|New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Channels||Digital: 15 (UHF)Virtual: 38 (PSIP)|
|Subchannels||38.1 CW38.2 This TV|
This TV (DT2)
(Tribune Television New Orleans, Inc.)
|First air date||March 25, 1984|
|Call letters' meaning||New Orleans,Louisiana|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:38 (UHF, 1984-2009)|
|Former affiliations||independent (1984-1986)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
WNOL-TV signed on in March 1984 as a general entertainment independent television station as well as New Orleans' second, after WGNO, running a variety of cartoons, sitcoms, older movies, drama shows, and religious programs (a lot of which were formerly seen on WGNO). Its slogan was, "Don't Stay Home Without Us," a homage to Karl Malden's American Express commercial campaign.
In 1985, the station was sold to the TVX Broadcast Group. Along with the other stations in the TVX group, WNOL affiliated with Fox in 1986 (it has been said that when WGNO passed on the Fox affiliation, TVX used WNOL's affiliation with Fox as leverage to get Fox on its other stations, TVX actually affiliated all their stations with Fox). In 1987, TVX acquired Taft Broadcasting's independent stations and Fox affiliates. The next year, TVX sold off many of its stations. In 1989 TVX sold WNOL to Qwest Broadcasting, a company owned by minority investors led by musician Quincy Jones. WNOL continued to offer Fox programming, cartoons, sitcoms, movies, and drama shows into the 1990s.
In 1995, Fox entered into a partnership with Savoy Pictures to buy several television stations, one of them being New Orleans's longtime ABC affiliate WVUE (channel 8). As a result, the Fox affiliation, including Fox Kids programming, moved from WNOL to WVUE on January 1, 1996. WNOL, on the other hand, acquired the WB affiliation from WGNO—which in turn picked up ABC from WVUE. As the 1990s progressed, WNOL began to shift away from classic sitcoms and moved toward more talk and reality shows during the day.
Tribune Broadcasting (which then owned a stake in the WB network) began to manage WNOL in 1996 under a local marketing agreement, and purchased the station outright in 2000 (as part of a merger with Qwest), making WNOL and WGNO sister stations. Along with other similarly formatted stations, WNOL began to move away from cartoons in 2000. When Kids' WB ended its weekday run in 2006, WNOL dropped weekday cartoons.
In 2007, WNOL moved to new studio facilities at the Galleria Center in Metairie, Louisiana, which are shared with WGNO.
Hurricane Katrina and afftermath
Hurricane Katrina destroyed WNOL's transmitters along with those of its sister station WGNO. The stations then transmitted via analog service from a multi-purpose tower in Algiers. The stations were broadcasting their digital content as sub-channels of station WPXL until March 29, 2008, when WNOL's current digital transmitter on digital channel 15 was brought into service. It was decided by Tribune that because they elected to move WGNO's digital signal back to channel 26 with the June 12, 2009 digital transition, that they would wait to relaunch WGNO's digital signal and instead combine WGNO and WNOL's digital services onto WNOL's channel space until June 2009 and flash-cut WGNO at the end of the analog era.
From March 29, 2008 until June 12, 2009, WNOL's digital signal was divided into a full high definition 720p signal on 15.1 for WGNO's programming (which identified via PSIP as channel 26.1), while WNOL's schedule aired in 480i standard definition on 15.2 (flagged via PSIP as 38.1). On June 12, 2009 when WGNO's analog service ended, their programming moved fully to digital channel 26, allowing WNOL to to resume digital broadcasting in 1080i for the first time since August 2005.
On January 24, 2006, the WB and UPN networks announced they would merge into a new network called The CW. WNOL was announced as the New Orleans affiliate of the CW, which commenced operations on September 18, 2006. Former UPN station WUPL (channel 54), then owned by the CBS Corporation (now owned by the Belo Corporation), became an affiliate of MyNetworkTV, a new service owned by the News Corporation.
WNOL may also take on the responsibility of airing ABC programs when WGNO is not able to such as in a news-related emergency.
The station's digital channel on UHF 15, is multiplexed:
|38.1||WNOL Main Programming / The CW HD 1080i|
The station's broadcasts its HD 1080i digital signal on UHF 15. WNOL had been sharing digital channel 15 with WGNO. On June 12, 2009, sister station WGNO flash cut to UHF channel 26. This allowed on WNOL to resume high definition broadcasting on UHF channel 15. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WNOL-TV's virtual channel as "38".
From May 1, 2006 to June 4, 2010, WNOL broadcasted a 30-minute weeknight newscast, titled "ABC 26 News at 9," which went up against Fox affiliate WVUE-TV's hour-long primetime newscast. The newscast ran only on weeknights. This newscast was dropped in favor of reruns of The Simpsons at 7:00 pm and 7:30 pm and The CW's prime-time programming from 8:00 pm until 10:00 pm due to dismal ratings. Link
- "Don't Stay Home Without Us." (1984-1986)
- "Don't Let Fox 38 Weekends Pass You By" (1987-1988; local version of Fox ad campaign)
- "Fox 38, This is the Year" (1988-1990; local version of Fox ad campaign)
- "It's On Fox 38" (1990-1992; local version of Fox ad campaign)
Former Programming on Channel-38
- The Brady Bunch
- Crime Watch Daily
- Happy Day's
- The Jefferson
- The Hogan Family
- Laverne and Shirley
- The Ricki Lake Show
- WNOL NOLA38 Homepage
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WNOL
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WNOL-TV