WKRC-TV is the CBS-affiliated television station for the Tri-State area of Southern Ohio,Northern Kentucky, and Southeastern Indiana that is licensed to Cincinnati. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 12 from a transmitter at its studios on Highland Avenue in the Mount Auburn section of the city. Owned by Newport Television, syndicated programming on the station includes: Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
|Branding||Local 12 (general)
Local 12 News(newscasts) The CW Cincinnati (on DT2)
|Slogan||Get it Right Now|
|Channels||Digital: 12 (VHF)Virtual: 12 (PSIP)|
|Subchannels||12.1 CBS12.2The CW|
|Affiliations||CBS (since 1996; also from 1949-1961)|
(Newport Television License LLC)
|Founded||April 4, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||Kodel Radio Company|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
11 (VHF, 1949-1952) 12 (VHF, 1952-2009) Digital: 31 (UHF, 2001-2009)
|Former affiliations||NTA Film (1949-1961)ABC (1961-1996)|
|Transmitter power||15.55 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||39°6′59″N 84°30′7″W|
The station signed on-air April 4, 1949 making it Cincinnati's second-oldest television station. The "KRC" of its call sign stood for its radio counterpart's original owner, Clarence Ogden of the Kodel Radio Company ("Ko" for Clarence and "dell" for Della his wife). WKRC-TV became the flagship station of Taft Broadcasting along with WKRC radio (AM 550) and FM 101.9 nowWKRQ. Originally broadcasting on VHF channel 11, it moved to channel 12 on October 12, 1952. It was a CBS affiliate but switched to ABC in 1961. This came after that network's founderLeonard Goldenson persuaded Taft's president, a longtime friend, to switch several of the company's stations to ABC. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with theNTA Film Network. WKRC's nickname in the 1960s was "Tall 12", a reference to the station's transmitter tower which was the tallest in Cincinnati at the time. Like its competitor WCPO-TV, WKRC used a distinctive jingle ID at the top of the hour in the 1960s. The upbeat, orchestrated "Channel 12" jingle was followed by children's show host Glenn Ryle announcing: "This is WKRC-TV Cincinnati". In 1975, it began airing movies on late night Saturdays in a program called The Past Prime Playhouse. Hosted live by local personality Bob Shreve, the show would air until 1988.
Over the years, as an ABC affiliate, WKRC-TV preempted moderate amounts of weekday programming and the Sunday morning cartoon reruns from ABC. When ABC offered late night programming from 11:30 pm to about 2:00 am, WKRC, like many other affiliates chose not to air it. It did air Nightline once that began in 1979. Occasionally, WKRC preempted a lower rated prime time program or movie from ABC to air either a stronger movie or a locally based special. Most programs not shown on WKRC were widely preempted by many affiliates. Also, most every show not shown on WKRC-TV was aired on the ABC station in nearby Dayton, WKEFuntil 1980 and WDTN after 1980. Locally, WKRC aired news, talk shows, movies, and a few off network sitcoms at some points. Beginning in 1992, WKRC-TV ran only 3 hours of the ABC Saturday morning cartoons in favor of a local Saturday morning newscast.
In 1987, Taft was dissolved in a hostile takeover of its board and all of its stations (except WSYX-TV inColumbus, Ohio and WGHP-TV in High Point, North Carolina) were absorbed into Great American Broadcasting which became Citicasters in 1993. WKRC was subsequently acquired by Jacor in September 1996 after most of Citicasters' other television stations were sold to New World Communications and Fox. The Jacor deal reunited channel 12 with its AM sister which had been bought by Jacor in 1993 during Great American Broadcasting's bankruptcy reorganization. Jacor merged with Clear Channel Communications in 1998 although the Citicasters name continued to appear on WKRC's license until the sale of the station to Newport Television because it survives as a holding company within the Clear Channel corporate structure.
The station switched affiliations with WCPO on June 6, 1996 becoming a CBS affiliate once again. That station, which would take the ABC affiliation as part of a corporate affiliation deal its owner E.W. Scripps Company cut back in 1994, had to wait for WKRC's affiliation contract with ABC to run out before switching. As a CBS affiliate, WKRC-TV ran the entire schedule except for several hours of the CBS Saturday morning cartoon lineup which would soon be pulled back to only several hours anyway. Once that was pulled back, WKRC-TV was then running the entire CBS schedule with an occasional exception. Although owned by Clear Channel at the time, the station changed its branding to "Local 12" in 2003. This was inspired by the "Local Mandate", a station standardization branding adopted by Post-Newsweek for its own television stations. There are at least six other known non Post-Newsweek stations to have used the "Local" branding. KFMB-TV inSan Diego, California used "Local 8" from 2001 to 2005). KPSP in Palm Springs, California, KOIN in Portland, Oregon, and WPSD-TV inPaducah, Kentucky have used "KPSP Local 2", "KOIN Local 6" and "WPSD Local 6" respectively, since 2008. WPMI in Mobile, Alabamahas recently re-branded as "Local 15" as of August 2009 while KDBC in El Paso, Texas rebraded their newscasts as "Local 4 News" the following year.
In 2006, Clear Channel ranked WKRC as the top CBS affiliate in the United States. On November 16 of that year, Clear Channel announced that it would sell all its television stations, including WKRC, after being bought by private equity firms. On April 20, 2007, the company entered into an agreement to sell its entire television station group toProvidence Equity Partners. Providence Equity teamed up with Sandy DiPasquale to form a new holding company, Newport Television, for the station group. Concurrently, Clear Channel applied to place WKRC and several other stations to the Aloha Station Trust just in case Newport Television failed to close on the group. However as a result of Newport Television closing on the purchase of WKRC and the other stations on March 14, 2008, Aloha Station Trust and the would-be new owners of Clear Channel opted not to consummate on the acquisition of this station. As a result, Newport Television became WKRC's fourth owner in just over twenty years. On June 18, 2008, the company announced that it was eliminating 7.5% of the jobs at its 56 stations. It attributed the firings to a weak economy. As a result, WKRC fired eighteen staff members. WKRC-TV ended programming on its analog signal, on VHF channel 12, on June 12, 2009, as part of the DTV transition in the United States. The station then moved back to channel 12 for its post-transition operations.
WKRC's signal is multiplexed. It operates the area's CW affiliate on a second digital subchannel. Known on-air as The CW Cincinnati, this can also be seen in Ohio on Time Warner channel 20 with high definition on digital channel 913, in Kentucky on Insight channel 25, in Indiana on Comcast digital channel 253, and part of DirecTV's local package on channel 25. Syndicated programming on WKRC-DT2 includes: Two and a Half Men, Tyler Perry's House of Payne, The Dr. Oz Show, and The Tyra Banks Show.
|12.1||main WKRC programming / CBS HD|
|12.2||WKRC-DT2 "The CW Cincinnati"|
With WCPO-TV's channel change to a UHF frequency, which occurred on December 8, 2010, WKRC is the only television station in the Cincinnati area that's operating on the VHF dial.
WKRC-DT2 "The CW Cincinnati"
On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would end broadcasting and merge. The new combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of its corporate parents, CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros.unit of Time Warner. WKRC picked up affiliation with the new network on a new second digital subchannel resulting in UPN affiliate WBQC-CA going independent. Meanwhile, WB affiliate WSTR-TV joined the other new network, News Corporation-owned MyNetworkTV which launched on September 5.
Cincinnati cable viewers feared that WKRC-DT2 would face the same problems as WBQC. For years, Time Warner Cable had refused to carry that station full-time eventually airing its prime time programming on a low-profile channel. However, Time Warner Cable was a division of Time Warner at the time (who would be half-owner of The CW) so it was in the company's best interest to air WKRC-DT2 over its systems. By late in the day on September 17, Time Warner Cable agreed to carry the new station only hours before the network's launch on September 18. The new station launched on Time Warner channel 2 in prime time only to start out with and 24/7 on digital cable channel 913 before earning a full-time broadcast basic berth on channel 20 as of October 18  displacing WBQC and a commercial access channel. The station also debuted on Insight Communications and DirecTV under WBQC's former channel slots.
As a result, the channel can be viewed by 66% of the local population due to carriage by Time Warner Cable in Ohio, Insight in Northern Kentucky, and DirecTV. The subchannel originally broke from the network's usual station branding and called itself "The CinCW", aportmanteau with "Cincy". It currently airs the entire CW schedule in-pattern while outside of network hours airs classic sitcoms, dramas, films, and second runs of WKRC's syndicated programming along with regional wrestling programming on Saturday afternoons and evenings. Repeats of WKRC's local DIY show Homeworx can also be seen.
From 1977 to 1992, its news division was branded Eyewitness 12 News, a moniker that WLWT-TV would reuse in 1998. Afterwords, the station was usually announced as 12 News. With the arrival of chief meteorologist Tim Hedrick in 1988, WKRC began using the top of the ChiquitaCenter as its Weather Beacon. In 1994, WKRC began displaying "Texta" (an on-screen banner) consisting of the current story's headline for the duration of the station's newscasts. Later, most Cincinnati stations would add news tickers to their weekday morning shows. WKRC added its ticker below the texta headline. For a few years, the station aired its weekday Good Morning Cincinnati broadcast live from the ground floor of Fifth Third Bank's headquarters in downtown withFountain Square as the backdrop. In 1996, WKRC began airing 12 News First at 4, a half-hour newscast on weekday afternoons.
On April 26, 2006, the station announced a news share agreement with WSTR to produce a nightly prime time show known as Local 12 News at 10 on My 64 which began airing on August 21. This resulted, once MyNetworkTV began, in a CBS affiliate's newscast being carried on a station affiliated with a Fox sister network. On January 7, 2008, WKRC began simulcastingGood Morning Cincinnati on WKRC-DT2. It had been aired on the main channel from 5 to 8 in the morning but the third hour was dropped when CBS reclaimed the 7 o'clock hour for The Early Show. The network now requires all of its affiliates to air the show in its entirety after receiving a makeover hoping to better compete against its rivals, NBC's Today and ABC's Good Morning America. The 7-8 a.m. hour of Good Morning Cincinnati can now be only seen on WKRC-DT2. WKRC announced its intent to move the prime time newscast on WSTR to WKRC-DT2 in August 2008. On August 4, it began a brief simulcast of this program on WKRC-DT2 with it eventually being dropped from WSTR on August 22. The program then became known as CW News at 10.
Newport released a statement in October 2008 saying that WKRC would eventually begin broadcasting its newscasts in 1080i high definition. The company used the channel as a pilot station before investing in HD equipment for its other television stations. On October 30, it debuted a new set on its First at 4 broadcast in preparation for the HD debut. After nearly a year of delay, the station launched its high definition newscasts along with new logo and graphics on September 27, 2009 during its 11 o'clock show. It became the third in the Cincinnati area after WCPO and WXIX-TV and the second in the Newport group after WOAI-TV to make the upgrade. WKRC currently use JVC ProHD 250 Series cameras in its studios.
For most of its history, WKRC has been a solid runner-up to WCPO in the local newscast ratings. However, in the past decade or so it has exchanged first and second place with WCPO. WKRC usually wins on weekday mornings and at 11 p.m. while WCPO leads in the 5 to 7 p.m. block. However since the May 2010 Nielsen ratings period, WKRC dominated its competition in all newscast time slots with WCPO slipping to second.
At one point all three of Cincinnati's "Big Three" network affiliates were locally-owned (and WCPO is now the only one of the three to remain under locally-based ownership). However, WLWT began falling behind in the ratings after it became the first of the three to be sold to outside interests.
- Tall 12 News (1960s-mid 1970s)
- EDGE (mid 1970s-1977)
- Eyewitness 12 News (1977–1992)
- 12 News (1992–2004)
- Local 12 News (2004–present)
- "Tall 12" (mid-late 1960s, used when WKRC upgraded its transmitter tower)
- "The Edge" (late 1970s)
- "We're Still the One, on Channel 12" (1977–1980; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- "We`re The One You Can Turn To, Channel 12" (1978–1979; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- "You and Me and Channel 12" (1980–1981; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- "Now is the Time, Channel 12 is the Place" (1981–1982; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- "Come on Along with Channel 12" (1982–1983; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- "That Special Feeling on Channel 12" (1983–1984; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- "We're With You on Channel 12" (1984–1985; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- "You'll Love It on Channel 12" (1985–1986; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- "Together on Channel 12" (1986–1987; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- "Something's Happening on Channel 12" (1987–1990; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- "Cincinnati's Watching Channel 12" (1990–1992; localized version of "America's Watching ABC" ad campaign)
- "Your Local News Source" (1992–1994)
- "If It's Cincinnati, It Must Be Channel 12" (1992–1993; localized version of "It Must Be ABC" ad campaign)
- "Watched By More Cincinnati, Channel 12, ABC" (1993-June 1996; final localized version of ABC ad campaign, before the Switch to CBS)
- "A New Generation of News" (1994–2004)
- "Live. Local. Latebreaking." (2000–2004, secondary)
- "So Committed to Local Coverage, We've Made It Part of our Name." (2004, secondary)
- "Coverage Where You Live" (2004–2007, secondary 2007–present)
- "Get it Right Now" (2007–present)
- "The Weather Authority" (secondary for news, 1988–present)
Current on-air staff
- Kit Andrews - weekdays at noon, 4, 4:30, and 5:30 p.m.
- Liz Bonis - weekday mornings; also weeknight reporter
- Rob Braun - weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Cammy Dierking - weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Bob Herzog - Saturday mornings; also weekday morning traffic reporter, Bengals Nation host and "The Cooler" segment producer
- John Lomax - weekday mornings and noon
- Paula Toti - weekend evenings; also weeknight reporter
- Tim Hedrick (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Michelle Boutilette (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekdays at 4 and 4:30, and weeknights at 10 p.m.
- Jeff Creighton - meteorologist; Saturday mornings and weekend evenings
- John Gumm (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings and noon
- Erin Sebree - fill in meteorologist
- Brad Johansen - sports director; weeknights at 6, 10 and 11 p.m.; also Sports Authority host
- Zach Wells - sports anchor; weekend evenings
- Howard Ain - investigative reporter
- Jen Dalton - general assignment reporter
- Larry Davis - general assignment reporter
- Deborah Dixon - "Crimestoppers" segment producer
- Jeff Hirsh - general assignment reporter
- Dan Hurley - 12 Newsmakers host
- Angela Ingram - general assignment reporter
- Rich Jaffe - general assignment reporter
- Angenette Levy - general assignment reporter
- Perry Schiable - general assignment reporter
- Dan Spehler - general assignment reporter
- Joe Webb - general assignment reporter
- Tiffany Wilson - general assignment reporter
News Cast Times
Weekday Good Morning Cincinnati@ 4:25-7:00 am (7:00-8:00 am on the CW Cincinnati) Local 12 News@ 12:00-12:30 pm Local 12 News@ 4:00-6:30 pm Local 12 News@ 11:00-11:35 pm
Weekends Good Morning Cincinnati Saturday 6:00-8:00 am (Saturday only) Local 12 News@ 6:00 Local 12 News@ 11:00
Notable former staff
- Rod Serling worked for WKRC-TV between 1948 and 1953, writing a regular weekly series of live dramas for the anthology show The Storm.
- Glenn Ryle, a staff announcer from 1954 through the late 80s, was also a children's show host, taking the on-air name "Skipper Ryle" until 1973. His program was second only to WCPO's "Uncle Al" show in popularity.
- Nick Clooney, father of George Clooney, hosted his own talk show on WKRC in the early-mid 1970s, and later became a news anchor from 1975 to 1984.
- Ira Joe Fisher, weather reporter from 1981 to 1990 and known for writing backwards on plexiglass and now he's currently the weather reporter for The Saturday Early Show on CBS.
- Bob Shreve hosted The Past Prime Playhouse, a show that aired movies on late night Saturdays from 1975 to 1985.
- Bob Jones - main anchor - Early 1970s. Former disc jockey at WBAL moved to afternoons at sister station WKRC-AM, hosting "Kaleidoscope." Was usually on screen as he was chroma-keyed over news footage. Notable incident: after a series of on air technical mistakes, he looked into the camera and said, "I wonder how the beer is holding out in the control room."
- Bill Crafton - News Director/anchor "Eyewitness 12 News"
- JoAnn Moore - reporter for "Tall 12 News"
- Kyle Hill - reporter
- Harry Traynor - reporter
- Maxine Watkins - reporter
- Jocelyn Dorsey - reporter
- Steve Deshler - weatherman
- Jack Gates - reporter. Currently at Channel 4 San Diego.
- Mike Fenwick - Weatherman (deceased)
- Danny whitewash - Sportscaster
- Keith Pape - anchor/reporter
- Steve Horstmeyer, now chief meteorologist at WXIX
- Edye Robinson-Ellis - co-host of PM Magazine
- Janet Davies - co-host of PM Magazine
- Jodi Baskerville - reporter/anchor. Celebrity interviewer. Has portrayed herself on several episodes of "Seinfeld"
- Ken Broo, longtime Sports Director. Current sports anchor at WLWT
- Dennis Janson - Sports Director. Current sports anchor at WCPO
- Donn Burrows - sports anchor
- Dan Brady - weekend sports anchor
- Dayna Eubanks - anchor/Reporter
- Debra Silberstein - anchor
- Pamela Rigas - reporter. 4th runner up at Miss America 1984 & Ohio's Junior Miss 1978
- Tracy Townsend - reporter. Current aanchor/reporter at WBNS-TV in Columbus OH
- Angelique Frame - meteorologist
- Laverne Atkinson - weekend anchor & reporter
- Beverly White - reporter. Currently is a reporter for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles
- Aungelique Proctor - reporter
- Vicki Yates-Orr - anchor. Now anchorwoman for Newschannel 5 in Nashville TN
- Walt Maher - sportscaster
- Edie Magnus - reporter/anchor. Currently is a correspondent for "Dateline NBC"
- George Ciccarone - reporter. Currently operates By George Productions in Las Vegas and creator of HBO's "Cathouse: The Series"
- Mary Krutko - reporter. Currently hosts "New Home Living Now" on WCPO
- Terry Jessup - anchor/reporter. Is now a political specialist at KCNC-TV CBS4 in Denver CO
- Mike Buresh, meteorologist, now chief meteorologist of WTEV in Jacksonville, FL.
- Linda Vester - station intern. Went on to work as reporter/anchor for Fox News Channel, NBC News & MSNBC
- Sasha Rionda - reporter/host "Nuestro Rincon". Currently works for CNN International
- Marshall Harris - Sports reporter. Now works for Comcast Sports Net in Philadelphia
- Richard Jordan - reporter. Now works for WSVN in Miami, Florida
- Anna Townsend - anchor
- Tara Pachmayer - Sports reporter
- John L. Horne - Graphic Designer
- ^ Nelson, Bob (2004-04-17). "Origins of many Call Signs". Southwest Museum of Engineering, Communications and Computation. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956
- ^ "Ch. 12 a prime draw in sale". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Company): p. 15A. 2006-11-17. Retrieved 2006-11-17.
- ^ Clear Channel Communications (2007-04-20). "Clear Channel Agrees to Sell Television Station Group to Providence Equity Partners". Press release. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
- ^ http://www.local12.com/news/local/story/Local-12-Agrees-To-Delay-DTV-Switch/lZJy0yk5DE-9F-gsWArNqA.cspx
- ^ CDBS Print
- ^ Kiesewetter, John (2006-09-18). "Digital channel debuts". The Cincinnati Enquirer (Gannett Company): p. 1D. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
- ^ Kiesewetter, John (2006-09-17). "A Time Warner-CW Deal!". Cincinnati.Com Blogs. Gannett Company. Retrieved 2007-04-12.
- ^ "Old TV Newscast Titles". 2007-04-10. Retrieved 2007-04-28.
- ^ "Tim Hedrick". WKRC-TV. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- ^ Lisa Miller (producer). (1988). WKRC-TV Gets Weather Beacon. [Television advertisement]. WKRC-TV. "♪ If you wanna know / what the weather will be / just look up to the top / of the Chiquita Building. ... If the beacon's white then / there's no change in sight. ♪"
- ^ Sinclair Broadcast Group (2006-04-24). "WSTR & WKRC Enter Into 10PM News Share In Cincinnati". Press release. Retrieved 2006-05-20.
- ^ http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6604460.html