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WLBZ is the NBC-affiliated television station for Bangor, Mainemarker. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 2 from a transmitter on Rider Bluff in Holdenmarker. Owned by Gannett, the station has studios on Mount Hope Avenue in Bangor. On cable, it serves as the default NBC affiliate for the Presque Islemarker market as that area does not have an affiliate of its own. WLBZ is sister station and semi-satellite of Portlandmarker's NBC affiliate, WCSHmarker. Although the two stations are based in different locations and serve different media markets, they essentially operate as one station. With their combined resources, this allows statewide coverage that no other station in Mainemarker can offer. For the most part, WLBZ simulcasts WCSH during network and syndicated programming that includes Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Judge Alex. However, this station airs its own station identifications and commercials.

Digital programming

The station's signal is multiplexed.

Channel Name Programming
2.1 WLBZ-DT main WLBZ programming / NBC HD
2.2 WLBZ-DT2 "NewsCenter Weather Plus" (loop of news headlines and weather)
2.3 WLBZ-DT3 WLBZ programming / NBC SD


Repeaters

In addition to its main signals, WLBZ operates a low-powered analog translator and repeater. WGCI-LP has an application to broadcast a low-powered digital signal. W57AQ has an FCC-issued construction permit to broadcast a low-powered digital signal on channel 8. WLBZ is used for transmitting WGCI-LP and is the main feed for Time Warner Cable systems in Skowheganmarker, Millinocketmarker, and Lincolnmarker.

Call letters Channel City of license Transmitter location
WGCI-LP 4 Skowhegan Larone section of Fairfieldmarker
W57AQ 57 Calaismarker Meddybemps


History

Logo for channel 2 as WTWO.


The station began broadcasting on September 12, 1954, had the call letters WTWO (sometimes rendered as "W-TWO"), and was owned by Murray Carpenter. It aired programming from all three networks but was a primary CBS affiliate. It switched its primary affiliation to NBC in 1955. In 1958, the station was sold to the Rines family's Maine Broadcasting System (owners of WCSH-AM-TV in Portland). They also owned WLBZ-AM 620 and changed WTWO's call letters to WLBZ-TV to match its new radio sister. Early the next year, the station dropped all remaining CBS programming. WLBZ-TV continued to share ABC with WABI-TVmarker until WEMT-TV (now WVII-TVmarker) signed on in 1965. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the station was best known as the home of Eddie Driscoll.

He hosted many programs on the station and was known for his improvisation skills and sense of humor. Driscoll died on September 24, 2006 after suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Also in the 1970s, the station added an outlying transmitter in Calais. That allowed cable systems in Atlantic Canadamarker to distribute WLBZ by a microwave link from the border. This doubled or even tripled the station's coverage area and viewership. Most Canadianmarker cable systems dropped WLBZ after 1996 with the last one doing so in 2004. In the 1980s, WLBZ-AM was sold off and renamed WZONmarker. The Maine Broadcasting System sold WLBZ-TV and WCSH to Gannett in 1997. That same year, WLBZ dropped the -TV suffix from their call sign. In October 2005, WLBZ began offering NBC Weather Plus on its second digital subchannel. It was also seen on Time Warner digital cable channel 166 and on the websites of WLBZ and WCSH. Along with WLBZ meteorologist Steve McKay, the entire WCSH weather team was featured on "NewsCenter Weather Plus". In late-December of 2008 after the network shut down, WLBZ-DT2 and WCSH-DT2 shifted to a format featuring a loop of news headlines and weather forecasts. The two channels continue to simulcast each other, are known by the same name, and can still been seen on digital cable. On June 12, 2009, WLBZ remained on channel 2 when the analog to digital conversion completed. It shut off its analog channel and previous digital signal on UHF channel 25 at 9 in the morning.

News operation

The station's news open.


For many years WLBZ operated its own, separate news department and produced local newscasts from their Bangor studios. However in 1989, the station reduced its news staff and started simulcasting WCSH's local newscasts that were prepared with a statewide view. Since the start of the 21st century, only the weeknight 5 and 6 o'clock broadcasts have been locally produced from WLBZ's studios. Otherwise, statewide coverage is offered in all other newscasts. To correspond with WCSH, WLBZ also uses the NewsCenter branding. Weeknights at 5:30 and 11, WLBZ meteorologist Steve McKay provides weather cut-ins from Bangor. The weeknight 6 o'clock sports report on channel 2 features a sports anchor reporting from WCSH's studios. The statewide newscasts that originate from channel 6 tend to take on a regional feel with news coverage from Portland, Bangor, or wherever news occurs from around the state.

Even before it began simulcasting WCSH, WLBZ spent most of its history as a distant runner-up to long-dominant WABI-TV. In late-2002, the station began to co-produce with WCSH a nightly 10 o'clock newscast, called NewsCenter At 10 on Maine's WB 51, on Portland's WB affiliate WPXTmarker. During the week, news and sports were broadcasted from WCSH's studios while weather forecasts originated from Steve McKay at WLBZ in Bangor. On weekends, the program aired entirely from Portland. As is the case with WLBZ simulcasts of WCSH news, WPXT's newscasts took on a regional feel with news coverage from Portland, Bangor, and the state of Maine. In September 2006, this broadcast became known as NewsCenter at 10 on The CW Portland after WPXT switched to The CW. On November 6, 2008, WCSH moved the 10 o'clock news to their NBC Weather Plus subchannel. As a result of this change, the WLBZ and online feed switched over to the national Weather Plus broadcast from 10 to 10:30 while WCSH-DT2 aired the newscast.

Also, local Portland news began to be covered more and Steve McKay no longer provided the weeknight weather forecast. Just like their sister station WCSH, WLBZ used Frank Gari's "Good News" music package since the theme's inception in 1986 until October 22, 2008 when the stations dropped the theme (with the exception of "Storm Center") in favor of standardized music and graphics that is also used by other Gannett stations. An outdoors and human-interest program, called Bill Green's Maine, airs Saturday nights at 7 on WLBZ (it is simulcasted on WCSH). In 2003, WCSH launched 207 (a local magazine show) that airs weeknights at 7 on that station. It airs the next morning at 4 on WLBZ and WCSH. 207 Weekend premiered on September 2, 2007 and airs on Saturdays nights at 7:30 (following Bill Green's Maine) on both stations. The "207" name comes from Maine's only telephone area code. In addition to their main studios, WLBZ shares two news bureaus with WCSH. The Lewistonmarker / Auburnmarker Bureau is on Main Street in Lewiston and the Midcoast Bureau is on Camden Street in Rockportmarker. The statewide weekday morning and Noon newscasts are streamed live on the WLBZ and WCSH websites.

News team

Current Personalities

+ denotes news personnel based at WLBZ

Anchors
  • Lee Nelson - weekday mornings and rotating at Noon
  • Sharon Rose - weekday mornings and rotating at Noon
  • + Chris Facchini - weeknights at 5 and 6
  • + Kara Matuszewski - weeknights at 5 and 6
    • reporter
  • Cindy Williams - weeknights at 5:30 and reporter
  • Rob Caldwell - weeknights at 5:30 and 207 co-host
  • Pat Callaghan - weeknights at 11
  • Kathleen Shannon - weeknights at 11 and 207 co-host
  • Brian Yocono - weekend mornings and Lewiston / Auburn Bureau reporter
  • Caroline Cornish - weekend evenings and reporter


NewsCenter Meteorologists
  • + Steve McKay (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - weeknights
  • Kevin Mannix - Sunday through Thursday mornings
  • Kelly LaBrecque - Friday and Saturday mornings
    • Sunday nights
  • Don Morelli - weekdays at Noon and Saturday nights
  • Joe Cupo - seen on "NewsCenter Weather Plus"


Sports (all are seen on 5th Quarter)
  • Bruce Glasier -WCSH Sports Director seen weeknights at 11
  • + John Smist - weeknights at 6 and reporter
    • fill-in anchor
  • Lee Goldberg - weekend evenings and reporter


Reporters
  • + Sarah Delage - backpack journalist
  • + Scott Sassone - backpack journalist
  • Don Carrigan - Midcoast Bureau
  • Bill Green - recreation and features
    • host of Bill Green's Maine
  • Fred Nutter - Editorial Director
  • Amanda Hill - multimedia journalist
  • Susan Kimball
  • Vivien Leigh
  • Chris Rose
  • Tim Goff


Station alumni

  • Priya Sridhar, Reporter, now a correspondent[99879] in Russia Today's Washington, DC bureau
  • Kristin Cullen, Reporter
  • Aaron Roberts, Reporter
  • Eddie Driscoll - host (deceased in September 2006)
  • Jackie Couture - reporter (now with WMTW-TVmarker in Portland, MEmarker)
  • Eloise Daniels - anchor (now a licensed N.C. Realtor with LKN Realty Group; married to former WVII meteorologist, Matt Morano, morning meteorologst at Charlotte News 14)
  • Pete Churney - weather anchor
  • Jill McDonald - medical reporter (now works at Eastern Maine Healthcare in Brewermarker)
  • Tim Gaier - reporter
  • Donna Gormley - weeknight 5 and 6 PM co-anchor (wife of Maine State Representative Chris Greeley)
  • Mark Finneran - reporter (now out of business)
  • Jan Smith - anchor and reporter (now Assistant News Director at WTOC-TVmarker in Savannah, Georgiamarker)
  • Dale Duff - sports director (now program director and morning host at WZONmarker-AM)
  • Jeff Solari - sports reporter and promotions director (now afternoon host at WZON)
  • Jennifer McNeil - anchor (now out of business, married to Pete Bouchard, Chief Meteorologist at WHDH-TVmarker in Bostonmarker)
  • Rory (Rhori) Johnston - anchor (now at WTVF-TVmarker in Nashville, Tennesseemarker)
  • Dave Ahlers - producer, anchor, and reporter (now the voice of hockey's Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights in Nebraskamarker)
  • Christina Hager - reporter (now at WBZ-TVmarker in Boston, daughter of retired NBC News Correspondent Robert Hager)
  • Deborah Feldman - reporter (now at KING-TVmarker in Seattle, Washingtonmarker)
  • Kevin Kelley - producer and reporter (became reporter at NECN) in Boston, now Communications Director for Senator Susan Collins in Washington, DCmarker
  • Sharon Rose - anchor (now at WLBZ sister station WCSHmarker in Portlandmarker)
  • Kimberly Brown - anchor (recently left WTMJ-TVmarker in Milwaukee, Wisconsinmarker)
  • Dan Harris - anchor and reporter (now at ABC News)
  • Julia Bovey - reporter (now at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC)
  • Jennifer Knight - reporter
  • Catherine Pegram- reporter, now anchor at WABI TV in Bangor
  • Ken Barlow - meteorologist (now chief meteorologist at WBZ-TVmarker in Boston)
  • Jeanne Meserve - anchor and reporter (now at CNN)
  • Mollie Halpern- producer, later anchor at WPXT Fox 51 in Portland, now living in Washington, D.C.
  • Matt Fine - sports director and reporter (now teaches at Temple Universitymarker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker)
  • Vince Bevacqua - anchor and reporter (now Vice President of Media and Public Relations at The Prodigal Media Company in Poland, Ohio)
  • Dave Finger - feature reporter
  • Mike Beaudet - reporter (now investigative reporter at WFXT-TVmarker Boston)
  • Neil Orne - weather anchor (now at WKRN-TVmarker in Nashville, Tennessee)
  • Rob Caldwell - anchor and reporter (now at WCSH)
  • Pat Callaghan - anchor and reporter (now at WCSH)
  • Brian Yocono - reporter (now at WCSH)
  • Roger Griswold - Meteorologist (now at WMTWmarker Portland, Maine)
  • Matt Friedman - weeknight 5 and 6 PM anchor, now at APTV in Washington, DC
  • Todd Gutner - weekdays at Noon and weekend evenings (now at WBZ-TVmarker in Bostonmarker)
  • Ric Tyler - former anchor and reporter (now talk show host WVOM, afternoon drive WKSQmarker, private businessman)
  • Wayne Harvey - sports director and reporter (now Morning Anchor/Reporter at WABI TV5, Bangor also Harness Racing Track Announcer at Bangor Raceway)
  • Kria Sakakeeny - reporter, now with WMUR-TVmarker


News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • NewsCenter 2 (1989-2004)
  • WLBZ NewsCenter 2 (2004-2008)
  • NewsCenter (2008-present; used in conjunction with "NewsCenter 2" from the early 2000s-2008)


Station Slogans

  • Live. Local. Latebreaking. (2004-2008)
  • Maine's Information Center (2008-present)


External links




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