WKMG-TV channel 6 is the CBS network affiliate for Central Florida (the Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Florida market). WKMG is licensed to Orlando and is owned and operated by Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc., a subsidiary of the Washington Post Company. The station refers to itself as "Local6". WKMG's transmitter is located in Bithlo, Florida. WKMG's studios are located on John Young Parkway.
WKMG clears most CBS programs, but pushes back the start of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson by a half-hour. Syndicated programming on the station includes Rachael Ray, Inside Edition, Dr. Phil and Extra.
|Branding||Local 6 (general)
Local 6 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||News You Need|
|Channels||Digital: 26 (UHF)Virtual: 6 (PSIP)|
|Subchannels||6.1 CBS6.2 LATV|
|Affiliations||CBS Television Network|
|Owner||Post-Newsweek Stations, Inc.
(Post-Newsweek Stations, Orlando, Inc.)
|First air date||July 1, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||Katharine Meyer Graham(in honor of the late widow of Phillip L. Graham, former president of the Washington Post Company)|
|Former callsigns||WDBO-TV (1954-1982)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
6 (VHF, 1954-2009) Digital: 58 (UHF)
|Former affiliations||All secondary:NBC (1954-1957)|
|Transmitter power||944 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||28°36′36.4″N 81°3′34.6″W / 28.610111°N 81.059611°W / 28.610111; -81.059611|
The station first took to the air on July 1, 1954; as WDBO-TV, which stood for "Daytona Beach Orlando", But locals would call it "Way Down By Orlando." It is the sixth-oldest station in Florida, and the oldest in Central Florida. It was originally owned by the Orlando Broadcasting Company along with WDBO radio (AM 580 and FM 92.3, now WWKA).
As the only station in the market at its inception, it originally carried programming from all four networks of the time — CBS, NBC, ABC and DuMont. DuMont would shut down most network operations in 1955, but honor network commitments until 1956; at that point, DuMont disappeared from the schedule. It lost NBC when Daytona Beach's WESH expanded its signal to cover all of Central Florida in 1957, and ABC when WLOF-TV (now WFTV) signed on in 1958.
Orlando Broadcasting merged with Cherry Broadcasting in 1957. In 1963, WDBO-AM-FM-TV were sold to The Outlet Company.
In 1982, WDBO AM-FM was sold to Katz Broadcasting, as Outlet decided to begin exiting radio. Outlet was nearly bought out by Columbia Pictures around the same time. In advance of this, channel 6 prematurely changed its call letters to WCPX-TV, which stood for "W Columbia PiX" (shorthand for "Pictures"). While the deal fell through, channel 6 kept the WCPX calls for 16 years.
Outlet pared down its holdings after a buyout in 1986, selling off many stations. At that point, WCPX was sold to First Media, Inc.
In the early 1990s WCPX decided to move the CBS program Picket Fences from Friday evening to 11:35 pm on Saturday so that it could air Star Trek: The Next Generation on Friday evenings. WCPX also pre-empted some CBS sports programs as well. In 1994, WCPX hired a new general manager, Brooke Spectorsky, from WUAB in Cleveland. (Spectorsky is now general manager of WKYC-TV in Cleveland.) Under Spectorsky, WCPX put Picket Fences back at its normal time.
In 1995, WCPX was one of the first CBS affiliates to air Guiding Light at 10 a.m. instead of 3 p.m., which was the normal time to air it. Under this arrangement, the program would air on a one day delay. However, CBS soon discovered that several of its O&O's were doing the same thing. CBS then decided to provide two (eventually three) same day feeds of Guiding Light to its stations (one at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 3 p.m.). WKMG aired Guiding Light at 9 a.m. up until September 18, 2009. It currently airs Let's Make a Deal at 9 a.m.
WKMG-TV logo from 1998In 1997, First Media merged with Meredith Corporation, which already owned Fox affiliate WOFL. At the time, duopolies were not allowed, and Meredith decided to keep WOFL (which has since been sold to Fox). In mid-1997, Meredith swapped WCPX to Post-Newsweek Stations in exchange for Hartford, Connecticut's WFSB (which at the time was Post-Newsweek's flagship). On January 30, 1998, the station changed its callsign to WKMG in honor of longtime Washington Post publisher, Katharine M. Graham. As of recently, WKMG is the last "Big Six" affiliate in Orlando that is not part of any television duopoly (Fox/Newscorp's WOFL/WRBW, Cox's WFTV/WRDQ and Hearst-Argyle's WESH/WKCF).
WKMG's audio signal formerly available on 87.7 FM-radio ceased on June 12, 2009 with the national analog turn-off date.
From the late 1980s until 2001, the station was almost always in last place in the ratings. At the same time, WESH and WFTV battled for first place in the Orlando market, and basically continued to do so into the early 2000s; however, in the past few years, WFTV has become the dominant station (though channel 6 claimed first place at 11 p.m. in the May 2006 ratings period). Management changes had a number of GMs on the treadmill with Mike Schweitzer, Kathleen Keefe, Jeff Sales and Henry Maldonado all taking a turn at the top. News and Sales Departments had similar turnover with at least 5 News Directors taking the chair between 2000 and 2008. Sales Managers included Connie Albino for a short tenure before being replaced by Tom Calato.
Internet Broadcasting Systems provided the Internet site named "myCFnow.com" by Sales; it then switched to "local6.com", and is currently known as "clickorlando.com". Currently, despite the strength of CBS prime-time programming, WKMG has been trading second and third place with WESH in the evening newscast ratings except at 11 p.m., where until recently it waged a spirited battle with WFTV for first. From late 2007 until March 2009, WKMG's 11 p.m. newscast was in second place behind WFTV. Continuing its ratings slide, the May 2009 sweeps found WKMG's newscasts finishing in third place in all time slots, behind WFTV and WESH. In fact, despite being number one in prime time WKMG's late night newscast has failed to hold on to its lead-in audience for the most part. The siphoning off in news audience share appears to have held in the November 2009 sweeps period, when WKMG remained in a distant third place weekday evenings while its morning and late night newscasts improved slightly although still in a distant second place.
The main news anchors at WKMG currently are Erik von Ancken and Lauren Rowe; they anchor the 6 and 11pm newscast. Rowe moved to help co-anchor the morning news with Erick Weber before returning to nights, joining former news anchor Mike Garafalo for the 11 p.m. news. Reporter Laura Diaz now anchors The Morning News with Erick Weber. Before May 1, 2009, former news anchor Jacqueline London anchored the 4, 5, 6, and 11 p.m. newscasts with Garofalo and solo anchored the 5:30 p.m. newscast.
In 2008, WKMG-TV began broadcasting its news in SD 16:9 widescreen format. WKMG is currently the only major station in the Orlando market which has yet to upgrade its newscasts to full high definition. In addition, it is the only station in The Washington Post Company's six-station group which does not claim to be broadcasting high-definition newscasts.
As of Monday, May 1, 2009, the 4, 5 and 5:30 p.m. newscasts were axed, thus shaking up the afternoon/early evening schedule. Extra airs at 4 p.m., Inside Edition still holds the 4:30 half-hour and now has an additional airing at 7:30 p.m. and Dr. Phil moved to 5 p.m. (following the leads of Post-Newsweek sister station WPLG in Miami and cross-state rival WTSP in Tampa). Local 6 News at 6:00 expanded to an hour - creating the market's first and only full hour of news at 6 p.m. (titled "The 6:00 News") and pushed the CBS Evening News to 7 p.m.
In April 2010 News Director Steve Hyvonen called for a "Newsroom Summit," and required his employees to vote for three employees who would be considered "Battery Drainers." Nomination of management was exempted from the vote.
- News Review (1954–1961)
- Channel 6 Newsroom (1961–1960s)
- Channel 6 Reports (1960s–1967)
- NEWSbeat (1967–1974)
- Newswatch 6 (1974–1987)
- WCPX Channel 6 News (1987–1992)
- 6 News (1992–1995)
- Channel 6 News (1995–1998)
- WKMG 6 News (1998–1999)
- NewsCenter 6 (1999–2001)
- WKMG News (2001–2002)
- Local 6 News (2002–2015)
- News 6 (2015-present)
- Solid Six (late 1970s)
- The Heart of Florida (early 1980s)
- Channel 6 Believes in You (early-mid 1980s)
- Channel 6 is On Your Side (1987–1989; image campaign based on Frank Gari's "Turn To News")
- Get Ready for Channel 6 (1989–1991; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
- Where Will We Take You Tonight? (1996)
- Channel 6, Welcome Home (1997–1998; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
- Working Harder for You (1998–2001; used in image campaign by Frank Gari)
- The One To See (2000–2001; local campaign based on the "It's All Here" CBS campaign of 2000-2001)
- The Problem Solvers (2001–2005)
- Your Breaking News Station (2005–2007)
- Never Miss A Moment (2008–2009; general slogan)
- Always Here For You (2008–2009; news slogan)
- News You Need (2009–present; news slogan)
News music packagesEdit
- WDBO News Theme (1977–1982)
- WDBO 1982 News Theme (1982)
- WCPX 1982 News Theme (1982–1984)
- Production Music: Determination by Network Music (1984–1987)
- Turn To News by Gari Communications (1987–1989)
- The Great News Package by Gari Communications (1989–1992)
- Palmer News Package by Shelly Palmer (1992–1995)
- Millennium 3 by Shelly Palmer (1995–1998)
- The One and Only by Gari Communications (1998–2004)
- Production Music: Headliners by FirstCom (2001–2004)
- Production Music: All The News and Production Music: World Vision by FirstCom (both from 2004–2007)
- The CBS Enforcer Music Collection by Gari Communications (2007–present)
-  This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.
Current on-air staffEdit
- Current anchors
- Kala Rama - weekend mornings
- Gaard Swanson- weeknights at 5, 6 and 11p.m.
- Lauren Rowe - weeknights at 5, 6, 7 & 11 p.m.
- Erik von Ancken - weekends at 6, 6:30 & 11 p.m.
- Matt Austin - weekday mornings "The Morning News" (5-7 a.m.) and noon
- Bridgett Williams - weekday mornings "The Morning News" (5-7 a.m.)
- Weather team
- Tom Sorrells (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6, 7 and 11 p.m.
- Troy Bridges (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings "The Morning News" (5-7 a.m.) and noon
- Elizabeth Hart - meteorologist; weekends at 6, 6:30 and 11pm
- Julie Broughton (NWA Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings
- Sports team
- David "Ping" Pingalore - sports director; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Jamie Seh- sports anchor; weekends at 6:00, 6:30 and 11 p.m., also sports reporter
- Mike DeForest - weeknight 6 p.m. reporter
- Jessica D'Onofrio - Sunday-Thursday 11 p.m. reporter
- Cortney Hall - morning reporter
- Nicole Pesecky - weeknight 6 p.m. reporter
- Jessica Sanchez - morning traffic reporter
- JR Stone - morning reporter
- Chris Trenkmann - weeknight 6 p.m. reporter
- Local 6 Problem Solvers
- Steven Cooper - consumer reporter
- Mike Holfeld - investigative reporter
- Tony Pipitone - investigative reporter
Notable former on-air staffEdit
- Mike Garofalo
- Jacqueline London
- Erik Wilson
- Donald Forbes
- Tarik Minor - Now at WJXT-TV
- Scott Rates- Now at WFTV
- Ramin Khalili
- Bob Frier- Now at WOFL-TV
- Todd Jurkowski - Currently Press Secretary for Rep. Alan Grayson (D)-FL
- Marla Weech
- Todd Lewis - Now at Golf Channel
- David Wittman - Now at WOIO-TV
- Grace Rabold
- Lisa Colagrossi - Now at WABC-TV
- Michele Muro
- Glenn Rinker - Deceased (1993)
- Mike Burger - Now at KTXA-TV/KTVT-TV
- Shawn Killinger - Now at QVC, contestant on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart
- Mary Hamill
- Michele Kane- Deputy Director of Communications for California Assembly
- Gerald Reznick
- Scott Harris- Now at CFN News 13
- Mona Scott - Creator of the "Newsblues" blog, with husband Mike James
- Ben Aycrigg
- Charna Davis - Now with UCF-TV
- Shepard Smith - At Fox News Channel since its inception in 1996
- Pat Michaels
- Reynolds Wolf- Now at CNN
- Annetta Wilson
- Leslye Gale - Now at Magic 107.7
- Ryan Baker - Now at WBBM-TV
- Bud Hedinger - Now at AM-540 WFLA
- Mike Storms
- Gordy Herschiser
- Michele Cimino
- Pamela Kister Brady
- Tom Terry - Now at WFTV-TV
- Larry Mowry - Now at KTXA-TV/KTVT-TV
- Trace Gallagher - At Fox News Channel since its inception in 1996
- Linda Hurtado
- Charnel Wright - Founder of Scared Safe NOW, a women's crime safety and awareness organization
- Dan Howard - Deceased (1994)
- Jerry Steffen - Now at KESQ-TV
- Jackie Brockington- Now at CFN 13
- Rod Luck
- Bob Gosselin
- Carole Nelson
- ^ http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_tv_tvblog/2010/04/wkmg-training-session-raises-concern-among-staffers.html