The Full Wiki



Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

WTVJ is the NBC owned-and-operated television station for South Floridamarker that is licensed to Miamimarker. Its digital transmitter is located near LandShark Stadiummarker in north Miami-Dade Countymarker. Owned by NBC Universal, the station is sister to South Florida's Telemundo owned-and-operated station, WSCVmarker. The two currently share studios at Peacock Plaza in Miramarmarker. Syndicated programming on WTVJ includes: Access Hollywood, Extra and Ellen.

Formerly the audio signal of analog channel 6 was located at 87.75 MHz, and the audio signal could be heard on 87.7 MHz on the FM dial in most parts of South Florida. This frequency assignment applies to all channel 6 television stations in countries using the NTSC-M standard. During the year, WTVJ promoted the use of 87.7 MHz for those listening in their automobiles, and during hurricanes as an emergency conduit of information for viewers unable to view on a television. With the June 12, 2009 digital transition the analog signal is no longer available, and it is likely that WTVJ will instead air their newscast audio over a traditional radio station in emergency situations.


In addition to its main signals, WTVJ is also carried on two repeaters.

Call Letters Channel City of License Transmitter Location Licensee
W44AC 44 Key Westmarker center of town Miranda Broadcasting Company of Key West, LLC
W58BU 58 Hallandalemarker Pembroke Parkmarker NBC Universal

Prior to the analog shutdown and digital conversion, W58BU was necessary because of WTVJ's former analog transmitter location in Redland, which is 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Downtown Miami. This location is farther south than other Miami television stations. As a result, Fort Lauderdalemarker and the rest of Broward County received a Grade B signal from the analog tower. WTVJ shut off the analog transmitter for the last time on June 26, 2009, though both translators are still operational from their existing towers. With WTVJ's digital transmitter now located in the same area as other major Miami television stations, W58BU is still necessary because WTVJ's digital signal, although it reaches further into the Fort Lauderdale area with a "city-grade" signal, still does not cover the entire city. W58BU has applied to move its signal from channel 58 to channel 51 due to the auctioning of the UHF frequencies above channel 51.

At one point, WTVJ was carried by a third translator, W52BB channel 52, in Big Pine Keymarker. However, there are no longer any FCC records of this station.


Florida's First Television Station

Archived WTVJ news tape as seen from the Florida Moving Image Archive.
The logo shown was adopted shortly before the switch to NBC in 1989.

WTVJ went on the air at noon on March 21, 1949. It was Floridamarker's first television station and the 16th in the country. Originally broadcasting on channel 4, WTVJ was owned by Wometco Enterprises, a national movie theater chain headquartered in Miami. The original studios were located in the former Capitol Theater in Downtown Miami, which was Wometco's first theater when the company was founded in 1926. The station carried programming from all four major networks of that era (ABC, NBC, CBS, and DuMont), but was a primary CBS affiliate. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.

WTVJ was the only commercial station in Miami until December 24, 1954, when WFTL-TV signed on from Fort Lauderdalemarker as an NBC affiliate. However, WFTL had no success whatsoever against WTVJ, in part because television sets were not required to have UHF tuning until 1964. NBC continued to allow WTVJ to cherry-pick NBC programming until WCKT (now WSVNmarker) signed on in 1956 and WFTL went dark. (By this time, WFTL had been purchased by Storer Broadcasting and changed its call letters to WGBS-TV in honor of George B. Storer, the company's president. Storer owned the station as an independent until it went dark sometime in 1956. The frequency which was used by WFTL-TV/WGBS-TV is now occupied by WLTVmarker, whose only common tie to the earlier station is the fact that it was launched by the same company that took the earlier station off the air years before.) It continued to share ABC with WCKT until 1957 when WPST (now WPLGmarker) signed on. It also doubled as the CBS affiliate for West Palm Beachmarker until WTVXmarker (now a CW affiliate) signed on in 1966.

Soon after WTVJ signed on, it hired Ralph Renick, who had just graduated from the University of Miamimarker, as its first anchorman and News Director. Renick would be the face of WTVJ for nearly 36 years best known for his catchphrase at the end of every newscast, "Good night, and may the good news be yours". At the same time, the station also hired Bernie Rosen and Bob Weaver. One of the nation's first ever television news meteorologists, Weaver reported weather for the station for more than 5 decades. Rosen, who went on to run the station's award winning sports department for more than three decades, is the only remaining original employee still working at the station, and is currently in his 60th consecutive year at WTVJ. On February 6, 2008 Rosen was presented with the prestigious Golden Circle Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The Academy honored Rosen for his more than 50 years of service to the South Florida television community. While many of South Florida's veteran television personalities have received the Silver Circle Award for marking 25 years in the business, the Golden Circle Award has been given only once before in South Florida, in 2004 when it went to Bob Weaver, also a lifelong WTVJ employee.

WTVJ served as the producing station for CBS's Jackie Gleason Show after the comedian moved the program from New York Citymarker to Miami Beachmarker in 1964.

Acquisition by KKR

Wometco founder and president Mitchell Wolfson died in 1983 and a long-rumored secret plan to run the company after his death was never found. Remaining Wolfson heirs had no desire to keep the company in the family, and it quickly unraveled, making it a ripe takeover target. Investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. took over Wometco in 1984 in a deal worth one billion dollars, the largest corporate buyout ever to that date. In 1985, the FCC raised the television station ownership limit from seven stations with no more than five on VHF to twelve stations regardless of frequency. KKR sold most of Wometco's entertainment assets to Wometco chief operating officer Arthur Hertz in 1985. With the cash from this sale, KKR bought Storer Broadcasting. It bought the stations because values were rising rapidly and the goal was to sell the stations in a few years.

In 1986, KKR opted to sell WTVJ and the Storer stations to separate owners. It had plans to sell WTVJ for a record price of close to half a billion dollars, although the station was actually worth far less. CBS saw a chance to get an owned and operated television station in the fast-growing Miami market. However, it lost a bidding war to television syndication firm Telepictures (now part of Warner Bros. Television). CBS then suggested that it intended to purchase WCIX, South Florida's Fox affiliate owned by Taft Broadcasting of Cincinnatimarker. Such a deal would have made WTVJ the area's Fox affiliate. Although CBS only made a half-hearted bid for WCIX, Telepictures realized that the value of its purchase would be significantly depreciated with the loss of CBS. Also, while it was a major force in television syndication in its own right, Telepictures did not anticipate having to buy an additional 15 hours per day of programming (Fox had just debuted and would not air a full week's worth of programming for seven years). It walked away from the deal later in 1986, and sold off its only other television station, WPGH-TVmarker in Pittsburghmarker, to Renaissance Broadcasting.

WTVJ's newsroom.

Joining the Peacock

Over the next few months, the only offers for WTVJ came from companies that owned large groups of independent station, such as Tribune Broadcasting, Pappas Telecasting Companies, and Chris-Craft Industries / United Television. These and other companies wanted to make WTVJ an independent station, or a Fox affiliate, for a price far lower than KKR's asking price. The only way that KKR could make such a large profit was to sell WTVJ to another network, as the only potential buyers who had no interest in keeping CBS while paying the asking price were ABC and NBC. A major network had never bought a VHF station affiliated with another network.

CBS did not believe that KKR would sell WTVJ to another network, so it returned with a very low offer. KKR turned the CBS offer down almost out of hand and then approached the other networks. ABC was not interested, since it was more than satisfied with its longtime affiliate, WPLG. However, NBC was very interested because its longtime affiliate, WSVN, pre-empted whatever shows NBC aired weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon, as well as an occasional primetime show. NBC was far less tolerant of preemptions than CBS and ABC at the time, and was particularly annoyed at losing valuable advertising in such a fast-growing market. This wasn't a problem at first since NBC was able to find alternate stations in the area to carry any programs that WSVN didn't air, plus, any programs pre-empted by WSVN aired on NBC's affiliate in West Palm Beach, WPTVmarker, and WPTV's signal covered most of the Miami area, and was available on every cable system in the area. However, by 1985, WPTV had disappeared from most Miami cable systems to make way for new cable channels, resulting in some NBC programming preempted by WSVN being unavailable to some viewers. NBC realized that buying its own station with less restrictive ownership laws would guarantee that all of its shows would air. Hence, it made an offer almost as high as Telepictures did a few months before, and in 1987, KKR agreed to sell WTVJ to NBC.

NBC assumed control of WTVJ in mid-September 1987. However, both WTVJ's and WSVN's existing affiliation contracts lasted until December 31, 1988. As a result, NBC faced the prospect of having to run WTVJ as a CBS affiliate for over a year. This did not sit well with either NBC or CBS, and both approached WSVN's owner, Ed Ansin (Sunbeam Television), about ending his station's NBC affiliation early. However, Ansin refused because he wanted to air NBC's strong lineup that year, which included the Summer Olympics, the MLB World Series, along with the many hit shows airing on NBC at that time. He also wanted to take the CBS affiliation at the beginning of 1989. NBC did strip nearly all CBS branding from the station, and began airing all NBC programming preempted by WSVN. In turn, this resulted in some CBS shows being preempted on WTVJ, with those shows airing on WCIX.

CBS then formally approached WCIX, despite the fact that it would have provided a much weaker signal to Fort Lauderdale than that provided by WTVJ or WSVN. WCIX's transmitter was located near Homesteadmarker, 20 miles southwest of Downtown Miami. This gave Fort Lauderdale only a Grade B signal, which was weaker than all of the other television stations in the market. Accordingly, CBS persuaded West Palm Beach's longtime ABC affiliate, WPECmarker, in West Palm Beach to change its affiliation to CBS, so that it could continue to get a city-grade signal in Broward County. In the spring of 1988, CBS announced that it was purchasing WCIX from the TVX Broadcast Group(which would become ironic more than 10 years later), who had purchased the station in 1987 as Taft was restructuring to become Great American Broadcasting. The changeover occurred on January 1, 1989, when WTVJ ended its 40-year affiliation with CBS and became the third station in Miami to carry NBC, as well as the first of two network-owned stations in Florida, the other being WCIX. CBS moved the rest of its programming over to WCIX, while WSVN became the new Fox affiliate for South Florida, and most of WCIX's syndicated programming went to WDZL (channel 39, now WSFL-TVmarker).

WTVJ's news set behind the cameras.

In 1992, when Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida, WTVJ was the only station to give complete coverage of the story non-stop with meteorologist Bryan Norcross. WTVJ won local Emmys for its coverage of Hurricane Andrew.

Changing channels

In 1994, Westinghouse and its broadcasting division Group W signed a long-term deal with CBS, in which the three Group W stations not already affiliated with CBS would become CBS affiliates; the other two stations had already been CBS affiliates. Westinghouse and CBS would merge later that year, making all the Group W stations CBS O&Os. One of the stations was Philadelphiamarker's longtime NBC affiliate, KYW-TVmarker. CBS decided to sell off its longtime owned and operated television station in that same market, WCAU-TVmarker. This led to a deal in 1995 between CBS and NBC, where CBS sold the channel 6 facility to NBC as compensation for the loss of KYW-TV and Westinghouse's other NBC affiliate, WBZ-TVmarker in Bostonmarker. In return, CBS received the stronger channel 4 facility and cash as compensation for the loss of WCAU. (KCNC-TVmarker in Denver and KUTVmarker in Salt Lake City ended up switching to CBS in this deal, causing NBC to find new homes in both markets on KUSA-TVmarker and KSL-TVmarker respectively.)

On September 10, 1995, WTVJ and WCIX swapped dial positions. WTVJ's entire intellectual unit (calls, shows, NBC network, and staff) moved from channel 4 to channel 6, while the WCIX intellectual unit moved to channel 4 as WFOR-TVmarker. However, both stations' studios remained the same. Due to the way the transfer was structured, the two stations were required to swap licenses in addition to the transmitting facilities. As a result, the FCC considers WTVJ to be legally the same station as the old WCIX. This move led to WPTV picking up NBC market share in Broward County from WTVJ, as WTVJ moved its transmitter from its longtime home on the Broward-Dade line to WCIX's old transmitter in Homestead. WPTV's signal in Fort Lauderale is actually closer to city-grade than WTVJ's (though still Grade B).

Most of WTVJ's archive from 1949 through 2004 (as well as other Florida television stations) are stored at the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives in downtown Miami.

On March 19, 2008, NBC Universal announced that it was putting WTVJ on the market for an estimated $350 million dollars. On March 21, 2008, WTVJ celebrated its 59th anniversary and began its 60th year of continuous broadcasting. On July 18, long-time WTVJ anchor Bob Mayer made the official announcement live on the station's mid-day talk show (South Florida Today) that the station was being sold to Post-Newsweek Stations. The purchase would have created a duopoly between WTVJ and WPLG (currently owned by Post-Newsweek). An FCC rule allows the purchase of a station in the same market if "at least 1 of the stations in the combination is not ranked among the top 4 stations in terms of audience share". As of May 2008 ratings period, WTVJ ranked 6th overall in total-day Nielsen ratings and WPLGmarker rated number one which allowed the possibility of a purchase. A TV Newsday published report indicates that in a July 25 FCC filing, Post-Newsweek bought WTVJ for $205 million dollars. Industry experts had estimated the station would bring in up to $350 million. However, the sale did not include real estate. In this deal, the two stations would have merged their operations at WPLG's new studios on Hallandale Beach Boulevard in Pembroke Parkmarker. As part of this purchase, Post-Newsweek would have acquired all of WTVJ's new high definition production equipment that was installed in its Miramar sudios (including WSCV). Despite a formal petition having been filed with the FCC against the proposed sale, the sale was cleared by the Federal Trade Commission October 6.

Eventually, the sale of WTVJ was canceled on December 23, 2008, with NBC and Post-Newsweek parent The Washington Post Company citing poor economic conditions and the lack of FCC approval as the reasons for the cancellation.

Due to the sale attempt, WTVJ was the final NBC-owned station (other than its Telemundo stations) to continue to use the old format (powered by Internet Broadcasting) for its Web site. With NBC retaining ownership of WTVJ, this changed on March 16, 2009, when was launched.

On March 21, 2009, WTVJ celebrated its 60th anniversary and aired a half-hour special "WTVJ: The First 60 Years", which highlighted the station's history from its beginning on March 21, 1949 to the present [216762].

Digital television

WTVJ's digital signal, which has been operating at a maximum legal power of 1,000 kW since its sign-on in July 2003, is multiplexed:

RF Channel
Video Aspect Programming
6.1 31.1 1080i 16:9 Main WTVJ programming / NBC HD
6.2 31.2 480i 4:3 NBC Plus*
6.3 31.3 480i 4:3 Universal Sports

On Wednesday February 25, 2009, WTVJ became the last O&O station to have Universal Sports on its digital subchannel. WTVJ, currently has Universal Sports on WTVJ-DT 6.3

* NBC announced on October 7, 2008 that NBC Weather Plus would be phased out by the end of the year, after NBC affiliates expressed a desire to shut the service down. The network began its phase-out late November, with its shutdown date set for December 31, 2008.

At noon on June 12, 2009, WTVJ terminated its normal programming on analog channel 6, and began transmitting "Nightlight" an educational videoloop explaining the Digital Transition and the installation and use of the digital to analog converter boxes. The Nightlight ceased to play on June 26th at which time, the channel 6 analog transmitter was shut down by the spirit of Ralph Renick who ends the analog by saying, "Good night... and may the good news be yours!". From that point, WTVJ will continue broadcasting in digital format on channel 31 to complete its analog to digital transition. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display WTVJ's virtual channel as "6".

After the digital transition, the station moved its transmitters from WCIX's old transmitter in Homestead to the Broward-Dade line, bringing WTVJ's transmission on par with the other Miami TV stations for the first time in fourteen years.

News operation

WTVJ's news open.

In 1997, WTVJ and the Sun-Sentinel began co-producing a nightly 10 o'clock newscast on WB affiliate WDZL known as WB 39 News at 10. After the station (by then renamed WBZL) became a CW affiliate on September 18, 2006 and became WSFL-TVmarker, the newscast title changed to CW News at 10. The newscast was broadcast from a secondary set at WTVJ's studios and was a similar operation to other Tribune-outsourced newscasts that were (and still are) seen on KRCW-TVmarker and WPHL-TVmarker. The final WSFL newscast aired on August 31, 2008, as Tribune did not renew the partnership because of the then-pending sale of WTVJ to Post-Newsweek, a newspaper competitor to Tribune.

On September 10, 2007, in hopes of catching a new audience, WTVJ launched the market's first weeknight 7 o'clock news, a format NBC liked, and used with several other NBC owned stations including WNBCmarker and KNSDmarker. At the same time, WTVJ dropped its 5 p.m. newscast, opting to show The Ellen DeGeneres Show instead.

On March 5, 2008, WTVJ began broadcasting its local news in high definition. It was the first television station in the Miami / Ft. Lauderdale market and the fourth station in South Florida to have made the upgrade.

WTVJ does not air news at noon during the week. Instead, it airs a localized talk show at 11 a.m.

During weather segments, WTVJ uses two weather radar systems, "Weather Plus TITAN Radar" and "Weather Plus VIPIR Radar". The station offers NBC Weather Plus on its second digital subchannel and on Comcast and Atlantic Broadband digital cable.

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • Televiews of the News (1949-1951, 6:15 PM newcasts)
  • The Ralph Renick Report (1953-1984, 6 PM newscast)
  • Newsnight with Dick Bate (1965-1967, 11 PM newscast)
  • News at Noon with Del Frank (1965-1985)
  • Twenty-Four Hours (1967-1969, 11 PM news)
  • The Prescott Robinson Report (1969-1973, 11 PM newscast)
  • Channel 4 News (mid 1970s-early 1980s and 1989-1995, shortened to "4 News" in graphics during latter period)
  • The World Tonight With Jim Brosemer (1973-1983, 11 PM newscast)
  • News Weekend With Bob Mayer (1974-1982, 6 and 11 PM newscasts)
  • News 4 (1983-1989; WFOR-TV returned title as News 4 South Florida in 1995)
  • News 4 With Ralph Renick (1984-1985, 6PM newscast)
  • Today in South Florida (1989-present)
  • Live at Eleven (1992, AM news, talk and interviews)
  • Channel 6 News (1995-1997, used when the station moved to channel 6)
  • NBC 6 News (1997-present)
  • South Florida Today (2004-present)
  • South Florida Nightly News (7PM newscast, 2007-present)
  • South Florida Tonight (11PM newscast, 2006-present)

Station Slogans

  • On the Spot Coverage of Florida (1949-Mid 1960s)
  • South Florida's Largest Daily Circulation (Mid 1960s-Early 1970s)
  • Friends You Can Turn To (Early 1970s-1984)
  • We Got The Touch, You And Channel 4 (1983-1984; local version of the CBS TV Network Ad campaign)
  • South Florida's News Leader (1984-1986; 2005-present)
  • We're on Your Side (1986-1988)
  • The Heart of South Florida (1988-1990)
  • Watch Our Team Work / Your 24-Hour News Source (1990-1992)
  • Stay with Us (1992-1995)
  • Where The News Comes First (1995-2005)

News team

  • Jackie Nespral - weeknights at 7pm and 11pm
  • Kevin Corke - weeknights at 6pm, 7pm and 11pm (January 2010)
  • Bob Mayer - weekday mornings (5am-7am) and 11am
  • Pam Giganti - weekday mornings (5am-7am)
  • Amara Sohn - weekend evenings and reporter during the week

NBC 6 Weather Channel Meteorologists
  • John Morales (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - Chief seen weeknights at 6pm, 7pm and 11pm
  • Ryan Phillips (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - weekday mornings (5am-7am)
  • Trina Robinson - weekdays at 11am and fill-in
    • weather reporter
  • John Gerard (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - weekends

  • Joe Rose - weeknights at 6pm, 7pm and 11pm
    • Heard on WQAM-AM 560
  • Adam Kuperstein - weekend evenings and host of Fins TV


  • Jeff Burnside - special projects
  • Claudia Decampo- freelance
  • Willard Shepard - investigative and fill-in anchor
  • Diana Gonzalez - health
  • Victoria Langley - freelance journalist based in Tallahasseemarker
  • Steve Litz - general asignment
  • Roxanne Vargas - AM Features and co-host of 'South Florida Today' at 11 AM
  • Sharon Lawson
  • Ari Odzer
  • Hank Tester

Station alumni

  • Jill Beach - Weekend Morning Anchor 1993-1996 (Now Running a video production company in Miami.)
  • Nick Bogert - political and judicial - 1980-2009 (Now living in Chicago)
  • Gray Hall - General Assignment Reporter 2007-2009
  • Joel Connable - 2005-2009 President of Travel TV News Inc.
  • Tony Segreto - 1968-2009 (Retired as main anchor January,2009)
  • Julia Yarbough - Retired October, 2009
  • Katie Couric - now anchoring the CBS Evening News
  • David Bloom - born 1963 / died March, 2003 covering start of Iraq war
  • Fred Francis - retired from NBC News Nov 2004

  • Roy Firestone - anchor, sports reporter - now at HDNet
  • Larry King - now at CNN
  • Nancy O'Dell - now at Access Hollywood
  • Jerry Penacoli - now at Extra
  • Rick Sanchez - 2003-2006, now at CNN
  • Michelle Kosinski - now at NBC News
  • Bryan Norcross - moved to WFOR-TVmarker and CBS News, now retired, (1990-1996)
  • Charlie Van Dyke - now a radio announcer
  • Chris Myers - now a FOX Sports sportscaster
  • Lonnie Quinn - now a weekday meteorologist at WCBS-TVmarker and on Saturday Early Show
  • Jim Brosemer - (1973 - 1988) Now a professor of journalism at Lynn University in Boca Raton.
  • Jim Dyer - later went to WCIXmarker
  • Ike Seamans - retired from WTVJ in 2007
  • Gordon Stevens - former sub-anchor
  • Michelle Gillen - now I-Team reporter at WFOR-TVmarker
  • Robin Cole (Robin Swoboda)- now at WJW
  • Susan Lichtman Taylor - now at KNSD-TVmarker, (1986-1992)
  • Beverly White - now at KNBC-TVmarker
  • Martha Sugalski - now at WESH-TVmarker
  • Guy Rawlings - now Sports Director at WESH-TV
  • John Guaraldi - now at WPLG-TVmarker
  • Tom Randles - now at WSMV-TVmarker, (1990 - 1992)
  • Marti Skold - now at KTVXmarker
  • Michael Williams - now at WFOR-TVmarker
  • Alycia Lane - former weekend anchor and reporter
  • Danielle Knox - moved to WFOR-TVmarker, now runs her own body care company and anchors at WGCL-TVmarker in Atlantamarker
  • Ileana Varela - moved to WFOR-TVmarker as weekend anchor and reporter from 1989-2008
  • Alicia Ortega
  • Teresa Rodriguez - now at Univision
  • Gerri Helfman
  • Pam Saulsby - now lead anchor at WRAL-TVmarker
  • Karen Kelly
  • Roland Steadham - now Chief Meteorologist at KTVXmarker
  • John Hambrick- Retired to Texas - doing commercials and movies (1985 - 1990)
  • Jennifer Valoppi
  • Carlos Vegara - now at KSBWmarker in Salinas, CAmarker
  • Hetal Gandhi
  • Scott Zamost -- now Senior Investigative Producer at CNN, based in Atlanta
  • DeMarco Morgan- now weekend anchor at WNBC
  • Karen Curtis- former WTVJ Traffic Reporter
  • Deborah Sherman-former investigative reporter-now at KUSA-TVmarker
  • Tom Llamas- now reporter at WNBC
  • Kerry Sanders- now at NBC News
  • Chuck Zink- (A.K.A.- "Skipper Chuck")
  • Paul Deanno- chief meteorologist (2003-2009), now morning and midday meteorologist at KOMO-TVmarker in Seattle
  • Kelly Craig- 11AM anchor (1990-2009)
  • Tisha Lewis - weeknights, now morning news anchor at WSFL-TVmarker
  • Thom Mozloom - VP, Creative Services - now is the president of The M Network, a Miami based branding and advertising agency
  • Micah Ohlman- later to KABC-TV in LA now KTLA


  1. TVNEWSDAY - NBC Nets $205 Million for WTVJ Miami
  2. Washington Post Company Announces Plans To Buy WTVJ - Local News Story - WTVJ | Miami

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address