Radio-TV Broadcast History

WUTR is the ABC-affiliated television station for Central New York State that is licensed to Utica. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 30 from a transmitter at its studios on Smith Hill Road (Seasonal Road) northeast of downtown. Owned by Mission Broadcasting, the station is operated through local marketing and joint sales agreements by Nexstar Broadcasting Group as sister to Fox affiliate WFXV and low-powered MyNetworkTV affiliate WPNY-LP. Syndicated programming on WUTR includes: The Insider, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, and Oprah.




Utica/Rome, New York
Branding WUTR

My WPNY TV (on DT2)

Channels Digital: 30 (UHF)
Subchannels 20.1 ABC

20.2 MyNetworkTV

Owner Mission Broadcasting (operated through LMA

and JSA by Nexstar Broadcasting Group)

First air date February 28, 1970
Call letters' meaning UTica/Rome
Sister station(s) WFXV, WPNY-LP, WROC-TV, WUHF
Former channel number(s) 20 (UNF analog, 1970-2009)
Transmitter power 50 kW
Height 227 m
Facility ID 57837
Transmitter coordinates 43°8′43″N 75°10′35″W / 43.14528°N 75.17639°W / 43.14528; -75.17639

The station first signed-on February 28, 1970 as the second television station in the Utica market. Owned by Roy H. Park Communications at the outset, the channel originally sought to affiliate with CBS but was stopped by WHEN-TV (now WTVH) in Syracuse which claimed the Utica area in its market area. Although WHEN cited potential revenue losses as reasoning for its actions, a rivalry between the Syracuse-based Park and then-WHEN owner Meredith Corporation also may have played a factor. As a result, WUTR signed-on with ABC marking the only affiliate of that network owned by Park. For the next couple of decades, it stayed a distant but strong second behind dominant NBC affiliate WKTV. Until the 1980s, WUTR was also the default ABC affiliate for much of the Watertown market (also in the mid-1980s in Alexandria Bay via Castle Cable) and operated translators both there and in Massena. The translators were shut down after WFYF (now WWTI which later spent several years as a sister station to WUTR) began operations.

After Roy Park died in 1993, the future of the group was put into doubt as Park's estate sold much of the group to corporate investor Gary Knapp who in turn sold the remnants of the Park group to Media General in 1996. With WUTR being one of the smallest of Park's stations and the sole channel the group had in the Northeast, Media General spun WUTR off in mid-1997 to The Ackerley Group (then-owners of Syracuse ABC affiliate WIXT today's WSYR-TV). With that purchase, Ackerley began to build a regional strategy called the "Central New York Station Group" (CNYSG) which eventually covered most of Upstate New York and almost stations in markets they did not enter.

In October 2001, Clear Channel Communications announced its buyout of Ackerley closing on its purchase in 2002. Though initially no changes took place, market concentration concerns with Clear Channel's radio cluster in the Utica market put WUTR's future under Clear Channel in doubt. Given the option between potentially selling WUTR or the four-station "Sports Stars" sports radio simulcast, Clear Channel decided to hack away at WUTR by cutting budgets and redistributing resources to other stations in the CNYSG. This was followed four months later with the announcement that WUTR would be sold to Mission Broadcasting. The sale was completed on April 1, 2004. At that time, the Nexstar Broadcasting Group (owner of WFXV and [[WPNY) took over operations of WUTR under a joint sales agreement and the three stations were eventually consolidated into one facility.

Christmas cards and promos[]

WUTR has carried Christmas promos accompanied by the station's Christmas-themed music package. Like WKTV's Christmas cards which was popular with them, this was very popular with WUTR. The station was also known in its coverage area for its "A Visit from St. Nicholas" done by the station's personnel which was aired during Christmas. Its current holiday cards (also aired on sister stations WFXV and WPNY) are seen in a similar fashion to WKTV and accompanied by Winter Wonderland. WUTR became digital-only effective March 16, 2009. [1] [2] That yeah, WUTR remained on its pre-transition channel number. [3][4] However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WUTR's virtual channel as 20.

News operation[]

After Clear Channel decided reduce WUTR's operations, this resulted in the regionalism of its newscasts with some content coming from sister station WSYR in Syracuse. Eventually, it resulted in the ultimate cancellation of this channel's local broadcasts in August 2003. Speculation of starting a news department for WUTR as well as sister stations WFXV and WPNY have circulated but no progress has been made so far. The only news information currently seen on this station is weekday weather forecasts from Nexstar-owned WROC-TV in Rochester featuring meteorologists Scott Hetsko, Brian Neudorff, and Bob Metcalfe. These updates originate from that station's facilities on Humboldt Street in Rochester. WUTR currently produces "Ask The Expert" segments seen weekday mornings at 7:25 and 8:25 during Good Morning America, and various features on its website.

Newscast titles[]

  • NewsWatch 20 (1970–81)
  • TV 20 Eyewitness News (1981–93)
  • WUTR TV Eyewitness News (1993-95)
  • WUTR Eyewitness News (1995-97)
  • NewsChannel 20 (1997–2001)
  • WUTR Channel 20 (2001-August 2003, newscasts were canceled after August 2003)

Station slogans[]

  • TV-20's The One" (1977-1978 and 1979-1980, localized version of ABC campaign)
  • "We're The One On TV-20" (1978-1979, localized version of ABC campaign)
  • "You And Me And TV-20" (1980-1981, localized version of ABC campaign)
  • "Now Is The Time, TV-20 Is The Place" (1981-1982, localized version of ABC campaign)
  • "Come On Along With TV-20" (1982-1983, localized version of ABC campaign)
  • "That Special Feeling on TV-20" (1983-1984, localized version of ABC campaign)
  • "We're With You on TV-20" (1984-1985, localized version of ABC campaign)
  • "You'll Love It on TV-20" (1985-1986, localized version of ABC campaign)
  • "Something's Happening on TV-20" (1987-1990, localized version of ABC campaign)
  • "Utica's Watching TV-20" (1990-1992, localized version of ABC campaign)
  • "Here For You!" (1988–1993)
  • "Coverage You Can Count On" (1993-1995)
  • "Still Here For You!" (1995-1997)
  • "Coverage You Can Count On" (1997–2003)

Notable former staff[]

  • Anthony Adornato - now at Colgate University
  • Pat Bailey - weeknight 6 and 11 o'clock Director (now at WKTV)
  • Bob Bandilion (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist seen weekdays at noon, 5, and 6,
  • Kylie Bennett
  • Gene Brink - news director mid-90's
  • Anna Bronk - news anchor weeknights at 5
  • Mike Cameron
  • Chris Carlson
  • Kathy Contino-Turner - News Director and Anchor (1989-92)
  • Ed Coyle
  • John DiPasquale - now at WXXA in Albany, NY
  • Mark Dudek
  • Tony Falvo
  • Tim Ferlito
  • Kam Fong
  • John Giacomo
  • Lisa Gilbert - sports reporter and Sports Overtime Host
  • Paul Grippey
  • Melissa Godshall - weeknights at 11
  • Allan Harris - early-1970's (now at WBEN-AM), Buffalo, NY
  • Erik Heden - now at National Weaher Service
  • Greg Horine
  • Ted Hoton
  • Treshelle Johnson
  • Paul Kennedy - former Vice President and General Manager
  • Rob King
  • Bill Knowles
  • Sukanya Krishnan - now at WPIX in New York, NY
  • Emerill Lagasse - food expert
  • Bill Lambdin - now at WNYT in Albany, NY
  • Paul MacEnroe - 1980's sports anchor
  • Natalie Martinez
  • Brendan McDonough - reporter
  • Steve McMurray - Sports Director seen weeknights, Sports Overtime host, News Director, and news anchor weeknights at 5 (now at WKTV)
  • Luke Michaels - former news anchor
  • Susan Nackley-Mojave
  • Kevin Nathan - early 1990' sports anchor
  • Cheryl Nelson
  • Hillary Norman
  • Steve Osterhaus - News Director at YNN in Syracuse, NY
  • Tammy Palmer - now at YNN
  • Dave Phoenix - former Operations Manager, Program Director and voiceover (now Account Executive at WXUR, in Herkimer, NY)
  • Collen Reilly - now at WWBT in Richmond, VA
  • John Ringstad
  • Scott Reiss - news anchor weeknights at 5
  • Andy Ryan - news anchor weekdays at noon and 5
  • Steve Sands - Sports Anchor
  • Allison Seymore - now at WTTG in Washington, DC
  • Adam Shadoff - now at KRQE in Albuquerque, NM
  • Don Shipman - weekday morning news anchor (now at WKTV)
  • Stacy Simms
  • Lisa Spitz - now at WSTM in Syracuse, NY
  • Jess Torpey - now at News 14 Carolina in Raleigh, NC
  • Chris Watson
  • Tiffanie Wong
  • Kristen Wright
  • Bob Van Dillen - now at CNN
  • Rocco Vertuccio - now at NY1 in New York, NY


  1. ^ WUTR, WFXV will switch to digital March 16, Observer-Dispatch, Feb 6, 2009
  2. ^ Local stations begin transition to digital, MONTANETTE MURPHY, Observer-Dispatch, Feb 17, 2009
  3. ^
  4. ^ CDBS Print

External links[]