WJBK

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WJBK
Wjbk-logo.png
Detroit, Michigan
United States
BrandingFox 2 Detroit (general)
Fox 2 News(newscasts)
SloganNews that works for you(newscasts)
Fox 2, working for you(general)
Channels Digital: 7 (VHF)
Virtual: 2 (PSIP)
Affiliations
Owner Fox Television Stations, LLC [2] [3]
(New World Communications of Detroit, Inc.)
First air dateOctober 24, 1948(71 years ago) (1948-10-24)
Call letters' meaning "Jesus, Be Kind", derived from former sister station WJBK radio (now WLQV)
Former channel number(s)
  • Analog:
  • 2 (VHF, 1948–2009)
  • Digital:
  • 58 (UHF, 1998–2009)
Former affiliations
Transmitter power 27 kW
Height 314 m (1,030 ft)
Facility ID 73123
Transmitter coordinates 42°27′38.3″N83°12′49.2″W / 42.460639°N 83.213667°W / 42.460639; -83.213667 Coordinates: 42°27′38.3″N83°12′49.2″W / 42.460639°N 83.213667°W / 42.460639; -83.213667
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information Profile
CDBS
Website www.fox2detroit.com

WJBK, virtual channel 2 (VHF digital channel 7), is a Fox owned-and-operated television station licensed to Detroit, Michigan, United States. The station is owned by the Fox Television Stations subsidiary of Fox Corporation. WJBK's studios and transmitter are located on West 9 Mile Road in the Detroit suburb of Southfield. [4] [5]

In most telecommunications organizations, a virtual channel is a method of remapping the program number as used in H.222 Program Association Tables and Program Mapping Tables to a channel number that can be entered via digits on a receiver's remote control.

Very high frequency The range 30-300 MHz of the electromagnetic spectrum

Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves from 30 to 300 megahertz (MHz), with corresponding wavelengths of ten meters to one meter. Frequencies immediately below VHF are denoted high frequency (HF), and the next higher frequencies are known as ultra high frequency (UHF).

Digital terrestrial television is a technology for terrestrial television in which land-based (terrestrial) television stations broadcast television content by radio waves to televisions in consumers' residences in a digital format. DTTV is a major technological advance over the previous analog television, and has largely replaced analog which had been in common use since the middle of the 20th century. Test broadcasts began in 1998 with the changeover to DTTV beginning in 2006 and is now complete in many countries. The advantages of digital terrestrial television are similar to those obtained by digitising platforms such as cable TV, satellite, and telecommunications: more efficient use of limited radio spectrum bandwidth, provision of more television channels than analog, better quality images, and potentially lower operating costs for broadcasters.

Contents

WJBK's over-the-air signal covers all of Metro Detroit, along with southwestern Ontario, Canada, surrounding the city of Windsor. On cable, the station is available on channel 12 on Comcast Xfinity's Detroit city and South Oakland County systems, channel 2 in other suburbs and outlying areas and on AT&T U-verse, and channel 7 on Cogeco's Windsor system. The station is also carried on most cable systems in southeast Michigan, southwestern Ontario and northwest Ohio.

A broadcast range is the service area that a broadcast station or other transmission covers via radio waves. It is generally the area in which a station's signal strength is sufficient for most receivers to decode it. However, this also depends on interference from other stations.

Metro Detroit Metropolitan area in Michigan, United States

The Detroit metropolitan area, often referred to as Metro Detroit, is a major metropolitan area in the U.S. State of Michigan, consisting of the city of Detroit and its surrounding area. There are varied definitions of the area, including the official statistical areas designated by the Office of Management and Budget, a federal agency of the United States. Metro Detroit is known for its automotive heritage, arts, entertainment, popular music, and sports. The area includes a variety of natural landscapes, parks, and beaches, with a recreational coastline linking the Great Lakes. Metro Detroit also has one of the largest metropolitan economies in the U.S., with seventeen Fortune 500 companies.

Southwestern Ontario Secondary region in Ontario, Canada

Southwestern Ontario is a secondary region of Southern Ontario in the Canadian province of Ontario. It occupies most of the Ontario Peninsula bounded by Lake Huron, including Georgian Bay, to the north and northwest; the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, and Detroit River, to the west; and Lake Erie to the south. To the east, on land, Southwestern Ontario is bounded by Central Ontario and the Golden Horseshoe. The region had a population of 2,583,544 in 2016. It is sometimes further divided into "Midwestern Ontario" covering the eastern half of the area and the heart of Southwestern Ontario encompassing the western half of the region.

History

As a CBS affiliate

WJBK's studios in Southfield, Michigan. WJBK studios Southfield Michigan.JPG
WJBK's studios in Southfield, Michigan.

WJBK-TV first signed on the air on October 24, 1948. It was the third television station to sign-on in Detroit after WWJ-TV (channel 4, now WDIV-TV) and WXYZ-TV (channel 7) - all of which have signed on in a 14-month timeframe. Despite Detroit being a major television market, it only accommodated three VHF allocations due to being shortspaced between Flint (channel 12) and Saginaw (channel 5) to the north, Lansing (channels 6 and 10) to the west, Toledo (channels 11 and 13) to the south, and Cleveland (channels 3, 5 and 8), Windsor, Ontario (channel 9), and London, Ontario (channel 10) to the east. For this reason, WJBK was assigned the final VHF channel in Detroit.

WDIV-TV NBC affiliate in Detroit

WDIV-TV, virtual channel 4, is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Detroit, Michigan, United States. The station serves as the flagship broadcast property of the Graham Media Group subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company. WDIV maintains studio facilities—which also house the headquarters of Graham Media Group—on West Lafayette Boulevard in Detroit. As such, WDIV-TV is the only major television station in the market whose offices and studios are located in Detroit proper, while the market's other television stations are located in Southfield.

WXYZ-TV ABC affiliate in Detroit

WXYZ-TV, virtual channel 7, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Detroit, Michigan, United States. The station is owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, as part of a duopoly with MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYD. The two stations share studios at Broadcast House on 10 Mile Road in Southfield, where WXYZ-TV's transmitter is also located.

Flint, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Flint is the largest city and seat of Genesee County, Michigan, United States. Located along the Flint River, 66 miles (106 km) northwest of Detroit, it is a principal city within the region known as Mid Michigan. According to the 2010 census, Flint has a population of 102,434, making it the seventh largest city in Michigan. The Flint metropolitan area is located entirely within Genesee County. It is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Michigan with a population of 425,790 in 2010. The city was incorporated in 1855.

At sign on, the first program broadcast by WJBK was a presentation of Lucky Pup at 6:15 p.m. that evening. [6] The station was originally an affiliate of both CBS and the DuMont Television Network. It was originally owned by Fort Industry Broadcasting, owned by George B. Storer and then based in nearby Toledo, Ohio. Fort Industry, which would later be renamed Storer Broadcasting, also owned WJBK radio (1500 AM, now WLQV, and 93.1 FM, now WDRQ). The station originally operated from Detroit's Masonic Temple until 1956, when its operations were moved to a purpose-built studio facility on Second Avenue in Detroit's New Center section. WJBK-TV would eventually become an exclusive CBS affiliate by 1955, when Windsor, Ontario-based CKLW-TV (channel 9, now CBET-DT) became a DuMont affiliate. WJBK first broadcast in color around 1956. In 1970, the station moved to its current broadcast facilities on West Nine Mile Road in Southfield. [7] Like most studio facilities built by Storer during that time, it resembles a Southern antebellum mansion.

In the broadcasting industry, a network affiliate or affiliated station is a local broadcaster, owned by a company other than the owner of the network, which carries some or all of the lineup of television programs or radio programs of a television or radio network. This distinguishes such a television or radio station from an owned-and-operated station (O&O), which is owned by the parent network.

CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.

DuMont Television Network Former American television network

The DuMont Television Network was one of the world's pioneer commercial television networks, rivalling NBC and CBS for the distinction of being first overall in the United States. It was owned by Allen B. DuMont Laboratories, a television equipment and set manufacturer, and began operation on June 28, 1942.

The WJBK circle 2 logo, used from 1978 to 1983. Wjbktv2.jpg
The WJBK circle 2 logo, used from 1978 to 1983.

The station went through a number of ownership and management changes with its parent companies in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1985, the equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) acquired Storer Communications, Incorporated in a leveraged buyout. KKR then sold all of the Storer broadcast assets, including WJBK, to Gillett Communications in 1987, after an attempt to sell the stations to Lorimar-Telepictures in 1986 failed. When Gillett went bankrupt in 1992, it reorganized the ownership of its television stations into SCI Television. The following year, in 1993, a few other station owners—Scripps-Howard, owner of cross-town ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV; Federal Broadcasting, owners of WWJ (AM)/FM; Group W; and CBS—showed interest in the station. Scripps considered trading WXYZ back to ABC in order to bid for the Gillett stations as a group. However, this would have put Scripps above the FCC's ownership limit of the time even if Scripps sold off its smaller-market stations, so this was abandoned. So in 1993, SCI was acquired by the film and television production company New World Communications.

Private equity firm investment manager that makes investments in the private equity of operating companies

A private equity firm is an investment management company that provides financial backing and makes investments in the private equity of startup or operating companies through a variety of loosely affiliated investment strategies including leveraged buyout, venture capital, and growth capital. Often described as a financial sponsor, each firm will raise funds that will be invested in accordance with one or more specific investment strategies.

KKR & Co. Inc. is an American global investment firm that manages multiple alternative asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit, and, through its strategic partners, hedge funds. The firm has completed more than 280 private equity investments in portfolio companies with approximately $545 billion of total enterprise value as of June 30, 2017. As of September 30, 2017, Assets Under Management (“AUM”) and Fee Paying Assets Under Management (“FPAUM”) were $153 billion and $114 billion, respectively.

Leveraged buyout acquired control over a company by the purchase of its shares with borrowed money

A leveraged buyout (LBO) is a financial transaction in which a company is purchased with a combination of equity and debt, such that the company's cash flow is the collateral used to secure and repay the borrowed money. The use of debt, which normally has a lower cost of capital than equity, serves to reduce the overall cost of financing the acquisition. The cost of debt is lower because interest payments often reduce corporate income tax liability, whereas dividend payments normally do not. This reduced cost of financing allows greater gains to accrue to the equity, and, as a result, the debt serves as a lever to increase the returns to the equity.

As a Fox station

In May 1994, News Corporation, then-parent of the Fox network, purchased a 20% ownership stake (amounting to a $500 million investment) in WJBK's owner New World Communications. Fox made the investment to comply with their winning bid for the broadcast rights to the NFL's National Football Conference. [8] Fox outbid CBS for the NFL broadcast rights on the condition that it would improve the network's affiliate coverage in the larger television markets. As a result of Fox's investment, New World agreed to switch the network affiliations of most of the company's stations, including WJBK, to Fox. [9]

News Corporation (1980–2013) Media corporation

The original incarnation of News Corporation was an American multinational mass media corporation operated and owned by media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, headquartered in New York City. Prior to its split in 2013, it was the world's fourth-largest media group in terms of revenue, and News Corporation had become a media powerhouse since its inception, almost dominating the news, television, film and print industries.

Fox Broadcasting Company American television network

The Fox Broadcasting Company is an American free-to-air television network that is a flagship property of the Fox Corporation. The network is headquartered at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, with additional offices at the Fox Broadcasting Center and at the Fox Television Center in Los Angeles.

<i>Fox NFL</i> Television series

Fox NFL is the branding used for broadcasts of National Football League (NFL) games produced by Fox Sports and televised on the Fox Broadcasting Company (Fox). Game coverage is usually preceded by the pre-game shows Fox NFL Kickoff and Fox NFL Sunday and is followed on most weeks by post-game show The OT. The latter two shows feature the same studio hosts and analysts for both programs, who also contribute to the former. In weeks when Fox airs a doubleheader, the late broadcast airs under the brand America's Game of the Week.

WJBK became Detroit's new Fox affiliate on December 11, 1994, after the station's affiliation contract with CBS ended, ending its 45-year affiliation with that network. Despite a three-month interruption in coverage due to CBS losing the NFC rights (the games instead aired on WKBD-TV, channel 50, for the first three months of Fox's NFC telecasts), with the switch, the Detroit Lions' regular season games would continue to air on WJBK.

CBS found it difficult to find a new home in Detroit. WXYZ and Cleveland sister station WEWS-TV were both heavily wooed to become CBS affiliates, but the E. W. Scripps Company signed an affiliation deal with ABC in June 1994 that renewed the network's affiliations with both stations and resulted in three other stations switching to that network. WDIV was later eliminated due to that station's long-term affiliation contract with NBC. As a result, CBS was forced to deal with the market's lower-rated UHF outlets, none of which had the kind of signal penetration that WJBK had. As a contingency plan, CBS signed a long-term affiliation deal with WTOL-TV in Toledo, Ohio; which provides city-grade coverage to most of Detroit's southern suburbs and grade B coverage of Detroit itself. It also persuaded Mid-Michigan's longtime NBC affiliate, WNEM-TV, to switch to CBS; WNEM provided stronger coverage of Detroit's outer northern suburbs than did the market's longtime CBS affiliate, WEYI-TV. It also convinced WLNS-TV in Lansing to build a translator in Ann Arbor. The main WLNS signal provided at least grade B coverage to many of Detroit's western suburbs.

With just days to go before WJBK was due to switch to Fox, CBS faced the prospect of having to import WTOL, WNEM, and WLNS on area cable providers until it could find a replacement affiliate. CBS would end up purchasing low-rated UHF independent station WGPR-TV (channel 62, now WWJ-TV) in September 1994. The last CBS network program to air on WJBK was a first-run episode of Walker, Texas Ranger at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 10, 1994; channel 2 officially became a Fox affiliate the next day, when the network's programming lineup moved to the station from WKBD; the first Fox network program to air on the station as a full-time affiliate was Fox NFL Sunday at noon that day, which led into that afternoon's NFL doubleheader: an early game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams and a mid-afternoon game between the San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers. Former Fox affiliate WKBD briefly became an independent station before becoming a charter affiliate of UPN in January 1995.

Until channel 62 built a new transmitter in 1999, WTOL served as the default CBS affiliate for most of the southern portion of the market, while WNEM served the northern portion and WLNS served the western portion.

As a result of the network switch, WJBK changed its branding from "TV 2" to "Fox 2" by the fall of 1995 [10] (becoming one of the few New World stations that switched to the network to adhere to the network's branding conventions before Fox's buyout of New World). Fox Television Stations bought New World's ten Fox-affiliated stations, including WJBK, in July 1996; [11] the purchase was finalized on January 22, 1997, with channel 2 becoming a Fox owned-and-operated station as a result.

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming [12]
2.1 720p 16:9 WJBKMain WJBK programming / Fox
2.2 480i Movies! Movies!
2.3 4:3 Buzzr Buzzr
2.416:9H&I Heroes & Icons
2.5 Decades [1]

WJBK also has a Mobile DTV feed of its subchannel 2.1. [13] [14]

Analog-to-digital conversion

WJBK began airing its digital high-definition feed, WJBK-DT, on UHF channel 58 starting on October 1, 1998. [15] The station shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 2, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition VHF channel 7 [5] [16] (which was formerly occupied by WXYZ-TV's analog signal, and was assigned to WJBK for its post-transition digital signal on May 7, 2007). Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers continues to display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 2.1. As of 2012, WJBK is the only American television station in the Detroit–Windsor television market that broadcasts its digital signal on the VHF band. [10] CBET, broadcasting from Windsor is on VHF channel 9. All other Detroit–Windsor DTV stations are on the UHF band, currently channels 14 to 51, excepting 37 which is reserved for radio astronomy use.

As part of the SAFER Act, [17] WJBK kept its analog signal on the air until June 26 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Programming

As a Fox O&O, WJBK clears the entire Fox schedule. Syndicated programs currently seen on WJBK include Judge Judy , Dish Nation , The Wendy Williams Show , TMZ on TV , and Extra , among others.

Local productions

Some of WJBK's early productions included popular children's shows. Milky's Movie Party starring Milky the Clown, played by magician Clarence R. Cummings, Jr., was one of the station's first locally produced children's programs from 1950 to 1955. The program featured a mix of cartoons and westerns with Cummings performing magic tricks with other acts in front of a live audience. Cummings would eventually take the Milky character to WXYZ-TV and the former WWJ-TV (now WDIV). [18]

Other original WJBK children's programs included a cowboy-themed show with Sagebrush Shorty, played by ventriloquist Ted Lloyd, with his sidekick dummy Skinny Dugan that aired from 1956 to 1960, featuring a mix of children's activities and various other characters that interacted with Lloyd. [18] That program was followed by another WJBK children's favorite, Jungle-La with wildlife expert "B'wana" Don Hunt, that aired from 1960 to 1963. Hunt with his sidekick chimpanzee Bongo Bailey hosted cartoons and taught viewers about various wildlife. Hunt moved to Africa in 1964 and managed a wildlife preserve in Kenya responsible for saving some species from extinction. [19] After airing first on the former WWJ-TV and CKLW-TV, performer Art Cervi would obtain the Bozo the Clown franchise for Detroit and perform the character at WJBK beginning in 1975. During its run at the station, the program would be syndicated from WJBK to cities including New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Wichita, Kansas. [20]

WJBK also produced one of Detroit's first morning talk shows, Ladies' Day with Chuck Bergeson, which aired from 1952 to 1959. The hour-long show included games, contests, and interviews with the biggest stars of the time including Lucille Ball and Red Skelton. Bergeson also hosted other WJBK shows in the 1950s including Your TV Golf Pro and The Name Game. [18] From 1967 to 1983, Sir Graves Ghastly, played by actor Lawson J. Deming, hosted WJBK's assorted sci-fi and horror movies on Saturday afternoons; the humorous character became a popular figure in Detroit television. Deming had originally come to the station as a puppeteer and voice actor for the children's program Woodrow the Woodsman when that show moved from Cleveland's WKYC-TV to WJBK in 1966. In addition to playing the character in Cleveland, he also played Sir Graves on WTOP-TV in Washington, D.C. at the same time. [21]

With This Ring was a nationally syndicated religious program produced at the studios of WJBK from the early 1970s through the mid-1990s. The weekly 15-minute show hosted by Roman Catholic priest Raymond Schlinkert featured lectures and advice about marriage and family life. The program was syndicated to several other U.S. commercial stations, usually shown immediately following the station's sign-on or before sign-off on Sundays.

WJBK would also produce Sunday public affairs/interview shows over the years including Focus Detroit, hosted by reporters Woody Willis and Beverly Payne in 1973; [22] Sunday in Detroit, hosted by news anchor Kathy O'Brien, would air around 1980 and WJBK business reporter and news anchor Murray Feldman also hosted a Sunday business and financial program in the mid-1990s called Moneywise. WJBK produced a local version of the syndicated program PM Magazine from 1978 to the mid-1980s. The show changed titles over the years eventually becoming known as PM Detroit – it also had various hosts included Ronnie Klemmer, Lorrie Kapp, Gary Cubberly and Mattie Majors. [22] The station was also the Detroit home and active participant for comedian Jerry Lewis' annual MDA Labor Day Telethon for several years.

From 1983 to 1986, popular WJR (760 AM) morning radio host J. P. McCarthy hosted an evening interview show with newsmakers and people of interest called JP, as well as a similar program in the early 1990s entitled In Person with J.P. McCarthy. He also previously hosted sports interview show specials through the 1970s. [22] In 1995, former WXYZ-TV news anchor Bill Bonds hosted the 11 p.m. talk/interview show, Bonds Tonight. Bonds eventually would end up anchoring and reporting on WJBK's newscasts. [18]

Past program preemptions and deferrals

Even though WJBK was one of CBS' stronger affiliates, it would preempt or reschedule some network programs. As the flagship station of Detroit Tigers baseball from the 1950s to the 1970s, it would preempt network programming to televise games. From 1970 until the early 1980s, the station would air its own local morning newscast from 7 to 8 a.m. and then Good Morning, Detroit instead of the CBS Morning News . In 1992, it chose again not to air CBS This Morning in favor of its own local newscast. [23] The station would regularly reschedule CBS' daytime game shows and it would also move the soap opera Guiding Light from its usual network airtime of 3 p.m. ET to 10 a.m., with episodes airing on a one-day delay. [6] WJBK would also preempt the CBS late night schedule with syndicated reruns including Cheers and late night movies until the debut of the Late Show with David Letterman in 1993, when the station cleared the show at 11:35 p.m.

After the affiliation switch, WJBK maintained its existing schedule, with the exception of the expansion of its news programming including the move and conversion of its 11 p.m. newscast to an hour-long broadcast at 10 p.m. As Fox offered less network programming, especially during the daytime hours, WJBK would fill its schedule with more syndicated programs and off-network reruns. However, the station, like its fellow former New World stations, never ran the Fox Kids children's programming block. That block would remain on former Fox affiliate WKBD before eventually moving to WADL (channel 38) and then WDWB-TV (channel 20, now WMYD). In 2014, WJBK cleared Steve Rotfeld Productions' Xploration Station block, making it the first time the station has ever cleared Fox children's programming.

Sports programming

Detroit Tigers

From the 1950s to the 1970s, WJBK was a pioneer in Detroit sports broadcasting. In 1949, it was the first television station in Michigan to broadcast live Detroit Tigers baseball and Detroit Lions football games. [7] From 1953 to 1974, WJBK served as the first flagship station of the Tigers Television Network with games broadcast on stations throughout Michigan, northern Indiana, and northwest Ohio. [24] In the 1960s, longtime Tigers broadcaster and former player George Kell hosted the pregame show Tigers Warm Up on the field during batting practice. [25] During the 2007 season, the station aired some regular season Tigers games produced by Fox Sports Detroit. Currently, the only Tigers games aired on WJBK are the Tigers' season home opener and national coverage presented by Fox.

Detroit Pistons

WJBK also televised Detroit Pistons games from the time that the team's relocated to Detroit from Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1957, until 1972; the team's games began airing on WKBD-TV the following season. The Pistons would also air on WJBK during nationally televised games on CBS.

Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings NHL games, produced again by Fox Sports Detroit, would also be aired on the station from 2003 to 2007. In March 2007, WJBK began broadcasting Red Wings games in high definition. Previously the Red Wings aired on the station various times between 1956 and 1980 through broadcast rights held by CBS and again from 1995 to 1999 through Fox's contract with the NHL.

Detroit Lions

WJBK has had a long-standing relationship with the NFL's Detroit Lions, having carried most of its games since 1956, when CBS started airing NFL games. Except for the first three months of the 1994 season (before the affiliation switch took effect), it has been the unofficial regular-season "home" station of the Lions ever since. For the first 15 weeks of the 1994 season, the games aired on lame-duck Fox outlet WKBD. However, regular season home games were subject to the NFL's local television blackout policy. This occurred five times during the Lions' winless season of 2008 when five home games were blacked out due to low ticket sales. However, in 2015, the NFL decided to lift the blackout rules on an experimental basis, meaning that Lions games were shown on Channel 2 regardless of ticket sales; this policy was continued the next season in 2016 as well, and has continued indefinitely as of 2018.

In previous years, WJBK had also televised Lions preseason games as the flagship station of the Detroit Lions Television Network and produced pregame and postgame shows. Those preseason broadcast rights were then held by WWJ-TV and then WXYZ-TV until 2015, when WJBK once again became the official preseason station of the Lions as well.

WJBK's sportscasters have also been team play-by-play announcers through the years with Van Patrick doing Tigers, Lions and Notre Dame Football games. Ray Lane would be paired with Hall of Fame announcer Ernie Harwell on Tigers' radio broadcasts from 1967 to 1972; and current sports director Dan Miller performs radio play by play for the Lions.

News operation

WJBK currently broadcasts 68½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 11½ hours each weekday and 5½ hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the highest local newscast output among all broadcast television stations in the state of Michigan. In addition, WJBK produces a sports highlight program on Sunday nights following the 10 p.m. newscast called Sports Works (which is also the branding of the sports segments seen within its newscasts); the show is hosted by either WJBK sports director Dan Miller or sports anchor/reporter Woody Woodriffe, and typically features a roundtable discussion with members of the Detroit sports media including Sean Baligian, formerly of WDFN (1130 AM); Bob Wojnowski from the Detroit News ; Pat Caputo from the Oakland Press and WXYT-FM (97.1) and Tony Ortiz from WXYT-FM.

WJBK operates a fleet of Ford E350 ENG vehicles with microwave transmission and video editing capabilities. The station also has (SNG) mobile satellite uplink capability. For aerial news coverage, WJBK shares a Eurocopter AS350BA A-star news helicopter with WXYZ-TV and WDIV-TV as part of a Local News Service agreement. The aircraft has HD video capability and goes by the callsign "Red Bird" (although WJBK brands the helicopter as "SkyFox"). In 2009, WJBK and WXYZ-TV expanded the LNS agreement to allow the sharing of local news video.

In an effort to cut expenses, WJBK and WXYZ's respective owners, Fox and the E. W. Scripps Company, established an LNS in all markets where both companies own stations. The stations pool newsgathering resources and share video during coverage of general news events. [26] While the news department primarily focuses its local news coverage on southeastern Michigan, it also provides coverage of larger stories in southwestern Ontario, northern Ohio and the rest of Michigan.

TV-2 Eyewitness News

Through much of the 1960s and 1970s WJBK's TV-2 Eyewitness News dominated the newscast ratings in the Detroit market. [27] This began with news anchor Jac LeGoff and grew when LeGoff was paired with newscaster John Kelly. Other popular longtime Detroit television personalities including Joe Weaver, Jerry Hodak, Van Patrick and Marilyn Turner would also be a part of WJBK's ratings success. The station's ratings would begin to wane in the mid-1970s after then-ABC O&O WXYZ-TV hired away WJBK's and WWJ-TV's top talent, including Kelly and Turner and eventually LeGoff and Hodak. [27] WJBK's newscasts remained competitive in the 1970s with a new stable of talent including anchors Joe Glover, Robbie Timmons, Harry Gallagher, Murray Feldman and Terry Murphy. The station also had correspondents in bureaus at the Detroit City-County Building, the Michigan state capital in Lansing and Washington, D.C.. [22] Nationally syndicated radio host George Noory was even a news producer at WJBK from 1974 to 1978, before becoming a news director at stations in Minneapolis and St. Louis. [28] However, by 1980, the station's news ratings steeply declined with the growing dominance of WXYZ. Also by this time WDIV's new owners, Post-Newsweek Stations, were making aggressive changes to bolster its station's image and ratings from third place. By 1982, management at WJBK replaced most of the staff, which sank the station's news ratings further into third place, from where it would almost never recover. [27]

With new management, WJBK's news department saw a resurgence by 1990 with new staff that included Sherry Margolis, Huel Perkins and the rehiring of former anchor Joe Glover. The station would also hire away news staff and talent away from top rated WXYZ including Rich Fisher, Dayna Eubanks, Catherine Lehan, Jerry Hodak and investigative reporter Vince Wade. [18] The station revised its image with a new logo, graphics, music and news set and began airing Detroit's first 4 p.m. newscast as part of a three-hour evening news block with half-hour newscasts at 4, 5 and 6 p.m. At the same time, the station also became Detroit's first television station to launch a weekend morning newscast. Overall, WJBK's news ratings would not improve enough to surpass WXYZ and WDIV, which would continue to go head-to-head for first place. The station would also begin to simulcast its late newscast on WADL, which lasted until 1998. It would also be among the first television stations in the country to air obituaries in 1995 during the Detroit newspaper strike.

Fox 2 News

Fox 2 News Remote Van. WJBK News Remote Van Novi Michigan.JPG
Fox 2 News Remote Van.

When WJBK switched affiliations from CBS to Fox in December 1994, the station adopted a news-intensive format. It has retained a news schedule similar to the one it had as a CBS affiliate. The 35-minute 11 p.m. newscast was moved to 10 p.m. and expanded to an hour, and the weekday morning newscast was also expanded. The weekend 6 p.m. newscasts would also be expanded to one hour. WJBK now had a late local newscast in first place as it immediately overtook the hour-long 10 p.m. newscast that WKBD had at the time in the ratings. Eventually, WJBK would drop the 4 p.m. newscast, but the station's profile and ratings for its morning and 10 p.m. newscasts would surge with it out of direct competition from its main competitors WDIV and WXYZ. [27] In 1995, the station would hire news anchor Bill Bonds after his departure from WXYZ-TV. Bonds would fill the 11 p.m. timeslot with a news/interview show, Bonds Tonight. [18]

The newscasts were branded as Fox 2 Eyewitness News until 1997, when Fox took full ownership of the station and rebranded its newscasts as Fox 2 News. By that time, the station would also release its previous WXYZ hires. At the same time, Fox's news management brought on new talent including Dan Miller, Alan Lee and Monica Gayle from Seattle. By 1998, the station would bolster its image by improving its investigative and consumer advocate unit and branding it as The Problem Solvers. It also adopted a slogan complimentary to Detroit's working class heritage, "News That Works for You". On September 24, 2007, WJBK relaunched an 11 p.m. newscast, using the NewsEdge format originally used by Fox Tampa station WTVT. It also changed its logo, graphics and news theme to an image that became standard on the Fox O&O stations. In April 2008, the station became the first Fox-owned station (and the third television station in Detroit) to broadcast its news programming in high definition.

As of September 12, 2016 WJBK added an extra half hour of newscast to its 6:00 pm news. The news show now runs from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. https://www.google.com/amp/s/changingnewscasts.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/small-minor-newscast-change-95/amp/?client=safari

Mornings

WJBK had a tradition of producing its own morning news shows instead of airing CBS's morning news programs, beginning with a 7:30 a.m. newscast in 1969. The newscast would soon expand to an hour starting at 7 a.m. It became a mix of news, interviews and features and would be renamed Good Morning, Detroit and eventually moved to 8 a.m. [22] During its run, Vic Caputo would co-anchor separately with Beverly Payne, Ken Ford and Kathy O'Brien. Payne would be the first African-American female news anchor in Detroit. [18] Good Morning, Detroit eventually became Morning Magazine, hosted by Kathy O'Brien and Gary Cubberly. In 1982, Morning Magazine was discontinued and briefly became Two's Company, also hosted by O'Brien and Cubberly. In 1992, the station preempted CBS' morning news program again when WJBK rehired Jerry Hodak from WXYZ to co-anchor Eyewitness News Morning. Just prior to that, WJBK also debuted Detroit's first weekend morning newscast, which was first anchored by former PM Magazine host Gary Cubberly. Competitor WDIV would follow with its own weekend morning newscast, as did eventually WXYZ. Since then, the station has broadcast more morning news hours than any other Detroit television station. In September 2009, the morning newscast was expanded to 5½ hours, airing from 4:30 to 10 a.m. In September 2011, Fox 2 News Morning expanded to 6½ hours from 4:30 to 11 a.m., where it joins the station's hour-long midday newscast at 11 a.m. WJBK has also had the longest-running midday newscast in the Detroit market, which originated in 1966 in the noon timeslot, before moving to 11 a.m. shortly after the switch to Fox. [29]

On Wednesday, May 6, 2015, WJBK's morning show became the subject of notoriety for a blooper, wherein an anchor innuendously declared a hope for a "dry hump day". [30] [31] In fall of 2018, WJBK begin expanding its current morning newscasts to 8 hours with addition of half-hour starting at 4 a.m.

Ratings

As of February 2012, WJBK's Fox 2 News Morning has consistently remained the Detroit market's highest rated local morning newscast (6–7 a.m., 4.5 rating/17 share). After years of faltering at a distant third against WDIV and WXYZ, WJBK began to make gains in its audience growth in other newscasts. While WDIV continued to have the most-watched evening and late newscasts, WJBK's 10 p.m. news (7.5 rating/12 share) remains the highest-rated primetime newscast in Metro Detroit. Its early evening 5 and 5:30 p.m. newscasts (6.0/13) have surpassed WXYZ-TV's longtime dominant 5 p.m. newscast (5.8/13) for second place. While WJBK's 6 p.m. newscast (5.1/10) has become a very close third moving within one rating point to WXYZ's newscast in that timeslot (6.1/12). Since debuting in 2007, WJBK's 11 p.m. newscast Newsedge has been in third place overall (5.0 rating/9 share). [32]

Notable current on-air staff

Notable former on-air staff

Out-of-market coverage

Canada

WJBK also serves as a Fox station for other Canadian cable providers, including on Rogers Cable in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, Ontario. It was also one of five Detroit television stations seen in Canada on satellite provider Shaw Direct. As of April 2009, Shaw Broadcast Services (formerly CANCOM) replaced WJBK's signal with Rochester, New York Fox affiliate WUHF. [35] As a CBS affiliate, WJBK was carried on Cable Atlantic (now Rogers Cable) in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia from 1985 until it affiliated with Fox in 1994. Both provinces are now served by Boston CBS O&O WBZ-TV.

Coverage on cable providers outside the Detroit/Windsor market may be subject to syndex and network blackouts in the United States and simsubbing in Canada.

Newscasts

When WJBK became a Fox station, Cadillac, Michigan Fox affiliate WGKI/WGKU (now WFQX-TV/WFUP) stopped simulcasting WKBD's 10 p.m. newscast in favor of WJBK's until WGKI began producing its own 10 p.m. newscast in 2000. In January 2007, WFQX began simulcasting WJBK's morning newscast from 6 to 8 a.m. under the title Michigan's Fox News Morning. The simulcasts were made possible with an agreement that offered northern Michigan businesses advertising opportunities during the newscast. WFQX would also air the second half of WJBK's 10 p.m. newscast following its own half-hour 10 p.m. newscast. WFQX would drop WJBK's newscasts altogether in October 2007, after the station was sold and CBS affiliate WWTV began producing WFQX's 10 p.m. and morning newscasts.

See also

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