WISE-TV is the NBC-affiliated television station for Northeastern Indiana licensed to Fort Wayne. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 18 from a transmitter at its studios on Butler Road. The station can also be seen on Verizon FiOS channel 4 and Comcast channel 13. There is a high definition feed offered on Verizon FiOS digital channel 504 and Comcast digital channel 1013. Owned by the Granite Broadcasting Corporation, WISE-TV operates ABCaffiliate WPTA (owned by the Malara Broadcast Group) through a local marketing agreement(LMA) and the two share studios. Syndicated programming on this station includes: Dr. Phil,The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Swift Justice With Nancy Grace.
|Fort Wayne, Indiana|
|Branding||NBC 33 (general)
Indiana's NewsCenter My TV Fort Wayne (on DT2)
|Slogan||24/7 News Source|
|Channels||Digital: 18 (UHF)|
|Owner||Granite Broadcasting Corporation
(WISE-TV License, LLC)
|First air date||November 21, 1953|
|Call letters' meaning||WISE as in wisdom|
|Sister station(s)||WPTA, WMYD|
|Former callsigns||WKJG-TV (1953-2003)|
|Former channel number(s)||33 (UHF analog, 1953-2009)
19 (UHF digital, 2003-2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC Weather Plus (on DT2)|
|Transmitter power||320 kW|
On WISE-DT2, Verizon FiOS channel 9, and Comcast digital channel 252 is the area'sMyNetworkTV affiliate. Syndicated programming on the station includes: George Lopez, New Adventures of Old Christine, Frasier, and Entourage. On WISE-DT3, Comcast digital channel 249, and Verizon FiOS digital channel 460 is NBC Plus.
|18.1/33.1||main WISE-TV programming/NBC (HD)|
|18.2/33.2||WISE-DT2 "My TV Fort Wayne" (SD)|
|18.3/33.3||WISE-DT3 NBC Plus (SD)|
The station was founded on November 21, 1953 as WKJG-TV and aired an analog signal on UHF channel 33. It was the first television station in Fort Wayne and affiliated with NBC. The station was owned by William Kunkle, publisher of The Journal Gazette, along with WKJG radio (AM 1380 and FM 97.3). Veteran Indiana sportscaster Hilliard Gates was the first person seen on the new television station. On September 30, 1971, the radio stations were sold. Their call letters became WMEE-AM and WMEF-FM respectively. Today, the FM station has the callsWMEE. The AM station went through a variety of call signs including WQHK, WHWD, and WONO. It went back to the original WKJG on November 3, 2003 and is currently Fort Wayne'sESPN Radio affiliate.
For a time in the 1970s, WKJG-TV was owned by Tony Hulman along with WTHI-TV in Terre Haute. When Hulman died in 1977, WKJG was bought by Joseph R. Cloutier a longtime executive with Hulman's company. After Cloutier's death, the station was bought by a trust fund called the Corporation for General Trade. Cloutier's son Joseph A. Cloutier became the majority share holder with 51%. That company continued to own WKJG until it was sold in 2003. Through all these changes in ownership, Gates remained General Manager until 1990 doubling for most of that time as a sportscaster. John Siemer a newscaster and announcer at the station was known at that time as "Engineer John" who introduced cartoons.
On January 13, 2003, the Corporation for General Trade was sold for $20 million to New Vision Television. The station changed its call letters to WISE-TV on May 26 to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. WISE-DT went on-the-air in 2003 on UHF channel 19 becoming the first commercial digital channel in Fort Wayne. A new transmitter with a stronger signal and new high definition options was installed on the tower. The station was sold again in March 2005 to the Granite Broadcasting Corporation for $44.2 million. Since the company already owned WPTA, it divested the channel to the Malara Broadcasting Group for $45.3 million. A local marketing agreement was established that called for Granite to provide operation services to WPTA as well as for Malara's other new station, KDLH in Duluth, Minnesota.
Malara files its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reports jointly with Granite which has led to allegations that Granite uses Malara as a shell corporation to evade Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules on duopolies. The FCC does not allow common ownership of two of the four largest stations in a single market. Additionally, Fort Wayne has only six full-power stations which are too few to allow duopolies in any case. After emerging from bankruptcy in Summer 2007, Granite stock was taken over by privately owned hedge fund Silver Point Capital of Greenwich, Connecticut. Silver Point Capital now controls Granite broadcasting according to a Buffalo, New York news article printed on September 16, 2007. According to the same article, Granite will be sold to other parties and many of its stations have been laying-off employees or cutting salaries up to 20%.
On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that the networks would end broadcasting and merge. The new combined service would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of corporate parents CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros.unit of Time Warner. On February 22, News Corporation announced that it would start up another new network called MyNetworkTV. This new service, which would be sister to Fox, would be operated by Fox Television Stations and its syndication division Twentieth Television. MyNetworkTV was created in order to give UPN and WB stations, not mentioned as becoming CW affiliates, another option besides becoming Independent. It was also created to compete against The CW.
CBS affiliate WANE-TV aired UPN on a second digital subchannel. The Fort Wayne affiliate of The WB was cable-only "WBFW" (provided through The WB 100+) and co-owned with WPTA by the Malara Broadcast Group. It was announced in March 2006 that "WBFW" would affiliate with The CW via The CW Plus (a similar operation to The WB 100+). WPTA decided to create a new second digital subchannel to simulcast "WBFW" and offer access to CW programming for over-the-air viewers. On September 18, The CW debuted on that station which began using the WPTA-DT2 calls officially. On September 5, 2006, WISE-TV moved NBC Weather Plus from its second digital subchannel to WISE-DT3 in order for it to become the area's affiliate of MyNetworkTV.
On December 1, 2008, NBC Weather Plus was shut down and WISE-DT3 (known on-air as "Indiana's NewsCenter Weather Plus") reverted to a 24-hour local news and weather channel called "INCnow".  Carrying local and state news, weather radar, and sports headlines, the channel allowed Indiana's NewsCenter to air breaking news without disrupting regular network programming. It had been possible after the national service folded that WISE-DT3's function would be assumed by the preexisting "Pinpoint VIPIR HD Channel" on WPTA-DT3. This featured rotating weather maps with audio from the National Weather Service.
On December 3, 2008, it was announced that viewers in Grant County, Indiana would no longer be able to view WISE-TV on Bright House Networks in Marion, Gas City, and Jonesboro after December 31, 2008.  The station shut down its analog signal on February 17, 2009. Its existing digital signal on UHF channel 19 was moved to a post-transition digital channel (18).  Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WISE-TV's virtual channel as 33.
After being taken over by Granite, WISE-TV's news department was promptly folded and combined with WPTA. The company fired those who worked at WISE-TV with the exception of lead anchorLinda Jackson who was integrated into the WPTA operation. THis station began airing a weeknight newscast at 7 which was the first and, at the time, only one in the state of Indiana. On September 11, 2006, this was replaced with an extra episode of Dr. Phil due to low ratings. In November 2005, after several months of using the "Alive" news brand on both stations, WPTA debuted a new set in the basement of its studios formerly used to tape public-affairs programs such as Impact. With it came a new branding for the newscasts, Indiana's NewsCenter.
When WPTA took over production of news on WISE-TV, there was initially a significant decrease in ratings. WANE-TV was the market's news leader for several years after that according to Nielsen Media Research since it was the only other local news operation in the area. This was most easily attributed to continued viewer resentment towards WPTA and Granite for the elimination of WISE-TV's news department and arguably its identity and history. However, WPTA management said the changes were part of a longer-term plan that would need up to five years to take hold with viewers. Part of the plan to win back viewers included new technology such as text messaging, an improved website with more online video, and upgrading weather equipment to a VIPIR system.
Eventually, the changes started to take hold and ratings began to drastically improve. In the November 2007 sweeps period, WPTA and WANE-TV were nearly neck-and-neck in the Fort Wayne television news ratings race with WANE-TV continuing to show a slight lead. Starting July 24, 2006, WISE-TV began airing a weeknight prime time newscast at 10 for a half-hour on its NBC Weather Plus subchannel. With the September 2006 change to MyNetworkTV on WISE-DT2 and the addition of The CW on WPTA's second digital subchannel, the show (known as Indiana's NewsCenter Prime News) became part of those channel's schedules through a simulcast. On May 18, 2009, WISE-TV and WPTA became the first two stations in Fort Wayne to air local newscasts in 16:9 enhanced definition widescreen. Although not truly high definition, the aspect ratio matches those of HD television screens.
Currently, WISE-TV co-produces newscasts with WPTA that are essentially the same in terms of coverage and format. Simulcasted shows on both stations include weekday mornings (except for first half hour at 5 a.m. on WPTA), weeknights at 6, and weekends. WPTA airs separate weekday noon as well as weeknight 5, 5:30, and 11 o'clock news. This channel does not air broadcasts weeknights at 5 and 5:30 unlike most NBC affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone. Weekend simulcasts can be pre-empted on one channel due to network obligations.WISE-DT2 offers rebroadcasts of the entire weekday morning show at 7, midday noon news at 1, and weeknight 6 o'clock newscast at 6:30. WISE-TV and WPTA operate a weather radar known as "Pinpoint VIPIR HD" at the studios.
- The Marlboro News Report (1953–1957)
- The Tri-State Report (1957–1962)
- Channel 33 News (1962–1970)
- WKJG News (1970-1973)
- WKJG-TV 33 News (1973-1974)
- NewsCenter 33 (1974–1989)
- 33 News (1989–1997)
- NBC 33 News (1997–2004)
- WISE 33 News (2004–2005)
- 21 Alive News on WISE 33 (2005)
- Indiana's NewsCenter (2005–present)
- "33 There, Be There" (1983-1984, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- "33, Let`s All Be There"
- "Come Home to 33" (1986–1987, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- "WKJG, The Place To Be!" (1990–1991, localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- "Where News Comes First" (2003–2005)
- "A Network of Indiana's NewsCenter" (2005–2010)
- "24/7 News Source" (2010-present)
- Mary Collins - weekday mornings
- Ryan Elijah - weekday mornings and Impact host
- "In Your Corner" segment producer
- Melissa Long - weeknights at 6
- Linda Jackson - weeknights at 10 and 11
- "Angels Among Us" segments producer
- Eric Olson - weekends and "Your Country" segment producer
Pinpoint VIPIR HD Meteorologists (all have AMS Seal of Approval)
- Curtis Smith - Chief seen weeknights
- Chris Daniels - weekday mornings
- Jason Meyers - weekends and "Weather & Your Health" segment producer
- Dean Pantazi - Director seen weeknights
- Tommy Schoegler - weekends and sports reporter
- More of The Score host
- Kent Hormann - fill-in sports anchor
- Scott Zeigler - More of The Score host
- Jennifer Blomquist - "Golden Apple" segment producer
- Art Ginsburg - "Mr. Food" segment producer
- Richard Marchbanks - INsignt host
- Jeff Bowman - weekday mornings
- Dave Leval - based at WMYD
- Tracy Warner - politics
- Jeff Neumeyer
- Eric Clabaugh
- Corrine Rose
- Matt Resnik
- Megan Trent
- John Davis
Notable former staff
Most were part of WISE-TV's news team (highlighted in bold) before the station merged with WPTA in March 2005.
- Ross Palombo - Reporter (now a correspondent at CBS News)
- Susan Alderman - anchor (now Media Director at IPFW)
- Rich Apuzzo - meteorologist in 1986-87 (now owner/operator/meteorologist at http://www.skyeyeweather.com in Cincinnati, OH)
- Jim Bailey - anchor from 1995 until the late 1990s (now main anchor at WJHL-TV in Johnson City, Tennessee)
- Amy Bradley - former morning co-anchor (now at WBRE in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania)
- Jeff Burden - anchor/reporter/producer May 1982 - August 1985 (now attorney (http://www.virginiafiduciary.com) and writer (http://22iowa.com) in Richmond, Virginia)
- Dalia Dangerfield - reporter in the early 2000s (now Bay News 9 in Tampa)
- Dick DeFay - sports anchor (died on February 21, 2007)
- Jim Flink - anchor in the early 1990s (now at KMBC-TV in Kansas City)
- Dick Florea - news director and anchor in the 1970s and 1980s and Editor's Desk host (retired in 2001 after 35 years)
- Eric Franke - former producer/sports anchor (now main news anchor at WISC-TV in Madison, WI)
- Angela Holdsworth - weekend anchor (-2001??), went to KPSP-TV in Palm Springs, CA
- Heather Herron - weekend anchor/producer (??-1995) (now main anchor at competitor WANE)
- Marni Hughes - former weekend anchor (now at KMSP in Minneapolis)
- Betsy Kling - weekend meteorologist (now at WKYC in Cleveland; married to former reporter Paul Thomas)
- Kelly Koh - reporter (Briefly worked at WANE - currently freelancing via Koh Reports)
- Dan Krauth - former anchor, until 2005 (now at WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan)
- Mylien Kruse - former investigative reporter/producer/cut-in anchor (1994-2002) went to Seattle as freelancer (http://www.king5.com) (now business owner (http://www.mtksi.com) and marketing director (http://www.menofsteelracing.com)
- Alexis Means - reporter in the late 1990s (now at WTVG in Toledo, Ohio)
- Zach Myers - morning anchor, from 1998 to 2005 (now anchor at WXIN in Indianapolis)
- Jake Miller - former main anchor, until 2005 (now at WGEM in Quincy, Illinois)
- Tonya Mosley - reporter and anchor, until 2004 (now at KING in Seattle)
- Jim O'Brien - weekend meteorologist (now morning meteorologist at WXIN in Indianapolis)
- Kristen Pflum - former reporter (now at WLEX-TV in Lexington, Kentucky)
- Audrey Port - left for WFLD in Chicago and WBBM also in Chicago
- Steve Rappaport - former sports director in 2000 (now at WVIR in Charlottesville, Virginia)
- Susan Samples - reporter (??-1995) (now at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan)
- Sarah Simmons - reporter/fill-in anchor
- Greg Shoup - chief meteorologist, until 2005 (now meteorologist at competitor WANE)
- Roxanna Smith - reporter (now at Carter Communications in San Rafael, CA)
- Robert Tabern - morning news producer (2001–2003) (worked at WDJT-TV in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2003-2009, now working in communications for the city of Oak Creek, Wisconsin)
- Paul Thomas - reporter in mid-1990s (now reporter and anchor at WKYC in Cleveland; married to former WISE meteorologist Betsy Kling)
- John Thornert - weekend meteorologist in early 2000s (now at Fort Wayne International Airport)
- Susan Ware - weekend meteorologist in the mid/late 1990s (now meteorologist at WTVG in Toledo, Ohio)
- Jesse Wells - investigative reporter from 2002-2005 (now at KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
These people were part of the combined news operation.
- Jane Hersha - reporter
- Janette Luu - former anchor and reporter from 1998-2003 (now on CKXT-TV (SUN TV) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
- Nicole Pence - former reporter (until August 2008) (now at WLEX-TV in Lexington, Kentucky)
- Carl Smith - reporter
- Jessica Toumani - former reporter (until August 2008) (now at KABB in San Antonio, Texas)
- Jay Walker - weather reporter
- Chris Erick - reporter
- ^ Granite plans local 24-hour news channel, Journal-Gazette briefs, November 11, 2008
- ^ "Two more Fort Wayne Stations to be gone from Bright House Networks in Marion". Marion Chronicle-Tribune.
- ^ CDBS Print