WREG-TV is Memphis, Tennessee's CBS television affiliate, operating on digital channel 28, and uses PSIP 3 as its virtual channel. The station is owned by Local TV, which took over all of the television stations formerly owned by The New York Times Company on May 7, 2007. Its transmitter is located in Memphis.
|Branding||News Channel 3|
|Slogan||On Your Side|
|Channels||Digital: 28 (UHF)|
|Subchannels||3.1 CBS HD
3.2 NewsChannel 3 Anytime
K62DA Malden MO
Antenna TV (DT2)
|Owner||Local TV, LLC
(Local TV Tennessee License, LLC)
|First air date||January 1, 1956|
|Call letters' meaning||variation of original calls|
|Former callsigns||WREC-TV (1956-1971)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
3 (VHF, 1956-2009)
|Transmitter power||906 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||35°10′52″N 89°49′56″W / 35.18111°N 89.83222°W / 35.18111; -89.83222|
WREG-TV first went to air on New Year's Day 1956 as WREC-TV. Owned by electrical engineer and radio dealer Hoyt Wooten along with WREC radio (AM 600 and FM 102.7, now WEGR), the station began regular broadcasts the next day. The calls stood for Wooten's radio store, the Wooten Radio-Electric Company. It took the CBS affiliation from WHBQ-TV because WREC-AM had been a CBS affiliate since 1929. Studios were located in the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. Wooten had actually applied for one of the first television licenses in the country, in 1928. Also knowned as WREG.
For its first six years, WREC-TV was the only locally-owned station in Memphis (WHBQ-TV was owned by General Tire and WMC-TV was owned by Scripps). However, Wooten sold WREC-AM-FM-TV in 1962 to Cowles Communications. In turn, Cowles sold WREC-TV to the New York Times in 1971 and the call letters changed to WREG-TV; it later sold the radio stations to other interests. Four years later in 1975, the Times built new facilities for WREG on one of the highest points on Chickasaw Bluff, overlooking the Mississippi River. The station also maintains studio space in the Peabody Place shopping center, adjacent to the Peabody Hotel, marking a partial return of sorts to its early years.
For more than two decades, WREG has been in a Nielsen ratings war for first place with longtime powerhouse WMC-TV. But WREG never actually won a ratings period until February, 2006. That was the debut of a new anchor team with years of experience at other stations in the Memphis market. Claudia Barr was previously a main anchor at competitor WHBQ (Memphis's FOX affiliate) and Richard Ransom was previously a morning anchor and reporter at WMC (Memphis's NBC affiliate). Ransom and Barr replaced longtime anchors Jerry Tate and Pam McKelvy. Since that time, WREG has won the all-important 10pm ratings battle three times more often than WMC. The number of victories for the important morning news battle anchored by Kris Anderson and Markova Reed is just as dominant.
WREG often works together with a sister Local TV station, WHNT-TV in Huntsville, Alabama. The two often share resources on large stories, such as the April 2007 trial of Mary Winkler. For the first week of the trial, WREG worked from the satellite truck of WHNT. During the second week, WHNT worked from WREG's truck. Also, reporters from one station often do live reports for the other. Further, WHNT also airs News Channel 3 Knowledge Bowl on its digital sub-channel.
The station's digital channel is UHF 28, multiplexed:
|3.1||WREG-DT1||Main WREG-TV Programming / CBS (HD)|
|3.2||WREG-DT2||News Channel 3 Anytime|
Throughout the early 1960s into the late 1980s, WREC/WREG claimed to possess the largest motion picture library of any TV station in the United States, which was evidenced in its daily (late afternoons and late nights) and weekend programming lineup at the time. The station used some of those features for theme weeks (e.g., "Godzilla Week", "John Wayne Week"), which proved to be very popular with viewers. However, like most major network affiliates in the early 1980s, channel 3 began cutting back on the heavy amount of movie airings that occupied much of its off-network schedule, a move prompted by the presence of cable, VCRs, and the emergence of then-independent competitors WPTY-TV in 1978 and WMKW (now WLMT) in 1983.
WREG is one of the few CBS stations that pre-empts the Saturday Early Show in favor of a Saturday morning newscast. Syndicated programs on Channel 3 include Inside Edition, Jeopardy!, Entertainment Tonight, and The Insider.
On Sunday, June 13 at 10:00 p.m., WREG-TV became the third station in the Memphis area to broadcast local newscasts in High Definition. The switch came with some updates to the newsroom set and new graphics but have had major technical glitches during the initial week of the switch to HD. Both of its main rivals, WMC-TV and WHBQ-TV respectively, have already made the switch to HD news.
Current on-air staff
- Stephanie Scurlock - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Alex Coleman - weekdays on Live @ 9 a.m. (9:00-10:00 a.m.) and weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 p.m.; also reporter
- Marybeth Conley - weekdays on Live @ 9 a.m. (9:00-10:00 a.m.)
- Elise Preston - weekend mornings on Daybreak; also reporter
- Greg Hurst - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Markova Reed - weekday mornings on Daybreak (4:30-7:00 a.m.)
- Stephanie Scurlock - Saturdays at 6:00 and weekends at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.; also reporter
- April Thompson - weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 p.m.; also reporter
- Dennis Turner - weekday mornings on Daybreak; also weekday Mississippi newsroom reporter
On Your Side Weather
- Tim Simpson (NWA Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weekdays at 4:00 and 4:30 and weeknights at 6:00 p.m.
- Todd Demers - meteorologist; weekday mornings on Daybreak(4:30-7:00 a.m.) and Live at 9 a.m. (9:00-10:00 a.m.)and weekdays at noon
- Jim Jaggers - (AMS Certifed Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00 & 10:00 p.m.
- Austen Onek (member, AMS) - meteorologist; weekend mornings on Daybreak, Saturdays at 6:00 and weekends at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Glenn Carver - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- Mike Ceide - sports anchor; Saturdays at 6:00 and weekends at 5:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- George Brown - web content manager
- Wayne Carter - general assignment reporter
- Sabrina Hall - general assignment reporter
- Adam Hammond - general assignment reporter
- Jessica Gertler - general assignment reporter
- Zaneta Lowe - chief consumer investigator
- Candace McCowan - weekday morning reporter
- Melissa Moon - weekday morning reporter
- Michele Reese - general assignment reporter
- Otis Sanford - commentator
- Corie Ventura - weekday morning traffic reporter (5:30-7:00 a.m.); also assignment editor
- John Gwin, Joel Rosenber, Ed Randle - Daybreak News director
- George Brown - Web Content Manager for WREG.com; formerly of WMC
- Norm Brewer - contributing editor/news analyst
- Rachel Duncan, Eric Lipford, Rich Holden - Daybreak Producers
- Jen Cates - Live @ 9, producer
Former on-air staff
- Paul Dorman
- Pam Crittendon
- John Powell
- Fred Cook
- Pam McKelvy Hammer (now at WKIM-FM)
- Joe Larkins
- Natalie Allen (now at CNN and CNN International)
- Mike Lawhead
- Carolyn Brookter
- Jerry Tate (retired)
- Cindy Whipple
- Rob Sylvestor
- Susie Robinette
- Gene Hocutt
- Sharon Crews
- Dorothy Tucker
- Brian Teigland (deceased)
- Theo Travers (now at Nickelodeon)
- Tom Stocker
- Larry Ennis
- Jeff Beimfohr (now at WPTY)
- Jim Bonds
- Olin Morris
- Sheryl Kahn
- Earle Farrell (now at WHBQ-TV)
- Ray Pohlman
- De Anna Sheffield
- Jennifer Van Vranken
- Cheryl Kepes
- Annie Kim
- Brian Kuebler
- Amy Speropoulos (now at WMC-TV)
- Christine Connolly (now at KRON-TV; San Francisco)
- Rick Jackson (now at WVIZ, Cleveland)
- NewsWatch 3 (1970s–early 1980s)
- News 3 (1980s–1993)
- NewsChannel 3 (1993–present)
- Hello Memphis (1982–1985; during period station used Frank Gari's "Hello News")
- Memphis & Channel 3 (1987–1992)
- The Look of Memphis is Channel 3 (1991–1992; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
- Where Local News Comes First (1997–1998)
- Your 21st Century Starts Here (1998–2000)
- On Your Side (2000–present)