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WLBZ is the NBC-affiliated television station for Central and Eastern Maine licensed to Bangor. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 2 from a transmitter on Rider Bluff inHolden. The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 3 and in high definition on digital channel 702. Owned by Gannett, the station has studios on Mount Hope Avenue in Bangor.

WLBZ (semi-satellite of WCSH Portland, Maine)
WLBZ2

175px-News center maine

Bangor, Maine
Branding WLBZ 2 (general)

NewsCenter

Slogan Maine's Information Center
Channels Digital: 2 (VHF)
Subchannels 2.1 NBC

2.2 local news and weather

Translators 4 WGCI-LD Skowhegan
Owner Gannett Company

(Pacific and Southern Company, Inc.)

First air date September 12, 1954
Call letters' meaning taken from former sister station WLBZ-AM
Sister station(s) WCSH
Former callsigns WTWO (1954-1958)

WLBZ-TV (1981-1997)

Former channel number(s) 2 (VHF analog, 1954-2009)

25 (UHF digital) 57 W57AQ Calais

Former affiliations Independent (1954-1958)

ABC (secondary, 1958-1965) NBC Weather Plus (on DT2, 2005-2008)

Transmitter power 3 kW
Height 192 m
Facility ID 39644
Transmitter coordinates 44°44′10″N68°40′15″W
Website wlbz2.com

OverviewEdit

Although identifying as a separate station in its own right, WLBZ is considered a semi-satelliteof sister station WCSH in Portland. While that station airs all network programming provided through WCSH, it clears most of that station's 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 Dr. Phil. WLBZ also airs separate station identifications and commercials. Although WLBZ and WCSH 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.

On Time Warner Cable and Dish Network, WLBZ serves as the default NBC affiliate for thePresque Isle market because the area does not have an affiliate of its own. In addition to its main signal, WLBZ operates low-powered digital repeater WGCI-LD on VHF channel 4. Licensed toSkowhegan, this has a transmitter Norridgewock's Larone section. The main signal transmits WGCI which is the main feed for Time Warner Cable systems in Skowhegan, Millinocket, andLincoln. Unlike the main signal, it does not air NBC programming in high definition.

Digital programmingEdit

On WLBZ-DT2 and Time Warner Cable digital channel 166 is a 24-hour local news and weather channel.

Channel Video Aspect Programming
2.1 1080i 16:9 main WLBZ programming/NBC (HD)
2.2 480i 4:3 WLBZ-DT2 "NewsCenter Weather Plus" (SD)

HistoryEdit

Mitey2-mt

Logo as WTWO featuring its "Mitey Two" mascot.

The station began broadcasting as an Independent on September 12, 1954 with the calls WTWO (sometimes rendered as "W-TWO") and locally-owned by Murray Carpenter. In 1958, WTWO was sold to the Rines family's Maine Broadcasting System, owner of WLBZ-AM 620 and WCSH-AM-TV in Portland. [1] The new ownership changed the station's call letters to WLBZ to match its new radio sister. Also that year, the station took on a primary NBC and secondary ABC affiliation. Before this, Maine's first television station WABI-TV held primary NBC status with secondary CBS and ABC relations. With the addition of NBC to WLBZ, WABI became primary CBS and secondary ABC. The network arrangement remained in place until 1965 when WEMT-TV (now WVII-TV) signed-on as a full-time station with ABC.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, WLBZ was best known as the home of Eddie Driscoll. He hosted many programs on the station including:Weird, Dialing for Dollars, The Great Money Movie, and My Backyard. Driscoll was also known for his improvisation skills and sense of humor. He died on September 24, 2006 after suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Also in the 1970s the station added a repeater in Calais, W57AQ on channel 57, with a transmitter in Meddybemps shared with W61AO (which repeated WABI). W57AQ allowed cable systems inAtlantic Canada to distribute WLBZ by a microwave link from the border doubling or even tripling the station's coverage area and viewership. Most Canadian cable systems dropped WLBZ after 1996 once American television signals became available to them by satellite with the second to last one doing so in 2004. Although a "flash-cut" to digital on VHF channel 8 was considered, it was instead decided to return the W57AQ license to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which deleted it on April 29, 2010. [2]

In 1981, WLBZ-AM was sold-off and is now WZON. The television station added the -TV suffix that year as well but was dropped in 1997. In 1998, the Maine Broadcasting System (by this time controlled by the Rines-Thompson family) sold WLBZ and WCSH to current owner Gannett. At this point, this station for all intents and purposes began serving as a semi-satellite of WCSH. However as early as 1989, WLBZ had been reducing its personnel and consolidating some internal operations with WCSH. In 2002, its digital signal on UHF channel 25 signed-on bringing high definition programming from the network to Eastern and Central Maine. On June 12, 2009, the station terminated its analog operations on channel 2. However, the station kept its digital operations on channel 25 until September 10 when it moved back to the station's analog allotment on VHF channel 2.

News operationEdit

Maine news center

News open when simulcasting WCSH.

Originally, WLBZ operated its own news department and produced local newscasts from its Bangor studios. The station was a very distant second in Nielsen ratings behind dominant WABI. In 1989, when this station began consolidation with WCSH, it began simulcasting some of that station's news shows prepared with a statewide view. This has progressed to the current arrangement where WLBZ only airs separate shows covering Bangor weeknights at 5 and 6 (locally produced at its facilities) while WCSH offers more Portland-focused coverage. Otherwise, all other broadcasts originate from that station. As mentioned, these statewide programs tend to take on a regional feel with coverage from Portland, Bangor, or wherever news occurs around the state.

Weeknights at 5:30 and 11, WLBZ airs separate weather forecast segments with meteorologist Steve McKay who is based in Bangor. WLBZ and WCSH currently use the popular NewsCenter branding in their news operation dating back to the 1970s before the aforementioned merge. 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) in favor of standardized music and graphics seen on other Gannett stations.

After then-WB affiliate WPXT in Portland shut down its news department in Fall 2002, WLBZ and WCSH entered into a news share agreement with that station resulting in a nightly prime time newscast. [3] 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 aired entirely from Portland. NewsCenter at 10 was formatted in a similar manner to the statewide shows simulcasted on WLBZ and WCSH except for having a slight Portland focus since WPXT was that market's WB affiliate.

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 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, WCSH launched207 (a local lifestyle/entertainment magazine-type show which airs weeknights at 7 only on that station. The "207" name comes from Maine'stelephone 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 this station. 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.

In October 2005, WLBZ and WCSH 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, WLBZ-DT2 and WCSH-DT2 shifted to a format featuring a loop of local news headlines and weather forecasts. [4] The service retained the "News Center Weather Plus" branding and digital cable carriage but the online live video was dropped. Like the main signal, WGCI offers "NewsCenter Weather Plus" on its second digital subchannel. In addition to the main studios in Bangor and Portland, WLBZ and WCSH share two bureaus in the state. This includes the Midcoast Bureau (on Camden Street/US 1) inRockport and the Lewiston/Auburn Bureau (on Main Street/ME 11/ME 100/US 202) in Lewiston. WCSH's weeknight meteorologist Joe Cupo can sometimes be seen on "NewsCenter Weather Plus" providing statewide weather forecasts.

Newscast titlesEdit

  • Channel 2 News Digest (1960s-1970s)
  • TV-2 News
  • NewsCenter 2 (1970s–2001)
  • NewsCenter (1990s–present, featured during simulcasts with WCSH and overall name for news operation)
  • WLBZ NewsCenter 2 (2001-present, used weeknights at 5 and 6)

Station slogansEdit

  • "Come Home To The Best, Only On WLBZ 2" (1988-1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Count On Us!" (1990-1997)
  • "Live. Local. Latebreaking." (early 2000s)
  • "People You Know, News You Can Trust" (mid 2000s-2008)
  • "Maine's Information Center" (2008-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)
  • + Chris Facchini - weeknights at 5 and 6
  • Rob Caldwell - weeknights at 5:30
  • Cindy Williams - weeknights at 5:30 also home and family reporter
  • Pat Callaghan - weeknights at 11
  • Kathleen Shannon - weeknights at 11
  • Brian Yocono - weekend evenings and Lewiston/Auburn Bureau reporter


NewsCenter/StormCenter Meteorologists

  • + Steve Mckay (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - weeknights
  • Kevin Mannix - weekday mornings and noon
  • Kelly LaBrecque - weekend mornings and fill-in
  • Keith Carson - weekend evenings and fill-in
  • Joe Cupo - seen occasionally on "NewsCenter Weather Plus"


Sports (all seen on 5th Quarter)

  • Bruce Glasier - Director seen weeknights at 6 and 11
  • Lee Goldberg - weekend evenings and sports reporter
  • + Melissa Kim - sports multimedia journalist


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
  • Ethan Strimling - political analyst
  • Phil Harriman - political analyst
  • Chris Rose - fill-in news anchor
  • Vivien Leigh


Multimedia journalists

  • + Sarah Delage - backpack journalist
  • + Max Cole - Assignment Editor
  • + Bob Evans - photographer
  • + Dan Frye - photographer
  • + Max Cole - photographer
  • + Mike DeSumma
  • + Audry Amann
  • + Jackie Ward
  • + John Zierow
  • Tim Goff



Former staffEdit

  • Fred Nutter - Editorial Director
  • Kara Matuszewski - Anchor, moved to MA to be closer to her husband Scott Sassone
  • John Smist, Sports Anchor, now at WECT, Wilmington, NC
  • Scott Sassone, Reporter, now at ComcastSports Boston
  • Priya Sridhar, Reporter, now a correspondent[1] in Russia Today's Washington, DC bureau
  • Kristin Cullen, Reporter
  • Aaron Roberts, Reporter
  • Eddie Driscoll - host (deceased in September 2006)
  • Jackie Couture - reporter (now with WMTW-TV in Portland, ME)
  • Eloise Daniels - anchor (now a licensed N.C. Realtor with LKN Realty Group; married to former WVII meteorologist, Matt Morano, morning meteorologst at Charlotte News 14)
  • Pete Churney - weather anchor
  • Jill McDonald - medical reporter (now works at Eastern Maine Healthcare in Brewer)
  • Tim Gaier - reporter
  • Donna Gormley - weeknight 5 and 6 PM co-anchor (wife of Maine State Representative Chris Greeley)
  • Mark Finneran - reporter (now out of business)
  • Jan Smith - anchor and reporter (now Assistant News Director at WTOC-TV in Savannah, Georgia)
  • Dale Duff - sports director (now program director and morning host at WZON-AM)
  • Jeff Solari - sports reporter and promotions director (now at Bangor law firm.) *Jennifer McNeil - anchor (now out of business, married to Pete Bouchard, Chief Meteorologist at WHDH-TV in Boston)
  • Rory (Rhori) Johnston - anchor (now at WTVF-TV in Nashville, Tennessee)
  • Dave Ahlers - producer, anchor, and reporter (now the voice of hockey's Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights in Nebraska)
  • Christina Hager - reporter (now at WBZ-TV in Boston, daughter of retired NBC News Correspondent Robert Hager)
  • Deborah Feldman - reporter (now at KING-TV in Seattle, Washington)
  • Kevin Kelley - producer and reporter (became reporter at NECN) in Boston, now Communications Director for Senator Susan Collins inWashington, DC
  • Sharon Rose - anchor (now at WLBZ sister station WCSH in Portland)
  • Kimberly Brown - anchor (recently left WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
  • Dan Harris - anchor and reporter (now at ABC News)
  • Julia Bovey - reporter (now at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC)
  • Jennifer Knight - reporter
  • Catherine Pegram- reporter, now anchor at WABI TV in Bangor
  • Ken Barlow - meteorologist (now chief meteorologist at WBZ-TV in Boston)
  • Jeanne Meserve - anchor and reporter (now at CNN)
  • Mollie Halpern- producer, later anchor at WPXT Fox 51 in Portland, now living in Washington, D.C.
  • Matt Fine - sports director and reporter (now teaches at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
  • Vince Bevacqua - anchor and reporter (now Vice President of Media and Public Relations at The Prodigal Media Company in Poland, Ohio)
  • Dave Finger - feature reporter
  • Mike Beaudet - reporter (now investigative reporter at WFXT-TV Boston)
  • Neil Orne - weather anchor (now at WKRN-TV in Nashville, Tennessee)
  • Rob Caldwell - anchor and reporter (now at WCSH)
  • Pat Callaghan - anchor and reporter (now at WCSH)
  • Brian Yocono - reporter (now at WCSH)
  • Roger Griswold - Meteorologist (now at WMTW Portland, Maine)
  • Matt Friedman - weeknight 5 and 6 PM anchor, now at APTV in Washington, DC
  • Todd Gutner - weekdays at Noon and weekend evenings (now at WBZ-TV in Boston)
  • Ric Tyler - former anchor and reporter (now talk show host WVOM, afternoon drive WKSQ, private businessman)
  • Wayne Harvey - sports director and reporter (now Morning Anchor/Reporter at WABI TV5, Bangor also Harness Racing Track Announcer at Bangor Raceway)
  • Kria Sakakeeny - reporter, now with WMUR-TV
  • Gemma Waite - reporter/ fill-in anchor (now VP of Marketing & Public Relations, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, NH)
  • Miranda Grossman - reporter
  • Lori Shamroth - reporter
  • Ben French - reporter
  • Lex Becker - reporter
  • Matt McFarland - reporter
  • Shannon Van Sant - reporter
  • Sarah Darcy - reporter
  • Cherilee Budrick - reporter
  • Melissa Sanford - reporter
  • Sid Whitaker - reporter
  • Julene Brit - reporter
  • Kris Neilsen - reporter
  • Susan Kimball - reporter

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. ^ Hashemzadeh, Hossein (April 29, 2010). "In re: LPTV/TV Translator Station Of...". CDBS Public Access. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved June 19, 2010.
  3. ^ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-67437865.html
  4. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWpkPmLoBTo

External linksEdit

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