WCYB-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station serving the Tri-Cities area of Northeastern Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on VHFchannel 5 from a transmitter on Rye Patch Knob of Holston Mountain in the Cherokee National Forest. Owned by the Bonten Media Group, the station operates Fox affiliate WEMT (owned by Esteem Broadcasting, LLC) through a local marketing agreement (LMA). The two share studios on Lee Street in Bristol, Virginia; where the station is licensed.
|Bristol, Virginia/Kingsport-Johnson City, Tennessee|
|City of license||Bristol, Virginia|
|Branding||WCYB-TV 5 (general)
News 5 (newscasts) Tri-Cities CW 4 (on DT2)
|Channels||Digital: 5 (VHF)|
|Subchannels||5.1 NBC5.2The CW|
|Translators||21 (UHF) Kingsport29 (UHF) Bristol, VA
|Owner||Bonten Media Group, LLC
(BlueStone License Holdings, Inc.)
|First air date||August 13, 1956|
|Call letters' meaning||CitY of Bristol|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
5 (VHF, 1956-2009) Digital: 28 (UHF, 1996-2009)
|Former affiliations||ABC (1956-1969)The WB (1996-2006)
|Transmitter power||29.9 kW|
Although WCYB-TV is the only commercial station in the Tri-Cities that is licensed to the Virginia side of the market, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires it to include Kingsport and Johnson City, Tennessee in its legal station identification.
WCYB's signal is multiplexed. It operates the area's CW affiliate on a second digital subchannel. This can also be seen on Comcast channel 4, hence its branding of Tri-Cities CW 4 branding comes from. Although most other affiliates of The CW Plus are on other stations, WCYB-DT2 is not part of the national service.
|5.1||main WCYB programming / NBC HD|
|5.2||WCYB-DT2 "Tri-Cities CW 4"|
The station began broadcasting on August 13, 1956. It has always been a primary NBC affiliate although it carried a secondary ABC affiliation (shared with WJHL-TV) until 1969 when WKPT-TVsigned on and took the ABC affiliation.
In the 1960s, this station produced a live weekday cartoon show called the Looney Tunes Club hosted by Ed Spiegel. The 1960s also saw three locally-produced quiz shows: Kiddle Kollege (which pitted young students from different local schools against each other), Classroom Quiz (whose contestants were older high school students) as well as Klub Kwiz (which did the same using members of local civic and service clubs).
In mid-December 2006 as a result of Bluestone Television's acquisition by Bonten Media Group, Esteem Broadcasting acquired Aurora's stock in Fox affiliate WEMT-TV, Channel 39, Greeneville which counting as a sale. Esteem would then pay $1.4 million in outstanding debt. WEMT moved from its studios on Hanover Road in Johnson City to WCYB's facilities.
The WCYB digital channel is being seen via PSIP on digital channel 5. The station was one of more than ten VHF digital stations requesting a power increase after it experienced signal problems as a result of changing its digital channel from UHF to VHF.  WCYB has construction permits to operate two UHF fill-in digital translators. This will help viewers alleviate some signal reception issues on VHF-low channel 5. One repeater will operate on channel 29 licensed to Bristol, Virginia with a transmitter with the main channel 5 signal on Holston Mountain. Another one will be on channel 21 licensed to Kingsport with a transmitter on Bays Mountain.  Both translators will serve the immediate part of the Tri-Cities area and some of the surrounding areas.
Retransmission consent controversies
Under federal must-carry rules, broadcasters can either allow cable systems in their market to carry their signals for free or charge a fee under retransmission consent provisions. On November 24, 2008, TVS Cable (a cable operator which serves several counties in Eastern Kentucky) notified its customers that it would "most likely" drop WCYB on January 1, 2009 due to a retransmission consent dispute.  The letter also stated that the system would replace WCYB with a MyNetworkTV affiliate if negotiations fail. However, NBC programming would not be affected because the system currently carries WLEX-TV in Lexington, Kentucky and will intend to do so in the future. TVS Cable later notified customers through their bills stating that there was a thirty day extension granted through the month of January to carry WCYB.
Another Eastern Kentucky cable operator, Inter Mountain Cable (IMC), has also stated that it would remove WCYB from their lineup unless an agreement was reached.  According to The Mountain Eagle, this dispute caused concern among officials in the city of Fleming-Neonwhere IMC holds the cable television franchise there.  The city council in Fleming-Neon stated that the removal of WCYB would violate IMC's franchise agreement.  On January 13, it was announced that WCYB would be dropped from the DirecTV local channels lineup in the Tri-Cities market effective January 15 over a similar dispute. That same day, it was announced that an agreement had been reached and WCYB would continue to be provided on DirecTV.
Out-of-market cable carriage
In Tennessee, there is no coverage outside the DMA for WCYB. WBIR-TV, the NBC affiliate in Knoxville is the NBC station on cable in east Tennessee west of Morristown and in far Southwestern Virginia and Southeastern Kentucky. However, WEMT is operated by WCYB. That station is carried in Newport instead of WTNZ, the Fox affiliate out of Knoxville. Newport is in Cocke County which is part of the Knoxville market. In Virginia, WCYB is carried in Tazewell County despite being very close to Bluefield, West Virginia. WVVA is the local NBC affiliate in Bluefield. In North Carolina, WCYB is carried in several counties. Unlike Tennessee, WCYB is the NBC station on cable systems in Northwestern North Carolina primarily due to WCNC-TV in Charlotte, WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, and WYFF in Greenville, South Carolinabeing further away and not popular with viewers. This likely has a lot to do with WCYB tailoring its local weather forecasting and high school athletics for Western North Carolina viewers.
For most of the last thirty years, WCYB has been the dominant station in the Tri-Cities. While WCYB still wins most timeslots, it recently lost the lead at 11 PM to WJHL.
WCYB's long dominance was largely due to the presence of the station's longtime anchorman Merrill Moore. He joined the station in 1962 as weeknight 11 o'clock anchor and added the weeknight 6 P.M. broadcast in 1964. He remained the station's top anchorman until his retirement in 2000. In the 1960s, News Director Walter Crockett also delivered editorials at 6:25 P.M. daily and Evelyn Booher was one of the first woman newscasters in the Tri-Cities at that time. For most of the time from the 1980s to the early 2000s, WCYB claimed to be the highest-rated television station in the United States. Their branding is currently "Accurate. Reliable." Formerly, it was "Accurate. Reliable. To the Point." The latter phrase was dropped from the branding as of the Noon telecast on Tuesday, October 2, 2007. After beginning local production of news in high definition, the branding was changed to "Accurate. Reliable. High Definition."
Starting with the 5 P.M. news on October 13, 2008, the NewsCenter 5 name was changed to News 5. WEMT's nightly 10 o'clock newscast started on September 12, 2005 and is produced by WCYB. Originally a half-hour long, it was expanded to an hour on September 11, 2006. In October 2008, they dropped WCYB's on-air look. Instead of using all blue graphics, WEMT now uses blue and red. That station also renamed the weather forecasting and modified many other elements of the broadcast. Paul Johnson, who was formerly Sports Director and weeknight sports anchor for both stations, now only appears on WEMT. Former weekend meteorologist David Boyd is now WEMT's main meteorologist with Dave Dierks only appearing on WCYB. At one point in time, WCYB-DT2 aired an hour long extension of the main channel's weekday morning show at 8. This has since been dropped and that station continues to air the nationally syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz on weekdays from 6 to 9.
- TV-5 Report (1956-1960)
- The Channel 5 News (1960-1974)
- NewsCenter 5 (1974-2008)
- News 5 (2008-present)
- "TV-5's The Place" (1977-1983)
- "TV-5 There, Be There (1983-1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- "TV-5, Let's All Be There" (1984-1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- "Come Home to TV-5" (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- "The Tri-City, Five-State Area's News Station" (late 1980s)
- "Come on Home to TV-5" (1987-1988; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- "Come Home To The Best, Only on TV-5" (1988-1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- "The Tri-Cities' 24-Hour News Channel" (early 1990s)
- "East Virginia and Southwest Tennessee's News Station" (1992-1997)
- "The Region's #1 Source for News" (1997-2004)
- "Accurate. Reliable. To the Point" (2004-2008)
- "Accurate. Reliable." (2008-2010)
- "Accurate. Reliable. High Definition." (2010-present)
- Tarah Taylor - weekday mornings and Noon
- Johnny Wood - weekday mornings and weekday Noon weather
- Garick Zikan - weeknights at 5, 5:30 and 11
- Ann Carter Heibel- weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11
- Preston Ayres - weekend evenings at 6 and 11
- Dave Dierks - Chief Meteorologist, 5, 5:30, 6 and 11
- Marcus Lynch - weekday mornings
- Donnie Cox - weekends
- Jordan Conigliaro - Sports Director/Anchor, weeknights 6 and 11
- Casey Goetz - sports reporter, weekend sports anchor
- Leslie Almaroad
- Sherrie Evans
- Velden Linn
- Angela Yingling
Former on-air staff
- Steve Hawkins - reporter (1977-2000), 6pm anchor/news director (2000 - 2011)
- Angela Andreae - reporter (2004-2005; now public relations consultant)
- Karen Cole - 5PM and weekend anchor/reporter (1998-2003)
- Walter Crockett - news director/editorialist (1963-1980; retired, died in 1981)
- Rachel DePompa - reporter (2002-2003; now at WWBT, Richmond, VA)
- Scott Fisher - meteorologist (1989-1993; now with KTBC-TV, Austin, TX)
- Karen Hillegass - anchor (1984-1986; now a college professor)
- Paul Johnson - sports director (1995-2008; now news anchor on FOX Tri-Cities)
- Libby Kirsch - reporter (2000-2002; now at WDTN-TV, Dayton, OH)
- Joe Legge - weekend anchor/reporter (1999-2006; now at WDEF-TV, Chattanooga TN)
- Amy Lynn - noon and 5PM anchor (1999-2007; now at WJHL-TV, Johnson City, TN)
- Merrill Moore - anchor (1962-2000)
- Cheryl Munn - weekend anchor (1985-1998; Web Producer at Citi through avVenta Worldwide)
- Autumn Perry - reporter (2008-2009; now at WJRT, Flint, MI)
- Lee Ann Necessary - anchor (1989-1995)
- Harlow Sumerford - reporter (2004-2007; now at WATE-TV, Knoxville, TN)
- Todd Summers - weekend sports anchor (1999-2002; now at WSPA-TV, Spartanburg, SC)
- Emily Sutton - weekend evening meteorologist (2008-2009; now at KFOR-TV, Oklahoma City, OK)
- Sonu Wasu - reporter (2002-2006; now at WDTN-TV, Dayton, OH)
- Travis Wells - sports anchor/reporter (1999-2002; now sports director at WDBJ-TV, Roanoke)
- ^ Television Factbook #49, 1980 Edition, page 882-B
- ^ Eggerton, John (2009-06-29). "Boise Station Gets Power Boost". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- ^ https://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts?context=25&appn=101340200&formid=346&fac_num=2455
- ^ http://licensing.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/prefill_and_display.pl?Application_id=1355535&Service=LD&Form_id=346&Facility_id=2455
- ^ Letter from TVS Cable, November 24, 2008.
- ^ "WKPT, WCYB & WJHL Possible Programming Issue For 2009". Inter Mountain Cable. 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2009-01-15.[[archive link]]
- ^ a b Farley, William (2009-01-14). "Neon council upset by threat of TV changes". The Mountain Eagle. pp. 2. Retrieved 2009-01-15.
- ^ "News 5 Now Broadcasting In HD". WCYB-TV. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2010.[dead link]
- ^ "WCYB-TV and WEMT-TV Are First with HD Local News Broadcasts In Tri-Cities Market". WCYB-TV. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2010.[[archive link]]