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WTHR, channel 13, is a television station serving the Indianapolis, Indiana metropolitan area. An affiliate of the NBC television network, the station broadcasts its digital signal on VHF channel 13 from its transmitter in Indianapolis. Since 1974, WTHR has been owned by the Dispatch Broadcast Group of Columbus, Ohio.

Indianapolis, Indiana
Branding WTHR 13, Channel 13, or WTHR Channel 13 (general)

Channel 13 Eyewitness News (newscasts)

Slogan Indiana's News Leader
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)

Virtual: 13 (PSIP)

Subchannels 13.1 NBC

13.2 SkyTrak WX Network 13.3 Universal Sports

Affiliations NBC (1979-present)
Owner Dispatch Broadcast Group

(VideoIndiana, Inc.)

First air date October 30, 1957
Call letters' meaning channel THiRteen
Former callsigns WLWI (1957–1976)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

Channel 13 (1957-2009) Digital: Channel 46 (1998-2009)

Former affiliations ABC (1957–1979)
Transmitter power 30 kW
Height 299.0 m (HAAT)

299.9 m (AGL)

Class DT
Facility ID 70162
Transmitter coordinates 39°55′43.2″N 86°10′54.9″W / 39.928667°N 86.181917°W / 39.928667; -86.181917

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The station signed on October 30, 1957[1] as ABC affiliate WLWI (often rendered in print as WLW-I), owned by Crosley Broadcasting Corporation. It was one of five stations which made up the Cincinnati-based WLW television network. Other stations included in this network were WLWT in Cincinnati, WLWC (now WCMH-TV) in Columbus, WLWA (now WXIA-TV) in Atlanta and WLWD (now WDTN) in Dayton.

From 1957 to 1962, the station was tied up in one of the most heated licensing disputes in early television history. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) originally awarded the license to a group headed by Union Federal Savings and Loan president George Sadlier. However, after an appeal, the FCC reversed itself and awarded the license to Crosley. One of the other competitors, Richard Fairbanks, owner of WIBC-AM 1070 sued the FCC. Fairbanks claimed that the FCC had erred in awarding the last VHF license in Indianapolis to a company based in Cincinnati when there were viable potential licensees in Indianapolis. The suit, however, was filed too late to prevent WLWI from signing on.

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals overturned the FCC's decision in 1958, but allowed Crosley to continue running the station pending further FCC action. In 1961, the FCC awarded Fairbanks the channel 13 license, but Crosley appealed. A year later, Crosley and Fairbanks reached a deal in which Fairbanks bought WLWA in return for allowing Crosley to keep WLWI.

Amid this instability in ownership, WLWI found the going rather difficult. It was also dogged by a weaker network affiliation; ABC would not be on an equal footing with CBS and NBC until the 1970s. WLWI spent most of its first 17 years as an also-ran behind WFBM-TV (now WRTV) and WISH-TV. In some cases, it even fell to fourth place behind WTTV.

From last place to ratings leadership

Crosley/Avco poured a lot of money into WLWI, but eventually concluded that it was a third-rate operation and put it up for sale. The Wolfe family, owners of the Columbus Dispatch and WBNS-TV in Columbus, bought the station from Avco in 1974 and changed the calls to WTHR two years later. With new ownership in place, on-air quality began to improve, but WTHR was still rating third behind WISH and WRTV.

In the case of the ABC affiliation, the network rose to first place and was seeking out stronger local stations to affiliate with in many markets; NBC, meanwhile, was the lowest rated network. So in 1979, WTHR swapped affiliations with WRTV and became an NBC affiliate. Ratings were slow to improve until the mid-1990s, when WTHR hired former CBS News correspondent John Stehr to anchor its evening newscasts. WTHR quickly moved from third to second place after a botched relaunch at WRTV. Changes continued to be made, and in 1999, WTHR's Eyewitness News surged past then-dominant WISH in several key news timeslots, moving to first place for the first time in its history. By 2002, WTHR beat WISH in all news timeslots and changed its slogan to "Indiana's News Leader".

WTHR today

On September 2, 2007 WTHR celebrated its 50th anniversary[2] like its sister station in Columbus, WTHR used the song "Carousels (Dreaming of Tomorrow)" by Columbus, Ohio rock band Alamoth Lane, which was also used on WBNS as a large marketing campaign to promote the launch of its newscasts in high definition.[3] [4] [5]

WTHR also produces the Brain Game, a weekly televised quiz bowl competition for high school students. It has aired since 1972 and is curretly hosted by meteorologist Chris Wright.[6]

Digital television

Channel Programming
13.1 WTHR-DT
13.2 SkyTrak Weather Network
13.3 Universal Sports

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion was completed on June 12, 2009 at 12:37 AM [7], WTHR moved its digital broadcasts back to channel 13.[8]

News operation

WTHR used to have a partnership agreement with then-UPN affiliate WNDY-TV (channel 23; now a MyNetworkTV affiliate). Under the partnership, WTHR produced a 10 p.m. newscast for WNDY. However, the partnership ended when WNDY was purchased by LIN TV Corporation, which also owned WISH-TV. WISH-TV then assumed responsibility of the production of WNDY's 10 p.m. newscast. WTHR now airs a short 8 minute "First Forecast" on the company-owned SkyTrak Weather Network, channel 50, in lieu of a 10 p.m. newscast. SkyTrak Weather Network also airs constant weather forecasts for Central Indiana and replays of WTHR's midday, 6 p.m. newscasts, and short five-minute news updates throughout the day.

Beginning with the 10 p.m. Eyewitness News Nightbeat newscast on November 12, 2006, WTHR became the first station in Indiana to broadcast local news in High Definition, making it one of only seven TV stations in the Midwest broadcasting news in HD (the others being fellow Indianapolis station WISH-TV, WKYC-TV in Cleveland, KSDK in St. Louis, KARE-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul, WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, and sister station WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio). WTHR broadcasts its local newscasts in 1080i high definition, which is the same high definition resolution as NBC network programming.

On October 2, 2007 starting with the noon newscast, WTHR began shooting, editing and transmitting field live shots in widescreen. This change will eliminate the need for pillars on these elements. It is important to note the difference between widescreen and high definition, as these three elements are being shot in 1080i, but due to current editing, transmission and storage facilities they are converted to a lower resolution for broadcast.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

Station slogans

  • You're On Top Of It All (1976–1979; image campaign composed by Al Ham)
  • Hello Indiana, Channel 13 Loves You! (1980–1987 and 1991; image campaign composed by Frank Gari, vocals mainly by Florence Warner)[13]
  • Channel 13, Just Watch Us Now (1982–1983; localized version of NBC network slogan)
  • Channel 13, Be There (1983–1984; localized version of NBC network slogan)
  • This Is Indiana, and Proud to Call It Home! (also "Proud To Call It Home!"; 1987–1994)
  • Indiana's NewsChannel (1992–1996)[14][15]
  • Indiana, 13's On Your Side (1994–1997; image campaign composed by Frank Gari)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (1994–2002; still appears on some WTHR-owned vehicles)[16]
  • Indiana's News Leader (2002–present)[17]
  • Learn Things (summers 2006 and 2007)
  • Learn More (fall 2007-summer 2008)

On-air staff

[2][3]WTHR anchors Anne Marie Tiernon and Julia Moffitt. Tiernon was filling in for Scott Swan when this screenshot was taken on March 28, 2007. Tiernon is currently the 5:30 and 6 PM anchor.====Current on-air staff (as of July 2010)====

  • Kris Kirschner - weekend mornings
  • Bruce Kopp - weekday mornings
  • Julia Moffitt - weekday mornings
  • Andrea Morehead - weeknights at 5 and 11 p.m.
  • Jennie Runevitch - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • John Stehr - weeknights at 5, 6, and 11 p.m.
  • Scott Swan - weekdays at noon and 5:30 p.m.
  • Anne Marie Tiernon - weeknights at 5:30 and 6 p.m.
SkyTrak Weather Team
  • Chris Wright (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Scott Akin (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekends at 11 p.m.
  • Chuck Lofton (NWA Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings
  • Nicole Misencik (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekend mornings, and weekends at 6 p.m.
  • Jude Redfield (NWA Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekdays at noon and weeknights at 5 p.m.
Sports Team
  • David Calabro - Sports Director; weeknights at 6 and Sunday-Thursdays at 11 p.m.
  • Eric Yutzy - Sports Anchor; weekends at 6 and 11 p.m., also sports reporter
  • Richard Nye - weeknight sports reporter
  • Dick Rea - sports reporter and fill-in anchor
  • Don Hein - sports reporter
  • Cat Andersen - general assignment reporter
  • Jeremy Brilliant - general assignment reporter
  • Sandra Chapman - investigative reporter ("13 Investigates")
  • Lynsay Clutter - general assignment reporter
  • Richard Essex - general assignment reporter
  • Steve Jefferson - crime beat reporter
  • Captain Paul Kasey - morning traffic reporter ("SkyWatch Traffic")
  • Emily Longnecker - general assignment reporter
  • David MacAnally - general assignment reporter
  • Mary Milz - CityBeat reporter
  • Dave Patania - fitness contributor
  • Mimi Pierce - morning traffic reporter ("SkyWatch Traffic")
  • Chris Proffitt - North bureau reporter
  • Kevin Rader - political reporter
  • Jennifer Reyes - general assignment reporter
  • Bob Segall - investigative reporter ("13 Investigates")
  • Tom Walker - Washington, DC correspondent
  • Rich Van Wyk - money and education reporter

Notable alumni

  • Linda Allen (Reporter; now 5, 6 & 10 p.m. anchor at WJTV, Jackson, MS)
  • Lisa Amin (Reporter; now at KGO-TV in San Francisco)
  • Chris Bavender (Reporter; now Communications Director for the Indiana Attorney General)
  • Ross Becker (Anchor/reporter; now at KTVX in Salt Lake City)
  • Phil Bremen (Weekend anchor/reporter; currently Telecommunications Professor at Ball State University)
  • Linda Buchberger (Weekend weathercaster)
  • Brent Cameron (Weekend meteorologist; now at WSVN-TV, Miami)
  • Bob Campbell (Former News Director; now Realtor "Reliable Robert"; Bellingham, WA)
  • Julie Carey (Reporter, now at WRC-TV in Washington)
  • Pat Carlini (Meteorologist in the late 1980s and weekday morning anchor until 2004)
  • Mary Ann Childers (Anchor/reporter; most recently at WBBM-TV, Chicago)
  • Lew Choate (Anchor)
  • Mark Clegg (Anchor/reporter; now at KSHB-TV, Kansas City)
  • Tom Cochrun (Anchor from 1981–1996; former news director at WISH-TV)
  • Ray Cortopassi (Freelance anchor/reporter 2008-2009, now morning anchor at rival WXIN)
  • Carol Costello (Reporter; now late night anchor at CNN)
  • Pat Costello (Photographer, Producer, Assistant News Dir.; now Station Mgr KING-TV, Seattle)
  • Mark Craft (5 p.m. & 6 p.m. producer; now Director, External Communications, Duke Energy)
  • Lis Daily (1959–2002), (Community Affairs Director; died in 2002 from cancer)
  • Linsey Davis (Now reporter for ABC NewsOne)
  • Debbie Denmon (Weekend morning anchor in the late 1990s; now at WFAA-TV Dallas)
  • Allison Dillman (Reporter)
  • Karen Dillon (Anchor/reporter)
  • Jill Ditmire (Weekday anchor; now feature reporter at WISH-TV and WFYI-TV Indianapolis)
  • Duane Dow (Sports anchor; resigned for personal reasons)
  • Ronnie Duncan (Weekend sports anchor)
  • Marilyn Durbin (Reporter)
  • Bill Donnella (Reporter; now owner of his own production company, Videos & Such, in Indianapolis)
  • Don Ellison (Weekend anchor)
  • Bill Foster (Statehouse Correspondent, Anchor/Reporter, Crimestoppers Reporter)
  • Tim Fritz (Reporter)
  • Bill Gephardt (Consumer Reporter in the 1980s; now at KUTV, Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Bob Gregory Former Chief Meteorologist (semi-retired, occasionally appears on WTHR during his Coats For Kids campaign)
  • Jerry Harkness (Sports anchor, 1970s)
  • Cameron Harper (Anchor in the 1980s; now at WPTY-TV/WLMT-TV, Memphis)
  • Jane Harrington (Reporter)
  • Roger Harvey (Anchor/reporter; now Senior Vice President, Bose Public Affairs Group, Indianapolis)
  • Mac Heald (Weekend anchor/reporter)
  • Mike Hoffman (Meteorologist; now Chief Meteorologist at WNDU-TV, South Bend)
  • Natalie Holzer (Health reporter)
  • Kim Hood (Anchor/reporter; married to former US Congressman Andrew Jacobs, Jr.; now retired)
  • Bill Jackson (Host of Mickey Mouse Club later renamed The Bill Jackson Show from 1963–65)
  • Dick Johnson (Reporter; now morning anchor at WMAQ-TV in Chicago)
  • Rhori Johnston (Weekend anchor from 1999–2005; now at WTVF, Nashville)
  • Glendal Jones (Weekend anchor/reporter; now a writer with Indianapolis Woman magazine)
  • Theresa Joyce (Reporter from 1994–1997;now freelance Travel Editor/Writer)
  • Barry Judge (Anchor in the 1980s)
  • Min-Hee Kim (Reporter)
  • Mike Lawrence (Anchor and reporter from 1977–1982, Now Executive Vice President of Cone LLC, a communications agency)
  • Parella Lewis (Weekend meteorologist from 2004–2007, now at KCPQ-TV in Seattle)
  • David Letterman (Weekend weatherman, host of Freeze Dried Theater and Clover Power; now host of Late Show with David Letterman)
  • Pete Liebengood (Sports anchor; early-mid-80s)
  • John Lindsay (Anchor in the 1970s)
  • Anita Malichi (Anchor/reporter from mid-1990s to 2001)
  • Jack Martin (Weekend anchor/reporter)
  • Bill Meck (Former meteorologist; now Chief Meteorologist at WLEX in Lexington, KY)
  • Lynda Moore (Medical reporter/anchor from 1995–2004)
  • Angie Moreschi (Anchor/investigative reporter; now freelance journalist & media consultant in Lutz, Florida)
  • Cliff Nicholson - Weekend Nightbeat meteorologist
  • Peggy Nicholson (Former host of "Peggy and the Vantastics")
  • Jim O'Brien (Meteorologist; now at WXIN Fox59 in Indianapolis)
  • Lyra O'Brien (Meteorologist; now at WISN-TV, Milwaukee)
  • Lee Owens (Weekend sports anchor/reporter)
  • Paul Page (Former sports anchor/reporter; now with the ESPN sports networks)
  • Jean Palmer (Consumer reporter, late 1970s; resigned to work for Eli Lilly and Co.)
  • Susan Parks (Weekend anchor in early 1990s, later of KOCO-TV Oaklahoma City)
  • Rich Pegram (VP and General Manager (1994–2007), now at WFTS-TV in Tampa, FL)
  • Richard Reeve (Reporter)
  • Jeremy Rogalski (Investigative reporter; now at KHOU-TV, Houston)
  • Nancy Rogers (Weekend weathercaster/reporter)
  • Betsy Ross (Anchor, now sports reporter at WXIX in Cincinnati)
  • Amanda Rosseter (Anchor/reporter; now at WSB-TV in Atlanta)
  • Anne Ryder (Anchor/reporter; now community speaker)
  • Alex Sanz (Reporter; now at KHOU-TV, Houston)
  • Tina Simpkin (Meteorologist, 2004–2007)
  • Stephanie Soviar (Feature Reporter 2006-07, now at KMOV in St. Louis as Stephanie Simmons (taking the name of husband Jeff Simmons)
  • Mark Spain (Weekend anchor in the early 1990s, went to WJW-TV Cleveland, now at WAWS-TV/WTEV Jacksonville)
  • Randal Stanley (Former Weathercaster, Producer, Executive Producer; now GM of News 12 NJ)
  • Chris Stout (Sports reporter from the late 1990s-2002; former sports director at WKRN-TV, Nashville)
  • Teresa Tanoos (Medical reporter, now host of Healthy Living)
  • Marc Thompson (Reporter; now at WOOD-TV, Grand Rapids, MI)
  • Paul Udell (News anchor; recently retired from KITV in Honolulu, HI)
  • Carrie Van Dyke (Anchor; now spokesperson for Indiana Special Education Administrators' Services (ISEAS))
  • Pam Vaught (Producer, Executive Producer; now News Director at KTBC, Austin, TX)
  • Yolanda Walker (Reporter; now at WFAA, Dallas, TX)
  • Erik Waxler (Sports anchor/reporter from 1998–2006; now at WFTS-TV, Tampa, FL)
  • Rick Young (Reporter/weekend anchor)
  • Walt Zwirko (Reporter/photographer/producer 1975-1980; now Senior Web News Editor at WFAA, Dallas, TX)
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

External links


  1. ^
  2. ^ "WTHR's 50th Anniversary promo" (FLV). WTHR-TV Indianapolis. 09/02/07. Retrieved 2007-11-08.
  3. ^ "WBNS-TV Station Image Promo; Alamoth Lane - Carousels (Dreaming of Tomorrow)". WBNS-TV Columbus. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
  4. ^ "WBNS-TV Station Image Promo Version 1". WBNS-TV Columbus. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
  5. ^ "WBNS-TV Station Image Promo Version 2". WBNS-TV Columbus. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
  6. ^ WTHR - Indianapolis News and Weather - Westfield Insurance Brain Game
  7. ^
  8. ^ FCC DTV status report for WTHR
  9. ^
  10. ^,2190,0
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  12. ^
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  14. ^,2192,1
  15. ^,2193,0
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  17. ^,2197,0
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