WTTV (digital channel 48, mapped to its prior analog channel 4) is a CW-affiliated television station licensed to Bloomington, Indiana, serving the Indianapolis television market. WTTV is owned by the Tribune Company, and is one-half of a duopoly with WXIN (channel 59), the market's Fox affiliate. The two stations share a studio at 6910 Network Place on the northwest side of Indianapolis. WTTV's transmitter is located at 2495 W. State Road 252, in Trafalgar, Indiana.
|WTTV: Bloomington/Indianapolis, IndianaWTTK: Kokomo, Indiana|
|Channels||Digital:WTTV: 48 (UHF)|
|Subchannels||4.1/29.1 The CW4.2/29.2 This TV|
(Tribune Broadcast Holdings, Inc.)
|First air date||WTTV:November 11, 1949
WTTK: May 6, 1983
|Call letters' meaning||WTTV:Tarzian TeleVision
(after founding ownerSarkes Tarzian) WTTK: WTTV Kokomo
|Former callsigns||WTTV: noneWTTK:
|Former channel number(s)||WTTV:Analog:
10 (VHF, 1949-1954) 4 (VHF, 1954-2009) WTTK: Analog: 29 (VHF, 1983-2009) Digital: 54 (UHF)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1949-1956)ABC (secondary, 1949-1954)|
WTTV: 870 kW
WTTK: 550 kW
WTTV: 318 m
WTTK: 300 m
|Facility ID||WTTV: 56523WTTK: 56526|
WTTV simulcasts its programming on a satellite station, WTTK (digital channel 29) licensed to Kokomo, Indiana (50 miles / 80 km north of Indianapolis), serving the northern areas of the Indianapolis market (where WTTV's signal has always been poor, even when on channel 4) as well as the neighboring Lafayette area. WTTK's analog transmitter was located at 2501 N. State Route 213, just south of Windfall, Indiana . Its digital transmitter and antenna are sited on the northwest side of Indianapolis, co-located with those for sister station WXIN. Soon after the June 2009 analog cutoff, these two stations began sharing a common antenna located on the top slot of WXIN's tower at 2350 W. 73rd Street (a/k/a Westlane Road). The Windfall transmitter site and tower remain under Tribune ownership, though no application for use as a Digital Auxiliary (Backup) Service (DX) is presently on file in the FCC database.
WTTV began operation on November 11, 1949; on channel 10 as Indiana's second television station, after WFBM-TV (channel 6, nowWRTV). It has made the claim to being Indiana's oldest 'continuously operating' television station because WFBM-TV had a transmitter failure which put it off the air for an extended period of time shortly after WTTV went on. The station was founded and owned by Sarkes Tarzian, a Bloomington-based radio manufacturer and broadcaster, and was an NBC affiliate with secondary ABC and DuMont affiliations. In 1957, the station activated its current tower in Trafalgar (Geographical coordinates: 39°24′27.4″N 86°8′52.2″W). At 1,132 feet (345.033 m) above ground level, it is the tallest structure in Indiana.
WTTV moved from channel 10 to channel 4 on February 21, 1954. It dropped ABC two months later after WISH-TV (channel 8) signed on. In 1956, NBC moved its affiliation to WFBM-TV, and WTTV became an independent station. Also in 1956, it moved its main studios to a site at 3490 Bluff Road on the south side of Indianapolis, though it retained the original studios in Bloomington as an auxiliary site for many years thereafter. At that point, the station signed on air weekdays at 2:00 p.m., and showed a test pattern until 4:00 p.m., when its programming began. The station initially ran old movies and low budget syndicated shows as well as producing some of its own local programming.
Throughout the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, WTTV was known in Central Indiana for its local programming, including children's showsJanie (previously Popeye and Janie) and Cowboy Bob's Corral (previously Chuckwagon Theatre, both starring Bob Glaze as Cowboy Bob). By then, WTTV was on the air by 6am and stayed on until at least 2am. In addition to local programming, WTTV aired plenty of movies in the early afternoon and prime time slots. It also aired cartoons both mixed in with locally produced children's shows in the afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m. In the evenings, WTTV aired off-network sitcoms. Horror movies were presented late-nights by Sammy Terry, a ghoulish vampire character portrayed by Bob Carter. The station frequently ran local advertising included Dave Mason Buick, "Old Dave needs the money", who was often shown in the stands during coverage of the Marion County fair. During the 1970s, WTTV became a regional superstationavailable on many cable systems in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, though it disappeared from cable systems outside Indiana in the mid-1980s.
Sarkes Tarzian sold WTTV to Teleco in September 1978. The station was then sold to the Tel-Am Corporation in March 1984. Although it was one of the strongest independent stations in the country, it remained an independent station when Fox debuted in 1986; the network opted to affiliate with future sister station WXIN.
By the mid 1980s, WTTV added more cartoons during the day, as well as airing more recent off-network sitcoms during the evening. The station was on 24 hours a day by then as well. During the day, WTTV began airing first-run syndicated talk shows. In 1987, Tel-Am purchased WWKI-TV, channel 29 in Kokomo (which had signed on in 1985), and made that station a full-time satellite of WTTV as WTTK. WTTV's tower is located farther south than the other major Indianapolis stations due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations requiring that a station's transmitter be no farther than 15 miles (24 km) from its city of license (in this case, Bloomington, which is 50 miles (80 km) south of Indianapolis). As a result, it only provided a grade B ("rimshot") signal to Indianapolis' northern suburbs until the purchase of channel 29. Most of this area only got a clear signal from channel 4 when cable arrived in Indianapolis in the late 1960s.
Tel-Am filed for bankruptcy in 1987, and WTTV and WTTK were both sold to the Capitol Broadcasting Company of Raleigh, North Carolina (the owner of WRAL-TV in that city) in July 1988 after an attempted sale to locally-based Emmis Communications fell through.
In the late 1980s, it produced a film noir-styled mystery show titled Hide & Sneak that was related to a scratch-off game distributed at local supermarkets. Solving the mystery presented in one of the skits led to prizes. Each episode aired only once, however, because of its time-sensitive nature.
The station was sold to River City Broadcasting in 1991 and became a charter UPN affiliate in 1995. It came under the ownership of the Sinclair Broadcast Group following Sinclair's merger with River City in 1996. The station became an affiliate of The WB network in 1998 after swapping affiliations with WNDY-TV. It disappeared from most cable systems outside the Indianapolis market in the late 1990s, but is still available on cable on the Indiana side of the Terre Haute market.
In 2002, the station was sold by Sinclair to Tribune, making WTTV and WXIN sister stations. Although WTTV was longer established, Tribune kept Fox programming on WXIN due to WTTV's weaker signal in the northern part of the Indianapolis market.
On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN networks announced they would merge. The newly combined network would be called The CW, the letters representing the first initial of its corporate parents CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner. WTTV was announced as one of the network's charter affiliates.
In August 2008, the station changed its branding from "CW 4" to "Indiana's 4" in a corporate effort by Tribune to strengthen the local branding of its stations and reduce the dependence on the use of the "CW" in its stations' brandings. On November 11, 2008, WTTV began celebrating its 60th year on the air and began airing promos to commemorate the occasion.
The station also referred to itself as "Indiana's Sports Station" for many years, having been Indianapolis' home of Big Ten basketball - with a focus on Indiana University and Purdue University - since the 1950s, via both in-house productions and later syndication deals with Raycom Sports and ESPN Plus. In fact, many cable systems in Indiana began carrying WTTV simply to get the Hoosiers and Boilermakers.
WTTV also presented other Big Ten football and men's basketball matchups on Saturdays, but when the Big Ten Network launched in August 2007, all Big Ten sports left the station. To replace this a Big East basketball game is now shown on Saturdays instead (presumably due to the large following of Notre Dame in the area).
The station is also the flagship for Indianapolis Colts preseason games.
WTTV traditionally produced the boys' and girls' state high school basketball "Final Fours" and football class championship games; however, after the Indiana High School Athletics Association converted its basketball tournament from single-class to multi-class in 1997, WTTV chose not to renew those rights due to declining ratings; a new agreement with the IHSAA will return these events to WTTV starting in the fall of 2010.
WTTV also served as the television flagship for the Indiana Pacers from the team's days in the original American Basketball Association, except for a period in the mid-1980s when WXINheld those rights. However, the Pacers left WTTV beginning in the 2006-2007 season , as the Pacers decided to go with cable-only local telecasts, via FSN Indiana (the Indiana-branded feed of FSN Midwest).
In August 2008, the newly branded "Indiana's 4" started running "Hoosier High-School Sports Overtime," a weekly half-hour program devoted to Indiana high school athletics. The show airs Sunday mornings at 11:30 and is hosted by Jeremiah Johnson.
Debuting in November 2008, "Hoosier High-School Sports Classics" re-airs past Indiana State championship games in football and basketball with present day interviews of coaches and athletes that were involved. It also runs Sunday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 am.
Bob and TomEdit
Indianapolis radio icons Bob and Tom formed a partnership with Tribune Company for cable superstation WGN America based in Chicago. As part of the deal WTTV Indianapolis would air its nightly one-hour show first. It is WTTV's and Tribune's attempt to bring back local programming to the station.
|4.1 / 29.1||WTTV-DT/WTTK-DT / CW Programming|
|4.2 / 29.2||This TV Programming|
As part of the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, WTTV & WTTK shut down their analog transmitters on June 12, 2009 , WTTV continued digital broadcasts on its pre-transition channel number, 48 , while WTTK moved its digital broadcasts from its pre-transition channel 54 back to its previous analog channel number, 29. Digital television receivers display WTTV's virtual channel as 4 through the use of PSIP.
In 2009, after analog broadcasts on WXIN ceased, Tribune began broadcasting WTTK's signal from a newly-installed common antenna on the top position of WXIN's tower on the northwest side of Indianapolis. 
Except for WXIN airing its 10pm news on WTTV during MLB playoffs, no newscasts aired on WTTV at all until 2008, when it began simulcasting the four hours of WXIN's morning news as of March 31, 2008 until September 18, 2009 (the last three hours from January 2 to March 28 of 2008), in addition to airing WXIN's 10 p.m. newscast when Fox programming or sports delays the news on WXIN. There is no "News at Ten" logo in place of "Fox 59 News," unlike its Hartford (Connecticut) sister station. The only programming on WTTV/WTTK close to a news product is Indy's MarketPlace (or Indiana's Market), which airs weekdays at 8 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. This ended on September 10, 2010. As of October 12, 2009, WTTV began simulcasting Fox 59 Morning News once again; however, it only simulcast the 4:30-6 a.m. portion of the newscast. This also ended on September 10, 2010 (when it moved to WTTV's second digital subchannel). No news airs now on Indiana's 4; except during MLB Playoffs and other sporting or live events carried on FOX.From 1950 until 1991, WTTV operated a news department. In 1991, WTTV began airing a 10:00 pm newscast produced by WRTV - McGraw-Hill Broadcasting bought time on WTTV to air "6News at 10", and the news open began with a mention of WTTV. The newscast was canceled when Tribune bought the station so as to not compete with WXIN's news.
Notable former staffEdit
- Doug Rafferty, anchor 1974-1991 (went to WGME Portland, ME, now semi-retired)
- Jim Lockwood, anchor of Morning News and later News Director, now deceased
- Barbara Stock, (host of the talk show "Mid-Morning", best known as Susan Silverman on the detective drama "Spenser: For Hire")
- Eric Halvorson, (reporter, now anchor at rival WISH)
- Chuck Marlowe, (longtime sports director, now retired)
- Billie Boucher, television host and women's director 1962-1968
- Sal Collura, photo journalist 1961-1981
- Sammy Terry, late night horror movie show host
- Bob Glaze, "Cowboy Bob", longtime children's show host and producer of many local programs on WTTV.
- Janie Hodge, longtime morning children's show host.
- Peggy Nicholson, former children's show host of "Peggy's World" and "Popeye & Peggy".
- Rich Green, weekend anchor, host of talk show "Mid-Morning"
- Gary Lee, former sports director
- Jerry Baker, high school sports announcer, also WIBC sports director
- Chuck Workman, weekend sports anchor, now a columnist for Nuvo Newsweekly
- Jim Gerard, longtime talk show host, now deceased
- Hilliard Gates, longtime sports announcer and basketball sideline reporter, now deceased
- Suzanne McAllister, "Mid-Morning" co-host
- Michael O. Davenport, longtime Master Control
- Steve Miller, Producer/Director/Booth Announcer 1968-1974
- Bob Wade, Producer/Director (passed 8-19-09)
- Paul Poteet, meteorologist (now at WZPL)
- Frank Edwards, host of "Stranger Than Science", a locally produced program on UFOs and the paranormal from 1955 to 1959 and 1961 to 1962 (died 1967)
- Capital News Beat (1969–1971)
- Channel 4 News (1971–1974)
- News 4 Indiana (1974–1979)
- The Ten O'Clock News/The Nine O'Clock News (standard time), (1979–1988)
- The Indiana Nightly News (1988–1989)
- TTV4 News (1989–1991)
- 6 News at Ten on TTV4 (1991–1998)
- 6 News at Ten on WB 4 Indiana (1998–2002)
- Fox 59 News on Indiana's WB 4 (October 2003-September 2006; during MLB Playoffs)
- Fox 59 News on CW 4 (October 2006-August 2008)
- Fox 59 News on Indiana's 4 (August 2008-September 18, 2009 and October 12, 2009–September 10, 2010)
- Fox 59 News at 10 on Indiana's 4 (During MLB Playoffs only and FOX Sports or Live network broadcast expected to be on past 10pm)
- We're The Good Times (1986-1989)
- 4 The Good Times
- TTV 4 the new channel 4 (1989)
- The Heart of Indiana (1989-1995)
- Live Indiana. (2008–present)
- WTTV Website
- Tribune Company: Press Release: Tribune Completes Acquisition of WTTV-TV (WB4), Indianapolis - July 24, 2002
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WTTV
- Listing 1026127 in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Antenna Structure Registration database
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WTTV-TV
- WTTV Television Tower at Structurae
- Official Website of Cowboy Bob's Corral
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WTTK
- Listing 1030684 in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Antenna Structure Registration database
- Listing 1026126 in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Antenna Structure Registration database
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WTTK-TV