WBKO is the ABC-affiliated television station for South Central Kentucky that is licensed toBowling Green. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHF channel 13 from a transmitter north of the city near the intersection of KY 185 and KY 526. Owned by Gray Television, the station has studios on Russellville Road (U.S. 68/KY 80) in Bowling Green.Syndicated programming on WBKO includes: Wheel of Fortune, Oprah, Ellen, and Live with Regis and Kelly.

225px-Wbko 2008.png

125px-Wbko dt2 2008.png


Bowling Green, Kentucky
Branding WBKO 13 (general)

WBKO 13 News WBKO Fox (on DT2) South Central Kentucky CW (on DT3)

Slogan When You Need

To Know

Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Subchannels 13.1 ABC

13.2Fox 13.3 The CW

Affiliations Jewelry Television(overnight on DT2)
Owner Gray Television

(Gray Television Licensee, Inc.)

First air date June 3, 1962
Call letters' meaning We're Bowling Green,

Kentucky's Own

Former callsigns WLTV (1962-1971)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

13 (VHF, 1962-2009) Digital: 33 (UHF, 2000-2009)

Former affiliations Independent (1962-1967)
Transmitter power 22 kW
Height 220.5 m
Facility ID 4692
Transmitter coordinates 37°3′49.4″N86°26′6.7″W

Digital programming

Its signal is multiplexed. It operates the area's Fox affiliate on a second digital subchannel. Known on-air as WBKO Fox, it is also offered on Insight channel 8 and in high definition on digital channel 910. Syndicated programming on WBKO-DT2 includes: Everybody Loves Raymond, Two and a Half Men, Frasier, and Seinfeld. Overnight, it airs Jewelry Television. WBKO also operates the area's CW affiliate on a third digital subchannel. Known on-air asSouth Central Kentucky CW, it is offered on Insight channel 12. WBKO-DT3 gets all of its programming from The CW Plus.

Channel Programming
13.1 main WBKO programming / ABC HD
13.2 WBKO-DT2 "WBKO Fox"
13.3 WBKO-DT3 "South Central Kentucky CW"


The station began broadcasting on June 3, 1962 with the call letters WLTV (standing forWonderful Live Television). Joe Walters, (former RCA engineer), and Mr & Mrs. George Brown, (local salesman), owned the station. John Utley was the Program Director. George Albert Goldtrap Jr. was the staff announcer who signed the station on the air. Bill Atkinson was the first News Director, Jimmy Floyd, the first Sports Director. Dr. Willard Cockrill who taught meteorology at the local college, did the 6:PM weather and the wife of a staff salesman did the evening weather. George Albert Goldtrap hosted a children's program called 'Uncle Albert's General Store', and he later became the station's 10PM weathercaster. Jimmy Floyd hosted a live Saturday Night Country Music program using area talent. The first cameramen were Randy O'Dill and Bill Swetman, both local men who went on to a wide and varied career in broadcasting. Glen Fisher was the station artist and also hosted several programs featuring movies. Jef Till was the stations first film director. It was an independent station owned by Argus Broadcasting and had studios located in rural Warren County outside Bowling Green proper. On March 6, 1967, WLTV became affiliated with ABC and aired all of its shows. After spending some time off-the-air in late-1969 due to an explosion destroying its transmitter, WLTV changed hands to Professional Telecasting Systems in 1970. The new owner adopted the current "WBKO" (meaning Bowling Green, Kentucky's Own) call sign and instituted color telecasting for local in-studio programming and newscasts in 1971. Also by this time, the station had moved to studios in Downtown Bowling Green.

Five years later, a local group known as Bluegrass Media bought WBKO from Professional Telecasting. It remained in Bluegrass's hands until 1983 when broadcaster A. Richard Benedek took over. Under Benedek's management, WBKO built its present studios on Russellville Road in 1985. In 2000, the station began broadcasting a digital signal on UHF channel 33. In 2002, Benedek sold most of his stations (including WBKO) to current owner Gray Television. Due to its fairly close proximity to Nashville, Tennessee (about sixty miles), WBKO has often competed with that market's ABC affiliate, WKRN, for viewing allegiances. This station was one of the few ABC stations nationwide that refused to broadcast NYPD Blue in its first season in 1993.

From its start-up, WBKO operated the area's cable-only WB affiliate "WBWG" that was known on-air as "WB 12" (named after the cable channel location). The call sign was fictional as the station was part of The WB 100+, a group of cable-only WB affiliates that aired in television markets ranked above 100 (the Bowling Green market had a rank of 183). On January 24, 2006, UPN and The WB announced that they would cease 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.

On September 5, WBKO began to broadcast a Fox affiliate on a new second digital subchannel. This filled a gap created in 2001 whenWNKY dropped its Fox affiliation and switched to NBC. The CW launched on September 18 and WBWG became affiliated with The CW viaThe CW Plus (which is a similar operation to The WB 100+). Also, the station's call letters became WBKO-DT3 officially after becoming available on a new third digital subchannel of WBKO. As a result of the addition of "WBKO Fox", Bowling Green now offers every major network except MyNetworkTV. If that network comes to Bowling Green, the city would be able to sustain its own complete television market without relying on other markets for programming except for ION Television.

On December 8, 2008 at 1:15 in the morning, WBKO shut down its analog transmitter in a flash-cut procedure.[1][2] It began the process of installing a new digital antenna and other equipment. Originally, its over-the air digital signal was scheduled to move to VHF channel 13 on or immediately after December 22. However due to inclement weather and the holiday season, the construction took longer with eight more days of construction resuming on January 3, 2009.[3] Due to the installation of the equipment at the transmitter site, the digital signal (on UHF channel 33) was off-the-air during daytime hours.[4] Until the completion of the over-the-air transition, WBKO was seen non-stop on several cable systems.

WBKO on Dish Network

According to Chris Allen's official Facebook page, he posted the following on May 20th, 2010: "WBKO will be on Dish Network very soon. I cannot give a specific date but Dish Activation has told us it will be "early June" and all the Bowling Green area stations will be offered as "local-into-local" for $5 per month. All the hookups have been completed and Dish is testing the satellite to fiber links and should be ready to launch in a few weeks. Those who will be able to pick up the Bowling Green TV market channels should get some official notification from Dish soon. That's all I know."

On June 3rd, 2010 Dish Network officially began carrying WBKO-ABC and WBKO-FOX. Viewers that live in Warren, Butler, Hart, Edmonson, Barren, and Metcalfe counties are eligible to switch to Bowling Green locals. This was made possible by the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 signed into law by President Barack Obama the week prior.

WBKO and other Bowling Green market channels are still unavailable on DirecTV at this time.


Its weeknight 6 o'clock news open

The station's first newscasts were branded as Channel 13 News Report and began airing in 1963. In 1973, they became known as NewsCenter 13. Most recently, the newscasts were re-branded toWBKO 13 News. Currently, it airs the only full-length news in the Bowling Green market as dual NBC/CBS affiliate WNKY shows only brief weather updates. WBKO does not air newscasts in the early evening on weekends or weekday mornings at 5.

[ WBKO-DT2] began broadcasting WBKO Fox News at 9 on October 21, 2007. Reporter Sarah Goebel briefly anchored the show until early-2008 when she was promoted to WBKO's weeknight broadcasts. Daniel Kemp anchored the show through early-June until moving to weekend anchor on the main channel. Julie Talley anchored for a short time in mid-2008 then reporter and internet producer Sam Provenzano anchored the show until its end. The show was canceled on November 28, 2008, due to financial issues.

WBKO-DT2 continues to rebroadcast Midday Live at noon. Like all CW plus affiliates in the Central Time Zone, WBKO-DT3 airs the nationallysyndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekdays from 5 to 8 am. WBKO operates its own weather radar, known as "First Alert Live Doppler", at its studios that is South Central Kentucky's only live doppler radar.

Newscast titles

  • 1st Federal News (196?-19??)
  • Channel 13 News Report (?–1970s)
  • 13 News (1970s-? & 2017–present)
  • NewsCenter 13 (?–2003)
  • WBKO News (2003–2017)

Station slogans

  • "We're Still The One, on TV-13" (1977–1980, localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • "We're the Team" (mid 1980s)
  • "Sharing Kentucky Pride" (1980s–1990s)
  • "Bringing It Home To You" (1998-2003)
  • "Your Hometown News Leader" (2003–2007)
  • "When You Need To Know" (2007–?)
  • "Stay Connected" (?-present)

News team


  • Lauren Hansen - Assignment Manager seen weeknights also general assignment & education reporter
  • Hayley Harmon - weekday mornings and 11 a.m.
  • Gene Birk - Managing Editor seen weeknights and reporter
  • Don Russell- Inside Kentucky Golf host
  • Lacey Steele - weekends and reporter

First Alert Storm Team Meteorologists

  • Chris Allen (NWA Seal of Approval) - Director seen weekday mornings and 11 a.m.
  • Shane Holinde (NWA Seal of Approval) - weeknights
  • Stephanie Midgett- weekends


  • James Brandenburg - Director seen weeknights at 6 and 10
  • Andrew Dawson - weekends and sports reporter


  • Andrew Dawson
  • Zakk Gamon


  • Caitlin Coffey
  • Louis Uhler


  • Chris Garner


  • Elizabeth Davis
  • Kymberly Graves


  1. ^ WBKO Shuts Down Analog Signal WBKO. Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  2. ^ FCC Database Retrieved on December 8, 2008.
  3. ^ Digital Transition WBKO. Retrieved on December 19, 2008.
  4. ^ Important Digital Changeover Information WBKO. Retrieved on December 9, 2008.

External links