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WGGB-TV is the ABC-affiliated television station for the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts licensed to Springfield. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHFchannel 40 from a transmitter on Mount Tom in Holyoke. The station can also be seen on Charter and Comcast channel 4. There is a high definition feed offered on Charter digital channel 784 and Comcast digital channel 840. Locally-owned by Gormally Broadcasting, it has studios on Liberty Street in Springfield. Syndicated programming on WGGB includes The Insider, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Doctors, and Family Feud among others.

WGGB-TV
175px-Wggb new 2007

150px-WGGB Fox 6 Springfield logo

Springfield/Holyoke, Massachusetts
Branding ABC 40

Fox 6 (on DT2)

Slogan People You Know,

News You Can Trust

Channels Digital: 40 (UHF)
Subchannels 40.1 ABC

40.2Fox(primary) MyNetworkTV(secondary)

Owner Gormally Broadcasting, LLC

(Gormally Broadcasting Licenses, LLC)

First air date April 9, 1953
Call letters' meaning Guy GannettBroadcasting

(former owner)

Former callsigns WHYN-TV (1953-1979)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

55 (1953-1959) 40 (1959-2008)

Former affiliations CBS (1953-1958)

DuMont (secondary, 1953-1956) Home Shopping Network(overnights) The Tube (on DT2)

Transmitter power 460 kW
Height 324 m
Facility ID 25682
Transmitter coordinates 42°14′30″N72°38′53.6″W
Website wggb.com

Digital programmingEdit

On WGGB-DT2, Comcast channel 6, and Charter channel 10 is the area's primary Fox and secondary MyNetworkTV affiliate. Although it broadcasts over-the-air in standard definition, there is a high definition feed of WGGB-DT2 seen on Charter digital channel 786 and Comcast digital channel 861. Syndicated programming on this station includes How I Met Your Mother, Family Guy, The Simpsons, and America's Funniest Home Videos along with others.

Channel Video Aspect Programming
40.1 720p 16:9 main WGGB programming/ABC (HD)
40.2 480i 4:3 WGGB-DT2 "Fox 6" (SD)

HistoryEdit

It was the second television station in the market when it commenced broadcasting as WHYN-TV on April 9, 1953. The station's launch was only a month behind rival NBC affiliate WWLP. It was co-owned with WHYN radio (AM 560 and FM 93.1) and was a primary CBS station with secondary DuMont relation. During the late-1950s, it was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. [1] The station became an ABC affiliate in 1958 after DuMont folded in 1956 and WTIC-TV (now WFSB) in Hartford, Connecticut, previously an Independent, moved to CBS and became the network's affiliate of record in Springfield.

Originally airing an analog signal on UHF channel 55, WHYN moved to channel 40 in 1959. Guy Gannett Broadcasting bought the station in 1979 and changed the calls to WGGB-TV effective at the start of the following year. In 1994, its cameras rolled as Temple University head basketball coach John Chaney confronted University of Massachusetts head coach John Calipariat a press conference. At one point, Chaney threatened Calipari with death. The footage (watermarked with the station's logo and call letters) was picked up by ESPN and has since been shown thousands of times. In 2006, Fox Sports Net's The Best Damn Sports Show Period ranked the incident the fifth-biggest outburst in sports history.

The Sinclair Broadcast Group purchased most of Guy Gannett's television stations, including WGGB, in 1998. The station has wanted to move back to CBS on several occasions but was blocked each time by WFSB. CBS did not return over-the-air on a Springfield-based station until 2003 when WFSB started low-powered semi-satellite WSHM-LP (now WSHM-LD). On October 15, 2004, WGGB upgraded its over-the-air digital signal to offer ABC programming in high definition. On May 5, 2007, the station redesigned its website and added local news video.

In late-July 2007, Sinclair announced the sale of WGGB to Gormally Broadcasting, LLC for $21.2 million. The sale closed on November 2 resulting in this station becoming the only one in the market to be locally owned-and-operated. On December 1, 2008, it shut down its analog signal and became digital-exclusive. This appears to have occurred as early as November 29 due to transmitter failure. [2] [3] On June 12, 2009, the digital signal relocated to the previous analog channel location. [4] Channel 55's spectrum was reassigned for use by Qualcomm's MediaFLO system. In addition to WGGB, Charter systems offer fellow ABC affiliate WCVB-TV from Boston on channel 23. Comcast does not offer such access.

WGGB-DT2Edit

The station's second digital subchannel first became active under Sinclair ownership. The broadcast group signed a deal which added The Tube (a 24-hour digital music channel) to many of the company's stations including WGGB. As a result of lacking any advertising and incoming revenue source, The Tube shut down operations at the end of 2006. Meanwhile, the area did not have a Fox affiliate of its own was the largest market to be in that situation. WTIC-TV in Hartford (no relation to the earlier Independent outlet with the same calls) served as the default affiliate on cable. At one point, new Class A station WFXQ-CA had been rumored as attempting to affiliate with the network. That station is owned by LIN TV Corporation as part of a duopoly with WWLP.

On March 31, 2008, WGGB announced it would be launching the area's first locally-based Fox affiliate on its second digital subchannel. Almost immediately, WTIC had its cable channel location on Comcast systems taken by WGGB-DT2, and as a result, was moved to the digital tier on channel 292. Charter eventually followed suit as well placing WTIC on digital channel 261. When WGGB-DT2 signed-on for the second time, it also added MyNetworkTV as a secondary relation. Currently, programming from theFox sister network is seen on weeknights from 11:30 until 1:30 the next morning. There is no local branding and/or logo indicating the secondary MyNetworkTV affiliation status.

News operationEdit

Wggb open 2008

Nightly news open at 6.

WWLP has traditionally been the most watched station in the Pioneer Valley according to Nielsen ratings. However, there have been brief times when WGGB was on top and extended periods in which the two were were basically neck-and-neck with WWLP having a slight edge. Originally, its newscasts were known as NewsWatch 40. The station cut back financially under Sinclair ownership, and during that period, rumors of cancelling ABC 40 News or converting to the now-defunct, controversial News Central format sometimes spread.

News Central was Sincliar's centralized operation based at its headquarters on Beaver Dam Road in Hunt Valley, Maryland that added national news headlines, weather forecasts, ans sports highlights to most company-owned stations with local news operations. WGGB was among the few Sinclair outlets that did not adopt the format. The station did air Sinclair's "The Point", a one-minute conservative political commentary, also controversial and a requirement of all company stations with newscasts until the series was discontinued in December 2006.

In October 2005, WSHM entered in to the local newscast competition after establishing a news department with weeknight broadcasts at 6 and 11. Initially, that station did not compete on the same level as WGGB and WWLP. However, its ratings grew substantially across the board during the May 2009 sweeps period to within decimal points of WGGB in several key demographics. In Fall 2006, WGGB rehired Ed Carroll to be Chief Meteorologist who had previously been at the station from 1989 until 1993 before moving to WBZ-TV in Boston. Until April 2007, it did not carry World News Now from ABC News in the early weekday morning hours choosing instead to air programming from theHome Shopping Network (HSN).

After becoming locally owned-and-operated, WGGB's news department underwent significant changes. Several prominent on-air personnel resigned or were laid-off. The station debuted a brand new set, graphics theme, and music package on April 24, 2008. In order to increase its presence in Springfield, WSHM launched the area's first prime time broadcast on August 18. The program aired in a commercial-free, face-paced format every night at 10 for twenty minutes on its cable-only 24-hour local weather channel and website. It was eventually dropped for an unknown reason. On September 8, WGGB-DT2 followed suit with the addition of Fox 6 News at 10 featuring a separate graphics package and music theme. Eventually, this thirty minute production was expanded to weekends.

On April 6, 2009, WGGB's weekday morning show became a full two-hour broadcast like most other ABC affiliates. WGGB-DT2 simulcasts this program then replays it at 7 in the morning. The main station then added a half-hour to the newscast becoming Pioneer Valley's first station offering a weekday morning broadcast beginning at 4:30. WGGB-DT2 does not simulcast the first half-hour. It shares resources with WCVB, NECN, and WFXT for news from Eastern Massachusetts. In return, WGGB does the same for western areas of the state. It does not operate a weather radar of its own but uses live NOAA National Weather Service radar data originating from the Local Forecast Office on Miles Standish Boulevard in Taunton. Although an exact on-air date is unknown, the station has begun preparations to have high definition newscasts. [5] All newscasts are streamed live online.

Newscast titlesEdit

  • Dateline News/Nitecap Edition (19??-19??)
  • TV-40 News (19??-19??)
  • NewsWatch 40 (1980s-1990s)
  • News 40 (1990s–2006)
  • ABC 40 News (2006–2015)
  • Western Mass News (2015-present)

Station slogansEdit

  • "News People in Touch with People"
  • "The Spirit of the Bay State"
  • "We're With You on Channel 40" (1984-1985; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • "If It's 40, It Must Be ABC" (1992-1993; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • "Your 24 Hour News Source"
  • "Your Home for Live, Local News" (1994–2001)
  • "Coverage You Can Count On" (2001–2008 & April 21, 2015-present)
  • "People You Know, News You Can Trust" (2008–2013)

News teamEdit

Anchors

  • Jeff Valin - weekday mornings and reporter
  • Julia Dunn - weekday mornings and noon (also medical reporter)
  • Shannon Hegy - weeknights at 5, 6, 10, and 11
  • Dave Madsen - Managing Editor seen weeknights at 5:30, 6, 10, and 11 (also "Making A Difference" segment producer)
  • Tricia Taskey - weekends and reporter (also "Crime Files" segment producer)
  • Maggie Pereiras - simply living host and Account Executive
  • John DiPietro - simply living host
  • Mike Leslie - Tuesday through Sunday night sports at 10 and 11 (also sports reporter)
    • Friday Football Fever and Above the Rim host


StormTrack 40 Meteorologists

  • Ed Carroll - Chief seen weeknights at 5, 6, and 11 (also "Out and About" segment producer)
  • Mike Masco (NWA Seal of Approval) - weekday mornings and noon
  • Dan Brown - weeknights at 5:30 and 10 (also news reporter and "Student of Character" segment producer)
    • heard on WARE-AM 1250
  • Rick Sluben - weekends


Reporters

  • Scott Coen - "My Wide World" segment producer also Friday Football Fever and Above the Rim host
  • Mike LaCrosse - weekends and producer (also "Bully Busters" segment producer)
  • Ray Hershel - Chief Political and fill-in news anchor
  • Gordon Shear - weekday morning traffic
  • Bob Hastings - Chief Photographer
  • Brendon Monahan
  • Nathan O'Leary
  • Jenna Hagist


Contributors



Former on-air staffEdit

Anchors

  • Elizabeth Corridan - weekday mornings and noon
    • producer and reporter
    • went to CNN
  • Kathy Tobin - weeknights at 5:30, 6, and 11
    • left station for job outside of industry
  • Faye Hoffman - weekday mornings and noon
    • education reporter
    • moved to Cayman Islands
  • Jenn Lesmerises - weekday mornings and noon
  • Colleen Manning - weekday mornings and noon
    • weekday sports reporter
  • Lori Shamroth - weekday mornings and 5 p.m.
    • reporter
  • Beth Ward - weeknights at 5 and health reporter
  • Beth Carroll - weeknights at 5:30, 6, and 11
  • Lisa Daniels - weeknights at 6 and 11
    • weeknight 5, 5:30, and 6 o'clock reporter
    • now reporter for NBC News
  • Leigh Frillici - Sunday through Friday nights and reporter
  • Michele Labbee - weekends and reporter
  • Michelle Brown - weekends
  • Eileen Curran - now reporter at WBZ-TV
  • Cora-Ann Mihalik - now anchor at WWOR-TV
  • Lynda Martin - now weekday morning anchor at XETV
  • Joan Goodman - retired
  • Sabrina Rodriguez - weekends and reporter
    • now at KBAK in Bakersfield, CA
  • Dave Scott (Lorenzatti) - retired
  • John Deegan - deceased
  • Sid Starks - now at WTNH
  • Pete Dragon
  • Steve Danehy - weekend anchor and reporter


Meteorologists

  • Tom Bevacqua - former Cheif - Retired
  • Paul Sutton - weekdays at noon and weekends
    • weather reporter
    • deceased
  • Eric Fisher - weekday mornings and noon meteorologist
    • environmental reporter and weekend fill-in at WFXT
    • now at The Weather Channel
    • Jason Russell -retired
  • Frank Knight - retired
  • Roger Laplante - retired
  • Jerry Loughman - retired
  • Rich Hoffman - now at News 12 Long Island


Sports

  • Mike Ratté - Director
    • now weekend sports anchor at WVIT
  • Neille Giffune - weekend anchor and reporter
    • now anchor and reporter at WFMZ
  • Duke Castiglione - reporter
    • now sports anchor at WNYW
  • Dave Guthro - weekend anchor and weeknight reporter
    • now morning news anchor/reporter at WMTW
  • Dave Mitchell - reporter
  • Dominick Aielli - producer
  • Leah Secondo - weekend anchor and reporter
  • Jack O'Neill - deceased
  • Don Earle - deceased
  • Hub Burton - Associate Vice President for Alumni and College Relations at Marietta College
  • Jay Kidwell - weekend anchor and reporter
    • now weeknight sports anchor at WHBF-TV
  • Kristin Mastroianni - weekend anchor and weeknight reporter
  • Milt Fitzwater


Reporters

  • Jim Hummel - Wednesday nights
  • Tom Parnell - weekday morning reporter
  • Jim Polito - investigative
    • now morning show host at WTAG-AM
  • Andrea Stassou - fill-in anchor
  • Priscilla Ress - consumer
  • Jim Vinick - financial
  • Jerry Gretzinger - fill-in anchor
  • Al Gag - features and "Let's Go Fishing" segment producer
  • Alison Maloni - producer
  • Delia Goncalves - health
  • Sylvia Gomes - health
  • Kori Chambers - weekends at 6 - now at WFLD
  • Jade McCarthy - weeknights - now at NESN
  • Durham Caldwell - News Director
  • Stan Gayda - retired
  • Bruce Frosch - retired
  • Norm Goyer - retired
  • Gary Garrison - retired
  • Steven Cooper -
  • Shayna Seymour - now at WCVB-TV
  • Nathan O'Leary - producer and "Student of Character" segment producer
  • Carolee Salerno (McGrath)
  • Pete Dragon
  • Crystal Haynes
  • Kathryn Shepardson
  • Janette Mandell
  • Marcus McIntosh
  • Astrid Roy
  • Lacey Girard
  • Liz Gray
  • Samia Khan
  • Alex Boyer
  • Susan Goodman
  • David Ham
  • Audrey Sommers

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956
  2. ^ See http://www.radio-info.com/smf/index.php/topic,114971.0.html 3rd message.
  3. ^ "DTV TRANSITION STATUS REPORT". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
  4. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
  5. ^ http://broadcastengineering.com/automation/abc-fox-affiliate-wggb-tv-selects-crystal-vision-hd-upgrade-20100609/

External linksEdit

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