Radio-TV Broadcast History

WTRF-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and the Allegheny Plateau of Eastern Ohio that is licensed to Wheeling, West Virginia. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 7 from a transmitter in Bridgeport, Ohio. Owned by West Virginia Media Holdings, the station has studios on 16th Street in Downtown Wheeling. Syndicated programming on WTRF includes: Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, Judge Judy, and Rachael Ray.




Wheeling, West Virginia/

Steubenville, Ohio

Branding 7 News

Fox Ohio Valley (on DT2) ABC Ohio Valley (on DT3)

Slogan Live and Local

From Your Hometown

Channels Digital: 7 (VHF)
Subchannels 7.1 CBS

7.2 Fox (primary) MyNetworkTV (secondary) 7.3 ABC

Owner West Virginia Media Holdings
First air date October 24, 1953
Call letters' meaning Two Radio Frequencies

(referring to AM and FM stations with same calls)

Sister station(s) WOWK-TV, WVNS-TV, WBOY-TV
Former channel number(s) 7 (VHF analog, 1953-2009)

32 (UHF digital)

Former affiliations NBC (1953-1980)

ABC (secondary, 1953-1980s)

Transmitter power 25.4 kW
Height 293 m
Facility ID 6869
Transmitter coordinates 40°3′41″N 80°45′8″W / 40.06139°N 80.75222°W / 40.06139; -80.75222


[hide]*1 Digital programming

[edit] Digital programming[]

WTRF operates the area's primary Fox and secondary MyNetworkTV affiliate on a second digital subchannel. Known on-air as Fox Ohio Valley, it is also offered on Comcast channel 12. Syndicated programming on WTRF-DT2 includes: Family Guy, Two and a Half Men, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Maury. Programming from MyNetworkTV airs weeknights from 11 to 1 in the morning. The station also operates the area's ABC affiliate on a third digital subchannel. Known on-air as ABC Ohio Valley, this can be seen on Comcast digital channel 205. Syndicated programming on WTRF-DT3 includes: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Family Feud, America's Funniest Home Videos, and Storm Stories.

Digital Channel Programming
7.1 main WTRF programming/CBS HD
7.2 WTRV-DT2 "Fox Ohio Valley"
7.3 WTRF-DT3 "ABC Ohio Valley"

[edit] History[]

WTRF signed-on for the first time on October 24, 1953. Its call letters came from two radio stations that the original owners had put on-the-air in 1947. Those were sold off to finance the television station. WTRF was originally an NBC affiliate but also carried some programming from ABC splitting that network's programming with then-CBS affiliate WSTV-TV (now WTOV-TV). In 1979, WTRF became the area's first station to use videotape rather than film. On January 7, 1980, the channel swapped network affiliations with WTOV and became a CBS affiliate. NBC had struggled in the ratings for a number of years at the time and WTRF wanted a stronger affiliation. It also dropped the remaining ABC programs from its schedule. This was not as serious a problem as it appeared since WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh was widely available in the area over-the-air and on cable.

From the early-1980s through the mid-1990s, it went through three different owners. Adams Communications bought the station from Wesray Corporation in the mid-1980s but ran into financial trouble and sold most of its stations, including WTRF, to a company headed by former Adams Vice President Paul Brisette in 1991. Brisette himself was nearly brought down by financial issues and merged his group with Benedek Broadcasting in 1996. West Virginia Media Holdings bought the station in 2002.

Along with sister station WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, WTRF launched a new digital subchannel with ABC programming on August 1, 2008 bringing programming from that network back to the station. Previously, both the Wheeling/Steubenville and Clarksburg/Weston/Fairmont markets were served by WTAE as the de facto affiliate. WTRF broadcasts were switched to digital-only at 12:30 p.m. in February 2009. The station returned its digital broadcasts to its analog channel number. Before becoming famous on network television as Faith Daniels, Faith Augustine started her television reporting career at this station where she worked with her future husband, producer Dean Daniels, who also reported on the station.

[edit] Satellite availability[]

As of June 3, 2010, WTRF and its two digital sub channels are available on Dish Network. [1] [2] Since there are only two stations in the Wheeling/Steubenville market, neither WTRF nor WTOV are available on DirecTV. Residents living in the West Virginia side of the market as well as Jefferson, Harrison and Tuscarawas Counties in Ohio, can get Pittsburgh stations on those systems. While Belmont and Monroe Counties in Ohio qualify to get the New York City and Los Angeles stations, West Virginia Media Holdings has not signed a waiver allowing viewers in those two counties to receive WCBS-TV and KCBS-TV from their respective markets. This has rankled viewers in those areas because satellite service is all but essential for acceptable television in this area. Belmont and Monroe Counties are located in a very rugged dissected plateau. Over-the-air signals are practically unviewable in this area and cable service is inconsistent outside the larger cities.

[edit] Out of market coverage[]

Despite it's coverage issues mentioned above, it has coverage outside of the market on cable. In the northeastern part of West Virginia, it is carried in Buckhannon in Upshur County, Beverely and Elkins in Randolph County and Flemington in Taylor County.

[edit] News operation[]

[4][5]Its news open seen every night at 6.WTRF-DT2 is home to the area only nightly 10 o'clock broadcast known as Fox Ohio Valley News. The second hour of the main channel's weekday morning show is repeated at 7 on that station. WTRF-DT3 simulcasts the weekday editions of 7 News at 6 a.m., noon, 6, and 11 p.m with separate on-screen branding to denote "ABC Ohio Valley". West Virginia Media Holdings produces a half-hour newscast, called West Virginia Tonight Live, weeknights at 5:30. It airs simultaneously on all company-owned stations (except flagship WOWK-TV) from a newsroom in Morgantown.

In addition, there is a public affairs program called Decision Makers. Hosted by company president and CEO Bray Cary, it airs on Saturday mornings at 9 and Sunday mornings at 8 on all West Virginia Media Holdings stations. In another arrangement between all of the company channels, weekend newscasts originate from WOWK's facilities on 5th Avenue in Downtown Huntington. However unlike WBOY and WVNS-TV, WTRF provides its own weekend sports report.

[edit] Newscast titles[]

  • Your Esso Reporter (1953-1956)
  • WTRF-TV News (1956–1962)
  • The West Virginia Report (1962-1967)
  • Newsroom (1967–1972)
  • TV 7 News Front (1972–1976)
  • The News (1976–1991)
  • WTRF News (1991–1995)
  • NewsChannel 7 (1995–2002)
  • 7 News (2002–present)

[edit] Station slogans[]

  • "WTRF TV 7 Colors it Live" (early-1970s)
  • "Keep Your Eye on The News" (1976–1978)
  • "The News People" (1978–1980)
  • "Always One Step Ahead" (1985–1991)
  • "Your Town. Your State. Your Future." (2002–2007)
  • "Live and Local From Your Hometown" (2007–present)

[edit] News team[]


  • Stacy Rich - weekday mornings and noon
  • Jim Forbes - Managing Editor seen weeknights at 5, 6, 10, and 11
  • Leigh Ann Towne - weeknights at 5, 6, 10, and 11
  • April Kaull - West Virginia Media Holdings News Director and State Correspondent seen weeknights at 5:30
  • Kristen Sell - weekends

StormTracker 7 Meteorologists

  • Dr. Dave Walker - Chief seen weekday mornings and noon
  • Ashley Dougherty - weeknights
  • Jared Hoffman (AMS Seal of Approval) - weekends


  • Scott Nolte - Director seen weeknights 6, 10, and 11
  • Mike Anthony - weekends and reporter


  • Bray Cary - West Virginia Media Holdings President and Chief Executive Officer
    • Decision Makers host
  • Amy Wadas - producer weeknights at 5 and 6
  • Dave Elias
  • D.K. Wright
  • Melissa Reid

[edit] References[]

  1. ^
  2. ^

[edit] External links[]