Radio-TV Broadcast History

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WISH-TV, digital channel 9 (virtual channel 8), is the CBS affiliate in Indianapolis, Indiana. Its digital transmitter and main antenna are also located in Indianapolis, on the northwest side at 7619 Walnut Drive (though the property is officially listed by the City of Indianapolis as 2500 Westlane Road[1]). The station's original transmitter and tower were on the southeast side of the city, at 553 S. Post Road. The station is owned by LIN TV, which also owns the area's MyNetworkTV affiliate WNDY-TV (channel 23, digital 32) and a low-power station WIIH-CA (channel 17), which is currently dark, pending final FCC approval to turn it into a fill-in translator for WISH-TV.

Indianapolis, Indiana
Branding WISH-TV 8 (general)

24-Hour News 8 (newscasts)

Slogan We're Indiana's Own (general)

Your 24-Hour News Source (news)

Channels Digital: 9 (VHF)

Virtual: 8 (PSIP)

Subchannels 8.1 CBS

8.2 LWS/WIIH-LD 8.3 Forecast 8 Doppler

Translators 17 (UHF) Indianapolis

(construction permit)

Owner LIN TV

(Indiana Broadcasting, LLC)

First air date July 1, 1954
Call letters' meaning callsign pronounced as wish (as in making a wish)
Sister station(s) WNDY-TV


Former channel number(s) Analog:

Channel 8 (1954-2009)

Former affiliations Primary:

ABC (1954-1956) Secondary: DuMont (1954-1955) CBS (1954-1956) NBC (1954-1956)

Transmitter power 19.5 kW
Height 284 m (HAAT)

286 m (AGL)

Class DT
Facility ID 39269
Transmitter coordinates present location:

39°53′25″N 86°12′30″W / 39.89028°N 86.20833°W / 39.89028; -86.20833 former location: 39°45′36″N 86°00′22″W / 39.76°N 86.00611°W / 39.76; -86.00611


WISH-TV and WNDY-TV are co-located in a building at 1950 N. Meridian Street, which also serves as an operations hub for other LIN TV stations in the Midwest. The building also marks the north end of Indy's Television Row. WISH-TV also offers a 24-hour weather service, LWS (Local Weather Station), which was once carried over-the-air via WIIH-CA but is now exclusively broadcast on WISH-TV's virtutal subchannel 8.2 (identified as both WISH-DT and WIIH-LD). LWS is also available on select cable systems across central Indiana, and from a live stream on the station's website. Forcast 8 live doppler radar is also broadcast on virtual subchannel 8.3.

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[edit] History[]

The station began broadcast operations at 6 p.m. on July 1, 1954 and was owned by C. Bruce McConnell along with WISH-AM 1310 (now WTLC). It was a primary ABC affiliate with a secondary DuMont affiliation. It also carried several CBS and NBC shows turned down by WFBM-TV (now WRTV) and WTTV, respectively. In 1956, McConnell sold the station to the Indiana Broadcasting Company, who also owned WANE-TV in Fort Wayne. The new owners persuaded CBS to move its affiliation from WFBM-TV. Indiana Broadcasting became the Corinthian Broadcasting Corporation in 1957, with WISH-TV as the flagship station.

Corinthian merged with Dun & Bradstreet in 1971. Dun sold its entire broadcasting unit to Belo in February 1984. However, the merger left Belo two stations over the FCC's ownership limits of the time. Belo sold WISH and WANE to LIN Broadcasting (the predecessor of LIN TV) one month later. LIN was headquartered in Indianapolis for many years; it has since moved to Providence, Rhode Island.

From the mid-1980s until 2002, WISH was the leading news station in the Indianapolis market until WTHR took over the position. This was due largely because most of its news team has been at the station for over 20 years. At one time, WISH boasted that "more people in Central Indiana get their local news from 24-Hour News 8 than from any other source" at the close of many newscasts and in promos.

Mike Ahern was the station's main evening news anchor, as well as the de facto face of WISH's newsroom for more than thirty years—longer than anyone in Indianapolis television history. He joined the station as a reporter in 1967 and became the station's top anchorman in 1974. He retired from the anchor chair on December 1, 2004. His longtime co-anchor, Debby Knox, joined him in 1980 and is still on the air today. Stan Wood served as the station's main weatherman for much of the 1960s through 1991, while Patty Spitler was an afternoon news anchor and entertainment reporter from 1982 to 2004. News director Lee Giles, who left the station in 2004, was one of the longest-tenured news directors in local broadcasting.

[edit] 2008 Retransmission consent dispute[]

On September 15, 2008, it was announced that LIN TV, owners of WISH and WNDY, and Time Warner Cable were at an impasse in retransmission consent deals. Bright House Networks, a major cable provider for Indianapolis, negotiates retransmission consent through Time Warner Cable. LIN TV was requesting compensation for carriage, much like cable networks. The deal with Bright House expired October 2[2]. By 12:35am on October 3, LIN TV stations were replaced by substitute programs. 26 days later, LIN TV and Time Warner Cable reached an agreement, and LIN TV service was restored.

[edit] Digital television[]

Channel Programming
8.2 Local Weather Station (LWS)
8.3 Live Forcast 8 Doppler Radar

WISH-TV permanently ceased its analog signal on June 12, 2009, continuing digital broadcasts on its pre-transition channel number, 9.[3] Through the use of PSIP, WISH-TV's virtual channel is displayed as 8.

On January 29, 2010, WISH-TV filed an application to the FCC for a digital fill-in translator on UHF Channel 17 [4] which it was granted a construction permit on June 16, 2010.[5] The translator will serve those parts of the city that lost signal strength due to the digital conversion in 2009. The channel 17 allotment was previously occupied by an analog signal of their sister-station, WIIH-CA. The translator and tower are located on the northwest side of Indianapolis, at 7619 Walnut Drive.

[edit] Programming[]

WISH-TV does not air the Saturday and Sunday editions of the CBS Evening News, but the newscasts are shown on sister station WNDY. The Saturday edition of The Early Show airs on sister station WNDY as well. Also helping WISH regain ratings is the success of the Indianapolis Colts, whose games air on WISH as part of CBS' coverage of the NFL on Sunday afternoons, and whose games have not been blacked out due to strong ticket sales.

[edit] News operation[]

WISH-TV has the distinction of being one of the last remaining broadcast television stations in the United States currently utilizing the 24 Hour News Source format, which it began using in 1990—the only other stations still using the format as of February 2010, are its sister station and NBC affiliate WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan; ABC affiliate KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and NBC affiliate KFDX-TV in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Currently, WISH is a distant runner-up behind WTHR in most timeslots, except during the early news when it runs neck and neck with WRTV. However, due to the recent strength of CBS' primetime lineup (and being the lead-in for Indianapolis native David Letterman), WISH has recently regained the lead at 11 pm.

WISH-TV's newsroom began to produce WNDY's 10pm newscast in 2005, when LIN purchased WNDY from Viacom. Since 1991 all of WISH's news music themes have used components of the song Back Home Again in Indiana. The first theme to do so was specially composed for WISH by Stephen Arnold Music. The current theme is a version of 615 Music's "In-Sink" music package.[6]

On April 25, 2007, WISH-TV debuted a new state of the art FX Group set and Giant Octopus Graphics. On May 18, 2007, LIN TV announced that it was exploring strategic alternatives that could result in the sale of the company.[1] On September 8, 2008, WISH-TV and WNDY became the second station in Indiana (and Indianapolis) to broadcasting their newscasts in high definition.

[edit] News/Station presentation[]

[edit] Newscast titles[]

  • The Big News (1960s-1974)
  • Channel 8 News (1970s-early 1980s)
  • 8 On the Scene News (early 1980s-1984)
  • News 8 (1984–1990)[7]
  • 24-Hour News 8 (1990–present; sometimes called simply News 8)[8]

[edit] Station slogans[]

  • We're Indiana's Own (1984–present; general slogan)
  • We Are the Team (1984–1994; used in image campaign by Michael Randall, paired with the "We're Indiana's Own" slogan)
  • Hey Indy, Get Ready for WISH-TV (1989–1990; localized version of CBS ad campign)
  • Indiana's Only 24-Hour Television News Service (1990; news slogan)
  • Indiana's Only 24-Hour News Service (1990–1991; news slogan)
  • Get Ready for WISH-TV (1990–1991; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Central Indiana's Only 24-Hour News Service (1991–1999; news slogan)
  • News 8 Gets You Closer (1997–1999; news slogan)
  • Your 24-Hour News Station (1999–2006; news slogan)
  • Your 24-Hour News Source (2006–present; news slogan)[9]

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

[3][4]WISH 5:30 p.m. and WNDY 10 p.m. primary anchors seen weeknights.

[5][6]WISH/WNDY Chief Meteorologist seen weeknights.====[edit] Current on-air staff==== Anchors

  • David Barras - weekdays at noon and 5 p.m.
  • Mike Corbin - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Joy Dumandon - weekday mornings "News 8 Daybreak"
  • Deanna Dewberry - weekdays at noon and 5 p.m.
  • Eric Halvorson - weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Karen Hensel - weeknights at 5:30 (on WISH-TV) and 10 p.m. (on WNDY)
  • Debby Knox - weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Daniel Miller - weekend mornings "News 8 Daybreak"
  • Gene Rodriguez - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Scott Sander - weekday mornings "News 8 Daybreak"

Forecast 8 Weather Team

  • Steve Bray (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5 p.m., also technology reporter
  • Ken Brewer (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekend mornings "News 8 Daybreak"
  • Angela Buchman (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weeknights at 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m. (on WISH-TV) and 10 p.m. (on WNDY)
  • Randy Ollis (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "News 8 Daybreak" and noon
  • Alicia Roman (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.

Sports Team

  • Anthony Calhoun - Sports Director; weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m., also host of "Sports Locker", "Countdown to Kickoff" and "The Bill Polian Show"
  • Chris Widlic - Sports Anchor; weekends at 6 and 11 p.m., also sports reporter
  • Ashley Adamson - sports reporter
  • Derek Daly - racing expert


  • Liza Danver - general assignment reporter
  • Rick Dawson - investigative reporter
  • Jay Hermacinski - general assignment reporter
  • Julie Patterson - traffic reporter
  • Jacqueline Policastro - general assignment reporter
  • Phil Sanchez - general assignment reporter
  • Jim Shella - political reporter
  • Ruthanne Gordon - general assignment reporter
  • Dick Wolfsie - general assignment reporter

Indy Style

  • Andi Hauser
  • Tracy Forner

Notable WISH-TV former employees[]


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  2. ^ CDBS Print
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External links[]