Radio-TV Broadcast History

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WENY-TV is the ABC-affiliated television station for the Central and Western Southern Tier of New York State that is licensed to Elmira. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 36 from a transmitter on Higman Hill in Corning. The station can also be seen on Time Warner channel 4 and in high definition on digital channel 703. Owned by Lilly Broadcasting, the station has studios on Old Ithaca Road in Horseheads. Syndicated programming on WENY includes: Inside Edition, The Insider, Dr. Phil, and The Bonnie Hunt Show. It can also be seen on analog repeater W06AR channel 6 that is licensed to Hornell with a transmitter in South Hornell.

Elmira, New York
Branding WENY-TV ABC

WENY-TV News WENY-TV CBS (on DT2) Twin Tiers CW 2 (on DT3)

Slogan Expect Everything
Channels Digital: 36 (UHF)
Subchannels 36.1 ABC

36.2 CBS 36.3 The CW

Translators 6 W06AR Hornell
Owner Lilly Broadcasting
First air date November 19, 1969
Call letters' meaning Elmira, New York
Sister station(s) WICU-TV, WSEE-TV
Former channel number(s) 36 (UHF analog, 1969-2009)

55 (UHF digital, 2000-2009)

Transmitter power 75 kW
Height 342 m
Facility ID 71508
Transmitter coordinates 42°8′31″N 77°4′40″W / 42.14194°N 77.07778°W / 42.14194; -77.07778

[edit] Digital programming[]

It operates the area's CBS affiliate on a second digital subchannel. This can also be seen on Time Warner channel 12 and in high definition on Time Warner digital channel 701. Syndicated programming on WENY-DT2 includes: Entertainment Tonight, TMZ on TV, Judge Jeanine Pirro, and The Doctors. Its coverage area includes Steuben and Chemung Counties in New York which borders the Erie market and sister station CBS affiliate WSEE-TV. It is unknown if there is any coordination of the two CBS stations that come within one county of each other in coverage and cover an area reaching between Cleveland, Ohio and Binghamton (not inclusive). WENY also operates the area's CW affiliate on a third digital subchannel. Known on-air as Twin Tiers CW 2, this can also seen on Time Warner channel 2 (hence the branding) and gets all of its programming from The CW Plus.

Channel Programming
36.1 main WENY programming/ABC HD
36.3 WENY-DT3 "Twin Tiers CW 2"

[edit] History[]

[2][3]WENY's logo used until December 2008.The station signed-on November 19, 1969 after Howard Green owner of WENY radio (1230 AM and 92.7 FM) and WCMC-AM-TV in Wildwood, New Jersey was awarded analog UHF channel 36 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Another area broadcaster, Frank Saia, had surrendered the construction permit to build what would have been WEHH-TV on the same channel. Green purchased the equipment of WNYP-TV, a defunct station in Jamestown, and hired Larry Taylor (that station’s Assistant Chief Engineer) to move and install the equipment into a space on the ground floor of the Mark Twain Hotel in Downtown Elmira. The station’s analog transmitter was placed on Hawley Hill in a newly constructed addition to the building that housed WSYE-TV (now WETM-TV). WENY began operations out of a mixed color/black-and-white facility. Its broadcasts of ABC network programming were in actuality retransmissions of either WABC-TV in New York City or WNYS-TV in Syracuse, New York both of which were received at the station via microwave.

The station aired a small amount of locally produced programming including an Elmira edition of Claster Television's long-running children's program Romper Room and a late Saturday night horror movie hosted by disc jockey Paul Leigh as the ghoulish "Undertaker". During the disastrous flooding caused by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, WENY was abandoned due to rising waters. Engineers were able to remove a limited amount of equipment to the Hawley Hill site where the station managed a limited broadcasting schedule of news and emergency announcements until the studios could be reoccupied. After this, Green obtained a building on Old Ithaca Road in Horseheads that had been previously used by the Army Corps of Engineers. In 1973, Taylor, along with engineer Gary Simon, moved the station from the hotel to the garage of this property where it remains to this day.

In 2000, longtime owner Howard Green sold WENY to current owner Lilly Broadcasting (owned by Brian Lilly son of SJL Broadcasting's George Lilly) thus separating the television station from its radio sisters which were sold to White Broadcasting. Lilly Broadcasting was granted the local CW affiliation in Spring 2006. The network's programming, from The CW Plus, began to air on cable-only "WBE" (which Lilly owns as well) when the network launched on September 18. That station had been affiliated with the network's predecessor, The WB via The WB 100+. On October 20, 2008, CBS signed an affiliation agreement with WENY to broadcast the network on a new second digital subchannnel with a proposed launch date of January 1, 2009. [1] [2] This would mark the first time that CBS has ever had an affiliate based in Elmira. The network's affiliate in Binghamton, WBNG-TV, has long served as Elmira's default CBS station while Ithica was served by WTVH with Canisteo and Hornell being served by Buffalo's WIVB-TV.

According to the FCC, WENY had a request to flash-cut from analog to digital broadcasting after the old transition date of February 17, 2009. [3] On that date, WENY-DT2 launched on Time Warner systems in Elmira, Corning, Hornell, [4] [5] and Ithaca. [6] At the end of May, WENY performed a flash-cut and began broadcasting exclusively in digital. The new CBS station began its broadcasting over-the-air at this point. "WBE" eventually began to be offered on a new third digital subchannel of WENY and now uses the WENY-DT3 call sign in an official manner.

Unlike other long-established full service television stations, WENY did not have a digital signal broadcasting in the market before June 12, 2009. Its current digital service directly replaced via flash-cut an existing analog signal on UHF channel 36 instead of initially operating on a separate channel. According to the FCC, it had an application to air a digital signal on UHF channel 55. However, the station opted to perform a flash-cut instead. Qualcomm holds licenses for the channel 55 spectrum. Approval of WENY's request to flash-cut allowed that company's wholly-owned subsidiary MediaFLO USA, Incorporated to expand its "mediacast" service coverage in New York without loss of broadcast service to the public. [7]

[edit] News operation[]

At first, the station's only local programming were weeknight 6 and 11 o'clock newscasts. The original anchor team featured News Director Bill Miller, long-time WENY disc jockey Steve Christy with weather, and sports with Dick Ireland. Christy, the last of the three to retire, remained with the station until early-2009, at which point he retired due to health problems; Christy, also known as "Mr. WENY" in reference to his long tenure at the station, died in July 2010.[8] In 1975, WENY became the first in the area to switch from using sixteen mm black-and-white reversal news footage to color electronic news gathering using the Sony U-Matic system. In 1977, it became the first in Elmira to use an electronic character generator during newscasts.

Compared with NBC affiliate WETM (and in fact most stations in Upstate New York that produce their own newscasts), WENY has a significantly smaller news department for a network station. Currently on weekdays, it airs an hour-long morning show that is simulcasted on WENY-DT2. Weeknight broadcasts are at 6 o'clock on the main channel and 11 that is also simulcasted on WENY-DT2. In addition, it airs the market's only 7 o'clock newscast on WENY-DT2. Unlike most ABC and CBS affiliates, neither station airs local news weekdays at noon and midday as well as weeknights at 5, 5:30, or 10 (on WENY-DT3). It does not air any broadcasts on weekends either. Like all CW Plus affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone, WENY-DT3 airs the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekday mornings from 6 to 9. WENY shares resources with sister stations WSEE and WICU-TV in Erie.

[edit] Newscast titles[]

[edit] Station slogans[]

  • "Local. Accurate. Complete." (2003-2008)
  • "Expect Everything" (2008-present)

[edit] News team[]


  • Sarah Sheridan - weekday mornings and "Family Health" segment producer
  • Kelsie Smith - weekday mornings and reporter
    • weekday morning weather
  • Scott Cook - News Director seen weeknights at 6 and 7
  • Renata Stiehl - Assistant News Director and Executive Producer seen weeknights at 6 and 7
  • Ted Fioraliso - weeknights at 11 and Washington Bureau Chief
    • producer and reporter
  • Katherine Underwood - weeknights at 11 and reporter
  • Joe Veres (NWA Seal of Approval) - weeknight meteorologist
  • Toby Motyka - Sports Director seen weeknights


  • William Cornelius - "Chef William" segment producer
  • Stacy Johnson - "Money Talks" segment producer
  • Andy Malnoske - sports and news editor
  • Jeevan Vittal - producer
  • Jane Park

[edit] References[]

  1. ^
  2. ^ TV Week: CBS to add WENY-DT as affiliate, October 2008
  3. ^
  4. ^ WENY-TV Takes Over Local CBS Affiliate Thursday, Scott Cook, WENY-TV, February 18, 2009
  5. ^ WENY-TV to add HD channels in new year: Station will provide both ABC and CBS programs soon • Roger Neumann • Star-Gazette • December 31, 2008
  6. ^ Time Warner to swap CBS affiliate channel • Tim Ashmore • Ithaca Journal • December 2, 2008
  7. ^ FCC permission for WENY-TV digital flash-cut on UHF 36
  8. ^

[edit] External links[]