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WCSH is the NBC-affiliated television station for Southern Maine and Northern New Hampshire. Licensed to Portland, it broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 44 (PSIPvirtual channel 6) from a transmitter on Winn Mountain in Sebago. The station can also be seen on Comcast and Time Warner Cable channel 6. There is a high definition signal offered on Comcast digital channel 504 and Time Warner Cable digital channel 506. Owned by Gannett, WCSH has studios at Congress Square in Downtown Portland. Syndicated programming on WCSH includes: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Doctors, The Dr. Oz Show, and Inside Edition.

WCSH
175px-WCSH6

175px-News center maine

Portland, Maine
Branding WCSH 6 (general)

NewsCenter

Slogan It's All Within Reach
Channels Digital: 44 (UHF)
Subchannels 6.1 NBC

6.2 local news and weather

Owner Gannett Company

(Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)

First air date December 20, 1953
Call letters' meaning Congress Square Hotel
Sister station(s) WLBZ
Former callsigns WCSH-TV (1953-1997)
Former channel number(s) 6 (VHF analog, 1953-2009)
Former affiliations NBC Weather Plus (on DT2, 2005-2008)
Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 587.9 m
Facility ID 39664
Transmitter coordinates 43°51′30.2″N70°42′38.8″W
Website wcsh6.com

WLBZ in Bangor operates as a semi-satellite. While that station airs all network programming provided through WCSH, it clears most of its syndicated programming but there are some shown at a different time. There are also programs that only air on WLBZ while some are only seen on WCSH. Syndicated programming exclusive to this station includes Bewitched. WLBZ also airs separate station identifications and commercials. Although WCSH and WLBZ are based in different locations and technically serve separate markets, the two essentially operate as one station. With their combined resources, the stations provide statewide coverage not offered by any other outlet in Maine.

Digital programmingEdit

On WCSH-DT2 as well as Comcast and Time Warner Cable digital channel 166 is a 24-hour local news and weather channel. the stations have produced an eight minute newscast that is looped every 10 minutes and is updated throughout the day.

Channels (virtual/physical) Video Aspect Programming
6.1/44.1 1080i 16:9 main WCSH programming/NBC (HD)
6.2/44.2 480i 4:3 WCSH-DT2 "News Center Weather Plus" (SD)

HistoryEdit

WCSH-TV signed on December 20, 1953 from studios at the Congress Square Hotel in downtown Portland. The station was owned by the Rines family through their Maine Broadcasting System; the family had built the hotel in 1896, and established WCSH radio (970 AM, now WZAN) on the top floor in 1925. [1][2] [3] It has always been an NBC affiliate, although during the late-1950s, the station was also briefly associated with the NTA Film Network. [4] In 1958, the Rines family acquired WTWO in Bangor from Murray Carpenter, and renamed it WLBZ-TV (after WLBZ radio, now WZON, which the family had owned since 1944). Although the two television stations were now sister stations, they remained completely separate entities. At various points, the Maine Broadcasting System also included WRDO radio inAugusta and KMEG in Sioux City, Iowa, with WCSH-AM-TV as its flagship.

In 1977, WCSH-TV moved to new facilities across the street from the hotel at One Congress Square, where it remains today. The radio stations were sold off in 1981; in 1997, the -TV suffix was dropped. In the mid-1990s, WCSH added a website providing 24-hour news and weather coverage outside newscasts.

In 1998, the Maine Broadcasting System (by this time controlled by the Rines-Thompson family) sold WCSH and WLBZ to current owner Gannett. At this point, WLBZ, for all intents and purposes, began serving as a semi-satellite of WCSH; as early as 1989, WLBZ had been reducing its personnel and consolidating some internal operations with WCSH.

WCSH's digital signal on UHF channel 44 signed on in 2002, bringing high definition network television to the area. On June 12, 2009, WCSH ceased normal programming on analog VHF channel 6 and began providing a "nightlight" service. Until that date, the station's analog audio signal transmitted on a frequency of 87.75 MHz (+10 kHz shift). As a result, it could be picked up on the lower end of the dial on most FM radios at 87.7 MHz. This was true of all other analog channel 6 stations in the United States. The station often promoted this additional way of coverage. After the transition, the station continued its digital broadcasts on channel 44.[5]

News operationEdit

220px-Maine news center

WCSH's news open.

Originally, WLBZ operated its own news department and produced local newscasts from its Bangor studios. In 1989, when that station began consolidation with WCSH, channel 6 began simulcasting some of its newscasts on WLBZ prepared with a statewide view. This has progressed to the current arrangement where that station airs separate shows, locally produced at its facilities, weeknights at 5 and 6 while WCSH offers more Portland-focused coverage. All other newscasts on both stations originate from Portland. As mentioned, these statewide programs tend to take on a regional feel with coverage from Portland, Bangor, or wherever news occurs around the state. WLBZ still produces its own weather segment from Bangor weeknights at 5:30 and 11 with meteorologist Steve McKay who is based in Bangor. On August 9, 2010, there was an expansion of the statewide weekday morning show to 4:30 with the new segment being called NewsCenter Early Morning Report.

thumb|left|WCSH's news open.|link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CBS

thumb|left|WCSH's news open.|link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CBS

thumb|left|WCSH's news open.|link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CBS

220px-Wcsh news 2011

News open seen weeknights at 5 and 6.

CBS affiliate WGAN-TV/WGME-TV was dominant in local Nielsen ratings for many years. However, in the late 1980s, WCSH-TV surged to the top of the ratings, a position it has retained for the most part ever since. This is in part due to continuity in the station's key on-air staff, much of which have been with the station for over ten years. In addition, its resources include sister station WLBZ in Bangor, allowing statewide coverage not offered by any source in Maine. Today's ratings show a resurgence in favor of WGME, particularly during evening newscasts. Sinclair's investment in the latest technology and state of the art weather system was partially instrumental in improving its ratings.

thumb|News open seen weeknights at 5 and 6.|link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CBS affiliate WGAN-TV/WGME-TV was dominant in local Nielsen ratings for many years. However, in the late 1980s, WCSH-TV surged to the top of the ratings, a position it has retained for the most part ever since. This is in part due to continuity in the station's key on-air staff, much of which have been with the station for over ten years. In addition, its resources include sister station WLBZ in Bangor, allowing statewide coverage not offered by any source in Maine. Today's ratings show a resurgence in favor of WGME, particularly during evening newscasts. Sinclair's investment in the latest technology and state of the art weather system was partially instrumental in improving its ratings.

thumb|News open seen weeknights at 5 and 6.|link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CBS affiliate WGAN-TV/WGME-TV was dominant in local Nielsen ratings for many years. However, in the late 1980s, WCSH-TV surged to the top of the ratings, a position it has retained for the most part ever since. This is in part due to continuity in the station's key on-air staff, much of which have been with the station for over ten years. In addition, its resources include sister station WLBZ in Bangor, allowing statewide coverage not offered by any source in Maine. Today's ratings show a resurgence in favor of WGME, particularly during evening newscasts. Sinclair's investment in the latest technology and state of the art weather system was partially instrumental in improving its ratings.

thumb|News open seen weeknights at 5 and 6.|link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CBS affiliate WGAN-TV/WGME-TV was dominant in local Nielsen ratings for many years. However, in the late 1980s, WCSH-TV surged to the top of the ratings, a position it has retained for the most part ever since. This is in part due to continuity in the station's key on-air staff, much of which have been with the station for over ten years. In addition, its resources include sister station WLBZ in Bangor, allowing statewide coverage not offered by any source in Maine. Today's ratings show a resurgence in favor of WGME, particularly during evening newscasts. Sinclair's investment in the latest technology and state of the art weather system was partially instrumental in improving its ratings.

WCSH and WLBZ have branded their news operations as NewsCenter since the 1970s, even before consolidating. Additionally, both stations featured Frank Gari's "Good News" music package from 1986 until October 22, 2008, when it was dropped (except during winter weather "Storm Center" coverage, as well as some station promos) in favor of standardized music and graphics seen on other Gannett stations.

After then-WB affiliate WPXT shut down its news department in fall 2002, WCSH and WLBZ entered into a news share agreement with that station, resulting in a nightly prime time newscast. [6] Originally called NewsCenter at 10 on Maine's WB 51, it was seen every night for thirty minutes. On weeknights, news and sports segments originated from WCSH's facilities while WLBZ produced the weather segment from its studios. Weekend broadcasts were aired entirely from Portland. NewsCenter at 10 was formatted in a similar manner to the statewide newscasts, albeit with more of a Portland focus (as WPXT serves Portland but not Bangor). In September 2006, the production became known as NewsCenter at 10 on The CW Portland after WPXT switched to The CW. WLBZ's role in the newscast was eliminated on November 6, 2008 when WCSH moved the prime time broadcast to its "News Center Weather Plus" feed and entirely reoriented the newscast to the Portland market (with WLBZ no longer doing the weather forecast). The "NewsCenter Weather Plus" feed on WLBZ-DT2 and the live video on their websites was replaced with the national NBC Weather Plus service. NewsCenter at 10 was eventually canceled by WCSH after a six year run.

An outdoors and human-interest program called Bill Green's Maine airs Saturday nights at 7 on WCSH and WLBZ. In 2003, the station launched 207 (a local lifestyle/entertainment magazine-type show which airs weeknights at 7. The "207" name comes from Maine's telephone area code. Although the program was initially replayed at 4:30 in the morning Tuesday through Saturdays on WLBZ, the program is no longer seen on that station.

On February 2, 2009, WLVP (870 AM) and WLAM (1470 AM) began simulcasting WCSH's weekday morning and early evening weeknights newscasts. This was done in order to continue availability of the broadcasts on radio even after WCSH's 87.7 MHz audio was discontinued following the shutdown of analog television signals.

In October 2005, WCSH and WLBZ began offering NBC Weather Plus on new second digital subchannels. Known as "News Center Weather Plus", the service could also seen on the websites of both stations through live streaming video and digital cable. In late-December 2008 as a result of Weather Plus closing on a national level, WCSH-DT2 and WLBZ-DT2 shifted to a format featuring a loop of local news headlines and weather forecasts. [7] The service retained the "News Center Weather Plus" branding and digital cable carriage but the online live video was dropped. WLBZ weeknight meteorologist Steve McKay can sometimes be seen on "NewsCenter Weather Plus" providing statewide weather forecasts.

In addition to the main studios in Portland and Bangor, WCSH and WLBZ share two bureaus in the state. This includes the Midcoast Bureau (on Camden Street/US 1) in Rockport and the Lewiston/Auburn Bureau (on Main Street/ME 11/ME 100/US 202, across the street from WGME's bureau).

In early 2011, WCSH began broadcasting local news and public affairs in widescreen enhanced definition.[when?]

Newscast titlesEdit

  • Channel 6 News Journal (1953-?)
  • WCSH Eyewitness News (1973–1977)
  • NewsCenter 6 (1977–2001)
  • NewsCenter (2001–present, featured when simulcasting with WLBZ and combined news operation as a whole)
  • WCSH NewsCenter 6 (2001–present, used weeknights at 5 and 6)

Station slogansEdit

  • "Channel 6, Proud As A Peacock" (1979–1981, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Channel 6, Our Pride is Showing" (1981–1982, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "We're Channel 6, Just Watch Us Now" (1982–1983, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Channel 6 There, Be There" (1983–1984, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Channel 6, Let's All Be There" (1984–1986, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come Home To Channel 6" (1986–1987, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come on Home To Channel 6" (1987–1988, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come Home to The Best, Only on Channel 6" (1988–1990, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "6 Alive, The Place To Be!/6 Alive, Count on Us!" (1990–1992, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Your 24 Hour NewsCenter" (1990–1994)
  • "6 Alive, Count On Us" (early 1990s)
  • "People You Know, News You Can Trust" (mid 2000s-2008)
  • "Maine's Information Center" (2008–2011)
  • "It's All Within Reach" (2011-present)

News teamEdit

+ denotes personnel based at WLBZ

Anchors


  • Amanda Hill - Monday mornings (4:30 to 5) and weekend mornings (also multimedia journalist)
  • Lee Nelson - Monday mornings (5 to 7) and rotating weekdays at noon (also Tuesday through Friday mornings 4:30 to 7)
  • Sharon Rose - Monday mornings (5 to 7) and rotating weekdays at noon (also Tuesday through Friday mornings 4:30 to 7)
  • Cindy Williams - weeknights at 5, 5:30, and 6 (also home and family reporter)
  • Pat Callaghan - weeknights at 5, 6, and 11 (also "In the Arena" segment producer)
  • Rob Caldwell - weeknights at 5:30 and 207 host


NewsCenter/StormCenter Meteorologists


  • Joe Cupo - meteorologist  weeknights
  • Todd Gunter weekday morning meteorologist formally with WBZ TV in Boston (returned October 2014
  • Kevin Mannix - Weather Forecaster weekday at noon
  • A.J. Burnett meteorologist weekend evenings fill in (formerly at NECN)
  • Tom Johnston meteorologist weekend mornings fill in 
  • + Steve McKay (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - seen occasionally on "NewsCenter Weather Plus"


Sports (all seen on 5th Quarter


  • Lee Goldberg - sports director 
  • +Jessica Gagne sports reporter/ weekends sports anchor
  • +Johnny Mehler
+

Reporters


  • Bill Green - Bill Green's Maine host (also "Green Outdoors" and "My Hometown" segments producer)
  • Don Carrigan - Midcoast Bureau and general assignment
  • Peter Panagore - "Daily Devotions" segment producer
  • Caroline Cornish - fill-in news anchor
  • Phil Harriman - political analyst
  • Chris Rose - fill-in news anchor
  • Vivien Leigh


Multimedia journalists


  • + Max Cole - Assignment Editor
  • + Bob Evans - photographer
  • + Dan Frye - photographer

Former staffEdit

  • Bruce Glaser Former sports director deceased 2014
  • Keith Carson meteorologist weekend evenings/fill in (now with The Weather Channel)
  • Kelly Lebreque meteorologist weekend s fill in (also producer Fit a Five segments) now freelance meteorologist
  •  + Melissa Kim sports reporter weekends (based at WLBZ) currently at WIAT Birmingham, Alabama
  • Csaba Sukosd weekend sports
  • =Brian

 Yocono former weekend anchor/Lewiston bureau reporter

  • Fred Nutter, Editorial Director, now retired
  • Scott Sassone, Backpack Journalist, now with Comcast SportsNet New England as photojournalist and video editor
  • Priya Sridhar, Reporter, now Washington Correspondent at Russia Today (RT)
  • Diane Atwood, Medical Reporter (now Manager of Marketing and Public Relations at Mercy Hospital, in Portland, ME)
  • Lew Colby, Weather Forecaster, Promotion Manager, Programming Manger, Station Manager, General Manager, CEO Maine Broadcasting System until 1997 when station was purchased by Gannett.
  • Jackie Couture, reporter, now with WMTW-TV in Portland, ME
  • Kristen Cullen, Reporter, later Communications Director for Jill Derby for Congress
  • John Dougherty, Anchor/Reporter (left to join WBZ-TV in Boston, MA , then WMTW-TV in Portland, ME)
  • Bob Elliot, Feature Reporter from 1988-1996, (later worked at WMTW-TV, Portland; Elliot died suddenly in 1997 from a heart attack)
  • Jan Fox, Anchor/Reporter from 1986-1990, later at WUSA-TV in Washington D.C., now Executive Communication Coach with The Communication Center.
  • Michele Gillen, Anchor/Reporter (later worked at WPLG-TV in Miami, also NBC News, now investigative reporter WFOR-TV in Miami)
  • Roger Griswold, Meteorologist (now at WMTW Portland, Maine)
  • Dick Gosselin, Reporter (later worked at WCVB-TV in Boston, MPTV Public Television in Milwaukee, and WMTW-TV in Portland, ME)
  • Dan Harris, Weekend Anchor/Reporter (later worked at NECN in Boston, now correspondent and anchor of ABC World News Sunday,ABC News, New York, NY)
  • Jennifer Rooks—Weekend Evenings Anchor/Reporter (04/1998-05/20/2007 at WCSH, 2002-05/20/2007 at WPXT); Weekend Mornings & Noon Anchor (1994-03/1998)—now with MPBN, host of MaineWatch [1]
  • Kevin Kelley, Reporter (later reported for NECN in Boston, MA), now Communications Manager for Health Initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C.
  • Kristin Cullen, Reporter
  • J. Donald "Don" MacWilliams, Sports Director/Anchor (retired 1977, now deceased)
  • Cliff Michaelson, Meteorologist (severely injured in an accident, no longer in television.)
  • Jennifer Millette, Reporter (later worked at WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH)
  • Shannon Moss, Anchor/Reporter (joined WMTW on June 18, 2007)
  • Ann Murray Paige, Anchor/Reporter (producer & subject of documentary 'The Breast Cancer Diaries')
  • Richard Rose, Anchor/Reporter (now works at WLNY-DT on Long Island, NY)
  • Scott Sassone - backpack journalist (now at sister station WLBZ)
  • Clif Reynolds, Station Announcer, Morning News Anchor, People, Places and Things reporter, now deceased
  • Robert 'Sid' Whitaker, Reporter (now works at the University of New Hampshire)
  • Jane Skinner, anchor/reporter (now with Fox News Channel in New York City; married to Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL).
  • Chris Facchini, reporter (moved to sister station WLBZ in early-August 2007 to become anchor weeknights at 5 and 6 PM)
  • Todd Gutner - weekdays at Noon and weekend evening meteorologist (now at WBZ-TV in Boston)
  • Bob DeMers, Meteorologist [1993-1998], now lives with his wife and daughter in Charlotte NC, President of Coaching Works
  • Aaron Roberts, Reporter
  • Kria Sakakeeny - Reporter for WLBZ and WCSH (Now reporter and weekend anchor for WMUR Manchester, NH)
  • John Smist - Fill-in on WCSH, weeknights on WLBZ (now Weekend Sports Anchor at WECT TV 6 in Wilmington, NC)
  • Gemma Waite - Reporter/ Fill-in anchor for WLBZ and WCSH (Now VP of Marketing & Public Relations at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, NH)
  • Jason Wheeler, Multimedia Journalist

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Thompson, Frederic L. (2005). The Rines Family Legacy. Charleston, TN: Arcadia Publishing. pp. 128 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.. ISBN 0-7385-3882-5.OCLC 62522312. LCCN 2005-926756.
  2. ^ Maine Historical Society
  3. ^ Eastland Park Hotel Archives
  4. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956.
  5. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-67437865.html
  7. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWpkPmLoBTo

External linksEdit

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