WFMJ-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for Youngstown, Ohio. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 20 from a transmitter on Mabel Street in Youngstown. Owned by the Maag family, the station has studios on West Boardman Street in downtown Youngstown. WFMJ-TV is locally owned along with the city's major newspaper. Syndicated programming on the station includes: The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Phil, Inside Edition, Judge Judy and Live with Regis & Kelly.
|Branding||21 WFMJ (general)
21 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||More Local News|
|Channels||Digital: 20 (UHF)|
21.2 The CW
|Owner||Vindicator Printing Company
(WFMJ Television, Inc.)
|First air date||March 8, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||William F. Maag, Jr.
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
73 (1953-1954) 21 (1954-2009)
|Transmitter power||460 kW (digital)|
|Height||295 m (digital)|
The station was founded by William F. Maag, Jr., publisher of the Vindicator. It was owned alongside and WFMJ radio (AM 1390, now WNIO, and FM 105.1, now WQXK). The Maags then purchased the construction permit issued for channel 21 (originally granted to WUTV) and moved to that frequency on August 7, 1954.
WFMJ is the only locally owned and operated station in the market, and, in fact, one of the few stations left in the country that is still locally owned and operated. The station points it out very often in advertisements, as the "Only Locally-Owned Station in Youngstown", compared with rivals WKBN-TV (owned by New Vision Television, which also owns low-power Fox affiliate WYFX-LP) and WYTV (owned by Parkin Broadcasting, which also owns the My Network TV digital subchannel MY-YTV, but operated under a local marketing agreement with WKBN parent New Vision). As a result, WFMJ has been a strong ratings force in Youngstown for several years. WFMJ's newscasts typically garner higher ratings than its competitors combined in the morning, 6 and 11 newscasts.
WFMJ is one of the few stations in the country that can boast airing Live with Regis and Kelly, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Dr. Phil, and Oprah on the same station. WFMJ's morning show (WFMJ Today), Today, and Live with Regis and Kelly ratings are among the highest in the country. WFMJ is also the Youngstown market's carrier station for the Ohio Lottery and its weekly game show, Cash Explosion Double Play. On Thursday October 29, 2009, at 6:00pm, the station's weather graphics were changed to the 3D:LIVE weather central system.
In addition to its main service area of extreme northeastern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania, WFMJ can be seen as far as the eastern and southern suburbs of Cleveland with a good antenna. From 1956 to 1965, WFMJ was the nearest NBC station to be received in Cleveland during when WKYC-TV as WNBK left NBC and became an independent station KYW-TV which was owned by Westinghouse.
WFMJ can be seen on Time Warner Youngstown cable channel 3, Armstrong channel 2, and Time Warner Warren channel 4. It can also be seen on Comcast Channel 7 and in HD on Channel 721 in New Castle & Bessemer, both of which are located in Western Pennsylvania. WFMJ is also carried on both the DirecTV and Dish Network home satellite systems.
Local sports programming
WFMJ founded the market's first expanded Friday Night high school football coverage with The Overtime Report. WFMJ also carries select Youngstown State University away football games live along with Penguin Gameday and the YSU coaches show for both football and basketball. WFMJ also airs local sports coverage during the morning, 6 P.M., and 11 P.M. newscasts.
On-air staff changes
Autumn Ziemba, co-anchor of WFMJ's 6 and 11 p.m. news broadcasts, left WFMJ in June 2007 after her contract ended. She stated that she made the decision in order to pursue other interests and spend more time with her family. On her last night as co-anchor, an announcement was made of her plans; however, viewers were unable to hear the announcement due to inclement weather that caused the channel's signal to go out. Afterwards, Ziemba got married and was a freelance reporter for WEWS in Cleveland; she is currently a weekend reporter for WJW. She was replaced by Cindy Matthews in January 2008.
Cindy Matthews, co-anchor of WFMJ's 6 and 11 p.m. news broadcasts, left WFMJ TV in January 2011 to pursue her career. Her last newscast on WFMJ was Friday January 7, 2011.
WFMJ-DT broadcasts on digital channel 20.
|Virtual channel||Physical channel||Programming|
|21.1||20.1||main WFMJ-TV programming / NBC HD|
|21.2||20.2||WBCB programming / CW SD|
21 WFMJ news team
- Mike Case - Morning co-anchor of "WFMJ Today" & noon co-anchor
- Lauren Landy - Morning co-anchor of "WFMJ Today" & noon co-anchor
- Bob Black - Evening co-anchor at 6PM & 11PM
- Jennifer Baligush - Weekend anchor at 6PM & 11PM / reporter
- Mike Case - Morning reporter / fill-in anchor
- Michelle Nicks - Evening reporter
- Talia Hagler - Reporter
- Glenn Stevens - Reporter / fill-in anchor
- Sally Phillips - Reporter / fill-in weekend anchor
- Janet Rogers - Reporter
- Matt Stone - Reporter / fill-in weather
- Susan Campbell - Health reporter
Storm Tracker 21
- Mark Koontz - Chief Meteorologist
- Mark Monstrola - Morning & noon meteorologist
- Tina Pietrondi - Weekend meteorologist
- Dana Balash - Sports Director
- Mike Ackelson - Weekend sports anchor / sports reporter
- Rob Decker - Sports reporter / fill-in sports anchor
Former on-air staff
- Kelly Stevens - now at WHOT-FM
- Richard W. "Dick" Skelton - Retired in 2007, died on May 29, 2008
- Katie Keifer - was at KCNC-TV
- Aimee Fuller - Noon & weekend anchor in the mid-1990s - now at KUSI-TVSan Diego
- Chuck Galeti - now at WOIO-TV
- Dr. Dave Walker - now at WTRF-TV
- Joyce Brewer - now creator and host of MommyTalkShow.com
- Lisa Montgomery - now at WTOV-TV
- Jim Lowboy - now at WYTV
- Renee Murphy - now at WHAS-TV
- Tracy Butler - now at WLS-TV
- Laura Steele - was at WGRZ-TV
- Dennison Keller - now at WKRC-TV; also a full-time lawyer
- Pamla Miles - Action news at noon in the 1990s
- Nicole Perry - First co-host of WFMJ Today
- Mary Hunt - 6 & 11 anchor in the mid-1990s
- Melissa Marsh - 6&11 chief meteorologist in 90s; now medical sales rep
- Lauren Schultz - Weekend news in the 1980s and 1990s
- Michelle Casas - Weekend news in the mid-1990s
- Dave Trygar - Weather, weekdays; now at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh
- Marc Howard - Anchor; retired after many years at WPVI and KYW-TV in Philadelphia
- Dawn McMurray - 6 & 11 anchor, 1993-1997
- Autumn Ziemba - 6 & 11 anchor - now at WJW in Cleveland
- Frank Marzullo - former "WFMJ Today" morning weather anchor, now at WXIX-TV Cincinnati
- Laurie Lehosky - former "WFMJ Today" morning news anchor
- Cindy Matthews - former "6 & 11 anchor, 2008-2011
- 21 Action News (1970s–2001)
- 21 News (2001–present)
- 21, Proud As A Peacock! (1979-1981; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- 21, Our Pride Is Showing (1981-1982; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- We`re 21, Just Watch Us Now (1982-1983; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- 21 There, Be There (1983-1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- 21, Let`s All Be There (1984-1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come Home to 21 (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come on Home to 21 (1987-1988; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come Home To The Best, Only on 21 (1988–1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- WFMJ, The Place To Be (1990-1992; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- In Touch with You (1990–1993)
- Your News Leader (1993–1999)
- More Local News (2000–present)
- Locally Owned, Locally Connected-Website (2011–present)
Local News in HD
It was announced on May 8, 2010 that WFMJ would begin broadcasting its news in HD in "the next few weeks". However, as of January 2011, newscasts are still aired in 4:3 standard definition. Viewers can view severe weather and lottery scrolls in 16:9 format. Once WFMJ begins HD newscasts, every channel in the Youngstown, Ohio market will be broadcasting their news in high definition. As of January 3, 2011 WFMJ has added HD pillar boxes during lottery cut ins, and during station newscasts.
HD Syndication and HD Local and National Advertising
In October of 2010, WFMJ started carrying almost all of the syndicated programming in HD. Currently, WFMJ carries the follow syndicated programs in HD. "Live with Regis and Kelly, Final 2 Hours of The Today Show, Dr. Phil, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Everybody Loves Raymond. Also WFMJ now have some local and national advertising spots in HD.
WFMJ also owns Youngstown's CW affiliate, WBCB. It operates WBCB as one of its digital subchannels and is available on all area cable systems on an analog basis including channel #16 on Armstrong and channel #14 on Time Warner. WBCB is also carried as a local channel available on the DirecTV home satellite system. WBCB launched in November 2004 as the market's first WB affiliate and was chosen by the new CW Network to serve the Youngstown DMA as its affiliate. The station carries a full 24/7 program schedule, including Seinfeld, TMZ, Extra, Access Hollywood, Friends, and Frasier.
While WFMJ still signs off on the weekends from about 2:30 AM to 4:30 AM (repeats of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Last Call with Carson Dalyfrom earlier in the evening usually air during the week between the first airing of Last Call and Early Today), WBCB still airs progamming during WFMJ's sign-off hours despite being on itsdigital subchannel. Since 2006, WFMJ has been the last station in the Youngstown market to sign off on a regular basis. WYTV, which from 1997-2006 signed off on a nightly basis, ended the practice with the launch of MY-YTV.