Radio-TV Broadcast History

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WCSH is the NBC-affiliated television station for Southern Maine and Northern New Hampshire that is licensed to Portland. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 44 from a transmitter on Winn Mountain near West Baldwin. Owned by Gannett, the station has studios at Congress Square in Downtown Portland. Syndicated programming on WCSH includes: Dr. Oz, The Doctors, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Inside Edition.



Portland, Maine
Branding WCSH 6 (general)

News Center (newscasts)

Slogan Maine's Information Center
Channels Digital: 44 (UHF)
Subchannels 6.1 NBC

6.2 local news and weather

Owner Gannett Company

(Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)

First air date December 20, 1953
Call letters' meaning Congress Square Hotel
Sister station(s) WLBZ
Former channel number(s) 6 (VHF analog, 1953-2009)
Former affiliations NBC Weather Plus (on DT2, 2005-2008)
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 587.9 m
Facility ID 39664
Transmitter coordinates 43°51′30.2″N 70°42′38.8″W / 43.858389°N 70.710778°W / 43.858389; -70.710778

WCSH is sister station to Maine's other NBC affiliate, WLBZ in Bangor. However, since the late 1990s, WLBZ has largely operated as a semi-satellite of WCSH. It clears some of WCSH's syndicated programming while there are also some shows that only air on WLBZ and others can be seen on WCSH. The two stations also air separate identifications and commercials. Although WCSH and WLBZ are based in different locations and serve different markets, they essentially operate as one station. With their combined resources, the two stations provide statewide coverage not offered by any other station in the state.

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[edit] Digital programming[]

In October 2005, the two stations began offering NBC Weather Plus on new second digital subchannels locally known on-air as "News Center Weather Plus". It could also seen on their websites via live streaming video and Time Warner Cable digital channel 166. The channel featured WCSH's weather team and WLBZ meteorologist Steve McKay. In late December 2008, as a result of the shutdown of Weather Plus on a national level, WLBZ-DT2 and WCSH-DT2 shifted to a format featuring a loop of news headlines and weather forecasts, retaining the "News Center Weather Plus" branding and the service's digital cable carriage.




RF channel

Video Aspect Programming
6.1 44.1 1080i 16:9 main WCSH programming / NBC HD
6.2 44.2 480i 4:3 WCSH-DT2 "News Center Weather Plus"

(loop of news and weather headlines)

[edit] History[]

The station began broadcasting on December 20, 1953 from the Congress Square Hotel in Downtown Portland, from which the station's call letters are derived. WCSH-TV was owned by the Rines family, who had built the hotel in 1896 and started WCSH radio (970 AM, now WZAN) on the top floor in 1925.[1][2][3] It has always been an NBC affiliate; during the late 1950s, it was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.[4] In 1977, WCSH-TV moved across the street to One Congress Square, where it is today.

WCSH-TV was the flagship of the Maine Broadcasting System, which also included WLBZ-AM-TV in Bangor. The radio stations were sold off in 1981 (the -TV suffixes were dropped in 1997); in 1998, the company was acquired by current owner Gannett.

On June 12, WCSH ceased normal programming on analog channel 6, and began airing nightlight programming. Until that date, the station's analog audio signal transmitted on a frequency of 87.75 MHz (+10 kHz shift). As a result, it could be picked up on the lower end of the dial on most FM radios at 87.7 MHz. This was true of all other analog channel 6 stations in the United States. The station often promoted this additional way of coverage. The station continued its digital broadcasts on channel 44.[5][6][7]

[edit] News operation[]

[3][4]WCSB's news open.WCSH's newscasts were runner-up to CBS affiliate WGAN-TV/WGME-TV until the late 1980s, when it became number one, a position the station has (for the most part) retained ever since. In part, this is due to the continuity in the station's key on-air staff; most of which have been with the station for over ten years. Additionally, WCSH has used the News Center branding since the 1970s. It also used Frank Gari's "Good News" music package from 1986 until October 22, 2008, when it was mostly replaced by standardized music and graphics that is used by other Gannett stations. "Good News" remains in use for legal IDs, news image promos, and during "Storm Center" winter storm coverage.

Beginning in 1989, WLBZ started simulcasting some of WCSH's newscasts. This process continues today, to the extent that only WLBZ's weeknight 5 and 6 o'clock broadcasts are produced separately from WCSH. Newscasts airing in other time slots on both stations tend to take on a regional feel with news coverage from Portland, Bangor, or elsewhere in the state (although WLBZ still airs its own weather segment with meterologist Steve McKay on the weeknight 5:30 and 11 o'clock broadcasts). The combination of WCSH and WLBZ offers the largest and most extensive coverage of news from Maine. To correspond with WCSH, WLBZ also uses the same branding and imaging; this practice, for the most part, predates the aforementioned consolidation.

In late 2002, WCSH and WLBZ began to co-produce a nightly 10 o'clock newscast on WB affiliate WPXT. During the week, news and sports aired from WCSH's studios while weather forecasts originated from Steve McKay at WLBZ. On weekends, the newscast originated entirely from Portland. In terms of coverage, the WPXT news had a similar format to newscasts simulcast on WCSH and WLBZ. Initially airing without competition, on February 5, 2007 WGME began to produce a nightly 10 o'clock broadcast for Fox affiliate WPFO. On November 6, 2008, WCSH moved the nightly 10 o'clock show to "News Center Weather Plus" when the arrangement with WPXT ended. The newscast was not seen on either the WLBZ or online versions of the subchannel. Consequently, local Portland news was covered more and Steve McKay no longer provided the weeknight weather forecast. The newscast was canceled altogether in late-December 2008.

In 2003, WCSH launched 207, a local magazine show that airs weeknights at 7. The "207" name comes from the telephone area code in Maine. An outdoors and human-interest program called Bill Green's Maine airs on Saturday nights at 7 on WCSH and WLBZ.

On August 9, 2010 WCSH and WLBZ launched a 4:30AM weekday newscast called the "Early Morning Report." The newscast is solo anchored by rotating members of the WCSH morning news team. The new local newscast resulted in NBC's "Early Today" newscast being moved to 4:00AM on both WCSH and WLBZ, displacing the previous rebroadcast of "207."

On February 2, 2009, WLVP (870 AM) and WLAM (1470 AM) began simulcasting WCSH's weekday morning and early evening newscasts — a move made to continue the newscasts' availability via radio even after the station's 87.7 MHz audio was discontinued following the shutdown of analog television signals. WCSH and WLBZ also provide news and weather updates to Nassau Broadcasting's other stations in the state.[8]

In addition to its main studios, WCSH shares two news bureaus with WLBZ. The Lewiston / Auburn Bureau is on Main Street in Lewiston (across the street from WGME's bureau). The Midcoast Bureau is on Camden Street (a.k.a. U.S. 1) in Rockland. WCSH and WLBZ stream their statewide weekday morning and noon newscasts on their websites.

[edit] Newscast titles[]

  • WCSH Eyewitness News (1973-1977)
  • NewsCenter 6 (1977-2001)
  • News Center (2001-present; used on simulcasts with WLBZ and for the stations' news operations as a whole)
  • WCSH News Center 6 (2001-present)

[edit] Station slogans[]

  • "Channel 6, Proud As A Peacock" (1979-1981, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Channel 6, Our Pride is Showing" (1981-1982, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "We're Channel 6, Just Watch Us Now" (1982-1983, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Channel 6 There, Be There" (1983-1984, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Channel 6, Let's All Be There" (1984-1986, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come Home To Channel 6" (1986-1987, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "6 Alive's The Place To Be" (1990-1992, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Your 24 Hour News Center" (1990-1994)
  • "6 Alive, Count On Us" (early 1990s)
  • "People You Know, News You Can Trust" (mid 2000s-2008)
  • "Maine's Information Center" (2008-present)

[edit] News team[]

+ denotes news personnel based at WLBZ


  • Lee Nelson - weekday mornings and rotating at Noon
  • Sharon Rose - weekday mornings and rotating at Noon
  • Cindy Williams - weeknights at 5, 5:30, and 6
    • home and family reporter
  • Pat Callaghan - weeknights at 5, 6, and 11
  • Rob Caldwell - weeknights at 5:30 and 207 co-host
  • Kathleen Shannon - 207 co-host
  • Brian Yocono - Lewiston / Auburn Bureau reporter and fill-in at both stations
  • Amanda Hill - weekend mornings and multimedia journalist
  • Caroline Cornish - weekend evenings and reporter

NewsCenter Meteorologists

  • Joe Cupo - weeknights at 5, 5:30 and 6
  • Kevin Mannix - Monday through Friday mornings
  • Kelly LaBrecque - Tuesday and Wednesday at Noon as well as Saturday and Sunday nights
  • Keith Carson - weekend mornings as well as Monday, Thursday, and Friday at Noon
  • + Steve McKay (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - seen on "NewsCenter Weather Plus"

Sports (all are seen on 5th Quarter)

  • Bruce Glasier - Director seen weeknights at 6 and 11
  • Lee Goldberg - weekend evenings and sports reporter
  • + Melissa Kim - sports multimedia journalist


  • + Mike DeSumma - multimedia journalist
  • + Jackie Ward - multimedia journalist
  • + Dan Frye - photographer
  • Don Carrigan - Midcoast Bureau and general assignment
  • Bill Green - recreation and features
    • Bill Green's Maine host
    • "Green Outdoors" and "My Hometown" segments producer
  • Tim Goff - multimedia journalist
  • Sarah Delage - backpack journalist
  • Vivien Leigh
  • Chris Rose

Former staff[]

  • Fred Nutter, Editorial Director, now retired
  • Scott Sassone, Backpack Journalist, now with Comcast SportsNet New England as photojournalist and video editor
  • Priya Sridhar, Reporter, now Washington Correspondent at Russia Today (RT)
  • Diane Atwood, Medical Reporter (now Manager of Marketing and Public Relations at Mercy Hospital, in Portland, ME)
  • Lew Colby, Weather Forecaster, Promotion Manager, Programming Manger, Station Manager, General Manager, CEO Maine Broadcasting System until 1997 when station was purchased by Gannett.
  • Jackie Couture, reporter, now with WMTW-TV in Portland, ME
  • Kristen Cullen, Reporter, later Communications Director for Jill Derby for Congress
  • John Dougherty, Anchor/Reporter (left to join WBZ-TV in Boston, MA , then WMTW-TV in Portland, ME)
  • Bob Elliot, Feature Reporter from 1988-1996, (later worked at WMTW-TV, Portland; Elliot died suddenly in 1997 from a heart attack)
  • Jan Fox, Anchor/Reporter from 1986-1990, later at WUSA-TV in Washington D.C., now Executive Communication Coach with The Communication Center.
  • Michele Gillen, Anchor/Reporter (later worked at WPLG-TV in Miami, also NBC News, now investigative reporter WFOR-TV in Miami)
  • Roger Griswold, Meteorologist (now at WMTW Portland, Maine)
  • Dick Gosselin, Reporter (later worked at WCVB-TV in Boston, MPTV Public Television in Milwaukee, and WMTW-TV in Portland, ME)
  • Dan Harris, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (later worked at NECN in Boston, now correspondent and anchor of ABC World News Sunday, ABC News, New York, NY)
  • Jennifer Rooks—Weekend Evenings Anchor/Reporter (04/1998-05/20/2007 at WCSH, 2002-05/20/2007 at WPXT); Weekend Mornings & Noon Anchor (1994-03/1998)—now with MPBN, host of MaineWatch [1]
  • Kevin Kelley, Reporter (later reported for NECN in Boston, MA), now Communications Director for U.S. Senator Susan Collins in Washington, D.C.
  • Kristin Cullen, Reporter
  • J. Donald "Don" MacWilliams, Sports Director/Anchor (retired 1977, now deceased)
  • Cliff Michaelson, Meteorologist (severely injured in an accident, no longer in television.)
  • Jennifer Millette, Reporter (later worked at WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH)
  • Shannon Moss, Anchor/Reporter (joined WMTW on June 18, 2007)
  • Ann Murray Paige, Anchor/Reporter (producer & subject of documentary 'The Breast Cancer Diaries')
  • Richard Rose, Anchor/Reporter (now works at WLNY-DT on Long Island, NY)
  • Scott Sassone - backpack journalist (now at sister station WLBZ)
  • Clif Reynolds, Station Announcer, Morning News Anchor, People, Places and Things reporter, now deceased
  • Robert 'Sid' Whitaker, Reporter (now works at the University of New Hampshire)
  • Jane Skinner, anchor/reporter (now with Fox News Channel in New York City; married to Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL).
  • Chris Facchini, reporter (moved to sister station WLBZ in early-August 2007 to become anchor weeknights at 5 and 6 PM)
  • Todd Gutner - weekdays at Noon and weekend evening meteorologist (now at WBZ-TV in Boston)
  • Bob DeMers, Meteorologist [1993-1998], now lives with his wife and daughter in Charlotte NC, President of Coaching Works
  • Aaron Roberts, Reporter
  • Kria Sakakeeny - Reporter for WLBZ and WCSH (Now reporter and weekend anchor for WMUR Manchester, NH)
  • John Smist - Fill-in on WCSH, weeknights on WLBZ (now Weekend Sports Anchor at WECT TV 6 in Wilmington, NC)
  • Gemma Waite - Reporter/ Fill-in anchor for WLBZ and WCSH (Now VP of Marketing & Public Relations at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, NH)
  • Jason Wheeler, Multimedia Journalist


  1. ^ Thompson, Frederic L. (2005). The Rines Family Legacy. Charleston, TN: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 128 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.. LCCN 2005-926756. ISBN 0-7385-3882-5. OCLC 62522312.
  2. ^ Maine Historical Society
  3. ^ Eastland Park Hotel Archives
  4. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ O'Brien, Maureen (January 26, 2009). "WCSH Strikes Deal To Simulcast Newscasts On Radio". Retrieved January 26, 2009.

External links[]