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WPBF is the ABC-affiliated television station for West Palm Beach, Floridamarker that is licensed to Tequestamarker. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 16 from a transmitter along I-95 in Martin Countymarker south of Fort Piercemarker. Owned by Hearst Television, the station has studios on RCA Boulevard in the Monet section of Palm Beach Gardensmarker. Syndicated programming on WPBF includes Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Inside Edition, and the Dr. Phil Show.

History

WPBF first went on-the-air January 1, 1989 owned by Brenda Skipper and Sylvia Salinas. The original plans called for the station to be an independent. However in mid-1988, CBS (which was due to lose its longtime Miamimarker affiliate WTVJmarker to NBC) bought FOX affiliate WCIX (now WFOR-TVmarker). That station only provided a Grade B ("rimshot") signal to Fort Lauderdalemarker and Broward Countymarker because its transmitter was located farther south than the other Miami stations. CBS persuaded the longtime ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach, WPECmarker, to switch to CBS in order to get a city-grade signal in Fort Lauderdale.

In Fall 1988, ABC made the decision to affiliate with WPBF rather than with former CBS affiliate WTVXmarker. These changes occurred on the day of WPBF's sign-on. The station had bought a large inventory of classic sitcoms and cartoons but now had no time to air them. It sold this programming to WTVX a couple of months after signing-on when that station shut down its news department. In 1993, WPBF was sold to Paxson Communications which at the time owned several FM radio stations and a few ABC and CBS affiliates. In 1997, Paxson sold their radio stations and network affiliates (including WPBF) in order to finance their acquisition of stations for the PAX network (now ION Television) with channel 25 going to the Hearst Corporation, its current owner.

As soon as the transaction was finalized, Hearst handed over control of WPBF to its majority-owned subsidiary, Hearst Television (formerly Hearst-Argyle Television). All Hearst ABC affiliates, including WPBF, preempted Saving Private Ryan in 2004. The station was one of three ABC affiliates in the state of Floridamarker that preempted the movie. After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion took place at 11:59 P.M. on June 12, 2009, WPBF began broadcasting from its current pre-transition channel number, 16.

Digital programming

The station's signal is multiplexed. On WPBF-DT2, Comcast digital channel 208 (in Palm Beachmarker, Martinmarker, and southern St. Luciemarker Counties) and channel 194 (in northern St. Luciemarker and Indian Rivermarker Counties) is the Spanish network Estrella TV. Previously, WPBF-DT2 was part of The Local AccuWeather Channel known locally as "Weather First TV". This was streamed live on their website.

Channel Programming
16.1 main WPBF programming / ABC HD
16.2 WPBF-DT2 "Estrella TV"


News operation

Former WPBF logo used from 2000 until September 2009; Still in use on the station's YouTube channel.


Initially, WPBF had a small news department. After being purchased by Paxson Communications, the station added additional newscasts to its schedule. For a long time they struggled with ratings in their own market. This can be attributed to WPLGmarker's very strong over-the-air signal in Palm Beach Countymarker and its availability on Comcast throughout the area. In recent months however, WPBF has been making great strides in the ratings and, in the May sweeps period, WPBF came in second place for the early weeknight time slot.

On July 12, 2006, it started airing a weekday 4 o'clock newscast called Weather First at 4. While the main intention of this new broadcast was to cover West Palm Beach area weather, news updates and headlines were added after a short time. This production is streamed live on their website. It is the only station in the area to air news weeknights at 4. On July 17, 2006, WPBF added thirty minutes to its weekday morning newscast which then began airing at 5:30. It became a full, two-hour broadcast on January 28, 2008. They debuted a new traffic reporting system featuring data from Traffic.com on February 14 that included a new traffic segment, "Beat the Traffic", seen weekdays.

Expansion of local news continued with the launch of weekend morning news on March 8. On August 18, 2008, WPBF began broadcasting local news at Noon during the week which is also streamed live on its website. On September 14, 2009, the station premiered a new logo, set, and graphics package while expanding their weeknight 4 o'clock newscast to an hour. They dropped news in the 5 P.M. hour to make room for Dr. Phil, whose new home is now WPBF.

WPBF's weather radar is known as "First Alert Weather Radar" and is located near its studios. The station does not maintain a sports department. WPBF remains the only local news station in the West Palm Beach market that does not air its newscasts in high definition.

Newscast titles

  • NewsCenter 25 (1989-1995)
  • PBF News (1995-1999)
  • WPBF Eyewitness News 25 (1999-2004)
  • WPBF News 25 (2004-2009)
  • WPBF 25 News (2009-present)


Station slogans

  • If It's WPBF-TV, It Must Be ABC (1992-1993; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Your Local News Source (1999-2004)
  • Where You Come First (2004-2006)
  • Weather First (2006-2009)
  • Where the News Comes First (2009-present; primary slogan)
  • The Fastest Growing Local News Station (2009-present; secondary slogan)


News team

Their weeknight 4 o'clock news open.


Anchors
  • Kristin Hoke - weekday mornings and Noon
  • Tiffany Kenney - Sunday through Thursday nights
  • Victor Blackwell - Sunday through Thursday nights
  • Angela Rozier - Friday and Saturday nights
    • Tuesday through Thursday reporter
  • Jim Abath - Friday nights and Monday through Thursday reporter
  • Bob Kaple - weekend mornings and Friday afternoon reporter
    • Monday and Tuesday morning reporter
  • Meredith McDonough - weekend mornings and Wednesday through Friday mornings reporter


First Alert Meteorologists
  • Mike Lyons - Chief seen weeknights
  • Felicia Rodriguez - weekday mornings and Noon
  • Eric Burris (AMS Seal of Approval) - weekend mornings
  • Kate Wentzel (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - weekend evenings


Reporters
  • Sally Kidd - national correspondent
  • Laurie Kinney - national correspondent
  • Nikole Killion - weekday morning national correspondent
  • Nathalie Pozo - weekday traffic
  • Stefan Holt - weekday mornings and fill-in anchor
  • Cathleen O'Toole - weekdays
  • Terri Parker - weekdays
  • Ted White - weekdays
  • Alexis Rivera - Tuesday-Saturday Evenings
  • Tory Dunnan


References

  1. http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
  2. CDBS Print
  3. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getattachment_exh.cgi?exhibit_id=694454
  4. http://www.rbr.com/tv-cable/16322.html


External links




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