WVUE-DT, broadcasting on virtual channel 8, is a TV station in New Orleans, Louisiana, affiliated with the Fox Broadcasting Company. WVUE is owned by Louisiana Media Company, with studios in the Gert Town section of New Orleans and transmitter in Chalmette, Louisiana.
|New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Branding||Fox 8 (general)
Fox 8 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||Your Local News Channel(news)Your Weather Authority (weather)Your Home Team (general)Louisiana's Home Team (general)|
|Channels||Digital: 29 (UHF)Virtual: 8 (PSIP)|
|Subchannels||8.1 WVUE / Fox HD8.2 RTV|
|Owner||Louisiana Media Company, LLC|
|First air date||November 1, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||VUE; French translation of the word "View"|
|Former callsigns||WJMR-TV (1953-1959)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
61 (UHF, 1953-1956) 20 (UHF, 1956-1959) 13 (VHF, 1959-1962) 12 (VHF, 1962-1970) 8 (VHF, 1970-2008) Digital: 8 (VHF, 2008-2010)
|Former affiliations||CBS (1953-1957)ABC (1953-1995, secondary until 1957)|
|Transmitter power||850 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||29°57′14.0″N 89°56′58.0″W|
WVUE began broadcasting on Sunday, November 1, 1953 as WJMR-TV, the second TV station in New Orleans (behind WDSU-TV, channel 6) and the third in Louisiana (behind WDSU and WAFB in Baton Rouge). Originally broadcasting on channel 61, it then moved to channel 20 in 1956 . It was originally a CBS affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation. During 1957 and 1958 WJMR-TV simulcasted its signal on Channel 12 using the call sign KK2XFW-TV . When WWL-TV (channel 4) signed on in 1957, WWL took over the CBS affiliation because of WWL radio's longtime affiliation with CBS radio. WJMR was left with ABC.
The station moved to channel 13 on January 13, 1959 and changed call letters toWVUE. The station moved to channel 12 in 1962 due to interference with WLOX in Biloxi, Mississippi, which also broadcasts on channel 13. Screen Gems, the television arm of Columbia Pictures, bought the station in 1965. On June 10, 1970, it made a highly-publicized switch of dial positions with the city's PBS station, WYES-TV, and moved to its current location on channel 8. The channel 61 allocation was assigned to the now defunct WLPN-LP and the channel 20 allocation was assigned to station WHNO.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the station would consistently rank as a distant third place in the ratings behind WWL-TV and WDSU-TV, even as ABC topped the national ratings for a time in the mid-1970s. One of the primary reasons for WVUE's third-place position was the station's heavy preemptions of network programs. For example, during much of the 1970s, WVUE preempted portions of ABC's daytime soap opera schedule and aired westerns, cartoons and off-network sitcoms in their place. Additionally, WVUE preempted many of the network's Saturday morning cartoons as well as American Bandstand. WVUE also preempted ABC's late night programming, which prior to the debut of Nightline consisted of movies and reruns of prime-time shows. Viewers in the New Orleans area who wanted to see most of ABC's programming in full could turn their sets to the network's other affiliates in surrounding markets: WRBT (now WVLA, channel 33) and later WBRZ (Channel 2) from [Rouge], west of New Orleans, or to WLOX from Biloxi, to the east. Columbia Pictures sold WVUE to [City]-based [Broadcasting Company] in 1977. Under the new ownership, WVUE reinstated ABC's full daytime drama lineup to its schedule in the fall of 1978. In spite of ownership changes and programming modifications, WVUE was still unable to improve its place in the ratings. When Gaylord Broadcasting began a gradual paring-down its station group in 1987, WVUE was sold to Burnham Broadcasting. The station continued to under-perform in the ratings into the 1990s.
In early 1994, after the Fox Broadcasting Company won television rights to the National Football Conference of the National Football League, it arranged to have Savoy Pictures purchase WVUE and Burnham's three other stations; WALA-TV (channel 10) in Mobile, Alabama; WLUK-TV (channel 11) in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KHON-TV (channel 2) in Honolulu, Hawaii. As part of the deal, the stations would all convert to Fox affiliates. Fox would own a minority voting stock in these stations and the company would be called "Savoy Fox" (however, in 1995, Fox opted not to have voting stock in the company, although it would still hold an interest).
The transaction was completed in the summer of 1995. On January 1, 1996, WVUE became the area's new Fox affiliate. The ABC affiliation in New Orleans went to WGNO (channel 26), which had been an affiliate of the WB Television Network. WNOL-TV (channel 38), which had been the market's original Fox affiliate, took the WB affiliation. Unlike the New World Communications-owned stations which joined the network at around the same time, the Savoy stations, including WVUE, carried Fox's children's programming during weekdays. Fox's ratings increased slightly from when it was on WNOL, but WVUE's news ratings still stayed well behind WWL-TV and WDSU. Savoy sold the station (along with the other three former Burnham stations) in 1997 to Silver King/USA Broadcasting. Emmis Communications became the owner of these stations in 1999.
In recent years, WVUE acquired stronger shows on its lineup, including acquiring the New Orleans rights to Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!as part of a group deal with Emmis' Fox stations group—a rarity for a Fox station (prior to airing on channel 8, they aired for about two decades on WWL-TV).
On May 5, 2008, Emmis Communications announced an agreement to sell the station to Louisiana Media Company, a new media group founded by New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson (Saints games had already been airing on WVUE since the affiliation switch). Benson stated that he planned for the new company to acquire several radio and television stations nationwide and to be involved in movie production. The FCC approved the sale on July 14, 2008. Louisiana Media Company took possession of the station on July 18, 2008. Ownership of WVUE became evident when a fleur-de-lis emblem was superimposed in the "O" of the "Fox 8" logo after modifications were made.
Hurricane Katrina struck Greater New Orleans at the end of August 2005. WVUE's operations were temporarily moved to then-sister station WALA's studios in Mobile, Alabama. WVUE's studio on Jefferson Davis Parkway is located in a low-lying part of the city that was badly flooded due to the Katrina levee failures. It was so badly damaged that Emmis has told some of the on-air staff that they were free to seek work elsewhere without penalty or assertion of non-compete clauses outside of the market.
Soon, WVUE's morning meteorologist Crystal Wicker went to Indianapolis' WRTV, where she began work October 3. Weekend meteorologist Jeff Baskin went to Portland, Oregon's Reporter Summer Jackson went to Chicago to work at CLTV while reporter Kerry Cavanaugh took a job at WBAL-TV in Baltimore, Maryland.
Following the storm, WVUE presented a rotating 15-minute newscast streaming on its website coming from WALA, slowly restoring the regular station schedule as developments faded and reconstruction on news operations continued.
In mid-June 2006, construction of the station's permanent news set and weather center was completed. Before then, a temporary news set and newsroom were set up in the station's production room. Station manager Vanessa Oubre said remodeling/reconstruction of the rest of the building should be completed by November 2006. The sale of the station was also affected and was delayed for two years because of the rebuilding; Emmis had intended to divest all its television assets by the start of 2007, but kept ownership until WVUE was sold to LMC.
The station's digital channel on UHF 29, is multiplexed:
|8.1||Main WVUE programming / Fox HD||720p|
On December 15, WVUE became the first New Orleans television station to cease its analog broadcast. On December 22, 2008, WVUE moved its digital broadcasts to its former analog channel number, 8. This made WVUE the second station in the market after Telemundoaffiliate KGLA-DT (which was launched without an analog signal) to become a digital-only station prior to the analog television shutdown that occurred on June 12, 2009.
After New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson's Louisiana Media Company took over WVUE from Emmis, WVUE-DT was finally added to Cox Communications in New Orleans and to Charter Communications on the Northshore and Tri-Parish area in August (Cox) and September (Charter) 2008. Both Charter and Cox carry WVUE-DT on channel 708. WVUE-DT can also be found on other cable systems in Southeast Louisiana and South and Coastal Mississippi, plus on AT&T U-verse in the New Orleans area on channels 8 (SD) and 1008 (HD).
Digital subchannel 8.2 is available over the air and can also be found on Cox Communications in the New Orleans viewing area on channel 115 and Charter Communications in the surrounding parishes on channel 108 (Northshore), and on channel 137 (Southshore). AT&T has yet to offer this on their U-verse service for the area. WVUE announced the addition of a subchannel carrying the Retro Television Network on August 23, 2010. WVUE dropped the Fox 8 Newschannel branding in favor of RTV weekdays, as well as similar general entertainment programming on weekends.
VHF digital transmission troubles
When WVUE made its digital transition, it originally broadcast on VHF channel 8. Due to post transition reception problems reported by viewers, WVUE petitioned the FCC to return to UHF channel 29. Increased power would cause interference to a Baton Rouge station. On November 30, 2010, WVUE's digital signal was moved back to UHF channel 29.
WVUE broadcasts a total of 53.5 hours of local news a week (7½ hours on weekdays, and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays), more than CBS affiliate WWL-TV (channel 4) and NBC affiliate WDSU-TV (channel 6, which both carry 27.5 hours a week) for the most hours of local news in the New Orleans market. WVUE is the only station that airs a local newscast at 5:30 p.m. and it does not broadcast local newscasts at midday or at 6 p.m. Unlike most other Fox stations that produce their newscasts in-house, WVUE's 9 p.m. newscast does not air for an hour seven nights a week as the weekend edition airs for a half-hour; WVUE is among the largest Fox affiliates (in terms of market size) to air its prime-time newscast in such a fashion.
On May 31, 1982, WVUE launched a 5 p.m. newscast, with Live At Five. After the Fox affiliation switch, WVUE initially kept its 6 p.m. newscast, along with the 5 p.m. newscast. The 10 p.m. newscast it had as an ABC affiliate was dropped in favor of an hour-long 9 p.m. newscast then was split ten months later into separate half-hour newscasts at 9 and 10 p.m. with syndicated sitcoms airing at 9:30 p.m.; it continued in this format until 2001, when the weeknight 9 p.m. newscast was reverted back to an hour and the 10 p.m. newscast was cancelled once more due to the lack of a strong program lead-in.
Even after becoming a Fox affiliate, WVUE still did not have a weekday morning newscast throughout the 1990s; in 2002[when?], WVUE debuted what was originally a two-hour weekday morning newscast, airing from 6-8 a.m. In 2005, the station dropped the weeknight 6 p.m. newscast and created an hour-long block of news that competes against the local and national evening newscasts on WWL-TV, WDSU and WGNO, with the addition of a weeknight 5:30 p.m. newscast that joined the existing 5 p.m. newscast.
On April 29, 2007, WVUE became the first TV station in New Orleans to broadcast a newscast in high definition. In January 2010, WVUE underwent a major production upgrade by going nearly all HD for their entire operation, plus introducing the first HD-based weather system in New Orleans. Currently as of October 2010, WVUE remains the only station in the New Orleans market to broadcast its local newscasts in high definition; this is in contrast to WWL-TV, WDSU, and WGNO who broadcast their newscasts in wide-screen standard definition.
On February 1, 2010, WVUE expanded their morning newscasts from three to four hours by adding a new weather-heavy based newscast from 5-6 a.m. called "Fox 8 Morning Call" with morning meteorologists Chris Franklin and Dawn Brown, who was previously working at WWL-TV. Both Franklin and Brown now rotate on the FOX 8 Morning News every weekday morning from 6-9 a.m. A weeknight-only 10 p.m. newscast (the third newscast in that time-slot in the station's history) was also given a slot on the station's schedule on that date; initially only a test run, the 10 p.m. newscast became permanent again on May 5, 2010 when former WWL-TV anchor Lee Zurik joined the on-air staff.
In July 2010, the station expanded the 10 p.m. newscast to weekend evenings, making WVUE one of the few Fox stations nationwide with a newscast in the traditional late news time-slot that airs seven nights a week (some Fox stations that carry a local newscast in the traditional late news time-slot air them on weeknights only). On May 23, 2011, WVUE-TV will debut an hour-long midday newscast at noon, to be anchored by WVUE reporter and former WGNO anchor Liz Reyes and meteorologist Dawn Brown; this will increase the station's weekdaily news output to 7½ hours.
Throughout the 2000s, WVUE's news ratings have slowly increased, and by the middle part of the decade, the station overtook WDSU for the number two position in the local news ratings behind WWL-TV in the 5 p.m. time-slot. The station had retained the number two ranking through 2008. The station is ranked third in morning news and first over WWL's 9 p.m. newscast on WUPL.
- Your Esso Reporter (1956–1958)
- WJMR-TV News (1958–1962)
- The New Orleans Report (1962–1965)
- The Evening News (6 p.m. newscast; 1965–1970)
- NewsVue (6:05 and 10 p.m. newscasts; 1966)
- Alec Gifford News (6 and 10 p.m. newscasts; 1967–1974)
- 24 Hours (10 p.m. newscast; 1965–1976)
- NewsScene 8 (1974–1984)
- Live at Five (5 p.m. newscast; 1982-1984?)
- Channel 8 News (1984–1986)
- News 8 New Orleans (1986–1988)
- News 8 (general) / News 8 Tonight (10 p.m. newscast; 1988–1995)
- FOX News Eight (1996–1998)
- FOX 8 News (1998–present)
- This is the Place to Be! (1971-1973; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- You're Still Having Fun, Channel 8's The One (1977-1978; 1979-1980; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- There's More on NewsScene 8 (late 1970s)
- We're the One You Can Turn To, Channel 8 (1978-1979; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- You and Me and Channel 8 (1980-1981; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Now is the Time, Channel 8 is the Place (1981-1982; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Come on Along with Channel 8 (1982-1983; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- That Special Feeling on Channel 8 (1983-1984; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- On Your Side (1983-1985)
- We're With You on Channel 8 (1984-1985; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- You'll Love It on Channel 8 (1985-1986; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Your Neighborhood Station (1985-1987)
- Together on Channel 8 (1986-1987; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
- Something's Happening on Channel 8 (1987-1989; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- The Station That's Making Good Things Happen (1987-1992)
- Louisiana is Watching WVUE (1990-1992; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- If It's Louisiana, It Must Be Channel 8 (1992-1993; local version of ABC ad campaign)
- The One to Watch (1992-1995)
- Your Weather Authority (weather slogan, 2002-present; used as news slogan from 2002 to 2008)
- Your Local News Channel (2008-present; news slogan)
- Louisiana's Home Team (2008-present; general slogan)
Current on-air staff
- Shelley Brown - weekends at 9 and 10 p.m.
- Jennifer Hale - weekday mornings "FOX 8 Morning News" (6-9 a.m.); also reporter
- Kim Holden - weeknights at 10 p.m.
- Rob Masson - weekday mornings "FOX 8 Morning News" (6-9 a.m.); also reporter
- Nancy Parker - weeknights at 5 and 9 p.m.
- Liz Reyes - weekdays at noon (beginning May 23); also general assignment reporter
- John Snell - weeknights at 5 and 9 p.m.
- Lee Zurik - weeknights at 9 and 10 p.m.; also chief investigative reporter
- Bob Breck (AMS Seal of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 9 and 10 p.m
- Chris Franklin (AMS Seal of Approval) - meteorologist; weekday mornings "Fox 8 Morning Call" (5-6 a.m.), and "Fox 8 Morning News" (6-9 a.m.; rotating with Dawn Brown)
- Nicondra Norwood - meteorologist; weekends at 9 and 10 p.m.
- Kim Vaughn (AMS member) - meteorologist; fill-in as needed on-air, mainly works behind the scenes presenting on-air graphics
- Bruce Katz starting January 2, 2013
* Jim Hender
* Fred Hickman
* Sean Fazende - sports reporter; also fill-in sports anchor
* Jen Hale Weekday's at 4:00 pm
* Chad Sabadie
- Evan Anderson - weekday morning reporter
- Allison Braxton - weekend evening reporter
- Meg Gatto - general assignment reporter
- Susan Isacs - general assignment reporter
- Natasha Robin - general assignment reporter
- Bigad Shaban – general assignment reporter
- Sabrina Wilson - general assignment reporter
- Angus Lind - Fox8Live.com writer and columnist; appears weekly on "FOX 8 Morning News"
- Dave McNamara - "The Heart of Louisiana" feature reporter, airing weekly on the 9 p.m. newscast; also runs his own production company which contributes to these reports 
- Chris Rose - former long-time contributor to The Times-Picayune, provides an editorial weekly on-air and online.
Notable former on-air staff
Former Programming on WVUE-Channel-8
- American Now
- Access Hollywood
- Acording To Jim
- The A-Team
- Burn Notice
- Barney Miller
- The Brady Brady
- The Donahue Show
- Diff'rent Strokes
- Dating Game
- Divorce Court
- Entertainment Tonight
- Forgive or Forget
- Family Feud
- Family Ties
- The Flintstones
- Fall Guy
- Fantasy Island
- Gimme A Break
- Good Day Live
- Gomer Pyle U.S.C
- Grace Under Fire
- Hour Magazine
- Hawaii Five O
- Highway To Heaven
- Inside Edition
- The Judge
- Judge Alex
- Jdge Mathis
- Judge Joe Brown
- Jeff Propst Show
- The Jamie Foxx Show
- Married With Children
- Mad About You
- Mary Hart Mary Hart
- Mama's Family
- Night Court
- The Nanny
- The Newlywed Game
- This Old House
- The People's Court
- Petticoat Junction
- Perry Mason
- The Rush Limbugh Show
- Sally Jessy Raphael Show
- Sanford And Son
- Star Serch
- Three's Company
- Trump Card
- The Odd Couple
- What Happening!
- Who's The Boss?
- Who Want's to be a Millionaire
- ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
- ^ "WVUE Adding Retro TV In The Big Easy". TVNewsCheck. August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
- ^ http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getattachment_exh.cgi?exhibit_id=756148&formid=911&q_num=5200
- ^ Eggerton, John (2009-08-18). "FCC To Allow WVUE To Return To UHF Digital Channel". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
- ^ http://www.nola.com/tv/index.ssf/2010/04/lee_zurik_to_anchor_9_pm_and_1.html
- ^ Liz Reyes to anchor new midday newscast for WVUE-TV, The Times-Picayune, April 14, 2011.
- ^ http://www.fox8live.com/content/aboutus/newsteam/default.aspx
- ^ http://www.nola.com/tv/index.ssf/2010/10/dawn_brown_of_wvue-tv_marries.html
- WVUE Website
- Mod Squad Pictures (includes ident slide for WVUE)
- Bob Breck.com - official website of the WVUE meteorologist.
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WVUE
- WVUE Alumni