WBNG-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Eastern Southern Tier of New York State that is licensed to Binghamton. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 7 from a transmitter on Ingraham Hill Road. The station can also be seen on Time Warner channel 2 and in high definition on digital channel 701. Owned by the Granite Broadcasting Corporation, WBNG has studios on Columbia Drive in Johnson City. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, Oprah, and Rachael Ray. This channel is the default CBS affiliate for most of Otsego County in the Utica market.
|Binghamton, New York|
|Branding||WBNG 12 (general)
Action News Binghamton CW 11 (on DT2)
|Slogan||Your News Leader|
|Channels||Digital: 7 (VHF)|
|Owner||Granite Broadcasting Corporation
(WBNG License, Inc.)
|First air date||December 1, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||BiNGhamton|
|Former callsigns||WNBF-TV (1949-1973)|
|Former channel number(s)||12 (VHF analog, 1949-2009)|
|Former affiliations||DuMont (1949-1955)|
|Transmitter power||20.4 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||42°3′31″N 75°57′6″W / 42.05861°N 75.95167°W / 42.05861; -75.95167|
It operates the area's CW affiliate on a second digital subchannel. This can also be seen on Time Warner channel 11 (hence the Binghamton CW 11 branding). WBNG-DT2 gets all of its programming from The CW Plus.
|5.1||WBNG-DT||main WBMG-TV programming / CBS HD|
|5.2||WBNG-DT2||"Binghamton CW 11"|
The station launched on December 1, 1949 as WNBF-TV and was affiliated with all four American television networks at the time (CBS, DuMont, NBC, and ABC). The station aired an analog signal on VHF channel 12. It subsequently lost its affiliations with DuMont in 1955 after the network's collapse, NBC in 1957 (to WICZ-TV now a Fox affiliate), and ABC in 1962 (to WBJA-TV later WMGC and now WIVT). Triangle Publications, the owner of various broadcasting and newspaper properties such as WFIL-TV (now WPVI-TV) in Philadelphia, bought WNBF in 1955. The station adopted its current call-sign, WBNG-TV, in 1973 when Triangle sold the station to Gateway Communications.
In 2000, Gateway Communications was purchased by SJL Broadcasting which reduced staff from 100 to 58 over five years to fit the aggressive SJL automation model. In 2002, WBNG's digital signal on VHF channel 7 signed-on. In April 2006, it was announced that the Granite Broadcast Corporation made a deal to acquire the station from Television Station Group License Subsidiary, LLC (the successor to SJL and a subsidiary of Alta Communications) for $45 million. The required money was funded by a new senior credit facility created after the previously announced sales of Detroit's WMYD and San Francisco's KBWB fell apart.
Granite closed on its purchase of WBNG on July 26, 2006. As part of the transaction, Les Vann (formerly President and General Manager of CBS affiliate WTVH in Syracuse) was promoted to Executive Vice President of Central and Southern New York operations with regional responsibilities at both WBNG and WTVH. Its digital signal began broadcasting network programming in high definition in late-January 2007.
Beginning in September 2007, CW affiliate "WBXI" began to be simulcasted on a new second digital subchannel of WBNG and began using the WBNG-DT2 call letters in an official manner. However, that station continues to use the fictional WBXI calls for promotion purposes. In December 2008, it was announced that a deal was reached with Granite and Time Warner Cable to carry WBNG's high definition digital signal throughout the Binghamton region. This is the first time that HD programming from CBS is available to customers in the Southern Tier of New York State without using an antenna.
On January 19, 2009, the channel went off-the-air for about thirty minutes around 11 p.m. due to a power failure. Although the digital transition date was switched from February 19 to June 12, the station still ceased analog transmission and became digital exclusive on the original date. On June 12, it left channel 12 and moved to channel 7 when the actual conversion was completed. Additional delays in digital transition at WENY-TV, an Elmira station which was to begin carrying CBS as a digital subchannel, had temporarily left WBNG in place as the default CBS affiliate for that area. However, WENY went on-air with its digital signal on April 25.
Current news open.For its entire existence, WBNG has held the number one spot in ratings by a wide margin. WIVT has been more or less a non-factor in the news race in Binghamton for almost forty years. It spent most of its history as the third station in what was essentially a two-station market and reaped virtually no benefit when long-time NBC affiliate WICZ-TV switched to Fox in 1996. That channel has had consistently low ratings and is a distant second place behind WBNG. On June 5, 2009, there was a noticeable increase in viewership on this channel after WIVT and WBGH-CA consolidated their news operation with NBC affiliate WETM-TV in Elmira.
Originally, the two only simulcasted some of that station's broadcasts while providing regional news and weather coverage for the Binghamton area. A locally-focused show would not return to WIVT and WBGH until June 28 but this is produced at WETM's facilities. Like all CW Plus stations in the Eastern Time Zone, WBNG-DT2 airs the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekdays from 6 to 9. There is also a weeknight prime time broadcast on that channel known as Action News at 10 on Binghamton CW 11. This competes with local news that airs on WICZ.
- Your Esso Reporter (1949-1953)
- WNBF-TV News (1953-1957)
- Communications Centre 12 (1957-late 1960s)
- Action News (late 1960s-present)
- Cristina Frank - weekday mornings and noon
- Haley Burton- weeknights at 5
- Candace Chapman - News Director seen weeknights at 6
- David Greber- weeknights at 5:30, 10 & 11pm
- TBD- Saturday Mornings
- TBD - weekends and multimedia journalist
Action News Storm Tracker Meteorologists
- Howard Manges (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seal of Approval) - weeknights
- Greg Pollak- weekday mornings and noon
- Andrea Michalenicz - weekends and multimedia journalist
- Brendan O'Reilly - Director seen weeknights at 6, 10, and 11
- Gabe Osterhout - weekends and "Academic All Star" segment producer
- "Action Sports Spotlight" segment producer
- Brennan Smith
- Haley Burton
- Matt Markham
- Leigh Dana
- Glen Wood - Friday Financial Tip
- Casey Krause - Home Gardener
- Jim Hoteling - Home Gardener
- Stacy Johnson - Money Talks
- Your Esso Reporter (1949-1953)
- WNBF-TV News (1953-1957)
- Action News (1957-present)
- Your News Leader (1996-present)