Radio-TV Broadcast History

WTTG, channel 5, is an owned-and-operated television station of the Fox Broadcasting Company, located in the American capital city of Washington, D.C.. The station's studio and office facility, and transmitter are co-located in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington.[1]

WTTG's sister station is WDCA (channel 20), forming a duopoly owned by News Corporation, Fox Broadcasting's parent company.

Washington, D.C.
Branding Fox 5 (general)

Fox 5 News (newscasts)

Slogan Always On
Channels Digital: 36 (UHF)

Virtual: 5 (PSIP)

Affiliations Fox
Owner Fox Television Stations

(Fox Television Stations, Inc.)

First air date January 3, 1947
Call letters' meaning Thomas Toliver Goldsmith

(chief engineer of founding company DuMont)

Sister station(s) WDCA
Former channel number(s) Analog:

5 (VHF, 1947-2009)

Former affiliations DuMont (1946-1956)

Independent (1956-1986)

Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 201 m
Facility ID 22207
Transmitter coordinates 38°57′22″N 77°4′59″W / 38.95611°N 77.08306°W / 38.95611; -77.08306
Website /

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[edit] History[]

[edit] Early years[]

The station traces its history to May 19, 1945, when television set and equipment manufacturer Allen B. DuMont founded W3XWT, the second experimental station in the nation's capital (after NBC's W3XNB, forerunner to WRC-TV).

Later in 1945, DuMont Laboratories began a series of experimental coaxial cable hookups between W3XWT and its other television station, WABD in New York City (later WNEW-TV and now WNYW). These hookups were the beginning of the DuMont Television Network, the world's first licensed commercial television network. DuMont began regular network service in 1946. Almost a year later on January 3, 1947, W3XWT received a commercial license -- the first in the nation's capital -- as WTTG. The station was named for Thomas T. Goldsmith, the DuMont network's chief engineer and a close friend of Dr. DuMont.

Like its New York sister station, WTTG was far more successful than the network as a whole. In 1956, after DuMont ended network operations, WTTG and WABD became independent stations and were spun off from DuMont Laboratories as the "DuMont Broadcasting Corporation". It later changed its name to Metropolitan Broadcasting due to the failure associated with DuMont.

[edit] As an independent station[]

In 1958, Washington investor John Kluge bought controlling interest in Metropolitan Broadcasting and installed himself as its chairman. He changed the company's name to Metromedia in 1961. Goldsmith sat on Metromedia's board for over a quarter-century.

At first, WTTG ran on a low budget. However, in the late 1960s, it benefited from Metromedia's aggressiveness in acquiring top syndicated programming, giving it a significant leg up on WDCA, which signed on in 1966. By the 1970s, WTTG was one of the leading independent stations in the country, running a broad lineup of cartoons, off-network sitcoms, first-run syndicated shows, old movies, local news and locally produced programs. During this time period, and well into the early 1990s, WTTG was the flagship station for the Georgetown University men's basketball team. Its main claim to fame was Panorama, an afternoon talk show hosted by John Willis, and later Maury Povich.

When cable television began in the 1970s, WTTG became a regional superstation. At one point, it appeared on every cable system in Maryland and Virginia, as well as most of Delaware and in parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Pennsylvania. Though not distributed as widely as it once was, the popularity of WTTG has kept it available on cable on several Maryland and Virginia cable systems. It still serves as the default Fox affiliate for the Harrisonburg, Virginia market. Additionally, it is still carried on cable in Charlottesville, Virginia despite the city recently gaining a Fox affiliate out of WAHU-CA. It also served as the default Fox affiliate for Salisbury, Maryland until the debut of new default Fox affiliate, Fox21 Delmarva, a subchannel of WBOC-TV, on August 21, 2006.

[edit] Transition to Fox[]

Metromedia owned the station until 1986 when Rupert Murdoch, after buying 20th Century Fox, purchased the Metromedia television stations to form the nucleus of the Fox network. WTTG became one of the original six Fox owned-and-operated stations (O&O), all the while retaining consistently high ratings, a rarity for a Fox station then. Initially, its programming was similar to what it had run as a true independent station, since Fox only programmed for a few hours on weekends. Then, in the summer (June 25th) of 1990, the morning cartoon block was ended in favor of Fox 5 Morning News. It was the second Fox O&O to have a morning newscast and the fourth or fifth Fox affiliate with morning news.

In the 1990s, Fox 5 added more syndicated talk shows and reality shows. It continued to air afternoon cartoons from Fox Kids until the fall of 2001, when they moved to WDCA (only to be cut to Saturdays everywhere in 2002). But WTTG later on brought back Fox children's programming under the banner 4Kids TV. On October 29, 2001, WDCA became WTTG's sister station when Fox bought it from Viacom. Fox 5 continued to run top rated off-network sitcoms in the evenings. In 2002, it added an evening 5 to 6 p.m. newscast. Today, it has 40 hours a week of local news.

On May 15, 2006 WTTG launched a new website, which features more news and video with the "MyFox" name and interface. (The "My" in the MyFox name may be a reference to Fox's new network My Network TV, which is now shown locally on WDCA.) It is at

The new logo and set premiered on June 25, 2006. WTTG launched "NewsEdge" (previously titled "The Edge" until October 2006), its 11–11:30 p.m. newscast, on July 31, 2006. "NewsEdge", which is anchored solo by 10 p.m. co-anchor Brian Bolter, follows its 10–11 p.m. newscast. Also with the launch of the 11 p.m. broadcast, Fox 5 has now expanded its 6 p.m. broadcast to 7 days a week. The new "NewsEdge" has gone to 7 days as well; the weekend 11 p.m. broadcast is 15 minutes long, followed by "Sports Extra."

On January 30, 2009, starting with its 6 p.m. newscast, WTTG became the third station in DC (behind CBS affiliate WUSA and ABC affiliate WJLA) to launch news in high definition. With the change to HD came the new Fox O&O HD graphics currently used on other Fox-owned stations.

[edit] Criticism[]

In 2004, the inner operations of WTTG during the station's first years under Rupert Murdoch's control were scrutinized in Robert Greenwald's documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. The documentary, through a panel of former WTTG journalists and staffers, claimed that following Murdoch's acquisition, WTTG's news reporting became biased and sensationalistic, much in the style of the Fox News Channel, which Murdoch also owns and which the film primarily criticizes. Former WTTG employees claimed that:

[edit] Digital television[]

On June 12, 2009, WTTG left channel 5 and continued broadcasting on channel 36 to complete its analog to digital conversion. [2] However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display WTTG's virtual channel as "5".

[edit] News operation[]

WTTG broadcasts a total of 45 hours of local news a week (eight hours on weekdays, two hours on Saturdays and three hours on Sundays), the most of any television station in the Washington, D.C. market[citation needed]; however as is standard with Fox stations that carry early evening weekend newscasts, WTTG's Saturday and Sunday 5 p.m. newscasts are subject to preemption or delay due to sports coverage.

On September 4, 2006, WTTG began simulcasting its weekday morning and daily 10 p.m. newscasts on Baltimore's Fox-owned WUTB, under the banner of My 24 News. The higher-ups at both stations cite the decision to simulcast as a by-product of cross-regional news interests and increasing overlap between the Baltimore and Washington media markets. [1] On October 2006, while WTTG aired Fox Sports' coverage of the 2006 Major League Baseball postseason, the first half-hour of the 10 p.m. newscast was seen on Washington's Fox-owned WDCA under the banner of Fox 5 News at Ten Special Edition. The same has occurred in 2007, with a banner name of My 20 News at 10.

On July 2, 2007, WTTG discontinued its noon newscast and replaced it with an hour-long newscast at 11am, titled Fox 5 News Midday. On September 10, 2007, the station added "NewsEdge" at 6pm which is also anchored solo by Brian Bolter. The 6 p.m. edition of "NewsEdge" follows its hour-long 5 p.m. newscast. The addition of "NewsEdge" at 6 p.m. was due in part to the success of its current 11 p.m. counterpart.

On January 14, 2009, WTTG entered into talks with local NBC O&O WRC-TV (channel 4) to share helicopters and pool news video. [3] On September 14, 2009, WTTG expanded FOX Morning News to five hours (now airing from 5-10 a.m.), but discontinued its hour-long 11 a.m. midday newscast. In early 2010, WTTG became the second station (behind WUSA) to start news at 4:30 a.m.

[edit] News/station presentation[]

[edit] Newscast titles[]

  • Headline Edition (1950s)
  • The Ten O'Clock News (1960s-1990)
  • MetroMedia 5 News (1970s-1983)
  • Channel 5 News (1983-1990)
  • Fox News (1990-1992)
  • Fox 5 News (1992-present)

[edit] Station slogans[]

  • Washington's Most Watched Station (early 1980s)
  • Channel 5 and You (mid 1980s)
  • The Most Powerful Name in Local News (2006-2008)
  • Always On (2008-present)

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

[edit] Current on-air staff[]

[edit] Anchors[]
  • Brian Bolter - weeknights at 6, 10 and 11 p.m.
  • Steve Chenevey - weekday mornings "Fox 5 Morning News" (4:30-9 a.m.)
  • Gurvir Dhindsa - weekday mornings "Fox 5 Morning News" (4:30-7 a.m.)
  • Laura Evans - weeknights at 5 p.m.
  • Holly Morris - Sunday mornings; also morning feature reporter
  • Allison Seymour - weekday mornings "Fox 5 Morning News" (7-10 a.m.)
  • Will Thomas - weekends at 6, 10 and 11 p.m.
  • Maureen Umeh - weekends at 6, 10 and 11 p.m.
  • Shawn Yancy - weeknights at 5 and 10 p.m.
[edit] Fox 5 Weather Team[]
  • Sue Palka (NWA Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 6, 10 and 11 p.m.
  • Gary McGrady (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weeknights at 5 p.m.
  • Tony Perkins - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "Fox 5 Morning News" (4:30-10 a.m.)
  • Gwen Tolbart - Meteorologist; Sunday mornings, and weekends at 6, 10 and 11 p.m.
  • Tucker Barnes - Meteorologist; weekend fill-in, also weather producer
[edit] Sports team[]
  • Dave Feldman - Sports Director; weeknights at 6, 10 and 11 p.m.
  • Lindsay Murphy - Sports Anchor; weekends at 6, 10 and 11 p.m.; also sports reporter
  • Dave Ross - sports producer
[edit] Reporters[]
  • Matt Ackland - general assignment reporter
  • Melanie Alnwick - special projects reporter
  • Bob Barnard - general assignment reporter
  • Roby Chavez - general assignment reporter
  • Claudia Coffey - general assignment reporter
  • Stacey Cohan - general assignment reporter
  • Tom Fitzgerald - general assignment reporter
  • John Henrehan - general assignment reporter
  • Karen Gray Houston - general assignment reporter
  • Sherri Ly - general assignment reporter
  • Wisdom Martin - general assignment reporter
  • Beth Parker - general assignment reporter
  • Roz Plater - general assignment reporter
  • Sarah Simmons - general assignment reporter
  • Tisha Thompson - investigative reporter
  • Paul Wagner - general assignment reporter
  • Allyson Wilson - general assignment reporter
  • Julie Wright - morning traffic reporter

[edit] Former on-air staff[]

  • James Adams – anchor/reporter (1977–1990)
  • Ed Alwood – reporter/business anchor (1977–1982)
  • Brooke Baldwin – reporter (2006–2008)now at cnn
  • Ric Barrick – meteorologist(2001–2002)
  • Mike Barry – meteorologist (2004–2006)
  • Dave Bender – reporter (1990–1993; now at KOVR-TV)
  • Jackie Bensen – reporter (1987–1999; now at WRC-TV)
  • Dave Benz – sports anchor/reporter (??–2009; now at Comcast SportsNet California)
  • Josh Binswanger – "Fox Morning News" anchor (1998–2000)
  • Steve Buckhantz – sports anchor (1987–2001; now with Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic)
  • Alan Campbell – weekend anchor/staff announcer (1961–1963)
  • Connie Chung – reporter (1970–1971)
  • Jack Conaty – reporter (1986–1987)
  • Vince DeLisi – sports anchor and reporter (1990–1992)
  • Rory Devine – reporter (1982-1983)
  • Stacey Donaldson – meteorologist (1998–2002)
  • Mike Dunston – reporter (now anchor at WOFL in Orlando)
  • Barton Eckert – anchor/reporter (1975–1984)
  • Darya Folsom – morning anchor/reporter (1994–1998; now at KRON-TV)
  • Joe Fowler – sports anchor/reporter (1986–1987)
  • Michael Garguilo – morning anchor/reporter (2000–2006; now at WNBC)
  • Jeff Gilbert
  • Bill Gormly – host of children's show Countdown Carnival/staff announcer (1963–1968)
  • Delores Handy – 10 p.m. anchor (1978–1981; now at WBUR in Boston)
  • Brett Haber – sports anchor/reporter (1997–2000; now with WUSA)
  • Kerri Lee Halkett – traffic reporter/anchor (1997–2000; now at WTXF-TV)
  • Chick Hernandez – sports anchor/reporter (1993–2000; now with Comcast SportsMet Mid-Atlantic)
  • Lou Holder – weekend sports anchor/reporter (200?–2007)
  • Hillary Howard (Statter) – meteorologist (1990s–2000; now at WTOP radio)
  • Bill Johnson – staff announcer and children's show host (1950s-1960s)
  • Gus Johnson – weekend sports anchor/reporter (1991–1992)
  • Morris Jones – anchor/reporter (1983–2001; now at NewsChannel 8)
  • Jim Karvellas – sports anchor/reporter (?, deceased)
  • Dennis Ketterer – meteorologist (1983–1985)
  • Mike Landess – anchor/reporter (1998–2001; now at KMGH-TV)
  • Jeff Lawson – meteorologist (1984–1989)
  • Lark McCarthy – Fox 5 Morning News co-anchor (1990–2007)
  • Patrick McGrath – national correspondent (1983–2009; retired)
  • Pat Mitchell – anchor/Panorama host (1977–1979)
  • Tracey Neale – anchor/reporter (1994–2003)
  • Maury Povich – anchor/reporter/Panorama host (1967–1976 and 1983–1986)
  • John Raye – anchor 1976–1981
  • Lee Reynolds – children's show host Captain Tugg (1958–1966), Grandpa Reynolds (1956–1959), and Captain Lee and Mates (1964–1966)
  • Mike Ritz – sports reporter (1987–1991)
  • Amy Robach – anchor/reporter (1998–2003; now with NBC News)
  • Diane Roberts – sports reporter and substitute sports anchor
  • Nathan Roberts – anchor/reporter (1988–1991, formerly of NewsChannel 8)
  • Angela Robinson – anchor/reporter/Panorama host (1983–1993)
  • Al Roker – weather anchor (1976–1978)
  • Steve Rudin – meteorologist (2001–2004; now with WJLA-TV and NewsChannel 8)
  • Tom Sater – meteorologist (1998–2005)
  • Bob Schieffer – reporter (1969–19??; now CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent)
  • Kevin Schultze – reporter (1993–1996)
  • Bob Sellers – weekday morning anchor (2006–2008; now at WSMV)
  • Michelle Sigona – traffic reporter (2004–2006; now correspondent for Fox's America's Most Wanted)
  • Aleen Sirgany – anchor/reporter (1999–2001)
  • Karna Small – anchor (1976–1978)
  • Alan Smith – anchor (1960s-1970s)
  • Bernie Smilovitz – sports anchor (1978–1986)
  • Jill Sorenson – reporter (2004–2005; now with Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic)
  • Cynthia Steele – weeknight 10 p.m. anchor (1990–199?)
  • Jackie Stone – reporter (1983–1991)
  • Sara Underwood – reporter (???–2000; now at WBZ-TV in Boston)
  • Todd D. Wallace – morning anchor (2000–2002; now at WRTV-TV)
  • Tim White – morning anchor (1990–1992; retired)
  • Brian Williams – anchor/reporter/Panorama host (1985–1986)
  • John Wills – anchor (1960s–1970s)
  • Brian Wilson – anchor/reporter (19??–2000)