WDIV-TV, virtual channel 4, is an NBC-affiliated television station based in Detroit, Michigan,United States. It is owned by Post-Newsweek Stations and is the flagship station and home base of the group with the offices of the group located alongside WDIV's studios; the "Local" branding now utilized by all stations in the group was launched here alongside its acquiring of flagship status in 2000. It is the only major television station in the area whose offices and studios are located in the city of Detroit, while its other television station counterparts are located in Southfield.

WDIV-TV
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Detroit, Michigan
City of license Detroit, Michigan
Branding Local 4 (general)

Local 4 News (newscasts)

Slogan Your Breaking News Leader

(news)

The Moments are Here (general and newscasts)

Channels Digital: 45 (UHF)

Virtual: 4 (PSIP)

Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations NBC
Owner Graham Media Group
Founded October 23, 1946
First air date June 3, 1947[1]
Call letters' meaning We're Detroit's IV (4, former analog channel number)[2]
Former callsigns WWJ-TV (1947-1978)
Former channel number(s) Analog: 4 (VHF, 1947-2009)
Former affiliations DuMont (1947-1948)
Transmitter power 973 kW
Height 281 m (digital)
Facility ID 53114
Transmitter coordinates 42°28′58.5″N83°12′18.9″W
Website www.clickondetroit.com

The station's signal, transmitted from a 1004-foot (306-meter) antenna located on Greenfield Road in Southfield, encompasses the Metro Detroit area and can be picked up as far away asFlint, Lapeer, Adrian, Toledo, and even London, Ontario. WDIV is also one of only three stations that mention Windsor and London as among their primary viewing areas, with the other two being WMYD, and WTVS.

History

Early History

The headquarters of WDIV-TV in Detroit, MI

The station first signed on the air as WWDT on October 23, 1946 for one day of demonstrative programming; regular programming commenced on March 4, 1947. It was the first television station in Michigan and the tenth station to sign on in the United States overall. The station was originally owned by the Evening News Association, parent company of the Detroit News, along with WWJ radio (AM 950 and FM 97.1, now WXYT-FM). On May 15, 1947, the television station changed its call letters to WWJ-TV to match its radio sisters. Channel 4 has always been an NBC affiliate owing to WWJ radio's longtime affiliation with the NBC Red Network, but also aired some programs from the DuMont Television Network prior to WJBK-TV (channel 2)'s sign-on in October 1948.

Channel 4 had a number of broadcasting firsts in Michigan including the first telecast of Detroit Tigers, Red Wings and Lions games as well as the state's first televised newscasts. The station's studios were originally located at 600 West Lafayette, across the street from the Detroit News building in downtown Detroit (and next door to its present studio location). In 1954, the station moved its 1,004-foot (306 m) transmitter from the Penobscot Building in downtown Detroit to the intersection of Greenfield and Lincoln roads in Southfield. Network programming was broadcast in color starting in 1954. The station began broadcasting its newscasts and other locally produced programs in color in 1960, when it purchased new studio camera equipment.

Over the years, the Evening News Association acquired several other broadcasting outlets, such as KTVY (now KFOR-TV) in Oklahoma City, KOLD-TV in Tucson, Arizona and WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama. Eventually, the Evening News Association created Universal Communications Corporation as a holding company for its broadcasting interests, with WWJ-AM-FM-TV as the flagship stations.

Trade to The Washington Post Company

In 1969, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began to impose restrictions on the common ownership of print and broadcast media in the same market. The combination of the Detroit News and WWJ-AM-FM-TV was given grandfathered protection from the new regulations. But by the mid-to-late 1970s, the Evening News Association was under pressure to break up its Detroit cluster voluntarily. Fearing that an FCC-forced divestiture was imminent, the Evening News Association agreed to trade WWJ-TV to the Washington Post Company in return for that company's flagship station, WTOP-TV (later WDVM-TV and now WUSA). On July 22, 1978, due to an FCC regulation in place at the time that forbade TV and radio stations in the same market but with different ownership groups from sharing the same call signs, channel 4 changed its call letters to the present WDIV-TV, for Detroit's IV (representing the Roman numeral for 4). Additionally, in a series of promotional announcements with news anchor Dwayne X. Riley, the new call letters were said to represent the phrase, "Where Detroit Is Vital". The WWJ-TV call sign was later adopted for use by the former WGPR-TV (channel 62), after its 1995 purchase by CBS, which had acquired WWJ radio in 1989; the current WWJ-TV is a separate entity and not related to WDIV. The station was therefore the only major network affiliate in Detroit to not be affected by the city's change in network affiliations in December 1994.

Ultimately, the FCC never imposed any limitations on ownership of television stations and newspapers in the same market and the exchange of stations between the Evening News Association and the Washington Post Company (which was renamed Graham Holdings Company following the sale of The Washington Post in 2013) became somewhat unusual in television broadcasting.

In 1982, WDIV moved out of its old facility in the Detroit News building and moved to its current location at 550 W. Lafayette Ave. in downtown Detroit.

The "WWJ-TV" call sign was subsequently adopted for use 20 years later by the former "WGPR", now Channel 62, the CBS owned-and-operated station in Detroit. The current WWJ-TV is not related in any way to WDIV or to the old WWJ-TV besides being co-owned with WWJ radio under present-day ownership.

Ultimately, the FCC never imposed any limitations on ownership of television and newspapers in the same market, so the exchange of stations between the Evening News Association and the Washington Post was somewhat unique in television broadcasting. The Evening News was pleased to finally have a voice in the nation's capital, while the Washington Post perhaps regretted the loss of its prestigious television signal in Washington. However, operation of WDIV would prove to be very lucrative.[citation needed] The station later became available outside the Detroit market when it was selected for inclusion on many Canadian cable systems in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The station itself has never uplinked its programming to satellite, as Atlanta-based WTBS does.

On April 15, 2005, former WDIV employee John Owens was shot in the station's lobby by Epifanio Rivas, Jr., a man with a history of harassing WDIV employees. Rivas was charged with attempted murder, while Owens remained in the hospital in critical but stable condition. On November 21, 2006, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge James Callahan sentenced Rivas to 16 to 32 years in prison for the shooting; he was also sentenced to two years for a felony firearm conviction. In December 2008, WDIV began streaming its newscasts online as part of a redesign of the station's website. On June 21, 2010, The 52nd Annual Target Fireworks were produced and aired entirely in high definition. On August 6, 2010, WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV (channel 7) became the first stations in Detroit to offer Mobile DTV feeds.

On the evening of April 14, 2011, a suitcase containing a suspected improvised explosive device was left in the WDIV studio lobby after the person who planted the device was denied entry by the station's security guard, prompting the Detroit Police Bomb Squad to evacuate the studio as well as the Doubletree Hotel across the street. That night's 11 p.m. newscast was broadcast from the corner of Lafayette and Howard streets; the evacuation resulted in master control operations being inaccessible, preventing the broadcast or editing of news stories, and the broadcast of commercials. The station's PSIP virtual channel temporarily reverted to 45.1 (the station's physical digital channel), with HD content downconverted to 720p. The device was detonated minutes later, with police giving the all-clear at 11:15 p.m. for the news crew to re-enter the studio.

Upon re-entering the studio, anchor Devin Scillian explained that WDIV has a policy of not immediately reporting bomb threats, in case they turn out to be nothing. However, because staff was barred access into the studio for the 11 p.m. newscast, an explanation as to why they were on the street, broadcasting from the station's mobile truck instead of the studio, needed to be given. The news was first reported by the Twitter and Facebook accounts of WDIV's news staff; WJBK, WXYZ-TV and WMYD(channel 20) reported on the situation while during the lockout, before the WDIV mobile truck could return to the studios from its assignments. A sweater and some empty soda cans were later found in the briefcase which was left by a homeless man that had followed a WDIV employee in for warmth and coffee; the man was brought to Detroit Receiving Hospital for observation the next day. The Detroit Police Department and Post-Newsweek's management said that charges would not be filed as it was "just a big misunderstanding".

Digital channels

Digital Television

The station's digital signal is multiplexed:

Channel Video Aspect PSIP name Programming
4.1 1080i 16:9 WDIV-HD Main WDIV programming/NBC
4.2 480i 4:3 This TV This TV
4.3 16:9 Me TV MeTV
4.4 COZI Cozi TV
20.1 4:3 WMYD-DT Antenna TV (ATSC 1.0 host for WMYD)

WDIV's second digital subchannel formally carried programming from NBC Weather Plus, which folded in November 2008. WDIV-TV also has a Mobile DTV feed of subchannel 4.1, labelled "Local 4", broadcasting at 1.83 Mbit/s.

On July 30, 2015, at 6:55 p.m., WDIV-TV activated a third subchannel on their broadcast signal for MeTV, which initially aired a test pattern with a "MeTV Detroit" logo. The new subchannel eventually "soft-launched" at about 5 p.m. the following evening with an episode of Emergency! (this was the second half of the show's two-hour weekday block on MeTV, the first half had already concluded on the national feed). On January 20, 2017 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., MeTV was replaced with Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! due to the inauguration of President Donald Trump running longer than expected. Since then, the MeTV subchannel has occasionally been used to broadcast programs (both syndicated and NBC network) that are preempted on WDIV-TV's main channel.

On January 3, 2020, WDIV-TV activated a fourth subchannel, which broadcasts Cozi TV, a network owned by NBC parent company NBCUniversal. This makes WDIV-TV the third station in the Detroit market to have been affiliated with Cozi TV, which was previously on WMYD and on WADL.

Analog-to-digital conversion

WDIV-TV signed on its digital high-definition signal on UHF 45 on March 1, 1999. The station shut down its analog signal over VHF channel 4 on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal continued to broadcast on its pre-transition UHF channel 45. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 4.

As part of the SAFER Act, WDIV kept its analog signal on the air until June 26 to inform viewers of the digital television transition through a loop of public service announcements from the National Association of Broadcasters.

In March 2017, the station announced that it would move its physical RF channel to UHF channel 32.

Out-of-market cable coverage

WDIV is carried on most cable systems in Southeast Michigan, Southwestern Ontario, and Northwestern Ohio. It is also carried on cable inGrand Marais, Michigan. It also serves several other Canadian cable-TV markets, including the city of Ottawa, well away from its broadcast area. It also serves several other Canadian cable-TV markets, including Rogers Cable in the city of Ottawa. It is also one of five local Detroit TV stations seen in Canada on satellite via Shaw Direct and was the original affiliate offered by CANCOM (now Shaw Broadcast Services) starting in September 1983.

CANCOM's carriage of WDIV stretches outside of Canada with cable carriage in places as varied as far northern New York state (Hammondand Alexandria Bay, New York), all of Bermuda, parts of Latin America and, for a time in the early 1990s, some parts of Ireland (with a delay).[8] In addition, WDIV is carried on some cable systems in Mexico, via Shaw Broadcast Services, such the Cablemas system inCiudad Juárez, which offers WDIV instead of fellow NBC affiliate KTSM-TV in nearby El Paso, Texas. From 1985 to ca. 1998, it was the NBC affiliate being offered through Cable Atlantic (now Rogers Cable) in Newfoundland and Labrador, including in St. John's, before switching toWHDH-TV from Boston.

Coverage on cable systems outside the Detroit-Windsor market may be subject to SyndEx and network blackouts in the United States, andsimsubbing in Canada.

Canadian carriage controversies

Though not in its own market, WDIV (plus WJBK and WXYZ) have seen their share of controversy from afar via their carriage to much of Canada (and fringe parts of North America) via CANCOM.

  • The presence of Detroit stations on Canadian cable systems was cited in some areas (namely the Prairie Provinces) for an uptick in crime rates in the years after their introduction via the heavy reporting of crime stories on their newscasts. The most extreme of these cases was when community activists in Winnipeg, Manitoba allegedly cited WDIV's newscasts as the potential ignitor of the city's first drive-by shootings.[citation needed]
  • Though totally coincidental, viewers in the Ottawa area decried WDIV's replacement of Rochester, New York's WHEC when Rogers Cableswitched that area's systems US affiliates from a combination of Rochester and Buffalo to Detroit in 2003.[citation needed]

Programming

Syndicated programming

Syndicated programs carried on WDIV-TV include Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Rachael Ray and Inside Edition. WDIV-TV is one of the few television stations in the United States to have aired Wheel and Jeopardy! from the beginning of their respective syndication runs. WDIV-TV used this as leverage for its decision to pull the programs from the schedule of CBC owned-and-operated station CBET-DT in Windsor during the 2011–12 season, a year before the CBC decided to cancel their broadcasts of the shows entirely.

Programming preemptions

In the 1970s and 1980s, WDIV preempted one to two hours of NBC's daytime programming every day. The station also refused to air Late Night with David Letterman and its successor, Late Night with Conan O'Brien at 12:35 a.m. for many years, and initially did not clear the Letterman-era program at all. Instead, until 1999, the station opted to rebroadcast Jenny Jones in that timeslot, along with off-network syndicated programs such as Barney Miller. WDIV currently airs the entire NBC schedule, though while Late Night now airs at its usual time of 12:35 a.m., it airs A Little Late with Lilly Singh at 2:35 a.m. instead of 1:35 a.m. due to a rebroadcast of the 11 p.m. news and an infomercial.

During the 1978–79 season, it aired This Morning, a locally based talk show hosted by Cathie Mann, in place of the game shows Card Sharks and All Star Secrets, while for many years, NBC's 12:30 p.m. programming was preempted in favor of a newscast. During the 1983–84 season, the newscast was expanded to an hour, preempting NBC's noon programming (most notably Super Password). That season, WDIV also preempted the 1983 revival of Dream House in favor of the 1978 revival of Tic-Tac-Dough.

WDIV has also delayed the fourth hour of Today (which nationally airs at 10 a.m.) since its debut, airing it generally at 11 a.m., save for a period from 2013 to 2015 when it aired at 2 p.m. after the launch their own local talk show Live In The D. In its place, WDIV has aired The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Ricki Lake Show and Rachael Ray at 10 a.m., with Live In The D airing in that timeslot since 2015.

The station does not carry NBC's late night rerun of the fourth hour of Today along with Mad Money, preferring to carry an encore of the 11 p.m. newscast, infomercials and syndicated programming. Along with all other Post-Newsweek stations, WDIV refused to air any of NBC's televised poker programming, including Poker After Dark, the National Heads-Up Poker Championship and Face the Ace.

From 1999 to 2002, WDIV did not clear the soap opera Passions at 2 p.m. Instead, it aired on WADL (channel 38) at noon on a day-behind basis, while WDIV aired daytime talk shows at 2 p.m.; Houston sister station KPRC-TV did this as well until August 30, 2004 when it became the last NBC station to carry Passions at 2 p.m. These two stations were the only NBC affiliate holdouts to the show; the issue was rendered moot when NBC canceled the soap opera in 2007. Those same two NBC stations also never carried Sunset Beach; the soap was seen on UPN affiliates WKBD and KTXH, respectively.

NBC programming is still occasionally preempted for special events, including the annual Ford Fireworks on the Detroit International Riverfront and America's Thanksgiving Parade (whose coverage, incidentally, preempts the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast on the station) and on occasion, infomercials. Rebroadcasts of movies from This TV also air several times a year in prime time on WDIV's main channel (usually Saturday nights so no new network programming is affected) to recover revenue from developing news and weather events where sustained coverage preempts commercials, and to fulfill "make goods" for local advertisers.

Local programs and personalities

WDIV was the launching pad for several locally produced shows that went national. The station broadcast the talk show Sonya(hosted by Dr. Sonya Freidman) live at 4 p.m. It was so popular that the station under the banner of Post-Newsweek Stations, syndicated it on a delayed basis to USA Network (which is now co-owned with NBC under NBCUniversal). WDIV also produced the afternoon variety show The Tony Orlando Show at 4 p.m. However, the station's management canceled the program after one year to run the syndicated daytime talk show Jenny Jones.

WDIV later signed WOMC (104.3 FM) morning radio host Dick Purtan to perform live segments during a 4–5 p.m. comedy block called Purtan's People. It was followed by WOMC's Tom Ryan with a monthly special that showed B-movies with comedy skits (in which Ryan played a character known as Count Scary). This was during the heyday of NBC's late-night success Second City Television and Joe Flaherty's Count Floyd. Eventually, Count Scary was dropped by WDIV and moved on to WKBD-TV (channel 50)'s Shocktoberfest. One local program idea that almost cost the station was for a Detroit-based comedy-drama called Hamtramck which aired only once. It created a storm of controversy with the Hamtramck community. The program's executive producer, Alan Frank, apologized to the community.

Meteorologist Chuck Gaidica hosted the Michigan Lottery's game shows and his own show. Sports director Bernie Smilovitz also hosted a couple of shows including The Chuck and Bernie Show in which featured then Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly and The Sparky and Bernie Show in which featured Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson. Smilovitz also hosted Bernie's Bloopers/Weekend at Bernie's specials.

Sports

WDIV was the over-the-air television flagship station of the Detroit Tigers, a relationship that lasted twenty seasons, from 1975to 1994, and previously from 1947 to 1952. During the majority of WDIV's second tenure as the Tigers' broadcast outlet, Hall of Famers George Kell and Al Kaline served as play-by-play announcer and color analyst, respectively, on the telecasts. Bernie Smiltovitz hosted the station's pregame show, Tigers 'XX ('84, '85, etc.) during most of WDIV's time as the TV home of the Tigers. As a result of the station's carriage of Tigers games (which usually ranged between 40 and 50 telecasts per season, the majority of them on weekends), WDIV preempted or rescheduled any affected NBC programming that was displaced. The station also carried any Tigers games when they were featured nationally as part of NBC's MLB coverage from its 1947 sign-on until 1989; this included World Series victories in 1968 and 1984.

WDIV and WDWB/WMYD shared the over-the-air broadcast rights to the Detroit Pistons, from 2004 to 2008. After the 2007–08 season, the Pistons' local telecasts became exclusive to Fox Sports Detroit. As the co-flagship of the Pistons' television network, WDIV was the local outlet that televised the game between the Pistons and the Indiana Pacers on the night of November 19, 2004, which led to the most infamous brawl in NBA history near that game's conclusion; the station also aired any Pistons games via NBC's broadcast contract with the NBA from 1990 to 2002.

The station has also been involved with the NFL's Detroit Lions, as from 1970 to 1997, via NBC's broadcast contract with the American Football Conference, home interconference contests were aired on channel 4 (which included the Thanksgiving games in some years). Since 2006, Lions games are shown on the station as part of NBC's Sunday Night Football package.

Additionally, through NBC's broadcast contract with the NHL, Detroit Red Wings games are also aired; this included their victory in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals.

News operation

WDIV-TV Local 4 News remote van

The station uses a Eurocopter A350 shared with WJBK and WXYZ. This helicopter features a completely digital HD video package and is quite noticeable from the ground with its large front camera pod and distinctive red paint (hence the callsign "Red Bird"). WDIV also purchases services from Metro Traffic which provides traffic reporting from its analog SD video platform, aloft on a Bell 206 airframe. This helicopter is blue and white with a smaller camera pod. Both helicopters are operated by HeliInc, which provides aircraft services to broadcasters in many markets.

WDIV News operates a fleet of 14 news gathering vehicles. These are 11 standard news ENG (electronic news gathering) Ford E350 vans with two-band digital microwave transmitters and video editing platforms. One of these trucks is a dual-purpose microwave truck and digital satellite uplink package. The station has one micro-ENG E150 van capable of rapid deployment short-range broadcasts and one additional satellite uplink vehicle with a much larger 1.8 meter antenna.

News operations point their microwave trucks at three receive sites in southeastern Michigan. One is located at their transmitter site in Southfield, one in downtown Detroit and the other in the city of Ann Arbor. With the satellite uplink capabilities and the diverse receive sites, the station can easily cover any news event within the viewing area.

The station is continually experimenting with new technology and its application to news gathering. It has invested heavily in video streaming products from various vendors such as Stream Box. The station has used streaming video in areas without internet access with InmarsatBGAN services.

On January 8, 2007, the station added a 30-minute afternoon newscast, Local 4 News First at 4, with Ruth Spencer as its solo anchor. It is also streamed live on the internet. In the spring of 2007, WDIV received an RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award, one of the highest honors in broadcast journalism. "The China Syndrome", reported and produced by Devin Scillian, was named Best Documentary. On Sunday, August 19, 2007, starting with the 11 p.m. newscast, WDIV became the second television station in Detroit to produce its newscasts in high definition.

In recent years, WDIV news has become what may be termed sensationalistic, featuring reports by the Rescue 4 Undercoverteam.[citation needed] These reports often deal with sexual topics or issues of personal safety (Is Your Favorite Movie Theater Safe?), but scored high ratings and viewer comments for their breaking news coverage of the Tara Grant disappearance that became a murder case with the arrest of her husband, Stephen.

In August 2013, WDIV dropped its noon newscast and converted it into an online-only broadcast in order to attract viewers who are at work during that timeslot. Viewer demand resulted in the station relaunching the noon newscast on the television station on January 13, 2014.[24]

In August 2014, WDIV unveiled a new studio, designed in-house and constructed by the Livonia, Michigan-based company EWI Worldwide.[25]

On November 11, 2016, Carmen Harlan retired after 38 years at the station to spend more time with her grandchildren. She plans to continue hosting America's Thanksgiving Parade with Devin Scillian.[26]

Current Local 4 news segments

  • Auto Show Coverage - WDIV team members
  • Local 4 Defenders - Defenders Team
  • Neighborhood Crime Tracker - Karen Drew
  • Bernie's Video Arcade(+ Spin-offs) - Bernie Smilovitz
  • America's Thanksgiving Day Parade - WDIV team members
  • Target Fireworks Coverage - WDIV Head Anchors
  • Vote 4 the Best - Steve Gargiola
  • I Am Detroit - ClickonDetroit.com exclusive
  • High School Sports (Fall: Friday Football Frenzy) (Winter: Local 4's Hoop Stars) - Katrina Hancock
  • Good Health - Dr. Frank McGeorge
  • Making a Difference - Local 4 news team, with assistance from NBC News

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • WWJ-TV News (1947–1966)
  • Channel 4 News (1966–1969)
  • News 4 (1969–1978, 1982-1993, and 1999-2000)
  • News 4 Plus Four (1977–1978)
  • News 4 Detroit (unlimited 1978-1987; morning, noon, 5 PM and 6 PM newscasts 1987-1990)
  • NIGHTBEAT (1987–2000; 11 p.m. newscast)
  • NEWSBEAT (1990–1999; used along with News 4)
  • Local First News (2000–2004)
  • Local 4 News (2004–present)

Station slogans

  • We're 4 Detroit (1978–1979)
  • Go 4 It! / Go For It! (1979–1988 and 1994–2000)
  • Detroit's 4's Proud as a Peacock! (1979–1981; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Detroit's 4, Our Pride Is Showing! (1981–1982; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • We're 4 Detroit, Just Watch Us Now! (1982–1983; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Detroit's 4's There, Be There! (1983–1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Let's Go 4 It and Let's All Be There! (1984–1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to Channel 4 (1986–1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come on Home to Channel 4 (1987–1988; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Come Home to the Best, Only on Channel 4 (1988–1990; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • WDIV, The Place To Be! (1990–1992; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • It's A Whole New Channel 4 (1992-1993; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • The Stars Are Back on Channel 4 (1993-1994; localized version of NBC ad campaign
  • Where Local News Comes First (1997–2004; also former slogan of sister station KPRC-TV in Houston)
  • Everywhere, Every Way, Every Day (2004–2006)
  • The Power of 4 (2006–2008)
  • The Big Events Station (2006–present; used for local events)
  • Your Breaking News Leader (2008–present; primary news slogan)
  • Worth Tuning In 4 (2008–present; general slogan)
  • Worth Staying Up 4/Worth Waking Up 4 (2008–present; used for newscast promos referring to its 11pm and morning newscasts)
  • Your Weather Leader (2008–present; weather slogan)

Newscast music

  • Classical Gas - Telesound (Dates unknown)
  • WWJ 1978 News Theme - Unknown composer (Dates unknown)
  • Baba O' Riley - The Who (Dates unknown)
  • Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) - Styx (Dates unknown)
  • Grand Illusion - Styx (Date unknown-1978)
  • We're 4 - Klein& (1978–1979)
  • Go 4 It - Klein& (1979-1984)
  • WDIV 1984 News Theme - Unknown composer (1984–1988)
  • The Champ: Gym Montage - Dave Grusin (1985–1986)
  • First News - Non-Stop Music (1988–2007)
  • Local First News - Joseph LoDuca (1994–2007)
  • WDIV 2006 News Theme - Unknown composer (2006–2007)
  • WDIV 2007 News Package - Chris Crane (2007–present)

On-air staff

Current on-air staff

Anchors

  • Sandra Ali - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.; fill-in anchor and also general assignment reporter
  • Evrod Cassimy - weekdays on Local 4 News Today (4:30-7AM) and weekdays at noon
  • Karen Drew - weekdays at First at 4 and 5:30 p.m. ; also investigative reporter and fill-in anchor
  • Grant Herms - weekends on Local 4 News Today; Saturdays at 6AM and 8AM; Sundays at 7AM
  • Steve Garagiola - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Kimberly Gill - weeknights at 5, 6, and 11 p.m.
  • Shawn Ley - weekdays on Local 4 News Today; fill-in anchor
  • Priya Mann - weekends on Local 4 News Today; fill-in anchor
  • Devin Scillian - weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Rhonda Walker - weekday mornings Local 4 News Today (4:30-7AM)
Local4Casters
Sports team
  • Bernie Smilovitz - Sports Director; weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Katrina Hancock - Sports Anchor; weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.; also host of "Sports Final Edition" and fill-in sports anchor
  • Rob Parker - ClickOnDetroit.com sports columnist; also seen on "Sports Final Edition"
Traffic
  • "Metro Joe" Joe Adams - Sky 4 reporter; weekday mornings Local 4 News Morning
  • Gail Anderson - weekend morning traffic reporter; also weekday fill-in
  • Lauren Podell - weekday evening traffic reporter
  • Ashlee Baracy - traffic reporter; weekday mornings Local 4 News Morning
Reporters
  • Jason Colthorp - general assignment reporter; fill-in anchor
  • Frank Holland - general assignment reporter
  • Bora Kim - general assignment reporter
  • Jim Keirtzner - general assignment reporter
  • Shawn Ley- general assignment reporter
  • Jon Jordan - fashion reporter
  • Mara MacDonald - weeknight reporter
  • Dr. Frank McGeorge - medical contributor
  • Sean Mehan - "Morning Cam" video journalist; seen weekday mornings
  • Rod Meloni - financial reporter
  • Tim Pamplin - "Night Cam" video journalist
  • Bisi Onile-Ere - general assignment reporter
  • Tom Sherony - Sky 4 pilot reporter
  • Larry Sprull - general assignment reporter
  • Paula Tutman - general assignment reporter
  • Hank Winchester - general assignment reporter; formerly anchor of "Local 4 News Morning Weekend"
Local 4 Defenders
  • Kevin Dietz - investigative reporter
  • Karen Drew - investigative reporter ("Neighborhood Crime Tracker")
  • Marc Santia - investigative reporter
Local 4 Buzz
  • Beth McLeod

Notable former on-air staff

WDIV & WWJ (pre-1978)

  • Al Ackerman - sports anchor (1970s & 1980s; left for WXYZ-TV)
  • Bob Allison - Ask Your Neighbor host, did TV news features, hosted long-running "Bowling for Dollars"
  • Tom Becherer - news director (1974-1977)
  • Bob Bennett - reporter (1968-2000; drowned in 2004)
  • Jerry Blocker - Education reporter & later the 1st African-American anchor in Detroit (1960s & 1970s)
  • Jim Brandstatter - Sports producer & reporter (1970s)
  • Betty Carrier - reporter & anchor (1970s)
  • James F. Clark - news director (1960s)
  • Mort Crim - heads his own production company & is pitchman for "Majic Window"
  • Carol Duvall - 1960s-1970s TV personality & noon anchor. Left forHGTV now retired
  • Sonny Eliot - TV weathercaster & World War II POW. Still on air in 2008 on WWJ (AM); on WDIV in the 1970s, he had a way of using portmanteaus to describe the weather, e.g., "fair" and "cool" became "feh-ool & there's no feh-ool like an old feh-ool"
  • Bill Fyfe - 6 pm news anchor, 1960s left to become news director at WXYZ-TV and later at KABC-TV in Los Angeles; Selected the now-famous "Eyewitness News" theme from movie Cool Hand Luke
  • Bob Giles - station's 1st news producer
  • Louise Lind Giles - Detroit's 1st female news producer

WDIV-TV (1978 to present)

  • Kathy Adams - anchor/reporter (1990-1997)
  • Kim Adams - meteorologist/health reporter (2002-2009), Went through numerous maternity leaves, leaving for Florida in 2005, then relocated back to Detroit after Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home and then left again for another maternity leave in May 2009 and chose not to return and spend more time with family. Now a Hansons Windows Spokesperson. [8]
  • Asha Blake - weekend anchor/health reporter (1993-1996, went toNBC News & was at KWGN-TV in Denver; now at KTLA in Los Angeles)
  • Robert Batot - meteorologist (1998-1999)
  • Rachel Bianco - anchor/reporter (now at San Diego)
  • John Boruk - weekend sports anchor from (2005-2006; now at Philadelphia's Comcast SportsNet)
  • John Blunt - anchor/reporter, 1979-1980s (later at WCAU, retired in 2009)
  • Eric Braate - Meteorologist
  • Doug Bruckner - reporter (now at Extra)
  • Kori Chambers - Anchor/Reporter (now anchor/reporter at WFLD-TV in Chicago)
  • Mort Crim - news anchor/radio reporter (1978-1997, now runs Mort Crim Communications & at Majic Windows)
  • Ama Daetz - weekend news anchor/reporter (2006-2009, now atKTXL-TV in Sacramento)
  • Vince DeMentri - reporter (1993-1994, now at WPRI-TV in Providence)
  • Derricke Dennis - anchor/reporter (now teacher at Wayne State University)
  • Scott Dickinson - Chopper 4 pilot with Suzanne Wangler 1996 - 1998, retired from the Michigan Air Nation Guard in December 2009
  • Rick Edlund - weekend anchor (1998-2000; now at KDFW in Dallas)
  • Art Edwards - morning reporter (now at KOIN-TV in Portland)
  • Dennis Edwards - reporter (early 1990s, now at WJZ-TV in Baltimore)
  • M.L. Elrick - investigative reporter (2006-2007) (Leaving for Detroit Free Press)
  • Doug Evans - reporter (1993-1998), now weekend anchor WAGA-TV, Atlanta
  • Tony Fama - investigative reporter (1994-1998)
  • Ben Frazier - anchor/reporter (1980-1983) - his voice, personality and reassuring style made him a Detroit favorite. Now works as a freelance writer in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Shon Gables - morning anchor (2000-2003, left WCBS-TV in New York in April 2006; now host of syndicated Black Enterprise Business Journal
  • Chuck Gadica - chief meteorologist/co-host of Live In-D (1987-2016) (retired)
  • Tracy Gary - traffic reporter & chopper reporter (Feb 2003-Dec 2004; now weather forecaster at WWJ-TV & announcer at WMCG)
  • Rick & Vicki Griffin - husband & wife meteorologists (1984-1989, Cuddle-Alert baby boy, Steven Griffin, born 1987)
  • Guy Gordon - anchor/reporter (2004-2016) (now at WJR)
  • Chris Hansen - investigative reporter/anchor (1988-1993, now at NBC News)
  • Silva Harapetian - general news reporter (2006-2009)
  • Carmen Harlan - legendary anchor/reporter (1978-2016) (retired)
  • Laurel Hess - reporter (1996-1999)
  • Fred Heumann - sports anchor/reporter (1994-2003, now atWLNS-TV in Lansing, Michigan)
  • Fred Hickman - sports anchor/reporter (1980s, now seen on ESPN's SportsCenter)
  • Doug Hill - meteorologist (1980-1982, now at WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.)
  • Jason Hill - reporter (now at KVUE-TV in Austin, Texas)
  • Andrea Joyce - sports reporter (1983-1985; recently seen doing NBC's now completed 2008 Beijing Olympic coverage for NBC sports)
  • Sean King - voiceover for WDIV (2002-2006)
  • Emery King - Anchor/Chief Political Reporter (1986-2005, now with Detroit Medical Center)
  • Kristi Krueger - health reporter/anchor (1990-1993, now at WPLG-TV in Miami)
  • Lila Orbach-Lazarus - "Good Health" correspondent/anchor (1997-2005, now at WJBK-TV)
  • Marcella Lee - reporter (1998-2004, now at KFMB-TV in San Diego)
  • Jac LeGoff - anchor/commentator (1985-1988)
  • Mike Lewis - police reporter (1982-2004, now Asst. Journalism Professor at University of Michigan-Flint in Flint, Michigan)
  • Paul Long - weekend meteorologist
  • Mike Lyons - meteorologist (1988-1991; now at WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida)
  • Davey Marlin-Jones - film critic (1978-1987, also worked at WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C.)
  • Rich Mayk
  • Beth McLeod - traffic reporter (2004-2008); lottery & special assignment reporter (1997-2007)
  • Fred McLeod - weekend sports anchor /host of "Sports Final Edition" on Sunday nights (1989-2006; currently the TV play-by-play voice of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers) (deceased)
  • Jennifer Moore - anchor/business reporter (1981-1992) (deceased)
  • Ross Morosso - Sky 4 Pilot Reporter (2006-2008)
  • Dan Mountney - former 11 pm anchor (1978-1999)
  • Vickie Newton - morning anchor/reporter (1997-2000, now at KMOV-TV in St. Louis)
  • Mark Peebles - voiceover for WDIV (2006-2019)
  • Bob Pisor - noon anchor (1980s-1991)
  • Margie Reedy - anchor/reporter (1984-1990) Last at NECN
  • Mike Sheppard - voiceover for WDIV (1993-2006)
  • Mal Sillars - longtime meteorologist
  • Robbin Simmons - 5 pm Anchor & General Assignment Reporter (went back to WSVN in Miami as weekend anchor/reporter)
  • Darrielle Snipes - reporter (2001-2004, later at KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City)
  • Tom Sorrells - meteorologist (1995-2000, now at WKMG-TV in Orlando)
  • Ruth Spencer - anchor/reporter (1990-2015) (retired)
  • George Siegal - meteorologist (1995-2001)
  • Brian Teigland - meteorologist (1984-1987, later at WPTY-TV in Memphis, also co-host "Memphis Wrestling" on WLMT) Died July 25, 2008.[9]
  • Anne Thompson - reporter (1986-1997, now at NBC News)
  • Jeff Vaughn - morning anchor/reporter (1999-2007; now @ KSHB-TV in Kansas City)
  • Scott Wahle - sports anchor/reporter (1987-1989, now at WBZ-TV in Boston, also lead anchor of WBZ produced 9 p.m. news on sister station WSBK)
  • Suzanne Wangler - Chopper 4 reporter (1995-2000; later news director/producer/anchor at WLAJ in Lansing (as Suzanne Page); found dead on February 23, 2008, she hanged Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in her Royal Oak home following an embezzlement accusation that lead to her arrest[10]
  • Jill Washburn - traffic reporter (1997-2004)
  • Dell Warner - Seniors reporter (died January 2009)
  • Roger Weber - longtime reporter (1978-2016) (retired)
  • Mike Wendland - investigative/technology reporter (1980-1998; now working as a technology correspondent for NBC)[11]
  • Nerissa Williams - anchor/reporter (1980-1985; last seen onKIRO-TV in Seattle before being let go by that station)
  • Eric Wilson- meteorologist (now at WKMG-TV in Orlando, Florida)
  • Michael Ann Wolf - weekend anchor/reporter (1995-2006)
  • Reynolds Wolf - meteorologist (1999-2002, now at CNN)
  • Van Earl Wright - sports anchor (1993-1996, now lead announcer of NBC's American Gladiators)
  • Eli Zaret - sports anchor (1981-1986, left for WABC)
  • Alisa Zee - Stayed full time at WWJ-AM. Replaced with Heather Zara

Logos

External links

References

  1. ^ WDIV Makes Television History! Travel Back In Time With Local 4 Firsts! - Inside WDIV News Story - WDIV Detroit
  2. ^ Call Letter Origins: The List
  3. ^ WDIV Makes Television History! Travel Back In Time With Local 4 Firsts! (2004). Clickondetroit.com
  4. ^ http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php?request=atscmph
  5. ^ http://www.mdtvsignalmap.com/
  6. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
  7. ^ CDBS Print
  8. ^ Matt Lauer, on NBC's The Today Show (May 2, 2007)


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