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WOOD-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for Southwestern Michigan licensed to Grand Rapids. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 7 from a transmitter inMiddleville near the Barry and Allegan County line. The station can also be seen on Comcast and Charter channel 8 with high definition on Comcast digital channel 232 and Charter digital channel 788. Owned by the LIN TV Corporation, WOOD-TV is sister to ABC affiliate WOTV and Class A MyNetworkTV affiliate WXSP-CD. All three share studios on College Avenue Southeast in the Heritage Hill section of Grand Rapids.

WOOD-TV
200px-WOOD125px-WXSP-CA Logo
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Branding WOOD-TV 8 (general)

24 Hour News 8 WXSP The X (on DT2)

Slogan West Michigan's

News Leader

Channels Digital: 7 (VHF)
Subchannels 8.1 NBC8.2MyNetworkTV8.3 weather radar
Translators 46 (UHF) MuskegonWOGC-CA 25 Holland
Owner LIN TV Corporation

(WOOD License Company, LLC)

First air date August 15, 1949
Call letters' meaning WOOD refers to furniture industry
Sister station(s) WOTV, WXSP-CD
Former callsigns WLAV-TV (1949-1951)

WOOD-TV (1951-1972) WOTV (1972-1992)

Former channel number(s) Analog:

7 (VHF, 1949-1953) 8 (VHF, 1953-2009)

Former affiliations CBS (1949-1960)ABC (1949-1962)DuMont (1949-1955)

all secondary

Transmitter power 30 kW
Height 288 m
Facility ID 36838
Transmitter coordinates 42°41′14″N85°30′34″W
Website woodtv.com/

Syndicated programming on this channel includes: Inside Edition, Access Hollywood, Ellen, andThe Doctors. In addition to its main signal, WOOD-TV operates Class A analog translator WOGC-CA on UHF channel 25 licensed to Holland with a transmitter in Zeeland along I-196 on the tower of WJQK-FM. There is also a digital repeater on channel 46 licensed to Muskegon with a transmitter in the Wolf Lake section of Egelston Township.

Digital programmingEdit

On WOOD-DT2 is a standard definition simulcast of sister station WXSP. On WOOD-DT3 is a 24-hour live feed of its regional weather radar. This is simulcasted early Saturday and Sunday mornings on WOTV as well as overnight on WXSP.

Virtual

channel

Video Aspect Programming
8.1 1080i 16:9 main WOOD-TV programming/NBC HD
8.2 480i 4:3 WXSP-CD (MyNetworkTV)
8.3 480p 4:3 WOOD-DT3 "Storm Team 8 Live Doppler Network"

HistoryEdit

The station signed-on August 15, 1949. It had the call sign WLAV-TV and aired an analog signal on VHF channel 7. It was the fourth television station in Michigan and the first outside of Detroit. The original owner was Leonard Adrian Verslius who had signed-on Grand Rapids' second radio station WLAV-AM 1340 in 1940. In 1951, Verslius sold the television station to Grandwood Broadcasting (a subsidiary of the Bitner Group) for $1.37 million.

That company was owner of Grand Rapids' first radio station, WOOD-AM 1300. Grandwood had applied for a television license back in 1948 but it came just after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) imposed a freeze on new television construction permits. In fact, WLAV had been one of the last construction permits issued before the freeze. Grandwood eventually grew tired of waiting and cut a deal with Verslius to buy the station.

On October 19, WLAV changed its calls to WOOD-TV to match its radio sister and began airing from a new transmitter in Northeastern Grand Rapids. On December 8, 1953, the station moved from channel 7 to VHF channel 8 and increased its power from 28,000 to 100,000 watts. The channel change was promoted as "Mark the date: We move to Channel Eight on December Eight". The move was to alleviate interference with WBKB-TV (now WLS-TV) in Chicago. In 1955, it moved to the current facilities in the Heritage Hill area of Grand Rapids. Its studios replaced the Bissell mansion (of Bissell vacuumfame) and are across the street from the Voigt House Victorian Museum. Time-Life, Inc. bought WOOD-AM-TV in 1957.

This channel has been an NBC affiliate from the very beginning although it had a secondary CBS affiliation until WKZO-TV (now WWMT) inKalamazoo expanded its signal to cover Grand Rapids. It also had secondary affiliations with ABC and DuMont. The ABC affiliation lasted until 1962 when WZZM-TV signed-on. The DuMont affiliation ended in 1956 when that network ceased operations. Its call letters becameWOTV in 1972 when WOOD-AM was sold. Time-Life also sold most of its television stations to McGraw-Hill that year but held on to WOTV until 1983 when it was sold to LIN Broadcasting. In 1992, the station reclaimed its old call letters with WOOD-AM's permission. The station then donated the WOTV calls to WUHQ, the ABC affiliate for the southern portion of the Southwestern Michigan market with whom it had alocal marketing agreement (LMA) with.

In 1994, LIN Broadcasting spun-off its television division into a separate company known as LIN TV but WOOD-TV was not included. Instead, the station became wholly owned by AT&T (which also owned 45 percent of LIN TV at the time) when that company absorbed the remainder of LIN Broadcasting in 1995. During AT&T ownership, LIN TV continued to manage both WOOD-TV and WOTV. LIN TV reacquired WOOD-TV and its LMA with WOTV in 1999 when AT&T sold-off its stake in the company to Hicks, Muse, Furst, and Tate (now HM Capital). On August 14, WOOD-TV became the first station in the area to air a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 7. LIN TV eventually purchased WOTV outright in 2001. On June 12, 2009 at 10 in the morning, its digital signal remained on channel 7 when the analog to digital conversion was completed.

News operationEdit

West michigan open

News open.

Originally, WWMT was Southwestern Michigan's top rated television station. In the late-1970s, WZZM took over the lead but was dethroned by WOOD-TV in the mid-1980s. For the most part, this station has maintained the number one spot since then. For a time in the mid-1990s even though most of its fellow CBS affiliates were in third place or worse, WWMT was very competitive with WZZM and WOOD-TV often resulting in close Nielsen ratings during sweeps periods.

Since its city of license is Kalamazoo, WWMT has traditionally focused in the southern areas of the market much like WOTV did while it operated a news department. Besides being a stronghold in the ratings, WOOD-TV has also been the leader in operating a news department. The station was the first to use electronic news gathering equipment in 1975. Five years later, it aired live news from outside its studios. In 1983, it introduced the area's first television helicopter to assist in coverage.

200px-WOOD TV 1990s

NEWS 8 former logo from 1992-1999

WOOD-TV's weekday morning show premiered in 1984 and aired for a half-hour at 6:30. This was expanded to a two-hour format in 1995 along with the weekday noon and weekend 6 p.m. show adding a half-hour. As a result, NBC Nightly News is preempted on weekends. As a result of being unable to compete in the southern areas of the market, WOTV's original news department was shut down in 1990. WOOD-TV then began simulcasting some of its newscasts on that channel as well as airing specially produced newscasts covering Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. Essentially, WOTV was functioning as a news bureau for WOOD-TV.

In 1992, WOTV brought back a full news department for a second time. However, like the previous attempt, the channel could not gain enough viewers or make a dent in the ratings. LIN TV finally decided to shut down WOTV's news operation for good in August 2003. Since then, the station has simulcasted some of WOOD-TV's newscasts but this time without any separate opens or segments. There are weeknight prime time weather updates featuring Chief Meteorologist Bill Steffen.

Currently, only the second hour of WOOD-TV's weekday morning show and nightly newscast at 6 (first half-hour only) is simulcasted on WOTV. On October 21, 2007, WOOD-TV began offering a nightly prime time broadcast at 10 on WXSP joining productions on Fox affiliateWXMI and CW affiliate WWMT-DT2. The entertainment and lifestyle magazine show eightWest premiered on October 5, 2009 and airs weekday mornings at 11 for an hour as well as being streamed live on the channel's website. Also on that date, WOOD-TV became the second station in southwestern Michigan to begin offering local newscasts in 16:9 enhanced definition widescreen. Although not truly high definition, the broadcast match the ratio of HD television screens. The simulcasts on WOTV were included in the upgrade.

This station maintains content sharing partnerships with The Grand Rapids Press, Holland Sentinel, Kalamazoo Gazette, and Muskegon Chronicle. Sports Overtime is a weekly half-hour sports highlight show that airs Sunday nights after the 11 o'clock news. Football Frenzy is WOOD-TV's weekly highlight program covering the Friday night high school football games as well as other sports news of the day. The 11 p.m. newscast is shortened to allow Football Frenzy to air during the regular time slot. To The Point is a weekly political talk show hosted by Rick Albin that airs Sunday mornings at 10.

WOOD-TV has the distinction of being one of the last remaining broadcast television stations in the United States currently utilizing the 24 Hour News Source format which it began using in 1990. The other stations still using the format As of February 2010 are sister station CBS affiliate WISH-TV in Indianapolis, ABC affiliate KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and NBC affiliate KFDX-TV in Wichita Falls, Texas. In addition to featuring live regional National Weather Service radar data, this station operates its own weather radar on top of the Oakwood Manor Apartments next to its studios.

Newscast titlesEdit

  • News and Events (1949–1959)
  • The Marlboro News (1959–1962)
  • The Big News (1962–1972)
  • 6pm Report/11 Report (1970s)
  • News in Action (1972–1976)
  • NewsCenter 8 (1976–1984)
  • News 8 (1984–1995)
  • 24 Hour News 8 (1995–present)

Station slogansEdit

  • "We're the Best on TV-8" (1977–1981)
  • "The Team to Watch" (1981–1984)
  • "TV-8, Let's All Be There" (1984-1986, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come on Home to TV-8" (1987–1988, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "Come Home to the Best, Only on TV-8" (1988–1990, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • "TV-8, is The Place to Be!
  • "The First Team for News in West Michigan" (1990-1996)
  • "First. Best. Live." (1996-1999)
  • "West Michigan's News Leader" (1999–2011)
  • "On-Air, On-Line, On-The-Go" (2009–present, used in news opens)
  • "Watching Out For You" (2011–present)

News teamEdit

Anchors

  • Brett Thomas - weekday mornings and Executive Producer
  • Emily Linnert - weekday mornings and noon
    • reporter
  • Brian Sterling - weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6, 10, and 11
  • Susan Shaw - weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11
  • Marc Thompson- weekend mornings
  • Larry Figurski- weekend evenings and reporter
  • Marlee Ginter-weeknights at 10; also weeknight reporter
  • Rachael Ruiz - eightWest host


Storm Team 8 meteorologists

  • Bill Steffen - Chief seen weeknights and on WOTV
  • Terri DeBoer - weekday mornings and eightWest host
  • Matt Kirkwood - weekdays at noon
  • Laura Velasquez - weekend mornings
  • Kyle Underwood - weekend evenings


Sports

  • Jack Doles - Director seen weeknights at 6, 10, and 11
    • Football Frenzy host
  • Jason Terzis - Weekends at 6, 10 & 11pm
    • Sports Overtime host and producer
    • reporter
  • Larry Figurski - Sunday nights at 6 and 6:30
    • reporter and Football Frenzy host
  • Hondo Carpenter - Spartan Nation host


Reporters

  • Eva Aguirre Cooper - Communications Director
  • Rick Albin - political and To The Point host
  • Anne Schieber - "Your Money" investigative
  • Henry Erb - Senior investigative
  • Crystal Hilliard
  • Tony Tagliavia
  • Dani Carlson
  • Leon Hendrix
  • Joe LaFurgey
  • Ken Kolker


Notable former staff


*Bill Allen

  • Kristi Andersen - now a reporter/anchor at KETV in Omaha, NE
  • Andy Amyx - deceased (2005)-Peddles the Clown (1967-1976) Promotion Manager
  • Gary Bazner - deceased
  • Cary Berglund - now at KNBC
  • Dan Bewley - now a reporter at KOTV in Tulsa, OK
  • Dave Bolton
  • Tom Bradford
  • Jane Brierley
  • Roger Brown
  • Dave Carmichael
  • Lynn Carthane
  • Patrick Center - now a News Director at WGVU-TV
  • Eddie Chase
  • Dick Cheverton
  • Jim Childress
  • Dray Clark - now a reporter at KYW-TV in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Jim Collins
  • Angie Crouch - now at KNBC
  • Jim Cummins - deceased
  • Brian Curtis - anchor/reporter (currently main weekday evening anchor at KXAS-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth)
  • Coy Davis
  • Della DiPietro - a.k.a. Della Koach
  • Todd Donoho
  • Melissa Dunbar - now a reporter at KTHV in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Glen Eckelkamp- now working in sales for Regent Broadcasting
  • Brad Edwards - now at WISH-TV 8 Indianapolis
  • Don Elliott
  • John Estabrook
  • Dick Evans - deceased
  • Curt Fonger
  • Alan Gionet - now weekend anchor at KCNC
  • Cynthia Grebe - retired, married to former congressman Bill Schuette
  • Scott Harrison - now reporter at KRDO
  • Derek Hayward
  • Heather Herron - now main anchor at WANE
  • Dennis Hodges - provides weather reports for various radio stations in Michigan
  • Ron Howes - now Chief Meteorologist at WTVF
  • Craig James - retired in 2008
  • Doris Jarrell
  • Dave Jefferson
  • Phil Johnson - now working in sales for Regent Broadcasting
  • Ed Kemp
  • Jim Kipp
  • Steve Kmetko - former E! news host
  • Bruce Kopp - now weekday morning anchor at WTHR
  • Noreen Lauer - now a freelance marketing writer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, owner of Noreen Fieber (married name) Communications
  • Jessica Leffler
  • Buck Matthews
  • Dick McKay
  • Matt McLogan - now a Vice President at Grand Valley State University in Michigan
  • Letitia Miele
  • Keith Monahan - now Chief Meteorologist at KIAH
  • Jennifer Moss
  • Larry Nienhaus
  • Steve Osunsami - ABC News correspondent
  • Dawn Picken
  • Ernie Reno - now founder and president of Avatar Communications Group
  • Andy Rent - portrayed Captain Woody for a children's show, now morning disc jockey at WTRV
  • Warren Reynolds - deceased
  • Jay Ricci
  • Rick Roberts - deceased
  • Christine Roher
  • Susan Samples - now back at WOOD as special projects producer, appearing on-air occasionally
  • Sally Scobey
  • Janet Shamlian - now at NBC News
  • Joe Sullivan
  • John Stehr - now primary evening anchor at WTHR in Indianapolis, IN
  • Matt Stevens - now a reporter at WOIO in Cleveland, OH
  • John Strickler
  • Bill Struyk
  • Alex Taylor
  • Don Turner
  • Nick Unger
  • Tom Van Howe - retired, between 2008 and 2009 served as substitute 5, 5:30 and 6pm anchor on WWMT while regular anchor Jeff McAtee serves in military
  • Ben Watson
  • Linda White
  • Rhona Williams
  • Matt Winer - now at ESPN
  • Emily Zangaro - now at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Ginger Zee - now meteorologist at WMAQ-TV she also occasionally broadcasts the weather for MSNBC

LogosEdit

External linksEdit

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