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WLNS-TV is the CBS television affiliate serving the Lansingmarker/Jackson, Michiganmarker television market in the United Statesmarker. It broadcasts its digital signal on UHF channel 36 from a 306-meter (1,004-foot) transmitter located midway between East Lansingmarker and the town of Williamstonmarker, giving it a signal footprint in many parts of southern and central Michigan.

The station's studio facility is also home to the operations of the market's MyNetworkTV affiliate, WHTVmarker.

History

WLNS signed on the air on May 1, 1950 as WJIM-TV, owned by Harold F. Gross along with WJIM-AM 1240marker. It is Michigan's second-oldest station outside of Detroitmarker (behind Grand Rapidsmarker' WOOD-TVmarker). Gross had started WJIM-AM, the first commercial radio station in Lansing, in 1934, and both stations were named after his son Jim. It originally broadcast from the top of a bank in downtown Lansing before moving to its current location on Saginaw Street (known as "the country house") in 1953.

WJIM-TV carried programming from all four major networks, though it was and always has been a primary CBS affiliate. ABC disappeared from the schedule in 1958 when WJRT-TVmarker signed on from Flintmarker; it served as Lansing's default ABC affiliate until WLAJmarker signed on in 1990. WXYZ-TVmarker in Detroit served as the default affiliate for Jackson. WKZO-TV, now WWMTmarker (then a partial ABC affiliate), as well as WSJVmarker in Elkhart, Indiana served as default affiliates for Battle Creek until WUHQ-TV (now WOTVmarker) went on the air.

DuMont programming disappeared when that network ceased operations in 1956. NBC would also later disappear from the schedule in 1959 when WILX-TVmarker signed on as an NBC affiliate, leaving WJIM with just CBS. In 1960, Gross added WJIM-FMmarker to his holdings.

The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the station's license in 1973, on allegations that Gross prevented a number of prominent political figures from appearing on WJIM-TV, among other accusations. [203502] An FCC judge ordered WJIM's license revoked in 1981--only the second time a station has had its license revoked for violating the FCC's fairness guidelines. The first instance was WLBT-TVmarker in Jackson, Mississippimarker; which lost its license in 1969 due to its blatant bias against the Civil Rights Movement. Unlike WLBT, however, WJIM kept its license after the initial revocation was reversed by a three-member review board at the FCC in 1982. The ACLU agreed to a cash settlement in 1984.

The stress of the licensing dispute led Gross to sell the station to Unicom Inc, a unit of Forstmann Little, d.b.a. Backe Communications, soon after the cash settlement was approved. After the sale, the station adopted its current call letters of WLNS. Unicom's ownership of the station was short-lived as in 1986 it sold WLNS and WKBTmarker in La Crosse, Wisconsinmarker to current owner Young Broadcasting (however, WKBT has since been sold to Morgan Murphy Stations).

Young Broadcasting filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early 2009. The company will soon be taken over by the company's secured lenders and have the operations of most of its stations outsourced to Gray Television. WLNS will not be part of the management agreement because Gray already owns and operates WILX.

Flint and Detroit

WJIM doubled as Flint's CBS affiliate for many years, as its signal--the second-strongest in Michigan at the time it signed on--decently covers the city and surrounding Genesee Countymarker. For many years, it identified as "Lansing/Flint/Jackson/Battle Creek" on-air. In 1972, Saginawmarker's then-CBS affiliate WEYI-TVmarker moved its studios and transmitter to Cliomarker, just north of Flint. Until the early 1980s, Flint was served by two CBS stations, though during the 1980s, WJIM/WLNS chose to concentrate more on Lansing. Comcast dropped WLNS in Flint as a result. However, WLNS is still easily viewable in Flint and Saginaw with a good antenna.

WLNS' signal also reaches as far as the Detroit area, mostly in northwestern Detroit and the city's western suburbs. Its signal is strongest in fast-growing Livingston County, some parts of which actually get city-grade coverage. Despite WLNS's transmitter being only ten miles west of the Ingham / Livingston County line, Livingston County is part of the Detroit DMA. For many years, it was long rumored that Detroiters positioned their antennas towards Lansing to pick up Detroit Lions games blacked out on WJBKmarker.

For many years, WLNS' programming was seen on a low-powered repeater, W67AJ, in Ann Arbormarker, part of the Detroit DMA. It was owned by Eastern Michigan Universitymarker in Ypsilantimarker. W67AJ's license was canceled in January 2007 by the Federal Communications Commission. [203503]

Digital Television

After the analog television shutdown on June 12, 2009, WLNS-TV moved its digital broadcasts to channel 36, from channel 59 using PSIP to be displayed as virtual channel 6.

WLNS was not allowed to use 36 initially because nearby Flint station WJRT-TVmarker was previously using 36 for its digital transmissions. However on June 12, WJRT-TV moved its digital broadcasts to channel 12, allowing WLNS to use 36 without causing interference.

News Team

Current personalities

Anchors

  • Evan Pinsonnault - weekday mornings and noon
  • Lauren Thompson - weekday mornings and noon
  • Jane Aldrich - weeknights at 5 and 6
  • Dave Akerly - weeknights at 6 and 11
  • Sheri Jones - weeknights at 11
  • Ann Emmerich - weekends at 6 and 11


Meteorologists

  • Jake Dunne - weekday mornings and noon
  • David Young (chief meteorologist) - weeknights at 5, 6, and 11
  • Jim Geyer - weekends at 6 and 11


Weather radar called "Live StormTracker 6 Doppler Radar"

Sports
  • Fred Heumann - weeknights at 6 and 11 and The Fifth Quarter
  • Lisa Byington - weekends, Sunday Sports Overtime, and The Fifth Quarter


Friday nights at 11:15pm during high school football and basketball season is called The Fifth Quarter.

Reporters
  • Mona Shand
  • Ann Emmerich
  • Stephanie Kolp
  • Katherine Jones
  • Darren Cunningham
  • Allison Bourne-Vanneck (sports)


Past Personalities

  • Angela Cunningham - former reporter; now with WZZM
  • Tetiana Anderson - former reporter; now with the Weather Channel
  • David Andrews - former anchor; now with WILX
  • Rob Dale - former meteorologist; now with Eaton County Emergency Management
  • Jill Dobson - former reporter; now entertainment correspondant with Fox News Channel
  • Brad Edwards - former weekend anchor/reporter; now with WJBK
  • Mara MacDonald - former reporter, now with WDIVmarker
  • Pat Michaels - former meteorologist
  • Jo Anne Paul - former anchor; now with WJIM
  • Andy Provenzano - former meteorologist; now with WILX
  • Amy Rao - former weekend anchor/reporter; now with WTVF Nashville
  • Terry Stanton - former anchor; now Deputy Spokesperson for Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm
  • Tim Staudt - former sports anchor; now with WILX
  • Anya Tucker - former morning anchor; now with WTEN Albany
  • Emily Wagner - former morning anchor; now with WOOD-TV (known as Emily Linnert)
  • Jeff Campbell - former weekend anchor/reporter; now with WCNC
  • Pamela Land - former meteorologist


News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • Six Star News (prior to early 1980's)
  • Newscenter 6 (early 1980's-2001)
  • WLNS Newscenter 6 (2001-2003)
  • 6 News (2003-present)


Station Slogans

  • We're Lansing's News Source (1980s)
  • Leadership That Works For You (1994-1998)
  • Where Local News Comes First (1998-2003)
  • Your News Leader (2006-present)


References



External links





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