  8. ^ https://www.comcast.com/Customers/Clu/ChannelLineup.ashx?print=1&CGID=2232
  9. ^ https://www.comcast.com/Customers/Clu/ChannelLineup.ashx?print=1&CGID=2228
  10. ^ http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?request=station_search&callsign=W54BG#station
  11. ^ http://www.wjactv.com/60thanniversary/index.html
  12. ^ http://www.tribune-democrat.com/local/local_story_332113055.html
  13. ^ http://tribune-democrat.com/homepage/x519154210/News-trio-delivers-final-broadcast
  14. ^ http://www.wjactv.com/60thanniversary/17122940/detail.html
  15. ^ http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x519170492/WJAC-news-de-emphasizes-channel-number-undergoes-makeover
  16. ^ http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x519170492/WJAC-news-de-emphasizes-channel-number-undergoes-makeover
  17. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU_g6CoRkvE
  18. ^ http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x519170492/WJAC-news-de-emphasizes-channel-number-undergoes-makeover
  19. ^ http://tribune-democrat.com/local/x519170492/WJAC-news-de-emphasizes-channel-number-undergoes-makeover
  20. ^ http://tribune-democrat.com/sports/x1511130141/End-of-an-era-for-local-sports-anchor

External links


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