WFOR-TV, virtual channel 4.1 (physical digital channel 22), is the CBS owned-and-operated station in Miami, Florida. WFOR shares its TV studio facilities with sister station WBFS-TV (channel 33, Miami's MyNetworkTV affiliate) in Doral, near Miami International Airport, and its transmitter is located in Miramar.
|Miami / Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Branding||CBS 4 (general)
South Florida's CBS 4 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||South Florida's Smart Choice|
|Channels||Digital: 22 (UHF)Virtual: 4 (PSIP)|
(CBS Television Stations, Inc.)
|First air date||September 20, 1967|
|Call letters' meaning||FOuR (former analog channel), derived from WCIX (six, its previous channel position)|
|Former callsigns||WCIX (1967-1995)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:6 (VHF, 1967-1995)
4 (VHF, 1995-2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1967-1986)Fox (1986-1989)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||25°58′8.3″N 80°13′19.2″W / 25.968972°N 80.222°W / 25.968972; -80.222|
WFOR-TV also previously had two translator stations in the Florida Keys: W38AA (channel 38) in Marathon and W39AC (channel 39) in Key West. Mapale LLC, which has owned them since at least 1979, now has them assigned to Key West's WSBS-TV, making their entire service area redundant. Their "digital companion channels" are licensed separately from the analogs, and have Mapale's own WGEN-TV (also from Key West) listed as their primary station.
WCIX, channel 6
The station signed on air on September 20, 1967 on channel 6 as WCIX, owned by Coral Television, a subsidiary of General Cinema Corporation. The callsign sounded like the word "six". Channel 6 was originally licensed to Islamorada in the Florida Keys, but the local owners successfully convinced the FCC to move the license to Miami on the mainland where it could serve more viewers. It built a transmission tower in Homestead, which was 40 miles (60 km) southwest of Miami, farther south than the other Miami television stations. This arrangement was necessary to protect WPTV (on adjacent channel 5) in West Palm Beach and WDBO-TV (now WKMG-TV, and also on channel 6) in Orlando. As a result, WCIX only provided a "Grade B" over-the-air signal to Fort Lauderdale, and was virtually unviewable in the northern portion of Broward County. The station made up for this shortfall in its coverage by opening translator channels throughout Broward County and in Boca Raton (part of the West Palm Beach market), identifying channels 33, 61, and 69 in its identification announcements as late as the mid-1980s. The channel 33 translator ceased operations in 1984 to allow future sister station WBFS-TV to sign on, and was then moved to channel 27 where it operated until the mid-1990s; channel 69 became WYHS-TV in 1988. Translators on channels 21 (in Pompano Beach) and 58 (in central Broward County) were also used in later years.
WCIX was the first general-entertainment independent station in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale market, and the second in Florida, after WSUN-TV (now WTTA) in Tampa converted to independent status in 1965. Channel 6 ran the typical independent format of children's shows, sitcoms, movies, and other local and syndicated programs. WCIX was also one of very few stations not owned by Kaiser Broadcasting to carry The Lou Gordon Program from WKBD-TV in Detroit in the 1970s. It was also one of the first stations in the area to offer programming in both English and Spanish to serve South Florida's growing Hispanic population.
During the 1970s through the early-1980s, WCIX had widespread cable penetration throughout Florida and was seen on cable systems as far north as Tampa Bay and Orlando. Outside the Miami market, WCIX shared its cable space with another Miami station, WKID-TV (channel 51, now WSCV), which presented old movies and sitcoms after WCIX left the air.which also features the corporate tag for then-owner Taft Broadcasting. The numeric "6" was used from the station's sign-on in 1967 until 1989.A few years after its launch, channel 6 launched The 10 O'Clock News, the first primetime newscast in South Florida. The station was the only general-entertainment independent in the market until 1976, when WHFT (channel 45) was purchased by LeSEA Broadcasting and initiated a hybrid schedule of general-entertainment and religious programming. In 1980 WHFT was sold to the Trinity Broadcasting Network and switched to religious programming full-time, leaving WCIX as the market's lone independent once again. However, it would receive competition once again in 1982 when WDZL (channel 39, now WSFL-TV) signed on.
General Cinema exchanged WCIX to the Taft Television and Radio Company in early 1983 for NBC affiliate WGR-TV (now WGRZ-TV) in Buffalo, New York. Under Taft, WCIX continued to be the leading independent station in South Florida (while airing more programs distributed by corporate sibling Worldvision Enterprises, such as series from the Hanna-Barbera, Quinn Martin, and pre-1973 ABC libraries), and moved from its original studios on Brickell Avenue in downtown Miami to its current facility in Doral (then unincorporated, now a separate city) in 1985. In 1986, WCIX became one of the charter affiliates of the newly-launched Fox Broadcasting Company, and was one of a handful of VHF stations to affiliate with Fox.
Acquired by CBS
After losing a bid to purchase then-CBS affiliate WTVJ (then on channel 4) from then-owner Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., CBS made a half-hearted offer to buy WCIX from Taft in January 1987. Taft declined, but a month later opted to sell all their independent stations and Fox affiliates, including WCIX, to the TVX Broadcast Group. However, TVX became mired in debt as a result of the purchase, and began to sell off many of its medium- and small-market stations. Although TVX originally planned to keep WCIX, the company eventually decided that the station would have to be divested. One of the primary factors in the decision to sell was that WCIX was TVX's only VHF station, whereas its sisters were all on UHF.
KKR sold WTVJ to NBC in September 1987. However, CBS' affiliation contract with WTVJ expired at the end of 1988, as did NBC's contract with WSVN (channel 7), its Miami affiliate since 1956. WSVN's parent company, Sunbeam Television, was not willing to end channel 7's affiliation with NBC a year early. NBC was thus forced to run WTVJ as a CBS affiliate for over a year—a situation that didn't sit well with either NBC or CBS.
With the defection of WTVJ looming, CBS made another offer to TVX for WCIX in the spring of 1988. The two sides agreed to a final deal in August. In the interim, channel 6 agreed to air CBS programs pre-empted by WTVJ. Meanwhile, WSVN fought to retain its relationship with NBC, but later relented and approached CBS for an affiliation deal. CBS turned it down and went forward with its plans for WCIX despite its weak signal in Broward County.The official affiliation changeover occurred on January 1, 1989: CBS' full schedule moved to WCIX, while NBC's full schedule of programming moved to WTVJ. Fox moved its programming over to WSVN, while most of WCIX's syndicated programs (a notable exception being Star Trek: The Next Generation, the rights to which are now owned by CBS) went to WDZL. WCIX also began a half-hour newscast at 6:00 p.m., moved their 10:00 newscast to 11:00, and continued to increase its local news output in the early 1990s. CBS formally closed on its purchase of WCIX the next day. In the case of Miami-Fort Lauderdale, it is the only television market where Fox switched affiliates both on the VHF dial — and the only known instance of a long-time "Big Three" affiliate switching to Fox prior to the U.S. television network affiliate switches of 1994.
Despite a significant technical overhaul and upgraded programming, WCIX struggled as a CBS station due to its weak signal in Fort Lauderdale. Despite operating a translator in the area on channel 27, CBS persuaded WPEC (channel 12), the longtime ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach, to switch to CBS (replacing UHF station WTVX) in order to give the network a stronger signal in northern Broward County.
WCIX's transmission tower was brought down by Hurricane Andrew on August 24, 1992, forcing the station off-air. Within hours, the station resumed transmission via its low power translator in Fort Lauderdale. WDZL began carrying WCIX's newscasts the next day, with the entire CBS schedule following a few days later. Within a week, WCIX was back on the air using an emergency transmitter on a borrowed tower. In the wake of the devastation, WCIX's staff helped create Neighbors Helping Neighbors, a grass roots charitable organization which aimed to help people rebuild. The organization lives on as Neighbors 4 Neighbors, which is still supported by the station.
Move to channel 4In 1994, CBS and Westinghouse (Group W) Broadcasting signed a long-term affiliation deal, part of which resulted in three Westinghouse-owned stations becoming CBS affiliates. As a sidebar, a subsequent deal between NBC and a new Group W/CBS joint venture was made in 1995, with CBS selling the channel 6 facility to NBC as compensation for the loss of two Westinghouse-owned NBC affiliates, KYW-TV in Philadelphia and WBZ-TV in Boston. In return, Group W/CBS received the stronger channel 4 facility and cash as compensation for the loss of WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, which was being acquired by NBC. NBC also included stations in Denver and Salt Lake City in the tradeoff to Group W/CBS. At 1:00 a.m. on September 10, 1995, WCIX and WTVJ swapped dial positions. The entire WCIX intellectual unit (studios, CBS affiliation, programming and staff) moved from channel 6 to channel 4, thus returning CBS programming to channel 4 after a six-year hiatus. WTVJ had been Miami's CBS affiliate from its sign-on in 1949 until the 1989 switch to NBC. Along with the frequency change came a new set of call letters, WFOR-TV. Due to the way the asset exchange deal was structured, the two stations were required to swap licenses in addition to the transmitting facilities. (, ) As a result, the FCC considers WFOR-TV to be legally the same station as the original WTVJ; however, the studios of both WFOR-TV and WTVJ remained the same.
Under the terms of the deal, CBS sold controlling interest (55 percent) in WFOR-TV to Westinghouse, while retaining a minority interest (45 percent). WFOR became fully owned by CBS once again when the Westinghouse Electric Corporation purchased CBS at the end of 1995. WFOR began its digital television service on May 1, 2001.
In February 2009, WFOR moved past WPLG-TV and now holds the title of being South Florida's most watched English-language station.On January 11, 2010 WFOR-TV began broadcasting local newscasts from a temporary set in preparation for an upgrade to HD news broadcasts. This upgrade included a new set and HDTV cameras. On Sunday, January 24, 2010, WFOR-TV became the last major English-language station in the Miami television market and the last CBS-owned station that has a full news operation to make the upgrade to HD newscasts. (Currently, WWJ-TV in Detroit is technically the only CBS-owned station with an in-house news operation that still broadcasts in standard definition; however, it does not produce or air regular evening or late-night newscasts nor does it have a full-scale news department.) The newscasts on sister station WBFS-TV were also included in the upgrade.
On June 12, 2009, WFOR-TV left channel 4 and continued broadcasting on channel 22 to complete its analog to digital conversion. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WFOR-TV's virtual channel as "4".
With the hiring of a new news director, Shannon High-Bassalik, in 2000, major changes came to WFOR's news department. New anchors, a younger and hipper look, and flashy news coverage were all similar to the style seen at WSVN, where she was assistant news director. She also changed the newscast's name from News 4 South Florida to CBS 4 News. A short time later, Viacom bought CBS, making WFOR a sister station to UPN affiliate WBFS-TV, who subsequently moved into WFOR's studios. The station also handled some support operations for WTVX in West Palm Beach until it was sold to Cerberus Capital Management in 2007. When Viacom spun off CBS Corporation in 2005, WFOR-TV and WBFS-TV became part of the new company.
Until June 2007, anchor Maggie Rodriguez and Elliot Rodriguez co-anchored the 5 and 11 PM newscasts. Maggie left the station to co-anchor the Saturday Early Show. Shannon Hori, formerly of sister station KTVT in Fort Worth, Texas, was named main anchor in June 2007. Also that month, news director High-Bassalik was forced to resign, and was replaced by Adrienne Roark. Roark left WFOR/WBFS in March 2010 to join CBS' Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex duopoly KTVT/KTXA. The current news director is Cesar Aldama.
On January 24, 2010, after about two weeks of preparation, WFOR debuted their newscasts and other local programming in high definition. The revamp included a major retooling of the news set, new studio equipment, master control changes, and graphics. Along with the revamp, a new logo was introduced, which would further emphasize a "South Florida feel"  WFOR is the last English-language station in South Florida to begin broadcasting news and local programming in HD.
On August 9, 2010, WFOR joined other CBS O&O stations by releasing a new graphics package. The change mirrors the packages seen on WCBS and KCBS, whose openings involve a spinning glass CBS eye, and the station ID in the center, with video of various cities, like Miami-Dade, Broward County and the Keys. The color scheme is now a dark blue with the glass CBS eye featured prominently. A new logo was also introduced using the logo used on KCNC-TV, while keeping the wave of the former logo below it. Their news music package "Moving Forward" was retained in its original format.
- Channel 6 News (1967-1970s)
- TV-6 News (1970s)
- NewsWatch 6 (late 1970s-early 1980s)
- Eyewitness News at Ten (early-mid 1980s)
- The Ten O'Clock News (mid 1980s-1989)
- Channel 6 News (1989)
- (Channel) 6 Action News (1989-1995)
- News 4 South Florida (1995–1999, used when the station moved to Channel 4)
- (South Florida's) CBS 4 News (1999–present)
- Say 6 (19??–198?)
- WCIX, Channel 6 -- Be a Part of It All! (mid-late 1980s)
- Don't Let Fox 6 Weekends Pass You By (1987-1988; localized version of Fox ad campaign)
- Fox 6, This is the Year (1988-1989; last local version of Fox ad campaign)
- We're Earning Our Reputation One Story At A Time (1989-199?)
- You're Going to Be Watching a Lot More 6! (1989-1995 newscast opens)
- You Can Feel It on Channel 6 (January-September 1989; first local version of CBS ad campaign)
- South Florida, Get Ready for Channel 6 / Get Ready for Channel 6 (1989-1991; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- The Look of Miami / Fort Lauderdale is Channel 6 (1991-1992; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- This is CBS, on Channel 6 (1992-1994; local version of CBS ad campaign)
- Taking Action For You/Taking Action to Bring You a More Balanced View of South Florida (1992–1995)
- News That Works For You (1995–2007; secondary slogan)
- Working For You (1995–1999; primary slogan)
- CBS 4 is Always On (2007–present)
- South Florida's Smart Choice (2010–present)
- Gio Benitez (Temp)- weekends at 6, 6:30 & 11:00 p.m.
- Rhiannon Ally- weekday mornings (5-7 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Shannon Hori - weeknights at 5, 5:30 and 11 p.m. and host of 4 Sunday Morning
- Antonio Mora - weeknights at 6 p.m.
- Eliott Rodriguez - weeknights at 5, 5:30 and 11 p.m. and host of News and Views with Eliott Rodriguez
- Marybel Rodriguez- weekend mornings (6:00 a.m.-7:00 a.m. Saturdays and 8:00-9:00 a.m. Sundays)
- Natalia Zea - weekends at 6, 6:30 and 11 p.m.; also weekday reporter
- Josh Benson - weekday mornings (5-7 a.m.)
CBS 4 Storm Specialists
- David Bernard (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist and NWA Seals of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 and 11 p.m.
- Jeff Berardelli (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekends at 6, 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.
- Lissette Gonzalez - Weather Anchor; weekday mornings (5-7 a.m.) and noon
- Craig Setzer (AMS Seal of Approval; NWA Member) - Meteorologist; weekend mornings (6:00-7:00 a.m. on Saturdays & 8:00-9:00 a.m. on Sundays) ; also fill-in meteorologist
- Jim Berry - Sports Director; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
- Kim Bokamper - Sports Anchor; weekends at 6, 6:30pm and 11 p.m.; also host of Sports Talk on WQAM-AM 560, former Miami Dolphin
- Solange Reyner - web journalist*
- Lesley Visser - sports reporter; also with CBS Sports
- Syleys Roberts
- Gwen Belton
- Gio Benitez
- Carey Codd
- Jim DeFede - evening news commentator and host of The Jim DeFede Show on WFTL-AM 850
- Peter D'Oench
- Liz de Rouzeiro
- Jorge Estevez
- Michele Gillen - chief investigative reporter
- Samantha Hayes - CNN NewsSource national politics reporter
- Tiffani Helberg
- Joan Murray - Broward County Bureau reporter
- Gary Nelson
- Lisa Petrillo - entertainment reporter and Extra Miami correspondent
- Marybel Rodriguez
- Ted Scouten
- Stephen Stock - investigative reporter
- Al Sunshine - Chief Consumer Investigator; Moneywatch Reporter/Blogger , former "Shame On You" Reporter Miami HeraldAction Line Columnist
- David Sutta
- Michael Williams
- Brian Andrews (now English-language news director at RCN-TV in Bogotá)
- Jade Alexander - WBFS weekday morning anchor
- Gayle Anderson (now at KTLA in Los Angeles)
- Rachel Aram
- Aaron Alvarez - meteorologist
- Jeff Baskin - freelance weather (now at KLRT-TV in Little Rock, AR)
- Susan Barnett
- Lisa Cabrera (moved to WNYW-TV in New York, has since left the station)
- Beatriz Canals
- Erin Coakley
- Kathleen Corso - reporter/morning anchor (1989–1995; now special projects producer at WPLG-TV)
- Liv Davalos
- Tom Doerr - vice president/station manager (2006–2009; now vice president of news for KRIV in Houston)
- Jim Dyer
- Michael Evans - reporter (1976–1978)
- Giselle Fernández
- Jennifer Gould (moved to KTTV-TV Fox11 to anchor in Los Angeles; now reporting at KTLA-TV in Los Angeles)
- Alita Guillen
- John Hambrick (1990–1993; deceased)
- Robb Hanrahan (now with WHP-TV in Harrisburg, PA)
- James Hill (later with "National Enquirer TV", now lead anchor at WOLO-TV in Columbia, SC)
- Nefertiti Jáquez (now at WTXF-TV in Philadelphia)
- Rob Jones - freelancer, weekday morning weather (last at NBC Weather Plus)
- Dr. Sean Kenniff - health specialist
- Mike Kirsch (now at Aljazeera English)
- Larry Klass
- Mary Kay Kleist (now at WBBM-TV in Chicago)
- Phil Lipof - reporter (2002–2004; now at WBTS-LD in Boston)
- Dr. Deanna Lites (now at WHDH-TV in Boston)
- Christina Loren - weekday morning traffic reporter; also fill-in weather anchor
- Dave Malkoff (now at KTLA-TV in Los Angeles)
- Khambrel Marshall (now weekend morning weather anchor at KPRC-TV in Houston)
- Jill Martin
- Stan Miller (currently lead anchor at KFMB-TV in San Diego)
- Diana Morgan - former anchor (now movie/TV actress)
- Derrol Nail (now at WOFL-TV in Orlando)
- Bryan Norcross - "Hurricane Specialist" seen during hurricane coverage, executive producer for WFOR's hurricane specials and CBS News hurricane consultant
- Bill O'Reilly - political commentator
- Leif Pedersen-Diaz
- Jeff Pegues - reporter/anchor (2002–2005; now at CBS News)
- Joy Purdy (now 7 p.m. anchor/reporter at WTLV/WJXX in Jacksonville, FL)
- Angela Rae
- Ralph Renick - commentator (1988–1990; deceased)
- Anne Roberts
- John Roberts (formerly J.D. Roberts) - anchor/reporter (now at Fox News Channel)
- Maggie Rodriguez - 5, 6, and 11 p.m. anchor
- Ken Rosato - anchor (2000–2002; now at WABC-TV in New York City)
- Jennifer Santiago (left September 28, 2007 for HDNews; hosted Travel Channel special and now DirecTV correspondent for "Hometown Heroes.")
- Aleen Sirgany (now at CBS NewsPath)
- Russell Shimooka sports anchor (1989-1991, went on to KGO-TV, KARE-TV, News Anchor KGMB-TV Honolulu)
- Barbara Sloan
- Jason W. Smith - director/technical director (1999–2008; now at WGCL in Atlanta)
- Laurie Stein - investigative reporter and fill-in anchor
- Shomari Stone
- Jeff Taylor (moved to WBBM-TV in Chicago)
- Ileana Varela - weekend anchor
- Justin Wells (now producer for Fox News Channel)
- Jason Wheeler (now at KEYE-TV in Austin)
- Steve Wolford - 5, 6 and 11 p.m. anchor (now evening anchor at KTNV in Las Vegas)
- Pamela Wright - weekday morning and noon weather (moved to North Carolina with her children and restaurateur husband)
- Sherrie Williams - now at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia
- ^ "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; CBS to Buy TV Station In Miami". The New York Times. August 9, 1988. http://www.nytimes.com/1988/08/09/business/the-media-business-cbs-to-buy-tv-station-in-miami.html.
- ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
- ^ http://cbs4.com/local/high.definition.cbs4.2.1447173.html
- ^ http://www.cbs4.com/bios