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WBBH-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for Southwest Florida that is licensed to Fort Myersmarker. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 15 from a transmitter located north of Fort Myers Shoresmarker near the Leemarker and Charlottemarker County line. The station can also be seen on Comcast channel 2 (hence the NBC 2 branding) and in high definition on digital channel 232. Owned by Waterman Broadcasting Corporation, WBBH operates ABC affiliate WZVN-TVmarker (which is owned by Montclaire Communications) through a local marketing agreement (a.k.a. LMA). The two share studios on Central Avenue in Fort Myers. Syndicated programming on WBBH includes: Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Rachael Ray and Ellen.

History

WBBH-TV was the second television station in Southwest Florida signing-on as the area's NBC affiliate on December 18, 1968. Started by local businessmen, the station originally used a 1,000 foot tower in Lehigh Acresmarker which increased to 1,500 feet in 1983. It broadcasted an analog signal on UHF channel 20. Waterman Broadcasting purchased the station in 1978 and the -TV suffix was removed from the call letters on October 16 of that year (they were later bought back). In 1994, ABC affiliate WEVU changed its calls to WZVN and entered into a local marketing agreement with WBBH. That station then moved into WBBH's facilities.

At that time, both stations began identifying by their cable channels. They began broadcasting high definition signals on October 31, 2002 becoming the first two stations in the market to offer network programming in HD. WBBH began offering NBC Weather Plus on a new its second digital subchannel in September 2006. It was also seen on Comcast digital channel 247. In December 2008 after Weather Plus folded, WBBH-DT2 switched formats and became a 24-hour local news channel known as "NBC 2 News Now". It can still be seen on digital cable. On February 17, 2009 at Noon the station went all-digital.

News operation

WBBH's nightly 6 o'clock news open.


In 1994, when WBBH and WZVN begin their partnership reporters would appear on either station. The combined forces of the two stations were billed as the Eyewitness News Network. However, each station used its own primary personalities, news set, and on-air style. Today this continues with Darrel Adams as the Executive News Director and Manager of Promotions for both stations. Although the two have separate on-air identities, it is not unusual for news personnel to share video since WZVN has a smaller news department. WBBH tends to cover more news from Charlotte Countymarker while WZVN has a slight Collier Countymarker focus.

Compared with WBBH, that station's newscasts tend to air in a fast-paced format with on-air promotions referring to the airing of more news in 30 minutes. There are also fewer live shots done out in the field. WBBH is the primary competitor with CBS affiliate WINK-TVmarker which has been and continues to be the market leader. This station's best known former personality is Harry Horn who was also a veteran of WZVN and WINK-TV. He lost his battle with ALS in August 2005. During major hurricanes, recently Charley and Wilma, the news teams of WBBH and WZVN join together to put on 24-hour coverage. There is a simulcast on both stations and a common live video stream on both of their websites. During previous years, WBBH's anchor desk was used along with both station's weather centers. As of the 2007 season, WZVN's high definition set will be used in the event of a hurricane as it provides the best protection against damaging winds. Commercial breaks are dropped for several hours preceding and following landfall. Since March 2007, WBBH's website has been offering live streaming video of its weekday Noon and 4 P.M. newscasts. In June, the station added local news segments to its NBC Weather Plus subchannel. In early-February 2008 following the lead of WZVN, WBBH upgraded to enhanced digital definition.

On July 19, the two stations started broadcasting their local newscasts in high definition becoming the second and third stations respectively in Fort Myers to do so (WZVN upgraded five hours after WBBH). On October 26, several changes occurred with WZVN dropping the first hour of its weekday morning news as well as their 10 A.M. broadcast. WBBH debuted a new 11 A.M. newscast while keeping its Noon broadcast. In addition to their main studios, WBBH operates two news bureaus. The Collier County Bureau is located on Tamiami Trail North (a.k.a. U.S. 41) in Naplesmarker. The Charlotte County Bureau is located in Punta Gordamarker. The two stations own and share a Baron weather radar. It is located at their studios and is known on WBBH as "First Alert Power Doppler HD". The radar has a range of 300 miles and can survey approaching storms in three dimensions. Starting on February 23, 2009, WAVV-FM 101.1 began simulcasting WBBH weekday mornings from 6 to 7. On September 8, WZVN began airing a weeknight broadcast at 7 known as The 7 O'Clock News which competes with WINK-TV's prime time show. Both news departments of WBBH and WZVN contribute to this program.

News team

Current personalities

+ denotes personnel also seen on WZVN

Anchors
  • Clay Miller - weekday mornings
  • Heather Turco - weekday mornings
  • + Eric Weisfeld - weekdays at 11 A.M.
  • Nancy Alvarez - weekdays at 11 A.M. and Noon
    • health reporter
  • Craig Wolf - weekdays at Noon, 5, 5:30, and 6
  • Paul LaGrone - weeknights at 4, 4:30, and 11
    • investigate reporter
  • + Jamie Yuccas - weeknights at 4, 4:30, 7, and 11
  • Kellie Burns - weeknights at 5, 5:30, and 6
  • Michelle Burdo - weekends
  • Brandon Gunnoe - weekend evenings


NBC 2 First Alert Storm Team
  • + Robert Van Winkle - Chief seen weeknights
  • Haley Webb - weekday mornings
  • + John Patrick (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - weekdays at 11 A.M.
  • Morgan Palmer (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - weekdays at Noon, 4, and 4:30
  • + Chris Lambert (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) - weekends


Sports
  • Chris Long - Director seen weeknights at 6 and 11
  • Grant Lodes - weekend evenings and weekend morning anchor
    • The NBC 2 Sports Machine host and video journalist


Reporters
  • Marisa Brahney - investigative
  • Kelly Creswell
  • + Stacey Deffenbaugh
  • Scott Dobroski - Collier County Bureau
  • Kate Eckman - Cape Coral
  • Kegan Feeny
  • Adam Freeman - Collier County Bureau
  • Sarah Hollenbeck
  • Kara Kenney - investigative
  • Anne Imanuel
  • Christina Mora
  • Chad Oliver - "One Tank Trips" segment producer
  • Kevin Ozebeck
  • Jason Pawloski - weekday morning traffic
  • Danielle Rotolo
  • Meaghan Smith


Former personalities

  • Mike Mason - Investigative Reporter
  • Elizabeth Tardy-morning anchor
  • Laura Arroyo
  • Bob Austin - anchor
  • Chere Avery (now VP Communications for Qualcomm in San Diego)
  • Leslie Bohl - anchor
  • Grant Boxleitner-Charlotte County Reporter (now at SNN 6) (2006-2009)
  • Trent Butler - morning anchor (now at WAGTmarker) (1995-2006)
  • Jonathan Carlson - reporter (left for KTXL-TVmarker in Sacramentomarker, Now at WSPA-TVmarker in South Carolinamarker)
  • Jim Clarke - meteorologist (now at sister station WZVN-TVmarker)
  • Meghan Danahey - meteorologist (now at WFAA-TVmarker in Dallasmarker)
  • Josh Davidsburg - transportation reporter
  • Jorma Duran - reporter (2003-2007) (now at The Weather Channel)
  • Jim Farrell - chief forecaster (now at WINK-TVmarker)
  • Hunter Finnell - sports
  • Patrick Flanary- reporter (2005-2008) Moved with his wife to Tampa.
  • Richard Frohlich - weekend anchor
  • Marlene Galan - anchor
  • Bob Goldberger - anchor
  • Sharon Gregory - anchor (was moved to anchor on sister station WZVN, now at WVIR-TVmarker)
  • Sloane Heffernan - reporter and weekend anchor (now at WRAL-TVmarker) (2001-2006)
  • Beth Hobbs - anchor
  • Harry Horn - anchor
  • Tom James - sports anchor
  • Eileen Javora - meteorologist (now at KCRAmarker)
  • Phil Jean - weekend sports anchor
  • Todd Jurkowski - reporter (now at WKMG-TVmarker)
  • Mary Johnson
  • Cara Jones - reporter
  • Cara Sapida - reporter (now at WPXI-TVmarker)
  • Glenn Jones - weekend anchor/ reporter
  • Jason Kadah - weather (now at KREM-TVmarker in Spokane, WAmarker)
  • David Karsh - reporter (now at FOX News Radio Miami affiliate WIOD)
  • Gene Lavanchy - (now at WFXTmarker)
  • Maggie Newland - investigative reporter (now at KSTP-TVmarker)
  • Amy Oshier - reporter
  • Melissa Painter - anchor/reporter (now at WGHPmarker)
  • Danielle Pepe - weekend anchor
  • Mike Potter - forecaster
  • Noah Pransky- Reporter 2005-2009 (now at WTSPmarker)
  • Tom Rector - senior meteorologist (1980-2006)
  • Jessica Ritter
  • Andrew Resnik - reporter, Fired from KUSA-TVmarker After drug arrest.
  • Jay Severson
  • Dan Sheldon - sports anchor (now at KUTVmarker)
  • Shepard Smith - weekend anchor (now at FOX News Channel)
  • Chad Sokal
  • Beverly Stevens - anchor
  • David Sutta - crime reporter (now at WFOR-TVmarker) (2003-2007)
  • Jessica Stillwell- Resigned after husband convicted on real estate fraud (1995-2009)
  • Jim Syoen - forecaster - (now at WFTXmarker)
  • Brandon Todd - reporter (now at KDFWmarker)
  • Stephanie Tsoflias
  • Ukee Washington - sports anchor (now at KYW-TVmarker)
  • Stephanie Watson - morning anchor (now at KDKA-TVmarker) (2003-2006)
  • Warren Wright
  • Leisa Zigman - weekend anchor (now at KSDKmarker)
  • Dan Haggerty - weekday reporter (now at WEWSmarker)
  • Max Turnier - reporter (now at WINK-TVmarker)
  • Jillian Windham - weeknight traffic
  • Jeff Yastine - reporter (now at PBS' Nightly Business Report)


News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • WBBH TV 20 Eyewitness News (1984-1994)
  • Channel 2 News (1994-1996)
  • News 2 (1996-1997)
  • NBC2 News (1997-present)


Station slogans

  • 20, Proud as a Peacock! (1979-1981, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Southwest Florida's News Channel (1988-1996)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (1996-1997)
  • Count On Us! (1997-present)
  • Count On Us in High Definition (2007-present)


External links




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