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WPXI digital channel 48 (virtual channel 11) is the NBC television affiliate based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniamarker. It is owned by Cox Enterprises. Its transmitter is located on the north side of Pittsburgh. Syndicated programming on the station includes The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Doctors, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Family Feud, Judge Judy, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.

History

On September 1, 1957 Channel 11 signed on as WIIC-TV, the second commercial VHF station in Pittsburgh. It was owned by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and immediately took NBC programming from KDKA-TVmarker.

Bill Cardille (now a former Channel 11 host and weather forecaster) signed the station on the air. Some of the first original programming to air on WIIC included Studio Wrestling and Chiller Theatre, both hosted by Cardille.

In 1964, the station was sold to current owner Cox Enterprises. In 1970, WIIC made Pittsburgh broadcasting history as Eleanor Schano became the first woman to anchor a newscast alone. Schano also hosted a weekly 30-minute public affairs program called Face to Face.

During much of the 1970s, WIIC trailed in a distant third place in the ratings behind KDKA-TV and WTAE-TVmarker. This coincided with much of the period where NBC also struggled in the ratings. About the mid-late 1970s, Channel 11 used the 11 Alivemarker moniker.

On April 20, 1981, the call sign was changed to WPXI (Pittsburgh 11, with XI being the Roman numeral sign for 11). Although the station has officially never had the -TV suffix since adopting the WPXI call sign, the station has on occasion been marketed as WPXI-TV. The WIIC calls still reside in Pittsburgh, but on a low-powered independent station airing music videos.

WIIC Sponsored Program
WPXI also has been airing the Jerry Lewis Telethon as the Pittsburgh affiliate of the annual event. The local portion of the telethon is still hosted by Bill Cardille.

In 2000, Cox Enterprises purchased WTOVmarker in Steubenville, Ohiomarker and WJAC-TVmarker in Johnstown, Pennsylvaniamarker from Sunrise Television. These stations, also NBC affiliates often appear in channel lineups for the same viewers that watch WPXI, either by over-the-air signal or via cable provider, and due to the proximity of the three stations to each other (as well as the common affiliation with NBC), are occasionally marketed together as a result. Cox changed the stations' on-air appearances to match WPXI's look, despite WPXI changing its own look in 2004. Those stations still use WPXI's former look.

Over the Labor Day weekend of 2007, WPXI introduced its new studio location in the city's Summer Hill neighborhood near the Parkway North. The move ended a 50-year tradition at Television Hill in the city's Fineview neighborhood. The station's tower is to remain in place at the top of the station's current location. WPXI officially launched their 6 PM newscast from their new studio in Summer Hill on October 6. WPXI is the first station in Pittsburgh broadcasting news in high definition, though not without criticism for technical glitches during the initial week of the new system run. With the switch to HD came a new set, created by FX Group & new HD graphics, created by Hothaus Creative.

As part of its 50th anniversary, WPXI announced it would air classic TV programs on a digital subchannel from the Retro Television Network. The additional channel began on October 15, 2007.

In mid-October 2008, WPXI, in collaboration with Cox's longtime partner Internet Broadcasting, launched a redesigned Web site. As of early November 2008, the Web sites of all of Cox's stations east of the Mississippi River are using the new format pioneered by WPXI; the Web sites of the company's stations west of the Mississippi River followed suit a month later.

Newscasts

WPXI occasionally pre-empts programming to report breaking news. Typically, WPXI offers 4 1/2 hours of live newscasts on Channel 11. It offers an 1 1/2 on PCNC and 1 hour on WPGH-TVmarker. Previous branding for newscasts include WIIC-TV 11 News, News/Watch, Instant News, Steel City News and Newscenter 11.

Weekdays

WPXI was the first channel to offer a 5:30 PM newscast in Pittsburgh beginning in 1987. The newscast was named Channel 11 News First Edition. They were also the first station to offer a 5 PM newscast in the early 1990s. The newscast was named Channel 11 News First at 5.

Weekends

WPXI dropped the NBC Saturday morning cartoons in September, 1990 in favor of a newscast airing from 8 AM-12:30 PM. The success of the weekend morning news prompted NBC network officials to extend the Today show to weekends. WPXI, however, has since scaled back its weekend morning news.

Pittsburgh native Jodi Applegate co-anchored NBC's Weekend Today, but was never seen locally due to WPXI's weekend morning news.

Pittsburgh Cable News Channel

The station went into cable television on January 1, 1994, with the launch of PCNC - the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel. PCNC brought the first 10 PM newscast to Pittsburgh. The final installment of PCNC's 10 PM news aired on January 26, 2006 as WPXI took over WPGH-TVmarker's news operation.

PCNC offers 2 newscasts: "Pittsburgh This Morning", a 7-8 AM weekday newscast and a 7 PM weeknight newscast.

Channel 11 News on FOX 53

As of January 12, 2006, Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of FOX affiliate WPGH-TVmarker) and Cox entered into an agreement where WPXI began producing a newscast specifically for WPGH. This agreement, called a "news share", began January 30, 2006. All of WPGH's former news staff, except for sportscaster Alby Oxenreiter, were laid off. The 10 PM newscast became Channel 11 News on FOX 53 at Ten. Oxenreiter's "Ox on FOX Sports Extra" fills the final 15 minutes of the newscast.

John Fedko reports from Denver, Colorado

Ratings

Over the past decade, Pittsburgh has been a perennially competitive market for local news, with news ratings usually differing by less than a full ratings point. More recently, however,WPXI has had a increase in most dayparts and although it continues maintain a tie with KDKA in the market for daytime news, according to the Nielsen May 2009 ratings period. Also during this period, WPXI had in increase during the morning hours and the WPXI-produced 10 P.M. news remained in first place. But its maintains a strong lead at noon.

Logo

WPXI logo until October 2004
WPXI currently uses the number 11 drawn into a circle, which debuted in 1987. The 11 symbol is colored gold, while the box around it is dark blue. WPXI previously used the NBC Peacock in its logo, which was copied by sister stations WTOVmarker & WJAC-TVmarker & is still used by those stations, but revamped its look in October 2004. WPXI's current look uses the circle 11 logo with stylized "WPXI" below it.

Music

WPXI is known to commission its own theme music from companies, although it has previously used the famous Move Closer to Your World theme. It has commissioned both "Total Coverage" (its previous package still used by WJAC & WTOV) & after WPXI moved to their new Summer Hill Television Building, they started using the Tower V.2, ending the NBC collection all together.

Local Programming

Channel 11 has had only 1 major foray into producing local programming. From 1963-1984, the station produced and broadcast "Chiller Theater," a late Saturday evening horror film show hosted by Bill Cardille, or as he was referred to, "Chilly Billy." Cardille and a cast of characters would introduce the film being shown, as well as perform skits during breaks in the film. Cardille became well-known for hosting the show & the shows themselves became part of local yore. The final program aired on January 1, 1984. Cardille remained on-air @ Channel 11 through the early-mid-1990s as the AM & noon weather forecaster. Cardille remains in Pittsburgh as midday personality on WJAS radio & occasional Chiller Theater reunions have been held over the years.

The show was part of a trend during the 1960s & 1970s for TV stations to produce local programming. Local stations often created their own children's shows as well. Horror theater shows, such as Shock Theatre, hosted by Ghoulardi & Big Chuck and Little John in Cleveland, as well as Chiller Theater, were not only easy to produce, but popular with the local audience.

For its part, WPXI (known then as WIIC) produced "Cartoon Colorama", which aired old-time cartoons produced in color format (hence the name), hosted by Willie the Duck, a hand-puppet with a Donald Duck type of voice, speaking to off-camera announcer Don Riggs (who served as Willie's comedy foil) in between the cartoons. The show had been previously hosted by a character called "Captain Jim".

Present



Past



Digital TV

Digital channels
Virtual
Channel
Physical
RF Channel
Video Aspect Programming
11.1 48.1 1080i 16:9 WPXI programming / NBC HD
11.2 48.2 480i 4:3 Retro Television Network
11.3 48.3 480i 4:3 currently dark, future unknown
WPXI Broadcasts its digital signals (HD if programming permits) over the airwaves & on cable. Standard channel 11 (e.g. NBC) programming is broadcast on 11.1

WPXI was the first channel in Pittsburgh to make use of additional programming on its digital channels. On June 21, 2007, WPXI's Weather Plus began on Channel 11.2 & was also available on digital cable. WPXI 11 Weather Plus offered local & national weather information 24 hours a day. Locally, WPXI's Scott Harbaugh served as the main meteorologist on Channel 11 Weather Plus.

WPXI added an airwave digital channel on 11.3 in late October 2007 when it began an affiliation with Retro Television Network, a channel that airs classic TV programming. Sister stations WJAC-TVmarker and WTOV-TVmarker will also launch RTV in 2009.

Due to the shutdown of NBC Weather Plus in December 2008, WPXI moved RTV to 11.2 and 11.3 will be blank for the time being. WPXI is considering using 11.3 to broadcast a traffic/weather channel in conjunction with recent NBC acquisition The Weather Channel in order to compete with WTAE's Weather & Traffic Watch 4 that airs in conjunction with WTAE's weather partner, AccuWeather.

In July 2009 the station applied with the FCC to have three repeater signals: channel 21 in Derry Townshipmarker, channel 23 in Uniontownmarker, and channel 33 in New Castlemarker. The signal in Derry Township is expected to cover all of Westmoreland Countymarker, while the Uniontown signal could penetrate into the Pittsburgh suburb of McKeesportmarker. The New Castle signal might go into Youngstown, Ohiomarker (which New Castle is much closer to despite being part of the Pittsburgh DMA) and serve as a secondary NBC affiliate for the Youngstown television market, which is primarily served by WFMJ-TVmarker, while giving the Youngstown market an outlet for RTV. All three signals are expected to keep channel 11 as their virtual channel number.

News/Station Presentation

Newscast titles



Station Slogans

  • Channel 11, Proud as a Peacock! (1979-1981; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 11, Our Pride is Showing (1981-1982; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • We're Channel 11, Just Watch Us Now! (1982-1983; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel E-le-ven, Be There (1983-1984; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 11, Let's All Be There (1984-1986; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to 11 (1986-1987; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come on Home to 11 (1987-1988; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to the Best, Only on 11 (1988-1990; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • WPXI-TV, the Place to Be! (1990-1991; local version of NBC ad campaign)
  • More News, More Often (1990-1996)
  • Your 24-Hour News Source (1990-1996)
  • Live, Local, Latebreaking News (1996-1998)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (1998-present; primary)
  • Live. Local. Latebreaking. (2007-present; secondary)


Personalities

Anchors

  • Bob Bruce (1996-present) - weekdays, 5-7 AM & noon
  • Jennifer Abney (2008-present) - weekdays, 5-7 AM & noon
  • Darieth Chisolm (1993-2000; 2004-present) - weekdays @ 10 PM (on FOX 53) & 11 PM
  • Peggy Finnegan (1990-present) - weekdays @ 5-6:30 PM
  • David Johnson (1985-present) - weekdays @ 5-6:30 PM, 10 PM (on FOX 53) & 11 PM, 7pm PCNC News


Anchors/Reporters

  • Kevin Benson (1987-present) - weekend mornings
  • Danielle Nottingham (2008-present) - weekend mornings
  • Gordon Loesch (2004-present) - weekends @ 6 PM, 10 PM (on FOX 53) & 11 PM


Severe Weather Team 11

  • Kevin Benson (AMS Meteorologist) (1987-present) - weekends
  • Julie Bologna (Chief Meteorologist) (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) (1999-2004; 2008-present) - weekdays @ 5, 6, 10, & 11 PM
  • Mike LaPoint (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) (2007-present) - weekdays 5, 6 AM & 12 PM
  • Scott Harbaugh (NWA Meteorologist) (2005-present) - Fill in and PCNC News updates and 7 pm forecaster


Sports

  • John Fedko (Sports Director) (1987-present)
  • Alby Oxenreiter (2006-present)
  • Bill Phillips (2001-present)
  • Rich Walsh (2005-present)


Reporters

  • Timyka Artist (2006-present)
  • Stu Brown (1980-present)
  • Jodine Costanzo (1998-present)
  • Rick Earle (1994-present) (Target 11 Investigator)
  • Kimberly Easton (2003-present)
  • Lori Houy (1998-present)
  • Alan Jennings (1998-present)
  • Renee Kaminski (1995-present)
  • Amy Marcinkiewicz (1995-present)
  • Trisha Pittman (2002-present) (traffic)
  • Cara Sapida (2009-present)
  • Vince Sims (2003-present)


Former Personalities

  • Asa Aarons (1984-1990) (consumer reporter) - now a consumer reporter for WNBCmarker New York
  • Mal Alberts (late 50's-early 60's) (sports director)
  • Jennifer Antkowiak (19xx-1993) (reporter) - worked at KDKA-TV as an anchor, later hosted jennifer, a talk show on WTAEmarker, now back at KDKA-TV
  • Newlin Archinal (1999-2008) (anchor)
  • Caroline Avedesian (1998-1999) (reporter)
  • Hank Baughman (19xx-1987) (anchor) - now morning news anchor at WSHH "Wish 99.7" in Pittsburgh, also worked at KQV, WTAE-AM, WHTX
  • Rocky Bleier (1980-19xx) (sports) - former Pittsburgh Steeler
  • Mike Boguslowski (19xx-19xx) (consumer reporter); also worked at KCBS-TVmarker in Los Angeles
  • Dennis Bowman (1984-2000) (weather) - after 16 years he moved on to Topeka, Kansas, but returned to Pittsburgh in 2005; now a meteorologist at KDKA-TVmarker
  • Jim Brinson (1984-1987) (sports) -
  • Natasha Brown (2000-2002) (reporter) - now at KYW-TVmarker and WPSGmarker in Philadelphia
  • Beverly Byer (19xx-19xx) (anchor) - was an anchor at KION-TVmarker in Monterey, Calif.; now at KRXA 540 AM
  • Bill Cardille (1957-2000) (weather) - was the first personality on air at WIIC, now a radio DJ at WJAS
  • Darryl Carver (1997-2000) (reporter) - now a reporter at WAGAmarker in Atlanta
  • Reg Chapman (2000-2002) (reporter) - now a reporter at WCCOmarker in Minneapolis/St. Paul
  • Steve Chenevey (2000-2002) (reporter) - now co-anchors WTTGmarker morning news from 5 to 7 A.M.
  • Dave Clark (19xx-1993) (reporter) - later worked at CBS 2marker/KCAL 9marker Los Angeles, now morning anchor at sister station KTVUmarker in Oakland/San Francisco, CA
  • Bob Cochran (1957-1975) (anchor/reporter)
  • Jane Crawford (1980-1984) (anchor/reporter)
  • Della Crews (1985-1998) (anchor/reporter) - now at News 12 in the New York/New Jersey area
  • John Cross (1980-1984) (economics editor)
  • Vince DeLisi (19xx-19xx) (reporter)
  • Red Donley (1961-1970) (sports) - previously worked at WTOV-TVmarker in Steubenville, Ohiomarker / Wheeling, West Virginiamarker-died in 1998
  • Deidra Dukes (1995-1998) (anchor/reporter) - now weekend anchor at WAGAmarker in Atlantamarker
  • Tim Earl (1984-1986) (weather anchor/science reporter) - lives in Dallas, TX
  • Jack Etzel (1974-1996) (feature reporter) - "Etzel at Large" and "Jack of All Trades".
  • Stacia Erdos (1998-2008) (Weekend Anchor/Reporter)
  • Ralph G. Fallert (1957-1974) (weather forecaster)
  • Pat Finn (1979-1984) (weather forecater/reporter) later a host of various game shows
  • Katina Forte (1999-2002) (traffic reporter) - was host of 'QVC @ The Mall', now at ShopNBC
  • Alan Frio (1979-1981) (anchor) - later original anchor of Hard Copy
  • Andy Gastmeyer (1984-2008) (reporter) - retired
  • Vince Gerasole (19xx-19xx) (reporter) - now at WBBM-TVmarker, is a native of Pittsburgh
  • Derrick Gunn (1987-1997) (sports) - now at Comcast SportsNet
  • Mike Hambrick (1986-1989) (anchor) - now with the National Association of Manufacturers [98942]
  • Yolanda Hawkins (2003-2006) (reporter) - recently posed for the cover of Maniac Magazine's September 2006 issue
  • Midge Hill (1981-1984) (weekend anchor/reporter)
  • Dagny Hultgreen (19xx-19xx) (anchor/reporter) - sister of Kara Hultgreen, first female US Navy fighter pilot; appeared in the film Speed as a reporter; spent time as a reporter for E! News and Good Day L.A.
  • Ron Jaye (19xx-2000) (anchor/reporter) - retired
  • Mary Robb Jackson (1976-1979) (reporter), now at KDKA-TVmarker
  • Keith Jones (1999-2003) (anchor/reporter), now at KDKA-TVmarker
  • C.S. Keys (1995-2000) (weather) now at XETV-TVmarker in San Diego
  • Pat Kiley (early 1970s) (anchor) - formerly of KDKA-TVmarker
  • Barry Lillis (1981-1983) (weather forecaster)
  • Kris Long (1993-1998) (anchor) - now at KPSP-LP in Palm Springs, Calif.
  • Adam Lynch (1962-1978) (anchor/reporter) -retired
  • Mark Malone (1990-1993) (sports)
  • P.J. Maloney (mid-1970s to mid 1980's) (reporter/weather forecaster) now at KQV
  • Loran Mann (1976-1996) (reporter) - now a minister in Pittsburgh
  • Kelley Mitchell (1987-1989) (anchor)
  • Russ Montgomery (early-mid 1970's) (weather forecaster)
  • Sam Nover (1970-2001) (sports) - retired
  • Katrina Owens (2006-2007) (reporter)
  • Ken Phillips (1974-1979) (chief meteorologist)
  • Bruce Pompeani (1993-1996) (anchor/reporter) - worked at KDKA-TV
  • Gina Redmond (2001-2003) (anchor) - now at WVTM-TVmarker in Birmingham
  • Don Riggs (1970-1990) (weather/reporter; voice of "Willie The Duck") - Died February 21, 2009.
  • Dr. Mike Rosen (1997-2001) (medical reporter) - now the senior medical correspondent at WCBS-TVmarker and also files reports for CBS Newspath
  • Lori Savitch (1990-19xx) (anchor/reporter) - now an award-winning freelance producer for Nickelodeon, Lifetime and the History Channel and contributor to WQEDmarker Pittsburgh's 'OnQ'
  • Mark Schaefer (1957-1966) (anchor) - retired from KQV Radio
  • Eleanor Schano (19xx-19xx) (anchor) - host of WQED'smarker 'LifeQuest'
  • Pat Shingleton (1979-1981) (chief meteorologist) now at WBRZmarker
  • Margaret Shortridge (1992-2000) (reporter/anchor) - now at WFLDmarker
  • Roxanne Stein (19xx-1987) (anchor) - now at WPTV-TVmarker
  • Emilie Story (2002-2005) (reporter)
  • Dave Sullivan (late 1970s-early 1980s) (sports)
  • Ray Tannehill (1970-1976) (anchor) - died in 2007
  • Edye Tarbox (1987-1989) (anchor) - now with Fox News Channel
  • Steve Teeling (2000-2006) (Chief Meteorologist) - now with WXXAmarker in Albany, New York
  • Becky Thompson (19xx-2006) (consumer reporter) - relocated to Texas
  • Dee Thompson (1974-2009) (sports reporter/news reporter)
  • Estha Trouw (1995-1999) (anchor/reporter) - Now anchorwoman with San Diego Fox 6marker[98943] News at 10pm.
  • Wayne Van Dine (1969-1978) (consumer reporter) "Action Line" on WIIC.
  • Krista Villarreal (2005-2008) (meteorologist)
  • Randy Waters (1981-1984) (sports) - now at WXIA-TVmarker in Atlanta
  • Karen Welles (1990-2009) (reporter)
  • Alice Weston co-host "Luncheon at the Ones."
  • By Williams co-host "Luncheon at the Ones."
  • Marc Willis (2006-2009) (reporter)


Trivia

  • WPXI was the only Pittsburgh TV station that aired uncensored footage of Pennsylvania treasurer Budd Dwyer's suicide in 1987.
  • Most of the news reports in Night of the Living Dead aired on WIIC within the film.
  • Since at least the late 1980s, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune have aired on WPXI. Before that, KDKA aired the two game shows in a late afternoon slot.
  • WPXI was privliged to show both the Pittsburgh Steelers winning Super Bowl XLIII and the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals as both championship games were on NBC.


External links



References


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