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WESH (pronounced "wesh" in its branding) is the NBC affiliate in Orlando, Floridamarker. It is licensed to Daytona Beachmarker, with studio facilities in Winter Parkmarker. It transmits its digital signal on VHF channel 11, when viewed over the air PSIP will display 2.1. It is currently owned by Hearst Television along with the area's CW affiliate, WKCFmarker. WESH's transmitter is located in Orange City, Floridamarker. At the time the tower was built, it was the tallest man-made structure in Florida, at 1,740 feet (530 m). WESH-TV can be seen on Bright House Networks channel 4 and Comcast channel 3.

Since the Gainesville market didn't carry a local NBC service, the station also served as the default NBC affiliate for the Gainesvillemarker market; this changed on January 1, 2009, when WNBWmarker channel 9, the NBC affiliate for Gainesville, signed on the air (though Cox plan to keep WESH on its lineup). WESH can also be seen on the fringes of the Tampa Baymarker and Jacksonvillemarker markets.

WESH was the first station in Orlando to carry an on-site radar facility, SuperDoppler 2 as opposed to relying on National Weather Service radars. It is installed on top of the tower located at the Winter Park broadcast studio. Today it also promotes a VIPIR 3D radar system, taking advantage of the fact that the radars at Melbournemarker, Tampamarker, Jacksonville and Miamimarker can all reach Orlando, in addition to SuperDoppler 2.

The primary news anchors at WESH are Martha Sugalski and Jim Payne. The position of "Chief Meteorologist" was formerly held by Dave Marsh, who retired on July 31, 2006, after 37 years at WESH. Tony Mainolfi was named the new "Chief Meteorologist" on May 3, 2007.


WESH first went on the air on June 11, 1956. Businessman W. Wright Esch (for whom the station is named) won the license, but sold it to Perry Publications of Palm Beachmarker just before the station went on the air. The original studio was located in Holly Hillmarker, near Daytona Beach.

WESH has always been an NBC affiliate. However, WESH's original tower was only high, which was tiny even by 1950s standards. This limited its coverage to Volusia Countymarker. As such, it shared the NBC affiliation in Central Florida with WDBO-TV (now WKMG-TVmarker). It finally became the sole NBC affiliate for the Central Florida market on November 5, 1957. On that day, the station activated a new tower in Orange City. WESH's analog tower was located farther north than the other major Orlando stations because of FCC rules at the time requiring a station's tower to be within of its city of license. Also, WESH analog was short-spaced to WPBTmarker, the PBS member station in Miami.

Perry sold WESH to Cowles Communications of Des Moines, Iowamarker in 1965. Cowles later moved its headquarters to Daytona Beach, and built a satellite studio in Winter Park. Cowles exited broadcasting in 1984 and sold two of its stations, WESH and Des Moines' KCCImarker, to H&C Communications of Houstonmarker. Under H&C, WESH closed its original Holly Hill studio in 1989, replacing it with a new studio on Ridgewood Avenue (U.S. 1), near International Speedway Boulevard (US 92) in Daytona Beach. The station's primary operations also moved to a brand new studio in Winter Park in 1991, located on Wymore Road, alongside Interstate 4.

In 1980, while still owned by Cowles, the station built its current tower on the same site as the tower. The new tower allowed for WESH to expand its coverage into areas like Lakelandmarker, Gainesville, and St. Augustinemarker. The channel 2 signal travels a very long distance under normal conditions. The tower was dismantled in the late 80's.

The Hobby family, owners of H&C, exited broadcasting in 1995, selling off its stations to various owners. WESH and KCCI were sold to Pulitzer. Pulitzer sold its entire broadcasting division, including WESH and KCCI, to Hearst-Argyle in 1999. This gave WESH its third owner in 15 years.

On May 8, 2006, Hearst-Argyle announced its purchase of then-WB (now CW) affiliate WKCFmarker from Emmis Communications. Emmis is also exiting broadcast television so it could concentrate on radio. This acquisition was completed on August 31, 2006; resulting in Orlando's third commercial duopoly operation. Orlando's other two duoplies are Cox-owned WFTVmarker/WRDQmarker and Fox-owned WOFLmarker/WRBWmarker. WESH began producing a morning newscast for WKCF in January 2007. WESH also produces a nightly weathercast for its independent sister station serving the Tampa Bay market, WMOR-TVmarker.

Since the 1980s, WESH's newscasts have usually been in second place in the Central Florida television market to WFTV. However, from 2004 to 2008, WESH's newscasts have traded second and third place with WKMG, while its 4 pm newscast, which was launched in 2007, has continued to trail The Oprah Winfrey Show on WFTV by a wide margin. This coincided with NBC's recent ratings struggles. Since early 2009, WESH's ratings have become much more competitive with once-dominant WFTV, especially in the key Adults 25-54 demographic. This was attributed not to an increase in WESH's ratings but to the decrease in the viewership ratings of its major rivals (in other words, WESH remained flat while the others plummeted). That mini-resurgence was short-lived, however, as WFTV regained its dominance as of the November 2009 sweeps period while WESH slipped back to third behind WKMG except on weekday evenings.

As of May 2009, WESH is the only station in Central Florida which airs a newscast at 4 pm since WKMG cancelled its late afternoon newscasts.

WESH called its news department "NewsCenter 2" for most of the 1980s, and it's eleven o'clock newscast was called the NewsCenter 2 Nightcast. The station then switched to "Newschannel 2" in the 1990s before adopting the current "WESH 2 News" in 2005. Also in 2005, it began pronouncing the call letters as a word.

WESH began broadcasting newscasts in high definition on November 1, 2007, making WESH the 2nd station in Orlando to go HD behind WFTVmarker, and the 4th Hearst-Argyle station to go HD. [151559] Their graphics are similar in ways to sister stations WCVB and KMBC. As part of the HD revamp, music from the NBC Collection (which they used for openings, teases and bumpers since 2005) officially replaced the mandated Hearst TV News Music package while the chimes of "Where the News Comes First" were retained during the weekly forecast. However, as of November 2008, the Hearst TV News Music Package (with the de facto "Where the News Comes First" signature) has been fully reinstated.On November 30th, 2009. WESH 2 debut their new station slogan, Local.Live.Late Breaking on their 4pm newscast.



  • Jim Payne, Weekdays at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 10pm (CW) and 11pm
  • Martha Sugalski, Weekdays at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 10pm (CW) and 11pm
  • Jason Guy, Weekdays 5am-7am and 7am-9am (CW)and noon
  • Syan Rhodes, Weekdays 5am-7am, 7am-9am (CW) and noon
  • Eryka Washington, Weekends 5am-8am and morning reporter Monday, Tuesday and Friday
  • Aixa Diaz, Weekends 6pm & 11pm and reporter Monday-Wednesday 4pm-6:30pm


  • Tony Mainolfi, Chief, 5pm, 6pm, CW 18 at 10 and 11pm (CBM/NWA)
  • Amy Sweezey, 5am-7am and 7am-9am (CW) (CBM/NWA)
  • Jason Brewer, Noon and 4pm (CBM/AMS)
  • Malachi Rodgers, Weekends 5am-8am, 6pm, CW 18 at 10 and 11pm (AMS)
  • Dan Billow, Fill-in meteorologist and space reporter (AMS)


  • Guy Rawlings, Weeknights at 6pm, 10pm (CW) and 11pm
  • Pat Clarke, Weekend sports anchor 6pm & 11pm, Host of UCF Sports Sunday (12pm during football season) and sports reporter


  • Danielle Bellini, Morning reporter Wednesday-Sunday
  • Greg Fox, Political reporter weekdays 4pm-6:30pm
  • Kimberly Houk, Weekend reporter (Saturday & Sunday at 6, CW 18 at 10 and 11)
  • Bob Kealing, Investigative reporter weekdays 4pm-6:30pm
  • Jeff Lennox, Weekday morning reporter and fill-in anchor
  • Craig Lucie, Wednesday-Friday 11pm and weekends 6pm & 11pm
  • Dan McCarthy, Chopper 2 pilot
  • Dave McDaniel, Seminole County reporter weekdays 4pm-6:30pm
  • Michelle Meredith, Investigative reporter weekdays 4pm-6:30pm
  • Claire Metz, Volusia/Flagler County reporter weekdays 4pm-6:30pm
  • Amanda Ober, Weekdays 4pm-6:30pm
  • Kendra Oestreich, Weekdays 11pm
  • Gail Paschall-Brown, Weekdays 4pm-6:30pm
  • Kimberly Williams, Traffic reporter weekdays 5am-9am
  • Todd Wilson, Morning reporter Monday-Thursday and Thursday 4pm-6:30pm

Hearst Television Washington Bureau
  • Sally Kidd - Washington bureau reporter
  • Nikole Killion - Washington bureau reporter
  • Laurie Kinney - Washington bureau reporter

Notable alumni

  • Jay Barbree
  • Mike Boguslawski
  • Wayne Bennett
  • Robin Chapman
  • Wendy Chioji
  • Andrea Coudriet
  • Stacey Donaldson - now at KCNC-TVmarker
  • Bruce Hamilton - now at WJXTmarker
  • Scott Hanson - now at NFL Network
  • Ed Heiland
  • David Johnson - now at WPXI-TV
  • Dave Marsh
  • John McIntire
  • Marc Middleton
  • Brad Nitz - now at WSB-TVmarker
  • John O'Connor - now at WTEV-TVmarker
  • Sheila O'Connor
  • Mike O'Lenick
  • Joe Oliver
  • Buddy Pittman
  • Laural Porter - now at KGWmarker
  • Lisa Rayam - now at WAGAmarker
  • Steve Rondinaro - now at WWAYmarker
  • Terry Sater - now at WISN-TVmarker
  • Dan Satterfield - now at WHNT-TVmarker
  • Stuart Scott - now at ESPN
  • Bill Shafer
  • Marty Stebbins
  • Scott Walker now at WDSUmarker

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • The Big News (1950s-1960s)
  • Newscope (1960s)
  • Channel 2 News (1960s)
  • Channel 2 Eyewitness News (1968-1974)
  • NewsCenter 2 (1974-1990)
  • 2 News (1990-1996)
  • NewsChannel 2 (1996-1999)
  • WESH NewsChannel 2 (1999-2005)
  • WESH 2 News (2005-present)

Station Slogans

  • The Best to View is on Channel 2 (1950s)
  • Florida's Channel 2 (1960s)
  • Florida's Watching 2 (1960s-1970s)
  • Experience You Can Trust (1970s-1980s)
  • Channel 2, Proud as a Peacock! (1980-1981; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • (Florida's/Channel) 2's the One for All (1987-1992; used during period station used Frank Gari's "The One 4/For All")
  • Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 2 (1988-1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Where the News Comes First (1996-2005)
  • Big Coverage of the Big Story (2005-2009)
  • Local. Live. Late Breaking. (2009-Present)

Digital television

WESH had carried NBC Weather Plus as a digital subchannel 2.2; national WX+ operations have since been terminated by the originating network, effective December 1, 2008.

Channel Programming

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion on June 12, 2009, WESH continued digital broadcasts on its current pre-transition channel number, 11. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WESH's virtual channel as 2. WESH is the only VHF station in Orlando after the DTV transition, since WFTVmarker and WKMG-TVmarker opted for the UHF dial instead.

External links


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