Radio-TV Broadcast History

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WNWO-DT is the NBC-affiliated television station in Northwest Ohio that is licensed to Toledo. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 49 (virtual channel 24.1) from a transmitter northeast of Oregon. Owned by Barrington Broadcasting, the station has studios on South Byrne Road. Syndicated programming on WNWO includes: Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown, The Doctors, The Dr. Oz Show, and Martha Stewart. It can be viewed over-the-air and on cable in Southeastern Michigan, Windsor, Ontario, and Essex County, Ontario.


[hide]*1 History

[edit] History[]

Overmyer Broadcasting founded the station on May 3, 1966 as WDHO-TV (for Daniel H. Overmyer). Overmeyer owned several independent stations across the country, including KEMO in San Francisco, WATL in Atlanta, and WPHL-TV in Philadelphia. Logically, WDHO should have signed on either as a full-time ABC or NBC station. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had just required all-channel tuning two years earlier. As a result, even though Toledo was big enough to support three full network affiliates, ABC opted to retain its affiliation with WSPD-TV (now WTVG). NBC opted to retain its secondary affiliations with WSPD-TV and CBS affiliate WTOL, and have WIMA-TV (now WLIO) in Lima cover the southern part of the Toledo market. Instead, WDHO signed-on as the unlikely flagship of "The Overmyer Network" very soon renamed "The United Network" (no relation to UPN) which began operations one year later on May 1, 1967. The sole program on The United Network, The Las Vegas Show starring comedian Bill Dana, was canceled along with the network after being on-the-air for a month.

WDHO then became Toledo's first independent station carrying syndicated and local programming plus CBS, NBC, and ABC shows turned down by WSPD and WTOL. Finally in 1970, WDHO persuaded ABC to move all its programming there. Channel 24's affiliation with ABC was not a successful one. For most of that time, it was essentially the third station in a two-station market. On several occasions, creditors nearly forced the station into receivership. At one point, the trailer housing its news department was in danger of repossession. It did not help that then ABC O&O WXYZ-TV in Detroit was available over-the-air in much of the Toledo market or that WEWS-TV in Cleveland and WPTA in Fort Wayne had Grade B signals in parts of the area.

Overmyer Broadcasting declared bankruptcy during the 1980s. WDHO was seized by the Bank of Boston (now Bank of America) in 1982. In 1986, the station was sold through a bankruptcy proceeding for $19.6 million to a local group, Toledo Television Investors, LTD. The new owners changed the station's call letters to the current WNWO-TV on June 1, 1986.

In October 1994, Detroit's longtime CBS affiliate, WJBK, switched to Fox. CBS heavily wooed WXYZ to drop its decades-long affiliation with ABC and switch to CBS. Fearing that it would be relegated to UHF in Detroit, ABC cut a deal to buy WTVG, which provides at least Grade B coverage to most of the southern portion of the Detroit market. Almost out of desperation, WNWO approached NBC which was about to be evicted from WTVG. On October 28, 1995, WNWO became the new affiliate for NBC in Toledo.

Ironically, since it was the result of an unsolicited offer, the network swap increased WNWO's value. NBC was still the top-rated network at the time. The station was soon sold to the Malrite Communications Group, which merged with Raycom Media in 1998. However, that company owned Fox affiliate WUPW at the time and had to sell it because the FCC did not allow duopolies at the time. WNWO was once again put up for sale in 2005 after Raycom merged with The Liberty Corporation, owner of WTOL. Raycom couldn't keep both stations because the FCC does not allow one person to own two of the four largest stations in a market. Raycom chose to keep WTOL because of CBS' and even more so WTOL's higher ratings at the time. On March 27, 2006, the company announced that Barrington Broadcasting will be acquiring 12 Raycom stations including WNWO. The group deal was finalized on August 11. As a result, WNWO joined Marquette's WLUC-TV, Saginaw's WEYI-TV, and Northern Michigan's WPBN-TV / WTOM-TV as part of Barrington's family of stations serving Michigan.

Also in 2006, WNWO began airing The Tube (a 24-hour music video channel) on its second digital subchannel. This would end on October 1, 2007 when The Tube shut down. This slot is now taken up by the Retro Television Network. On June 12, 2009, the main channel turned off its analog signal forever. The station's digital signal remained at channel 49 following the digital transition. However, it can be tuned to channel 24 using PSIP.

In early 2010, WNWO-DT applied to double its power output from 59 kW to 118 kW after the station had complained of potential co-channel interference from WDLI-DT in Cleveland, which was proposing to move from channel 39 to channel 49[1].

[edit] Digital programming[]

The station's signal is multiplexed. On WNWO-DT2 and Buckeye CableSystem digital channel 625 is the Retro Television Network (a.k.a. RTV). On WNWO-DT3 and Buckeye CableSystem digital channel 626 is America One.




RF channel

Video Aspect Programming
24.1 49.1 1080i 16:9 main WNWO programming / NBC HD
24.2 49.2 480i 4:3 WNWO-DT2 RTV
24.3 49.3 480i 4:3 WNWO-DT3 America One

[edit] News operation[]

While owned by Malrite, the company invested heavily in its property reportedly spending (according to the station's present owner) $3 million to upgrade the station. New studios and offices were built on the site of the former WDHO off of South Byrne Road in Toledo expanding the facility by 10,000 ft2. The station went from a newsroom of eight people and one half-hour newscast a day to over thirty people and three hours of news a day. In 1997, the completely revamped news operation went on-air with anchors Dan Lovett and Lissa Guyton, Bill Spencer presenting the weather, and Jim Tichy (the only hold over from the previous newscast) presenting sports. Despite a large advertising campaign with the slogan "Building A Better Station For You", the newscasts did not do well in the ratings. There was a lot of turnover on the anchor desk and a number of personalities (including Jon Clark, Angela Atalla, and Nora Murray) left the station.

[edit] Current on-air staff[]

Current anchors

  • Kelly Heidbreder - weekdays
  • Laura Rice - weeknights
  • Chance Walser - weeknights
  • Hubert Wiggins - weekends


  • Lou Hebert - general assignment reporter
  • Pamela Osbourne - general assignment reporter
  • Stoney Vascho - traffic reporter


  • Norm Van Ness (Member; AMS/NWA Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights
  • Michael Schlesinger (AMS/NWA Seals of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings (also environmental reporter)
  • Valerie Smock - weekends


  • Eric Haubert - Sports Director; weeknights
  • Jim Tichy - part time sports reporter

Notable alumni[]

[1] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.==News/station presentation==

Newscast titles[]

  • News at Eleven
  • The Eleven O'Clock News (1969–1971)
  • First Evening News/Edison News Final (1971–1974)
  • First Team News (1974–1978)
  • 24 News (1978–1979, 1981–1982 and 1986–1989)
  • 24 Eyewitness News (1979–1981)
  • 24 News Tonight (1982–1986)
  • 24 Newswatch (1989-1993)
  • Northwest Ohio Newswatch (1993–1995)
  • NBC 24 News (1995–2011 & 2014present)
  • WNWO News (2011-2014)

Station slogans[]

  • More Local News (1985-?)
  • Building A Better Station For You (1990s-2000)
  • Where News Comes First (2000–2006)
  • Fair. Accurate. Honest. (2006–2010)
  • WNWO Now (2011-2014)
  • Life is Better Here (2014-present) 

[2] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.==References==

  1. ^

External links[]