Radio-TV Broadcast History

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WJAC-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for the Allegheny area of Pennsylvania that is licensed to Johnstown. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 34 from a transmitter northwest of the city in Laurel Ridge State Park along the Cambria and Westmoreland County line. Owned by Cox Enterprises, the station has studios on Old Hickory Lane in Johnstown. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Dr. Phil, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and Judge Judy.


[hide]*1 Digital programming

[edit] Digital programming[]

WJAC-TV's signal is multiplexed. On WJAC-DT2, Comcast digital channel 106, and Atlantic Broadband digital channel 110 is the Retro Television Network.[2]

Virtual channel Physical channel Programming
6.1 34.1 Regular WJAC-TV programming / NBC HD
6.2 34.2 WJAC-DT2 (RTV)

[edit] Digital repeaters[]

Callsign Channel City of license Note Transmitter location
WJAC-TV 22 Altoona construction scheduled to be completed by May 2010 Wopsononock
26 DuBois FCC application pending for construction permit southeast of Luthersburg
29 Bedford construction scheduled to be completed by June 2010 west of borough
30 Bedford FCC application pending for construction permit west of borough
W42DG-D 42 State College licensed southwest of Pine Grove Mills

[edit] History[]

WJAC-TV first began its broadcasting operations on September 15, 1949[3] originally owned by the Johnstown Automotive Company along with WJAC radio (AM 1400, now WKGE at AM 850, and FM 95.5, now WKYE at FM 96.5). At the time, it was the third smallest television station in the country market wise to be granted a commercial license on or before December 31 behind CBS affiliate WBNG-TV in Binghamton, New York and fellow NBC affiliate WICU-TV in Erie. It originally aired an analog signal on VHF channel 13 before moving to VHF channel 6 in 1952. Upon its sign-on, it aired programming from all four networks of the time (NBC, CBS, ABC, and DuMont). CBS disappeared from WJAC's schedule when WARD-TV channel 56 (now Pittsburgh's CW affiliate WPCW on channel 19) signed-on in 1953 followed by DuMont when it shut down network operations in 1955. However, the station continued to air a few ABC shows into the 1980s. [4]

In the 1960s, Johnstown Automotive sold the WJAC stations to The Tribune-Democrat who held them until tightened Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cross-ownership regulations forced the newspaper to spin-off its broadcasting properties in 1982. Two years later, the new owner of WJAC-TV sold off the radio stations. Channel 6 was subsequently sold to Sunrise Television in 1997 before being acquired by Cox in 2000 who also added Wheeling, West Virginia/Steubenville, Ohio NBC affiliate WTOV in the same deal. The two stations and WPXI in Pittsburgh are now occasionally marketed together as a result.

WJAC gained a reputation for its locally-produced programs at the station throughout the years. Scholastic Quiz, a game show featuring local high school students, and Seniors Today (a public affairs program targeted to those 65 and older) would become mainstays of the station's programming and make host Ron Lorence (who would later build WADJ-AM now WBHV at 1330 AM and then buy WYSN-FM 101.7 now WCCL in Somerset County) a local household name. In the 1950s and 1960s, WJAC's slogan was "Serving Millions From Atop the Alleghenies."

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion that took place on June 12, 2009 [5], WJAC remained on its current pre-transition UHF channel number 34. [6] However through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display the station's virtual channel as 6.[7] The nearby mountain ridges had prevented most of Altoona and all of State College from receiving the analog signal. Because the audio portion of VHF channel 6 was transmitted at 87.75 MHz, it was possible to listen to the television station on most standard FM car radios (or any standard FM radio for that matter). This was a feature frequently employed by area residents. However, this is no longer an option after the digital conversion.

[edit] Out of Market Coverage[]

WJAC-TV is carried on various cable systems in several counties that are located outside of the Johnstown-Altoona market. These counties include Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana and Westmoreland. [8] [9] In West Virginia, it is carried in Petersburg (93 miles away), Dorcas, Moorefield and Keyser.

[edit] 60th anniversary[]

On September 15, 2009, WJAC celebrated its 60th year of broadcasting. [10] During that month, WJAC aired several commercials advertising the anniversary. One featured a variation of the "Serving Millions from Atop the Alleghenies" slogan creating "Serving Millions Across the Alleghenies." This old slogan has been used recently in various ways in broadcasts and is now mixed with the station's most recent slogan "Coverage You Can Count On" to form "Coverage You Can Count On Across the Alleghenies."

[edit] News operation[]

[1][2]Current WJAC-TV News open.In the late 1960s and 1970s, WJAC had a fifteen minute long news and weather show weekday afternoons at 1 known as The News Today. Its 6 o'clock newscast was known as The News Tonight and the 11 p.m. broadcast was entitled 11th Hour News. The weather segment aired first and was titled "Weather in Motion" with its own sounder and graphics. The sports had a separate theme and was called "Sports Wrap Up." WJAC's weekday morning newscast began as a half-hour broadcast at 6:30 in 1985. In 1987, TCI Cable (now Comcast) in Centre County began producing a WJAC newscast, known as the Centre County Report, specifically targeted to that area.

On November 28, 2007, The Tribune Democrat reported that the shared news department of Fox affiliate WWCP-TV and ABC affiliate WATM-TV was going to shut down. [11] Under that operation, WWCP had produced an hour-long 10 p.m. news starting in 1992. However, according to a written statement, WWCP and WATM had been operating at a loss for years and the move was needed. The closure resulted in all personalities being released from their contracts. WJAC had on-air positions open but no personnel from those two stations were hired.

Effective January 14, 2008, WJAC assumed production responsibility of the 10 o'clock broadcast on WWCP (still known as Fox 8 News at 10) which was reduced to 35 minutes on weeknights and thirty minutes on weekends. The WJAC-produced news uses the same music package and some voice-overs seen during segment opens as the former operation had. A new graphics package slightly different from WJAC and new logos similar to the WWCP promo logo introduced in 2007 were created specifically for the primetime broadcast.

Because WJAC has prior commitments with news and weather cut-ins during Today, WATM still produces its own Good Morning America news and weather cut-ins that are seen Tuesday through Saturday. Former WWCP co-anchor Sherry Stalley, who was still under contract when the news department shut down, hosts the updates.[12] The cut-ins use news video from the previous day's WJAC-produced WWCP broadcast and the same graphics package. On Mondays, the cut-ins are filled by WATM promos. In addition, WJAC's nightly 11 o'clock newscast is simulcasted on that station branded as ABC 23 News.

On August 8, 2008, WJAC unveiled a new set designed by FX Group in Orlando, Florida.[13][14] The station also unveiled a new graphics package and changed its on-air branding from its long standing "Channel 6" to "WJAC-TV" as different cable companies now carry the station on different channels.[15] In addition to its main studios, the station operates bureaus in State College (on West College Avenue (PA 26)), Altoona and DuBois.

[edit] Newscast titles[]

Station slogans[]

Station slogans[]

  • We're TV-6 (early 1970s)
  • WJAC, As Far as the Eye Can See (mid 1970s)
  • NewsCenter 6, The News People (late 1970s)
  • Channel 6, Proud as a Peacock! / JAC, Proud as a Peacock! (1980; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 6, Our Pride is Showing / JAC, Our Pride is Showing (1981-1982; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • We're Channel 6, Just Watch Us Now / WJAC, Just Watch Us Now (1982-1983; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • JAC There, Be There (1983-1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • WJAC, Let's All Be There! (1984-1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to Channel 6 / Come Home to 'JAC (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 6 (1988-1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 6, the Place to Be! (1990-1991; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Your 24-Hour News Source (early 1990s)
  • Coverage You Can Count On (2003-2008)
  • Coverage You Can Count On Across the Alleghenies (2008-present)

[edit] News team[]


  • Lauren Melvin - weekday mornings and reporter
  • Bill Brown - weekdays mornings and Noon
  • Jen Johnson - weeknights at 5, 5:30, and 6
  • Marty Radovanic - Managing Editor seen weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11
  • Kate Krivanek - weeknights at 10 and reporter
  • Nick Ruffner - rotating weekends and Clearfield County reporter
  • Julia Pizzonia - rotating weekends and Johnstown reporter

Severe Weather Team 6 Meteorologists

  • Jim Burton - Chief Meteorologist - weekdays at sunrise and noon
  • Tony Martin (AMS Seal of Approval) - weekdays at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11
  • Tim Tender (AMS Seal of Approval[23]) - weekends at 6 and 11


  • Tim Rigby - Director and Executive Producer seen weeknights at 6, 10 and 11
  • Matt Maisel - weekends and reporter


  • Gary Sinderson - State College Bureau Chief and producer
    • Johnstown fill-in news anchor and producer
  • Bill Wadell - State College Bureau
  • Lisa Stofko - features and "Success by 6" segment producer
  • Karissa Shatzer - Blair & Centre County Newsrooms
  • Janel Knight - Johnstown
  • Alison Burns - Washington Bureau
  • Carol Han - Washington Bureau
  • Megan Hughes - Washington Bureau
  • Scott MacFarlane - Washington Bureau

Former on-air staff[]

  • Katie Sabatino - weeknights at 10 and Friday at 11; also a reporter (On December 8, 2009, Katie Sabatino announced she is returning to her home town of Columbus, Ohio, and leaving WJAC.)
  • Jarod Latch - weekend sports anchor until 2007 (now at WSOC-TV)
  • Katie Collett - weekday morning anchor and reporter until 2007 (now at WAVY-TV)
  • Dave Roush - now at News 12 Bronx
  • Jon Meyer - weekend anchor until 2002 (now at WNEP-TV)
  • MaryEllen Locher - anchor and reporter until 1983 (later worked in Steubenville and Chattanooga, lost battle with cancer on June 9, 2005)
  • Jeff Levkulich - Bedford/Altoona Bureau Chief 1998–2001 (now weekday morning and noon anchor at WKBN-TV)
  • Dave Jones - Blair County reporter 1999–2000 (now Sinclair Broadcast Group Washington Bureau Chief)
  • Jay Patrick (Holcomb) - former weather caster now out of broadcasting due to legal troubles (arrested on March 5, 2009 by U.S. Marshals in Kiev, Ukraine after fleeing United States due to several outstanding warrants [6])
  • Kyla Campbell - weekday morning anchor and Centre County reporter until 2008 (now at WBRE-TV)
  • John Patrick (no relation to Jay Patrick) - Weekend Evening meteorologist from 1997-1998 and again from 2001-2003 (now at WZVN-TV)
  • Melissa Matthews - reporter and producer
  • Abbie Tang - Blair/Huntingdon/Bedford Counties reporter
  • Dan Skalski - Morning Meteorlogist; fill-in News Anchor until 2005 (now Communications Director at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary)


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ WJAC FCC DTV status report
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links[]