WFRV-TV is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Green Bay, Wisconsin, and serving Green Bay, the Fox Valley, and Northeastern Wisconsin. The station broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 39 (PSIP channel 5.1) from a transmitter north of theBrown County town of Morrison. The station is currently owned and operated by Liberty Media, with a sale to Nexstar Broadcasting Group pending.

150px-CBS 5 WFRV-TV Logo.png
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Branding Channel 5 (general)

Channel 5 News

Slogan Where The News

Starts With You

Channels Digital: 39 (UHF)
Subchannels 5.1 CBS
Owner Liberty Media Corporation

(WFRV and WJMN Television Station, Inc.)

First air date May 21, 1955
Call letters' meaning Wisconsin's Fox

River Valley

Sister station(s) WJMN-TV
Former callsigns WNAM-TV (1955-1959)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

42 (UHF, 1955-1959) 5 (VHF, 1959-2009)

Former affiliations ABC (1955–1959 and 1983-1992)

NBC (1959–1983) DuMont (secondary, 1955)

Transmitter power 1,000 kW
Height 364 m
Facility ID 9635
Transmitter coordinates 44°20′1″N87°58′56″W

WFRV also operates semi-satellite WJMN-TV (UHF digital channel 48 or virtual channel 3), which is licensed to Escanaba, Michigan and covers the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Because WFRV/WJMN is Liberty's only broadcast operation, master control and all internal operations for both stations originate from WFRV's Green Bay facilities; WJMN does maintain an engineering operation and an advertising sales office in Marquette.[1] WJMN is also included in the pending WFRV sale from Liberty Media to Nexstar.

Programming on WFRV and WJMN includes the full CBS lineup; syndicated programming including Entertainment Tonight, Oprah, Ellen, and Live with Regis and Kelly; and Green Bay Packers-related programming (WFRV is the Packers' "official station" and carries Packers' pre-season broadcasts and the weekly Larry McCarren's Locker Room during the season).


The station began life on May 21, 1955 as ABC affiliate WNAM-TV, originally broadcasting on UHF channel 42 from Neenah / Menasha and serving as sister to the radio station with the same call sign. By the late 1950s, the station moved their city of license to Green Bay and their studios to Little Chute. The station would also change frequency (to VHF channel 5), call sign (to WFRV), and, in 1959, network affiliation (to NBC). (In 1958, the station was also part of the short-lived Badger Television Network alongside Milwaukee's WISN-TV and Madison's WKOW-TV.)[2] WFRV's early claims to fame included being the first TV station in Northeastern Wisconsin to broadcast in color (doing so after joining NBC), the first station to cover a live lunar eclipse in 1959 (a studio camera was wheeled to the station parking lot and aimed at the moon), and Green Bay's first color local news broadcasts (beginning in 1965).

In the mid-1960s, WFRV was acquired by the Norton Group, a company owned by the Norton family of Kentucky, who also owned Louisville'sWAVE. (The Norton Group would change its name to Orion Broadcasting by 1969.) One of the Norton Group's early decisions was to move WFRV's transmitter: Other Green Bay stations had their transmitters on Scray's Hill in the Ledgeview section of the town of Glenmore, located just south of Green Bay and one of the highest geographical points in the area; WFRV's transmitter, however, was located further south (a legacy from its original days in Neenah/Menasha), so turning antennas southward to pick up WFRV inconvenienced viewers—and in turn put the station at a disadvantage. Accordingly, the Nortons gained permission from the Federal Communications Commission to move Channel 5's transmitter to Glenmore.

On October 7, 1969, WFRV expanded into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by signing on semi-satellite WJMN-TV in Escanaba. WJMN's creation was the result of The Norton Group's earlier agreement with the FCC to move WFRV's tower, as the station had to address short-spacing issues with another Channel 5 station, Chicago's WMAQ-TV (every analog channel allocation in the Green Bay and Wausau media markets were shared by a Chicago television station). As part of the agreement to transmit from Glenmore, Orion Broadcasting launched WJMN so that WFRV's service to the U.P. and far Northeastern Wisconsin could continue, and so that a 2nd station in central Upper Michigan could be added (before WJMN, WLUC-TV was the only commercial station serving the U.P.).

Orion Broadcasting would merge with Cosmos Broadcasting (a subsidiary of The Liberty Corporation) in 1981. Two years later, in April 1983, WFRV would affiliate with ABC for the second time (NBC would move to WLUK-TV). Later in the 1980s, WFRV was sold to Midwest Radio and Television, owned by the Murphy and McNally families, who also owned the WCCO stations in Minneapolis-St Paul. The Murphys and McNallys would announce a sale of Midwest to CBS in summer 1991; the sale was completed in early 1992, and on March 15 of that year, WFRV became become a CBS owned-and-operated station (ABC would move to Green Bay's longtime CBS affiliate, WBAY-TV); this swap would make WFRV one of the few stations in the United States to be affiliated with all of the Big Three television networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) during its lifetime.

By 2001, WFRV would change its longtime Orion Broadcasting-era logo, used since the mid 1970s, for an earlier version of their current logo. One year later, in 2002, WFRV would become the first station in the Green Bay market to begin digital broadcasts. By 2003, WFRV would adopt the mandate CBS dictated for its stations, identifying themselves as "CBS 5" and adopting a green-and-gold logo to reflect their connection to the Green Bay Packers (WFRV would begin airing Packer pre-season broadcasts in 2003). The station's current blue-and-yellow logo and graphic scheme was unveiled on July 10, 2006, along with a new news set to coincide with the return to the station of former reporter/anchor Tammy Elliott.

The week of April 16-18, 2007, Liberty Media (a media company unrelated to The Liberty Corporation) completed an exchange transaction with CBS Corporation pursuant to which Liberty Media exchanged 7.6 million shares of CBS Class B common stock valued at $239 million dollars for a subsidiary of CBS that held WFRV and approximately $170 million in cash.[3][4] WFRV and WJMN would then become owned-and-operated stations of Liberty Media, the only over-the-air TV properties they have owned. In May 2007, operations of the stations' websites would move from CBS Television Stations Digital Media Group to a redesigned site powered by Inergize Digital Media (then a subsidiary ofClear Channel Communications now a division of Newport Television). By Summer 2007, WFRV would drop the CBS Mandate, slowly transitioning from "CBS 5" to simply "Channel 5," their identifier before 2003.

In September 2008, WFRV became the first station in Green Bay to upgrade their master control for pre-recorded network and syndicated high definition programming; Oprah, Ellen, and Entertainment Tonight are currently aired in HD on WFRV, while a character generator allows the station to place 16:9 bulletin crawls for weather and news over the programming.[5] WFRV would transition to digital-only broadcasting at midnight on February 17, 2009 (during a Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson commercial break); it would air a lop of nightlight programming until March 3, when their analog service was completely discontinued. As of October 2009, WFRV now has the capability to create and air 16:9 advertising, promotions, and news graphics. Although WFRV still uses standard definition cameras for the time being, their graphics now display in the 16:9 format with weather conditions filling the left and right pillarbox spaces during 4:3-formatted newscasts. In April 2010, WFRV/WJMN redesigned its Web site through Broadcast Interactive Media.

On April 7, 2011, Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced it will acquire WFRV and WJMN-TV from Liberty Media. The $20 million deal, subject to FCC approval, is expected to close during the 3rd quarter of 2011.[6] The Web site URL and operations of WFRV and WJMN will be changed to Nexstar's in-house format after the sale is complete.

News Operations

WFRV's primary studios and weather radar in Green Bay.


Their Fox Valley Bureau and weather radar.

WFRV's 5PM and 6PM newscasts have audio simulcasts on radio stations in the Fond du Lac-Oshkosh areas (on WRPN 1600 AM) as well as in the Marinette-Menominee area (on WHYB 103.7 FM). All WFRV newscasts are simulcast live on WJMN, which apart from occasional on-location reports from the Upper Peninsula currently has no separate news programming for the U.P.; when Nexstar completes its purchase of the stations, it plans for separate U.P. newscasts on WJMN.[7]In addition to their main studios on East Mason Street in Green Bay, WFRV also has a Fox Valley bureau in Little Chute, located on Patroit Drive near US 41 freeway. The Valley bureau also has a second Doppler weather radar tower to provide extended radar coverage for the station's weather operation.

For most of its history, WFRV-TV's newscasts have been competitive with longtime leader WBAY-TV in most time slots. However, since the sale from CBS to Liberty Media, WFRV's newscast ratings have plummeted to a distant second overall (and occasionally third behind Fox affiliateWLUK-TV).

News Staff


  • Wendy Kuschel - Sunday through Thursday mornings
  • Erin Davisson - weekdays at Noon and 6
  • Tammy Elliott - weeknights at 5 and 10
  • Tom Zalaski - weeknights at 6 and 10
  • Chelly Boutott - Friday mornings, weekends and reporter

Storm Team 5 Meteorologists

  • Tom Mahoney (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief seen weeknights at 5 and 6
  • Dave Miller (AMS Seal of Approval) - weeknights at 10
  • Justin Steinbrinck (AMS Seal of Approval) - Sunday through Thursday mornings
  • Dana Tyler (AMS Seal of Approval) - Friday mornings, weekends


  • Larry McCarren - weeknights at 6 and 10
  • Burke Griffin - weekend evenings and Inside Lambeau co-host
    • Inside Lambeau Co-Host and High School Sports Xtra host
  • Ryan Popkey - reporter and photographer
    • producer and fill-in anchor
  • Nick Goddard - reporter


  • Mike Austin - Agriculture
  • Olga Halaburda
  • Terry Kovarik
  • Bret Lemoine
  • Donald Robinson
  • Caroline Rowland
  • Heather Sawaski
  • Millaine Wells


  • Justin Dubois
  • Scott Giese
  • Mark Phinney
  • Jason Roemaat
  • Mike Vandersnick
  • Don Roznowski
  • Dave Duchan

Past on-air staff

  • Lance Allan - now Sports Director at WTMJ-TV
  • Jay Johnson - anchor 1982–1987; served as WLUK-TV anchor from 1988 to 1996, and later represented Wisconsin's 8th congressional district (1997-1999) and served as director of US Mint in 2000-2001. Deceased October 17, 2009.
  • Glen Lloyd - consumer affairs reporter; also worked for WLUK and later served as spokesman for the Wisconsin Department of AgricultureTrade and Consumer Protection until his 2009 retirement
  • Tom Milbourn - became anchor at WLUK
  • Don Noe - meteorologist late-1970s (originator of animated weather maps); later retired from WPLG in Miami, Florida[8][9]
  • Rob Stafford - later at Dateline NBC and now weekend anchor at WMAQ-TV
  • Kris Schuller - became WisDOT spokesperson
  • Mary Smits - later went to WBAY, where she became anchor; now retired
  • Paul Evansen
  • Jim Cline
  • Lois Thome
  • Jack Boston
  • Paul Youngblood
  • Tim Blotz - currently weekend evening anchor at KMSP Minneapolis-St, Paul, MN.
  • Fred Wagner
  • Don Sidney
  • Lisa Malak - went to work in health care public relations.
  • Hilary Golston - now at WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • Jenna Sachs - now at WITI-TV in Milwaukee.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • The World Today and The World Tonight (mid 1960s)
  • Report to Wisconsin (1967-1971)
  • Channel 5 Eyewitness News (1971-2001)
  • NewsChannel 5 (2001-2003)
  • CBS 5 News (2003-2007)
  • Channel 5 News (2007-2012)
  • Local 5 News (2012-present)

Station slogans

  • 5 Country is Your Country (1970s)
  • Channel 5, Proud As A Peacock! (1979-1981; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • Channel 5, Our Pride Is Showing (1981-1982; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • We're Channel 5, Just Watch Us Now (1982-1983; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
  • That Special Feeling on Channel 5 (1983-1984; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • We're With You on Channel 5 (1984-1985; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • You'll Love It on Channel 5 (1985-1986; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Together on Channel 5 (1986-1987; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Something's Happening on Channel 5 (1987-1990; localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • Northeast Wisconsin's Watching Channel 5 (1990-1992; last localized version of ABC ad campaign)
  • This is CBS, on Channel 5 (1992-1993; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • The Best News and More (mid 1980s)
  • The Look of a Leader! (mid 1990s)
  • Your News Source (2001-2003)
  • Working for You (2003-2007)
  • Where The News Starts With You (2007-2011)
  • The Area's First HD Newscast (2011-2012)
  • Keeping It Local (2012-present)



  1. ^
  2. ^ Golembiewski, Dick (2008). Milwaukee TelevisionHistory: The Analog Years. Marquette University Press. pp. 213–270. ISBN 0-87462-055-4.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Nexstar to Acquire CBS Affiliates WFRV, WJMN for $20 Mil," from Broadcasting & Cable, 4/7/2011
  7. ^ "Nexstar Plans Local News for Marquette CBS," from Broadcasting & Cable, 4/7/2011
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^

"Channel 5 hits Big 5-0". Green Bay News-Chroniclearticle. Archived from the original on November 12, 2005. Retrieved November 12, 2005.

External links

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