Radio-TV Broadcast History

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Grand Rapids, Michigan
Branding WOOD-TV 8 (general)

24 Hour News 8 (newscasts) WXSP The X (on DT2)

Slogan West Michigan's

News Leader

Channels Digital: 7 (VHF)
Subchannels 8.1 NBC

8.2 MyNetworkTV 8.3 weather radar

Translators 46 (UHF) Muskegon

(construction permit) WOGC-CA 25 (UHF) Holland

Owner LIN TV Corporation

(WOOD License Company, LLC)

First air date August 15, 1949
Call letters' meaning WOOD furniture industry
Sister station(s) WOTV


Former callsigns WLAV-TV (1949-1951)

WOOD-TV (1951-1972) WOTV (1972-1992)

Former channel number(s) Analog:

7 (VHF, 1949-1953) 8 (VHF, 1953-2009)

Former affiliations CBS (1949-1960)

ABC (1949-1962) DuMont (1949-1955) all secondary

Transmitter power 30 kW
Height 288 m
Facility ID 36838
Transmitter coordinates 42°41′14″N 85°30′34″W / 42.68722°N 85.50944°W / 42.68722; -85.50944

In addition to its main signal, WOOD-TV operates WOGC-CA on UHF channel 25 that is licensed to Holland with a transmitter east of Zeeland along I-196 on the tower of WJQK-FM. This repeater and another W46DD on UHF channel 46 in Muskegon were established around 2002 due to interference from WMVS, a PBS station in Milwaukee, whose digital broadcast is on on channel 8. The signals from that station and WOOD-TV regularly propagated across Lake Michigan causing interference with each other. After the digital transition on June 12, 2009 with the issues resolved, these channels continue providing analog service to the lakeshore areas.


[hide]*1 History

  • 2 Digital programming
  • 3 News operation
    • 3.1 Newscast titles
    • 3.2 Station slogans
  • 4 24 Hour News 8 Team
    • 4.1 Current on-air staff
    • 4.2 Former on-air staff
  • 5 External links

[edit] History[]

The station first went on-the-air on August 15, 1949. It had the call sign WLAV-TV and aired an analog signal on VHF channel 7. They were the fourth television station in Michigan and the first outside of Detroit. The original owner was Leonard Adrian Verslius who had signed-on Grand Rapids' second radio station, WLAV 1340, in 1940. In 1951, Verslius sold the television station to Grandwood Broadcasting (a subsidiary of the Bitner Group) for $1.37 million. They were the owners of Grand Rapids' first radio station, WOOD AM 1300. That station had applied for a television license back in 1948 but it came just after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposed a freeze on new television construction permits. In fact, WLAV had been one of the last construction permits issued before the freeze. Grandwood eventually grew tired of waiting and cut a deal with Verslius to buy the station.

On October 19, WLAV changed its calls to "WOOD-TV" and began to broadcast from a new transmitter in northeastern Grand Rapids. On December 8, 1953, the station moved from channel 7 to VHF channel 8 and increased its power from 28,000 to 100,000 watts. The channel change was promoted as "Mark the date: We move to Channel Eight on December Eight". The move was to alleviate interference with WBKB-TV (now WLS-TV) in Chicago.

In 1955, the station moved to its current facilities in the Heritage Hill area of Grand Rapids. Its studios replaced the Bissell mansion (of Bissell vacuum fame) and are across the street from the Voigt House Victorian Museum. Time-Life, Inc. bought WOOD-AM-TV in 1957. Channel 8 has been an NBC affiliate from the very beginning though it had a secondary CBS affiliation until WKZO-TV (now WWMT) in Kalamazoo expanded its signal to cover Grand Rapids. It also had secondary affiliations with ABC and DuMont. The ABC affiliation lasted until 1962 when WZZM-TV signed-on. The DuMont affiliation ended in 1956 when that network ceased operations.

The call letters became WOTV in 1972 when WOOD was sold. Time-Life also sold most of its television stations to McGraw-Hill that year but held on to WOTV until 1983 when it was sold to LIN Broadcasting. In 1992, the station reclaimed its old call letters with WOOD radio's permission. Channel 8 then donated the WOTV calls to WUHQ, the ABC affiliate for the southern portion of the West Michigan market with whom it had a local marketing agreement (LMA) with.

In 1994, LIN Broadcasting spun off its television division into a separate company known as LIN TV but WOOD-TV was not included. Instead, the station became wholly owned by AT&T (which also owned 45 percent of LIN TV at the time) when that company absorbed the remainder of LIN Broadcasting in 1995. During AT&T ownership, LIN TV continued to manage both WOOD-TV and WOTV. LIN TV reacquired WOOD-TV and its LMA with WOTV in 1999 when AT&T sold-off its stake in the company to Hicks, Muse, Furst, and Tate (now HM Capital). On August 14, WOOD-TV became the first station in West Michigan to broadcast a digital signal on VHF channel 7. LIN TV purchased WOTV outright in 2001. On June 12, 2009 at 10 in the morning, its digital signal remained on channel 7 when the analog to digital conversion was completed.

[edit] Digital programming[]

The station's signal is multiplexed.



Video Aspect Programming
8.1 1080i 16:9 main WOOD-TV programming / NBC HD
8.2 480i 4:3 WXSP-CA (MyNetworkTV)
8.3 480p 16:9 WOOD-DT3 "Storm Team 8 Live Doppler Network" (regional weather radar)

[edit] News operation[]

Its news open.In an area first, the station purchased electronic news equipment in 1975. Five years later, it became the first to broadcast live news from outside the studio. In 1983, it introduced West Michigan's first news helicopter. The weekday noon and weekend 6 p.m.. newscasts were expanded to one-hour formats in 1995. The weekend shows now pre-empt the weekend edition of NBC Nightly News. However, WOOD-TV clears the remainder of NBC's broadcast schedule, including the Monday-through-Friday editions of NBC Nightly News.

Carol Duvall of HGTV's Carol Duvall Show started her career at WOOD-TV. On October 21, 2007, the station began producing a nightly 10 o'clock broadcast on MyNetworkTV affiliate WXSP-CA. This competes with prime time shows that air on Fox affiliate WXMI and CW affiliate WWMT-DT2. WOOD-TV's weeknight 6 o'clock newscast is repeated at 7 on WXSP. This station's meteorologists provide Local Weather Station updates on that station every morning from 5 to 6. It is the only surviving portion of the all-LWS schedule from the late 1990s. Meteorologist Terri DeBoer is seen during the week and Laura Velasquez is on weekends.

Currently, WOTV simulcasts only the second half of "Daybreak" and the 6:00 PM newscasts of WOOD-TV. Starting with the 2007 / 2008 television season, the weeknight 5 o'clock hour of simulcasted news on WOTV was replaced by TMZ on TV and Extra. Chief Meteorologist Bill Steffen does weeknight weather updates on WOTV.

WOOD-TV has news partnerships with The Grand Rapids Press, Holland Sentinel, Kalamazoo Gazette, and Muskegon Chronicle. Sports Overtime is a weekly half-hour sports highlight show that airs Sunday nights after the 11 o'clock news. Football Frenzy is a weekly highlight program covering the Friday night high school football games as well as other sports news of the day. The 11 p.m. newscast is shortened to allow Football Frenzy to air during the regular time slot. To The Point is a weekly political talk show hosted by Rick Albin that airs Sunday mornings at 10. The entertainment and lifestyle show eightWest premiered on October 5, 2009 and airs weekday mornings at 11.

WOOD-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 CBS affiliate WISH-TV in Indianapolis, ABC affiliate KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and NBC affiliate KFDX-TV in Wichita Falls, Texas.

On October 5, 2009, WOOD-TV became the second station in Western Michigan to begin broadcasting local newscasts in widescreen 16:9 high definition. The simulcasts on WOTV were included in the upgrade.

[edit] Newscast titles[]

  • News and Events (1950s)
  • News in Action (1970s)
  • NewsCenter 8 (1970s-1980s)
  • News 8 (1980s-1995)
  • 24-Hour News 8 (1995-present)

[edit] Station slogans[]

  • "We're the Best on TV-8" (late-1970s)
  • "The Team to Watch" (early-1980s)
  • "TV-8, Let's All Be There" (1984-1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come Home To TV-8" (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come on Home to TV-8" (1987-1988, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come Home to the Best, Only on TV-8" (1988-1989, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "The First Team for News in West Michigan" (early-mid 1990s)
  • "First. Best. Live." (mid 1990s-1999)
  • "West Michigan's News Leader" (1999-present)
  • "On-Air, On-Line, On-The-go" (2009-present; used in news opens)

[edit] 24 Hour News 8 Team[]

[edit] Current on-air staff[]


  • Emily Linnert - weekday daybreak 5-7 am, noon
  • Brett Thomas - weekday daybreak 5-7 am, noon
  • Brian Sterling - weeknights 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 (and 10pm on WXSP)
  • Susan Shaw - weeknights 5, 5:30 (and 10 pm on WXSP)
  • Suzanne Geha - weeknights at 6 and 11
  • Marc Thompson - weekend daybreak 6-8 am, multi-platform reporter
  • Larry Figurski - weekend evenings 6 and 11 (and 10 pm on WXSP)
  • Rachael Ruiz - eightWest host

Storm Team 8 Meteorologists

  • Bill Steffen - Chief Meteorologist weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 (and 10 pm on WXSP)
  • Terri DeBoer - weekday daybreak 5-7 am and eightWest host
  • Matt Kirkwood - weekdays at noon
  • Laura Velasquez - weekend daybreak 6-8 am
  • Kyle Underwood - weekend evenings 6 and 11 (and 10 pm on WXSP)


  • Jack Doles - Sports Director weeknights at 6 and 11 (and 10pm on WXSP)
  • Jason Terzis - weekend evenings 6 and 11 (and 10pm on WXSP), producer/anchor of Sports Overtime (Sundays 11:25pm-midnight)
    • multi-platform sports reporter/photographer
  • Larry Figurski - weekend evenings 6, 10 and 11 news anchor
    • multi-platform sports anchor/reporter/photographer

Multi-platform reporters

  • Rick Albin - political beat and To The Point host (Sundays at 10am)
  • Eva Aguirre Cooper - Communications Director
    • "Angel Tree", "Drive to Live", and "Connecting with Community" segments producer
  • Dani Carlson
  • Henry Erb - investigative beat
  • Leon Hendrix
  • Ken Kolker - investigative, crime beat
  • Joe LaFurgey - Grand Rapids city government beat
  • Dee Morrison - weekday mornings
  • Anne Schieber - "Your Money" beat
  • Megan Stembol
  • Tony Tagliavia - education beat

[edit] Former on-air staff[]

  • Bill Allen
  • Kristi Andersen - now a reporter/anchor at KETV in Omaha, NE
  • Andy Amyx - deceased (2005)-Peddles the Clown (1967-1976) Promotion Manager
  • Gary Bazner - deceased
  • Cary Berglund - now at KNBC
  • Dan Bewley - now a reporter at KOTV in Tulsa, OK
  • Dave Bolton
  • Tom Bradford
  • Jane Brierley
  • Roger Brown
  • Dave Carmichael
  • Lynn Carthane
  • Patrick Center - now a News Director at WGVU-TV
  • Eddie Chase
  • Dick Cheverton
  • Jim Childress
  • Dray Clark - now a reporter at KYW-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Jim Collins
  • Angie Crouch - now at KNBC
  • Jim Cummins - deceased
  • Brian Curtis - anchor/reporter (currently main weekday evening anchor at KXAS-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth)
  • Coy Davis
  • Della DiPietro - a.k.a. Della Koach
  • Todd Donoho
  • Melissa Dunbar - now a reporter at KTHV in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Glen Eckelkamp- now working in sales for Regent Broadcasting
  • Brad Edwards - now at WISH-TV 8 Indianapolis
  • Don Elliott
  • John Estabrook
  • Dick Evans - deceased
  • Curt Fonger
  • Alan Gionet - now weekend anchor at KCNC
  • Cynthia Grebe - retired, married to former congressman Bill Schuette
  • Scott Harrison - now reporter at KRDO
  • Derek Hayward
  • Heather Herron - now main anchor at WANE
  • Dennis Hodges - provides weather reports for various radio stations in Michigan
  • Ron Howes - now Chief Meteorologist at WTVF
  • Craig James - retired in 2008
  • Doris Jarrell
  • Dave Jefferson
  • Phil Johnson - now working in sales for Regent Broadcasting
  • Ed Kemp
  • Jim Kipp
  • Steve Kmetko - former E! news host
  • Bruce Kopp - now weekday morning anchor at WTHR
  • Noreen Lauer - now a freelance marketing writer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, owner of Noreen Fieber (married name) Communications
  • Jessica Leffler
  • Buck Matthews
  • Dick McKay
  • Matt McLogan - now a Vice President at Grand Valley State University in Michigan
  • Letitia Miele
  • Keith Monahan - now Chief Meteorologist at KIAH
  • Jennifer Moss
  • Larry Nienhaus
  • Steve Osunsami - ABC News correspondent
  • Dawn Picken
  • Ernie Reno - now founder and president of Avatar Communications Group
  • Andy Rent - portrayed Captain Woody for a children's show, now morning disc jockey at WTRV
  • Warren Reynolds - deceased
  • Jay Ricci
  • Rick Roberts - deceased
  • Christine Roher
  • Susan Samples - now back at WOOD as special projects producer, appearing on-air occasionally
  • Sally Scobey
  • Janet Shamlian - now at NBC News
  • Joe Sullivan
  • John Stehr - now primary evening anchor at WTHR in Indianapolis, IN
  • Matt Stevens - now a reporter at WOIO in Cleveland, OH
  • John Strickler
  • Bill Struyk
  • Alex Taylor
  • Don Turner
  • Nick Unger
  • Tom Van Howe - retired, between 2008 and 2009 served as substitute 5, 5:30 and 6pm anchor on WWMT while regular anchor Jeff McAtee serves in military
  • Ben Watson
  • Linda White
  • Rhona Williams
  • Matt Winer - now at ESPN
  • Emily Zangaro - now at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Ginger Zee - now meteorologist at WMAQ-TV she also occasionally broadcasts the weather for MSNBC

[edit] External links[]