WTVG, channel 13, is the ABC-affiliated television station for Northwest Ohio and licensed in Toledo, Ohio. WTVG's studios and offices are located in Toledo and its transmitter is located in Oregon, Ohio. It is owned by SJL Broadcasting. Syndicated programming on WTVG includes Live with Regis and Kelly, The Rachael Ray Show, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Entertainment Tonight and The Insider.
|Branding||13 ABC (general)
13 ABC Action News(newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 13 (VHF)|
|Subchannels||13.1 ABC13.2 Live Well Network
13.3 13 ABC Live Doppler 13000 HD
|Owner||SJL Broadcasting, Inc.
(WTVG Acquisition, Inc.)
|Founded||July 21, 1948|
|Former callsigns||WSPD-TV (1948–1979)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog: 13 (1948-2009)
Digital: 19 (1996-2009)
|Former affiliations||Primary:NBC (1948-1955, 1970-1995)|
|Transmitter power||16.7 kW (digital)|
|Height||305.4 m (digital)|
The station signed on the air on July 21, 1948 as WSPD-TV, owned by Storer Broadcasting along with WSPD radio (AM 1370 and FM 101.5, now WRVF). The studios were originally located at 136 Huron St. in downtown Toledo. It was Toledo's first television station, and the first television station in the Storer Broadcasting chain.
Originally, the station carried programming from all four television networks: NBC, ABC, CBS and DuMont. Initially, it was a primary NBC affiliate, owing to its radio sisters' long affiliation with NBC radio. In 1955, Storer changed its primary affiliation to CBS, as Storer and CBS had strong corporate ties. DuMont shut down in 1956, leaving WSPD-TV as a primary CBS affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation.
In 1958, however, CBS moved its affiliation to newly signed-on WTOL-TV, owing to its long affiliation with WTOL radio. Conventional wisdom suggested that WSPD-TV would go back to NBC. Instead, channel 13 switched its primary affiliation to ABC, while sharing NBC with WTOL. This was very unusual for a two-station market; ABC would not be on par with CBS and NBC in terms of programming until the 1970s. This didn't pose a problem for Toledo viewers, however, as WWJ-TV (now WDIV-TV) and WXYZ-TV in Detroit provided a fairly decent signal to most of the market. WSPD-TV became an exclusive NBC affiliate in 1970 when then-independent WDHO-TV, channel 24 (now WNWO-TV), took over the ABC affiliation.
Storer also owned WJBK-AM-FM-TV in Detroit and WJW-AM-FM-TV in Cleveland. Both WJBK-TV and WJW-TV were longstanding CBS affiliates. WSPD-TV's city-grade signal could be seen in the Detroit suburbs, while its grade B signal could be seen in Detroit and Cleveland. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) grandfathered this situation under its "one-to-a-market" rule in the 1970s. Storer sold off WSPD-FM in the early 1970s and WSPD-AM 1979, and channel 13 became WTVG.
The Storer stations were taken over by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) in 1985. As a result, WTVG lost its grandfathered protection and was not sold to Gillett Communications along with the other Storer stations in 1987. Instead, it was sold to a local employee/investor group called "Toledo Television, Inc." Toledo Television, in turn was bought out by SJL Broadcast Management in 1991.
On April 13, 2010, WTVG became the last ABC-owned station (as well as the first station in the Toledo DMA) to have upgraded its news productions to 16:9 widescreen enhanced definition. On July 2, 2010, WTVG became the first news station in Toledo and the ninth ABC-owned station to broadcast its newscasts in high definition. WTVG's rival WTOL announced that they will begin broadcasting all of their newscasts in high definition on April 25, 2011.
As an ABC-owned station
In 1994, New World Communications, the owner of most of WTVG's former sister stations, signed an affiliation deal with Fox Broadcasting Company, resulting in most of New World's stations switching affiliation to Fox, but some stayed with NBC (which later bought the New World stations that did not go to Fox). Among the stations due to switch was WJBK, Detroit's longtime CBS affiliate. To avoid being consigned to UHF in what was then the ninth-largest market, CBS heavily wooed Detroit's longtime ABC affiliate, WXYZ-TV, and the longtime NBC affiliate WDIV-TV.
WXYZ's owner, E.W. Scripps Company, then told ABC that unless it agreed to affiliate with Scripps-owned stations in four smaller markets, it would switch WXYZ to CBS. As a contingency, ABC approached SJL about buying WTVG and WJRT-TV in Flint, Michigan. Both stations' city-grade signals reached portions of the Detroit area, which would come in handy if ABC lost WXYZ to CBS. The deal closed on August 29, 1995. However, WTVG's affiliation contract didn't run out until October, so ABC had to run WTVG as an NBC affiliate for two months while NBC looked for a new affiliate in the area. On October 28, 1995, WTVG began airing ABC programming once again, sending the NBC affiliation to WNWO-TV. As it turned out, ABC agreed to the affiliation deal with Scripps as well, and WXYZ retained its ABC affiliation. ABC chose not to trade its newly acquired stations for former O&O WXYZ-TV (because of ABC's ownership of WJR-AM and two other FM stations in Detroit), and Scripps was looking to exit the radio business completely. In 1996, Capital Cities/ABC was acquired by Disney.
WTVG was one of only two ABC-Disney owned-and-operated stations (KTRK-TV in Houston, Texas is the other. WJRT-TV in Flint, Michigan did air it into the early 90's, but lost it to CBS affiliate WNEM by the time WJRT was acquired by ABC) which never aired The Oprah Winfrey Show since its debut on September 8, 1986. Oprah has always aired on WTOL and continues to do so to the present day (as does fellow CBS affiliate KHOU in Houston).
WTVG was the smallest station in the country that was an O&O of any major network, not counting semi-satellites (this includes WOGX in Ocala/Gainesville, Florida; which is a semi-satellite of WOFL in Orlando).
Sale back to SJL Broadcasting
On November 3, 2010, Broadcasting & Cable magazine announced that SJL Broadcasting, now owned by the principal owners of Lilly Broadcasting, made an agreement with Disney to buy back WTVG and WJRT, upon speculation that Disney may sell off ABC. Both stations are expected to retain their affiliations with ABC. SJL teamed up with a new private equity partner, Bain Capital, whose affiliated offshoot Sankaty Advisors provided the capital for the purchases (which amounted to $16.8 million on WTVG's end of the $30 million deal). WTVG began being owned by SJL Broadcasting again beginning April 1, 2011.  On April 12, 2011, the new management dismissed around 20 people from a pre-sale work force of approximately 100 -- all behind-the-scenes staff -- from the station, despite promising earlier that they would make no staff cuts. Similar cuts occurred at WJRT, though cuts there also involved that station's veteran newscasters Bill Harris and Joel Feick. 
The station's digital signal, now VHF channel 13, is multiplexed:
|13.1||720p||16:9||main WTVG programming / ABC HD|
|13.2||480i||4:3||Live Well Network|
|13.3||480i||4:3||13 ABC Live Doppler 13000 HD, formerly 13 ABC Weather Now|
On June 12, 2009, at 12:32 AM, WTVG turned-off its analog signal forever. The station's digital signal relocated to channel 13 following the digital transition. Channel 13 DTV transmits at a lower power than it did on Channel 19 DTV, so in some locations, there has been a reduction in coverage. Many VHF stations are applying to the FCC for power increases to restore their coverage area after moving from UHF back to VHF.
WTVG utilizes the Sony PDW510 XDCAM Camcorder. All Toledo stations (WTVG, WTOL, WNWO, and WUPW) use the Jeep Liberty as an ENG vehicle, due to the fact that they are made locally by Chrysler. WTVG also uses another Jeep-brand vehicle, the Jeep Commander.
The "I-Team" is WTVG's investigative reporting unit. During the noon newscast, local experts in different fields answer questions sent in by viewers on WTVG's website, in a segment called "Ask the Expert". One of five different experts is featured every day. WTVG owns and operates a 350,000 Watt Doppler Radar named Live Doppler 13000 HD.
WTVG airs two hours of local news shows every Sunday morning from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. The shows are each a half hour and talk about different types of topics. The shows include: Conklin and Company (11:00-11:30), Bridges (11:30-12:00), Roundtable (12:00-12:30) , and Coffee with the Fords (featuring former Toledo Mayor Jack Ford) (12:30-1:00).
WTVG also airs two special Friday night sports programs, Football Friday showcasing High School football games across Northwest Ohio, during the High School football season andBasketball Friday showcasing girls and boys Basketball across Northwest Ohio during the High School basketball season.
Alexis Means won an Ohio Associated Press award for best spot news coverage for "Gunmen in the School," a breaking news story in which a gunman was allegedly seen walking into a Toledo Public School.
- The WSPD-TV Newsreel (1949-1953)
- Your Esso Reporter (1953-1958)
- Deadline (1958-1969)
- The Venner-Ward Report (1969-1976)
- TV-13 News (1976-1979)
- 13 Strong News (1979-1984)
- 13 News (1984–1993)
- 24-Hour News 13 (1993–1995)
- 13 Action News (1995–2005)
- 13-ABC Action News (2005–present)
- 13 Strong (1977–1984)
- TV-13, Proud as a Peacock! (1979-1981; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- 13 Strong There, Be There (1983-1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)</span>
- TV-13, The Winners! (1984–?)
- Come Home to the Best, Only on TV-13 (1988–1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Your 24-Hour News Source (1989–1993)
- Watched By More Northwest Ohio, Channel 13, ABC (1995-1996; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Nobody Does It Like 13-ABC (1996-1997; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- TV is Good on 13-ABC (1997-1998; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- We Love TV, on 13-ABC (1998-1999; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Where The Action Is (2001–2006)
- Get Connected (2006–2013)
- 13-ABC, Start Here (2007-present; localized version of current ABC ad campaign)
- This is Home (2013–present)
Action News Team
Current on-air staff
(as of April 2011)
- Sashem Brey - weekday mornings on 13 ABC Action News Good Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Kristian Brown - weeknights at 5:30 p.m.; also weekday reporter
- Lee Conklin - weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also host of Conklin and Company
- Tony Geftos - weekend mornings on 13 ABC Action News Good Morning (6:00-8:00 a.m. & 9:00-10:00 a.m.); also weekday reporter
- Bill Hormann - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also weekday reporter
- Diane Larson - weeknights at 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also weekday reporter on "Money Matters" at 5:30 p.m.
- Jeff Smith - weekday mornings on 13 ABC Action News Good Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and noon; also host of Roundtable (Sundays at Noon)
- Christina Williams - weekend mornings on 13 ABC Action News Good Morning (6:00-8:00 a.m. & 9:00-10:00 a.m.)
- Jay Berschback (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Geoff Cornish (AMS-CBM Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Ross Ellet (AMS-CBM Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekend mornings on 13 ABC Action News Good Morning (6:00-8:00 a.m. & 9:00-10:00 a.m.)
- "Blizzard" Bill Spencer (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings on 13 ABC Action News Good Morning (4:30-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Kelly Heidbreder - meteorologist, fill-in; also host of the Extreme Weight Loss Challenge
- Dave Holmes - sports director; weeknights at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Joe Nugent - sports anchor; weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- Steve Slivka - sports reporter
- Elizabeth Choi - general assignment reporter
- Tony Geftos - general assignment reporter
- Lissa Guyton - general assignment reporter
- Jennifer Jarrell - general assignment reporter
- Jenna Lento - general assignment reporter
- Christine Long - general assignment reporter
- Andi McKay - morning traffic reporter
- Alexis Means- general assignment reporter
- Amy Montgomery - general assignment reporter
- Sanaa Orra - general assignment reporter
- Rebecca Regnier - "People, Places and Things" feature reporter
Notable past on-air staff
- Elisa Amigo (now at WJW-TV in Cleveland)
- Melissa Andrews (now at ProMedica Health System)
- Jala Anderson (now at Elon School of Communications)
- Jerry Anderson (now at WTOL-TV)
- Gordon Boyd (now at WVLT-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee)
- Jeff Blanzy (later at WLS-TV in Chicago)
- Jennifer Blome (now at KSDK-TV in St. Louis)
- Sarah Bloomquist (now at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia)
- Ryan Burr (now at ESPN)
- Anthony Cabrera (now at KVOA-TV in Tucson, Arizona)
- Jim Carey
- Dave Chudowsky (now at WKYC-TV in Cleveland)
- Chase Clements
- Ronnie Dahl (now at WJBK in Detroit)
- Hakem Dermish (now at WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.)
- Tim Gerber (later at KSAT-TV in San Antonio)
- Frank Gilhooley (deceased; former Toledo Mud Hens announcer)
- John Gillespie
- Efrem Graham (now News Anchor at CBN News)
- Katrina Hancock (now at WDIV-TV in Detroit)
- Neil Hartman (now at Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia)
- Brenda Hines
- Jim Hill
- Erica Hurtt (now at Financial Services Forum)
- Jera Jackson
- Greg Jones (now an auto parts salesman)
- Jason Knowles (now at WLS-TV in Chicago)
- Jeannine Lauber (now a documentary producer in Maine)
- Sam Louie
- Paul Lynde (guest weatherman in 1978)
- Merle Kachenmeister - retired National Weather Service meteorologist at several Toledo stations
- Jason Martinez (now at KTLA in Los Angeles)
- Jim Madaus (now at WWJ-TV in Detroit)
- Jim Mengel
- Michael Mota
- Sarah Oehler
- Theresa Pollick (now at the Ohio Department of Transportation)
- Randy Price (now at WCVB-TV in Boston)
- Rob Powers (now at WABC in New York, former sports director and 5:30pm anchor)
- Phyllis Quail (later at WJW-TV in Cleveland as News Director)
- Christa Quinn
- Michael Reghi (now at WKNR-AM; former Cleveland Cavaliers play-by-play announcer)
- Rebecca Regnier ("People, Places, and Things" segment only)
- Jim Rudes (retired)
- Steve Rudin (now at WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.)
- Adora Udoji (later at Court TV)
- Frank Venner (retired - also MC of "High School Quiz")
- Bill Wagy (now a Video Producer in Sarasota, Florida)
- Tom Waniewski (current District 5 Toledo City Council member)
- Gordon Ward (retired - "Music Under the Stars MC")
- Jeanne Washko
- Roger Weber (now at WDIV-TV in Detroit)
- Kelli Wiese (now at KYTX-TV in Tyler, Texas)
- Diane Wilson (now at WTVD-TV in Raleigh, North Carolina)
- Kareen Wynter (now at CNN)
The 13th Frame
Every year, WTVG holds a 35-week long bowling series called "The 13th Frame", aired on Thursdays during the 11 p.m. newscast. Players are given two balls, and win $1 for each pin knocked down. If the player gets 2 strikes, the player can go for a Turkey to win a $250 jackpot. During times when there have been losing streaks, the jackpot has been known to become progressive.
- Circle 7 logo - WTVG's Circle 13 logo is a derivative of the Circle 7 logo
- ^ http://www.toledoblade.com/TV-Radio/2011/04/02/5-of-6-Ch-13-newscasts-top-ratings.html
- ^ Counterstrike: CBS targets Scripps; will bid for television networks affiliated with Scripps Howard Broadcasting, Broadcasting & Cable (via HighBeam Research), June 6, 1994.
- ^ Broadcasting & Cable: "EXCLUSIVE: Disney to Sell Two Stations", November 3, 2010.
- ^ http://beta.toledoblade.com/TV-Radio/2011/03/19/Zamichow-steps-down-at-WTVG.html
- ^ The Blade: "Ch. 13's new owners cut 20-plus jobs", April 12, 2011.
- ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
- ^ https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts?context=25&appn=101413629&formid=301&fac_num=74150
- ^ http://licensing.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/pubacc/Auth_Files/1413629.pdf
- ^ http://www.wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=50393
- ^ http://toledoblade.com/TV-Radio/2011/03/30/WTVG-TV-anchor-Andrews-is-moving-on.html
- ^ http://www.toledoblade.com/Mud-Hens/2010/11/19/Longtime-Mud-Hens-announcer-Frank-Gilhooley-dies.html
- ^ http://www.cbn.com/Authors/cbnnews/Efrem-Graham/
- ^ http://www.linkedin.com/pub/theresa-pollick/12/28A/34B
- ^ http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/bio?section=resources/inside_station/newsteam&id=7053189