WJW, channel 8, is a Fox-affiliated television station in Cleveland, Ohio. WJW is owned by local TV LLC, a subsidiary of private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners. Its studios are located northeast of downtown Cleveland, near the shore of Lake Erie, and its transmitter is located in Parma, Ohio.
|Branding||Fox 8 (general)
Fox 8 News (newscasts)
The Most Powerful Name in Local News(news)
|Channels||Digital: 8 (VHF)|
8.2 Antenna TV
|Translators||21 (UHF) Canton
46 (UHF) Austintown, OH (Applications)
|Owner||Nexstar Media Group|
|First air date||December 19, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||John F. Weimer
(founder of WJW radio)
|Former callsigns||WXEL (1949-1956)
WJW-TV (first period, 1956-1977) WJKW-TV (1977-1985) WJW-TV (second period, 1985-1998)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
9 (VHF, 1949-1953) 8 (VHF, 1953-2009) Digital: 31 (UHF, 1998-2009)
|Former affiliations||DuMont/ABC (1949-1955)
|Transmitter power||11 kW (digital)|
|Height||342 m (digital)|
|Transmitter coordinates||41°21′48″N 81°42′58″W|
The television station launched on December 19, 1949 on channel 9 as WXEL (not to be confused with WXEL-TV in West Palm Beach, FL), owned by the Empire Coil Company, awartime manufacturer of radio coils and transformers (). In its early years, WXEL was a primary DuMont affiliate, and later became a secondary provider of ABC programs, sharing that affiliation with WEWS (channel 5). WXEL also carried a number of CBS programs that WEWS declined to air.
WXEL also carried an affiliation with the short-lived Paramount Television Network, and in fact was one of that network's strongest affiliates. The station aired such Paramount Network programs as Hollywood Wrestling, Bandstand Revue, and Time For Beany. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.
Following the 1952 release of the Federal Communications Commission' s Sixth Report and Order, a realignment of VHF channels in the Midwest forced WXEL to move to channel 8 on December 10, 1953. Its former channel 9 allocation was moved to Steubenville and given to a new station, WSTV-TV (now WTOV); the switch took place only two weeks before WSTV-TV went on the air.
In 1954 Empire Coil sold two of its television interests—WXEL and KPTV in Portland, Oregon, the United States' first UHF station—to Storer Broadcasting. The new owners changed the station's call sign to WJW-TV on April 15, 1956, to match new sister stations WJW radio (850 AM, now WKNR) and WJW-FM (104.1 MHz., now WQAL). George B. Storer, the company's founder and president, was a member of the board of directors of CBS, and used his influence to take the CBS-TV affiliation from WEWS in 1955. The WJW stations later moved into the former Esquire Theater building at 1630 Euclid Avenue, near Playhouse Square.
In its early years, the station lagged behind its competitors in producing local programming, perhaps because its studio was located at the transmitter in Parma, while the other stations had studios downtown. A young Alan Freed, previously at WAKR radio in Akron, worked for WXEL starting in 1949. Freed hosted an afternoon movie and performed live commercials for several years before he became the self-titled father of "rock and roll" while as an evening host on WJW radio, before moving on to radio jobs in New York City. Soupy Sales, then known as Soupy Hines, had a weekday variety program called Soup's On where he started his pie-in-the-face routines.
The station also broadcast a popular and unique 11:00 p.m. newscast, The Sohio Reporter, featuring a Western Reserve University speech professor named Warren Guthrie who delivered the entire newscast from memory, speaking directly into the camera long before the days of the teleprompter.
In 1960, WJW-TV became the broadcast rights holder of the Cleveland Indians. Channel 8's partnership with the team continued until 1979, when the Indians moved to then-independent station WUAB (channel 43). WJW also carried Indians games that were part of the CBS, and later, Fox network packages of Major League Baseball games.,
In 1964, WJW-TV was one of the first stations to use a two-man news anchor team, Joel Daly and Doug Adair, in the studio together. The newscast was called City Camera News, and reporters were equipped with Polaroid cameras to photograph news events, so that pictures could be quickly broadcast when they returned to the studio. Station programming also featured by Road hosted by Jim Doney, which presented filmed travelogues narrated by the filmmakers. Daly and Adair reigned as Cleveland's top news team until 1967, when Daly was hired away by WLS-TV in Chicago. Adair remained at channel 8 until the early 1970s, when he joined WKYC-TV (channel 3), which was then owned by NBC. Later in 1964, WJW-TV was the first full CBS affiliate in Ohio, and the first Cleveland TV station, to start local color broadcasts.
One of the most memorable programs produced by WJW-TV was the Friday late night horror movie hosted by "Ghoulardi", a character created by Ernie Anderson. Wearing a bad fright wig and phony beard and a pair of sunglasses with only one lens, he interacted with the movies and created an on-going patter and rehearsed skits during the movie breaks. The program began in February 1963 and created a generation of fans who could recite catch phrases such as "Turn Blue", "Stay Sick", "Camera Four" and "Ova Dey." Before Ghoulardi, Anderson had a weekday morning program on channel 8 starting in 1961 called Ernie's Place with sidekick Tim Conway (then credited as "Tom Conway"), that included live skits reminiscent of Bob and Ray.
When Anderson left for lucrative voice-over work in Hollywood in September 1966, Friday night movie hosting was inherited by Hoolihan and Big Chuck: "Hoolihan" being Bob Wells, who did the station weather forecasts as "Hoolihan the Weatherman"; and "Big Chuck" being Chuck Schodowski, a station engineer who had risen to director and had appeared in some of Ghoulardi's skits. After Bob Wells departed channel 8 in September 1979, his position was filled by local jeweler and little person John Rinaldi, who had also previously performed in skits on the show. The program was renamed as the Big Chuck and Lil' John Show, and it continued airing on Friday nights before moving to Saturday nights in the early 1990s.
The show ended its run on June 16, 2007, as Chuck Schodowski retired after a 47-year career at channel 8. At the time of its conclusion, theBig Chuck and Lil' John Show had been the only locally produced television show in the Cleveland market that was primarily entertainment, that is not news or informational.
Insert, then remove a "K"
The station moved to its present studios at 5800 South Marginal Road on November 2, 1975. While WJW-FM was sold in the late 1960s, Storer kept WJW radio until it was sold in late 1976. The AM station's new owners were allowed to keep the WJW call letters, forcing channel 8 to change theirs (at the time, the FCC did not allow radio and television stations with different owners to share the same call letters; this is not the case today). Thus, channel 8 became WJKW-TV on April 22, 1977, with the new calls being a variant of WJW. The Kwas added, but didn't stand for anything.
At the same time, the station hired former WKYC-TV and NBC Radio news anchor Virgil Dominic as its news and public affairs director (a position which he held until 1983 when he became the general manager for WJKW/WJW until his retirement in 1995), and also began to pump considerable money into its news operation. The name of the newscasts even underwent a transition as well, going from City Camera News to Newscenter 8 around the summer of 1977. Within a year, channel 8 had overtaken longtime leader WEWS as the highest-rated news station in Cleveland—a lead it kept for almost 20 years. On September 16, 1985, it regained its historic "WJW-TV" calls as WJW radio changed its call letters following another ownership transaction. (The "-TV" suffix was dropped in 1998, making WJW one of three television stations with a three-letter callsign, along with KGW in Portland, Oregon and WIS in Columbia, South Carolina, to have omitted the suffix since the 1990s. KOB in Albuquerque, New Mexico dropped the suffix in 2009.)
After Storer Broadcasting was bought out by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1985, the station underwent a series of ownership changes. KKR sold the stations to Gillett Communications in 1987; shortly thereafter, SCI Television was spun off from Gillett to take over the stations after Gillett's bankruptcy. New World Communications purchased WJW-TV and the other SCI Television stations in 1993.
Like most of its sister stations, channel 8 pre-empted portions of the CBS schedule, usually the late morning daytime shows. In the 1990s, WJW-TV and its fellow New World stations prepared to launch their own morning newscasts, and as a result, channel 8 began to pre-emptCBS This Morning as well. The station also gained notoriety in 1993 by being one of the few CBS affiliates to tape-delay the Late Show with David Letterman by half an hour in favor of Murphy Brown reruns. Despite the preemptions, CBS was generally satisfied with WJW, which was one of the network's strongest affiliates.
From CBS to Fox
In September 1994, as part of a deal between New World and the News Corporation, WJW-TV swapped affiliations with WOIO (channel 19), taking that station's Fox affiliation. WJW's outgoing CBS affiliation went to WOIO. The station expanded its news production to over 40 hours a week. It initially filled local non-news time with such programming as low budget syndicated first-run talk/reality shows and off-network sitcoms.
The major reason for Fox and New World's deal was that CBS had lost the rights to air the National Football Conference of the National Football League to Fox. However, the Cleveland Browns were part of the American Football Conference, which was on NBC at that time. As a result, WJW only is guaranteed up to two Browns games each year, whenever they host an NFC team in the afternoon, but only if they sell out - the 1994 game against the Arizona Cardinals did not sell out, neither did the 1995 games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Green Bay Packers, and thus were blacked out locally. Since the opening of Cleveland Browns Stadium, however, all games have sold out - the only interconference home game for the Browns not aired locally on WJW in that era was the 2003 game against the St. Louis Rams, which aired on WEWS-TV as part of ABC's Monday Night Football. Since 2006, WJW has been the over-the-air home for Browns games aired on cable channels.
However, both Cleveland viewers and WJW realized a major weakness with the new affiliation in April 1995 at the time of the Oklahoma City bombing. When the news broke, all of the other stations in Cleveland were able to switch to national network coverage of the attacks. At the time Fox had no centralized news division, and WJW was only aligned with CNN for external feeds and some international news coverage. WJW was able to send reporter Martin Savage to Oklahoma City to cover the attack; his coverage would lead to his hiring by CNN later that year to co-host a relaunched morning show. But, unlike all other stations that had network coverage, WJW could offer only limited recap coverage of the events on their newscasts.
Later that year, WJW dropped its "Newscenter 8" branding and adopted a hard-hitting format under the phrase "Eight is News" for the title of its newscasts. The "eight" logo was itself a revival an old WJW logo used from 1966 until 1977. However, in many people's minds the phrase was used on the station a little too often (one Plain Dealer story even started, "some viewers [are] squawking that 'ei8ht is enough', already"), and even more people moved away from WJW's newscasts. The "ei8ht is News" branding ended upon Fox's purchase of the station, after which it was replaced by "Fox 8 News."
One triumph for WJW was the morning newscast. Without a national morning show, WJW could produce an all-local 3.5 hour morning newscast. Many Cleveland viewers preferred the local show over the other stations' national broadcasts. This was especially true since WEWS' long-standing Morning Exchange was preempted until 9 a.m. around the same time of the Fox/CBS switch. With the exception of a brief period from late 2004 through early 2005 when it was titled "Good Day Cleveland," Fox 8 News in the Morning has constantly been Cleveland's top rated morning newscast since the time of its debut.
As a Fox-owned station/affiliate
In 1997 Fox bought New World Communications, making WJW a Fox owned-and-operated station. Fox added stronger syndicated shows as well as stronger off-network sitcoms to the programming mix. In news programming, the station retook the top position from WEWS in 2001. By mid-2002, all of WJW's newscasts placed first. This continued until January 2004, when viewers began turning away from WJW's hard-hitting style to the more traditional WKYC-TV. Even Fox 8 in the Morning lost its top spot to WKYC's morning newscast for about two months.
As a result of the overall decline, WJW replaced long time 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. lead anchors Wilma Smith and Tim Taylor with Bill Martin and Stacy Bell at 10 p.m., hoping the two would attract a younger audience to the program. The change paid off for channel 8, and today its newscasts frequently rank number-one in the important 18-49 demographic.
In 2006, WJW also debuted its new website - MyFox Cleveland, which follows a format that is also used by other Fox-owned stations. This lasted until the end of January 2009—several months after Fox Television Stations sold the station and seven others—when WJW and six other former Fox O&O stations which previously used the myFox interface (plus co-owned NBC television affiliate WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa) launched redesigned Web sites through Tribune Interactive. This was a result of a management agreement between Local TV and Tribune Broadcasting, forming a separate division (controlled by Tribune) called Community Television (which became the licensee for seven of the former Fox O&Os), which operates all of the television stations owned by Local TV. (Until late June 2009, WBRC in Birmingham continued to use the my Fox interface for its Web site even though that station is now a sister station to Raycom Media-owned WOIO and WUAB.)
Although its former radio sisters had dropped the WJW calls some years before, Fox dropped the -TV suffix from channel 8's legal callsign shortly after it assumed full ownership of the station (it had been minority owner of New World since the 1994 affiliation switch) although the station continued to use the -TV suffix on-air for several years afterward.
On December 22, 2007, the News Corporation announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell WJW-TV and seven other Fox-owned stations to Local TV LLC, a subsidiary of private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners. The sale was closed on July 14, 2008. Early in 2009, WJW began clearing the entire Fox network schedule—including Weekend Marketplace -- as it does to this day. The station was handedWeekend Marketplace partly due to a lack of a weekend morning newscast and partly because WBNX had declined the two-hour infomercial block.
Local TV LLC had prior to the Fox acquisition a majority of its stations as CBS affiliates. There was significant talk that WJW would go back to CBS, partially due to CBS's much higher ratings and its holding the broadcast rights to the National Football League's Cleveland Browns and the Browns' rivals in its conference, and that CBS would stipulate that WJW would go to CBS in the deal. However, Fox locked in a long-term deal for Local TV LLC to keep the sold Fox O&O's as Fox affiliates.
During Fox ownership, WJW was the only (fully) network owned-and-operated station among the "Big 4" networks in the Cleveland area, and was the only Fox-owned station to carry a historic 1920s three-letter call sign. It remains the only Fox television affiliate in existence to carry such a three-letter call sign.
On-air staff continuity
WJW-TV has long prided itself on its homegrown staff. Along with the aforementioned Houlihan, Big Chuck, and Lil' John, many of its on-air staff grew up in the Cleveland/NE Ohio area and have been with the station for 20 years or more.
For instance, Howard Hoffman was the first on-air voice heard at WXEL's sign-on in 1949. Handling a myriad of duties such as newscaster, weatherman and live booth announcer, Hoffman stayed at the station until October 1986. Hoffman's successor, Bill Ward, joined then-WJKW in 1984 and would serve as WJW's main booth announcer until March of 2011.
Cleveland City Hall beat reporter Bob Cerminara and field reporter Neil Zurcher, both of which joined WJW in the late 1960s, stayed until the early 2000s. Zurcher is most famous for the "One Tank Trips" travel series that began in the late 1970s, highlighting vacation destinations close to home due to the energy crisis at that time (the feature continues to this day with different staffers, and Zurcher himself continues a similar feature biweekly in newspaper The Plain Dealer's Automotive advertising section, with an accompanying book series and weblog); he departed the station in August 2004. Feature reporter Gary Stromberg had been with channel 8 since 1977. He announced his retirement on April 1, 2008. Gary has since written two books. Aren't You That News Man? shares stories of his years at Channel 8. Every Tiger Has a Tale presents the life stories of 48 amazing graduates of Cleveland Heights High over the decades. Sports anchor John Telich has been at WJW for 30 years (beginning in 1981).
In addition, Dick Goddard has been chief weatherman since 1966, joining the station after spending the previous five years at WKYC-TV, then known as KYW-TV. In 1965, when Westinghouse Broadcasting relocated KYW-TV's operations to Philadelphia (following the reversal of its 1956 station ownership swap with NBC) Goddard went along, but came back to Cleveland after only a few months. Goddard has said that he joined WJW-TV due to the fact that CBS carried Cleveland Browns games through its contract with the National Football League (rights to which were ironically lost to WKYC in 1970). Goddard later became the team's statistician, a position he still holds. On February 24th, 2011 Dick Goddard turned 80 years old. The station presented a special party live on air during the 6 p.m. newscast. In May 2011, it will mark 50 years of being on the air in the Cleveland market.
In honor of Goddard's 50 years on Cleveland TV, most of which was spent at WJW, the portion of South Marginal Road (the southern frontage road of the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway) in front of the WJW studios was renamed "Dick Goddard Way" on May 23, 2011 In December 2014, at age 83, Goddard signed a "multi-year" contract renewal with WJW. On May 18, 2016, Goddard announced that he would retire from his weather duties in November 2016, while continuing his animal advocacy and remaining host of the Woollybear Festival. He delivered his last forecast on the station on November 22, 2016, with the station's weather center renamed for him.
Tim Taylor joined WJW-TV as consumer reporter in the summer of 1977, having been hired away from a similar role at WEWS. The following year, Taylor became Judd Hambrick's partner on the station's 6 and 11 p.m. evening newscasts, and continued in that role with several female co-anchors (including Tana Carli, Denise D'Ascenzo, Robin Swoboda and Wilma Smith) until his retirement on December 23, 2005. Taylor's 27-year run as an anchor at WJW was the second longest in Cleveland television history, behind WEWS' Ted Henry. One month prior to Taylor's retirement, a special feature was broadcast during Fox 8 News in the Morning which reunited him with what was quoted as one of "Cleveland's most successful news teams" during the 1980s—Taylor, Swoboda, Goddard and former sports anchor Casey Coleman. In many people's eyes (as well as high ratings to back it up), this news team led Newscenter 8 to number one in the Cleveland market. ()
In November 2006, it was announced that Robin Swoboda was returning once again to host a new hour long show in the morning (originally titled That's Life, then known as The Robin Swoboda Show, which lasted from 2007-2011 before being revamped as New Day Cleveland with new hosts). In September, 2007, Stefani Schaefer, also a popular Cleveland newscaster, returned to WJW to co-anchor the morning newscasts.
On October 31, 2019 Bill Martin announced his retirement after 25 years with the station with his last day November 26.
Out-of-market coverageOver the air, WJW-TV can be easily received in neighboring areas such as Toledo andYoungstown, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; and as far north as Kingsville, Pelee Island, andLeamington, Ontario. When atmospheric conditions are right, WJW's signal can be picked up as far as Detroit and Windsor, Ontario; during the 2003 North America Blackout, Detroit-area viewers were able to tune in WJW's analog signal, when the blackout silenced adjacent WXYZ-TV(channel 7) and Windsor's CBET (channel 9).The station was once one of the three stations from Cleveland carrieed on local cable in Kingsville, Pelee Island, and Leamington. (The others were WEWS and WKYC-TV, until 2000 when Cogecodisplaced Shaw Cable as the cable provider for Essex County.) WJW was also seen on cable inLondon, Ontario until the 1970s.
On October 16, 2009, the Windsor Star notified readers that digital subchannels of the Detroit and Toledo stations would be added, while the Cleveland stations (such as WJW) and some Toledo stations would have to be dropped from the listings to make room for them, starting with the next issue of the TV Times, released the next day. The only Cleveland local station remaining in the Windsor-area TV Times is WUAB.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|8.1||720p||16:9||Main WJW programming / FOX HD|
WJW is a charter affiliate of Tribune Broadcasting's new digital multicast channel Antenna TV, which is carried on digital subchannel 8.2.The network, airing classic sitcoms from the 1950s to the 1990s during the afternoon and evening, and movies during the morning and late night hours, is carried on Local TV-owned stations in other markets as well as stations owned by the network's parent company Tribune Broadcasting.
As of January 3, 2011, WJW broadcasts a total of 54 hours of local news a week (with ten hours on weekdays and two hours on weekends), more than any other television station in the state of Ohio. In addition, the 10 p.m. newscast is repeated at 1 a.m.; counting New Day Cleveland at 10 a.m. and the 10 p.m. newscast replay at 1 a.m., WJW airs twelve hours of local programming per weekday. WJW also airs Friday Night Touchdown, a weekly recap of all of the area high school football games, on Friday nights at 11 p.m. during football season.
From the time WJW affiliated with Fox in 1994, the station has put more emphasis on its local newscasts keeping a newscast schedule very similar to a CBS, ABC or NBC affiliate. Local newscasts were expanded to 3½ hours (and eventually to 4, then 5, and presently 5½ hours as of January 3, 2011) on weekday mornings, plus the extension of the 5 p.m. newscast by a half-hour, and the moving of the 11 p.m. newscast to 10 p.m.
In December 2004, WJW became the first station in the Cleveland market (and the third station in the United States) to produce local news in high definition. This made WJW the only Local TV-owned station to have already been airing high-definition newscasts prior to Local TV's purchase of the station since the upgrade was made while it was still owned and operated by Fox. Unlike several of WJW's Local TV stablemates, most of WJW's field video is still shot in standard definition (partially in widescreen, partially in 4:3) as of April 2011.
In 2007, SkyFox HD debuted. WJW used a Eurocopter Ecureuil Astar 350 Helicopter. WJW had the fastest TV helicopter in Cleveland (all the other Cleveland stations owned Bell 206 helicopters), but due to budget cuts in late 2008, WJW had to get rid of SkyFox HD. After a tornado touched down in Wooster, Ohio on September 16, 2010, the station resumed sporadic usage of the chopper. In February 2011, SkyFox was refurbished with a new paintjob, and resumed weekday morning traffic reports with Kristi Capel. However, it reverted to shooting video in 16:9 SD.
In the February 2006 ratings period WJW's newscasts placed first in the morning, second at 6 p.m., and first at 10 p.m.. WJW also had the highest rated newscast at 5 p.m., but it still fell behind WKYC's broadcast of Dr. Phil. In the November 2006 ratings period, WJW's morning newscast continued its dominance over its competitors, while its other newscasts remained very competitive in their timeslots.
WJW's remodeled news set officially debuted on July 16, 2007. Along with the new set, WJW adopted a new graphics package, new music (OSI Music's Fox Affiliate News Theme), and a new logo (which had been on some promotional items months prior to the revamp), similar to what has become standard on the other Fox-owned stations.
In the February 2008 ratings period, WJW's newscasts finished in first place in all of their timeslots except for its noon newscast, which finished third behind the noon newscasts of WEWS and WOIO. WJW's 5 p.m. newscast even managed to win its timeslot, knocking WKYC's airing of Dr. Phil (which had been winning the timeslot until recently) down to third place behind WJW's and WEWS' 5 p.m. newscasts.
On July 12, 2010, WJW began a weeknight, half-hour 7 p.m. newscast, making it the second station to air news in Cleveland in that time slot, behind WKYC, which had a ten-year head start. On January 3, 2011, WJW began airing their weekday morning newcasts at 4:30 a.m., WKYC expanded its morning newscast into that timeslot that same day (ABC affiliate WEWS was the first station in Cleveland to do 4:30 a.m. newscasts in November 2010).
On February 1, 2012, WJW redesigned and relaunched its Web site using a format that's also used by the recently redesigned Web sites of its sister stations WDAF-TV in Kansas City and WITI in Milwaukee. The new Local TV sites are hosted by WordPress.com instead of Tribune Digital (renamed from Tribune Interactive). On July 1, 2013, Local TV announced that its stations would be acquired by Tribune Broadcasting. The sale was completed on December 27.
During Fox ownership, WJW was the only (fully) network owned-and-operated station among the "Big 4" networks in the Cleveland area, and was the only Fox-owned station to carry a historic 1920s three-letter call sign. It remains the only Fox television affiliate in existence, as well as one of three current Tribune-owned television stations (alongside Tribune flagship and independent station WGN-TV in Chicago, and NBC station WHO-TV in Des Moines), to carry such a three-letter call sign.
On August 26, 2019 WJW debuted a new set with new lighting and graphics.
Aborted sale to Sinclair; sale to Nextstar
On May 8, 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it would acquire Tribune Media for $3.9 billion, plus the assumption of $2.7 billion in debt held by Tribune. Under its original structure, the deal – following regulatory approval by the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division – would have given Sinclair ownership or operational management of television stations in six of Ohio's nine television markets, with Lima and Zanesville (both markets with only one news operation) and Youngstown (locked up by Nexstar Media Group and the locally based Maag family) becoming the only remaining markets in the state where it does not have a presence (Sinclair already owns ABC affiliates WSYX in Columbus and WKEF in Dayton, NBC affiliates WTOV-TV in Steubenville and WNWO-TV in Toledo, and the Cincinnati duopoly of CBS affiliate WKRC-TV and MyNetworkTV affiliate WSTR-TV; through shared services agreements, it also operates Fox affiliate WTTE and CW affiliate WWHO in Columbus, and Fox affiliate WRGT-TV in Dayton).
On April 24, 2018, Sinclair announced that WJW would be one of 23 stations sold to obtain approval for the merger, though it was one of seven stations for which a buyer was not disclosed. On May 9, 2018, it was officially announced that Fox Television Stations would buy back WJW, as part of a $910-million deal that also involved six other Tribune-owned stations (Fox affiliates KTXL/Sacramento, KSWB-TV/San Diego, KDVR/Denver, KSTU/Salt Lake City and KCPQ/Seattle, and CW affiliate WSFL-TV/Miami). With eight different owners since 1985, the deal would result in WJW having had the most successive owners of any television station in the Cleveland market.
Three weeks after the FCC's July 18 vote to have the deal reviewed by an administrative law judge amid "serious concerns" about Sinclair's forthrightness in its applications to sell certain conflict properties, on August 9, 2018, Tribune announced it would terminate the Sinclair deal, intending to seek other M&A opportunities. Tribune also filed a breach of contract lawsuit in the Delaware Chancery Court, alleging that Sinclair engaged in protracted negotiations with the FCC and the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division over regulatory issues, refused to sell stations in markets where it already had properties, and proposed divestitures to parties with ties to Sinclair executive chair David D. Smith that were rejected or highly subject to rejection to maintain control over stations it was required to sell. The termination of the Sinclair sale agreement places uncertainty for the future of Fox's purchases of WJW and the other six Tribune stations included in that deal, which were predicated on the closure of the Sinclair–Tribune merger. Sinclair ultimately entered Cleveland via its acquisition of Fox Sports Networks, bringing Fox Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio under the Sinclair umbrella.
On December 3, 2018, Irving, Texas-based Nexstar Media Group announced it would acquire the assets of Tribune Media for $6.4 billion in cash and debt. The deal—which would make Nexstar the largest television station operator by total number of stations upon its expected closure late in the third quarter of 2019—would put WJW under common ownership with Nexstar's existing properties elsewhere in Ohio (NBC affiliate WCMH-TV in Columbus, NBC affiliate WDTN and CW-affiliated SSA partner WBDT in Dayton and CBS affiliate WKBN-TV, Fox affiliate WYFX-LD and ABC-affiliated SSA partner WYTV in Youngstown; this also includes CBS affiliates in Wheeling, West Virginia (WTRF-TV) and Huntington, West Virginia (WOWK-TV) that cover Southeastern Ohio); additionally, it would also make WJW sister stations with adjacent-market ABC affiliate WJET-TV and Fox-affiliated LMA partner WFXP in Erie, Pennsylvania. However, reports preceding the purchase announcement stated that, as it did during the group's failed purchase by Sinclair, Fox Television Stations may seek to acquire certain Fox-affiliated stations owned by Tribune—with WJW potentially being a candidate for resale—from the eventual buyer of that group. It was later reported that, as part of Fox's affiliation renewal with Nexstar-owned stations, it was indeed looking at reacquiring WJW alongside KDVR and KCPQ from the previous Sinclair-Tribune-Fox deal, with the remaining stations either remaining with Nexstar (KTXL and KSWB-TV) or being sold to WEWS parent E. W. Scripps Company (KSTU and WSFL-TV); WKYC parent Tegna Inc. is also buying stations from Nexstar. The sale was approved by the FCC on September 16 and was completed on September 19, 2019. After the sale closed, it was reported that Fox had decided against reacquiring WJW, keeping the station with Nexstar permanently
- The Gillette News Parade (1949–1955)
- The Sohio Reporter (1955–1965)
- Channel 8 Report (early 1960s)
- City Camera News (1964–1977)
- Newscenter 8 (1977-1994)
- Eight is News (1994-1996)
- Fox is 8 (1994)
- Fox 8 News (1996-present)
Current on-air staff
(as of February 2020)
- Elizabeth Norieka - weeknights 7 p.m.
- Todd Meany - weekday mornings
- Wayne Dawson - weekday mornings
- Lou Maglio - weeknights at 6 p.m
- Tracy McCool - weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.
- Stefani Schaefer - weekday mornings (7-10 a.m.)
- Bill Sheil - weekends at 6 and 10 pm also lead investigative reporter
- Gabe Spiegel - weekdays noon, 4 p.m and 5 p.m
- Natalie Herbick - weekdays 4 p.m, co-host of New Day Cleveland
- Kristi Capel - weekday mornings 7-10 am
- Jennifer Jordan - weekends at 6 and 10 p.m.
- Melissa Mack (AMS) - meteorologist; weekdays at 4 p.m.
- Beth McLeod (AMS) - meteorologist noon
- André Bernier (AMS) - meteorologist; weeknights 5, 6, and 7 p.m
- A.J. Colby (AMS) - meteorologist; weekdays 10 pm
- Jenn Harcher (AMS) - meteorologist; weekends and noon
- Scott Sabol (AMS) - meteorologist; weekday mornings
- John Telich - sports director weeknights; high school football analyst on Friday Night Touchdown
- Andre Knott - sports contributor
- Dan Coughlin - high school football analyst on Friday Night Touchdown
- P.J. Ziegler - weekends; high school football analyst on Friday Night Touchdown
- Adrienne DiPiazza - reporter
- Carl Monday - I-team reporter
- Alex Stokes - reporter
- Tom Merriman - I-team reporter
- Ed Gallek - I-team reporter
- Peggy Gallek - (wife of Ed) I-team reporter
- Patty Harken - traffic reporter
- Kenny Crumpton - morning feature reporter
- Kevin Freeman - general assignment reporter
- Stacey Frey - general assignment reporter
- Maia Belay - reporter
- Roosevelt Leftwich - reporter/weekend anchor
- David "Mossman" Moss - co-host of New Day Cleveland, also entertainment reporter and host of Hollywood and Dine
- Dave Nethers - general assignment reporter
- Melissa Reid- general assignment reporter
- Jack Shea - general assignment reporter
- Suzanne Stratford - general assignment reporter
- Matt Wright - reporter
- Autumn Ziemba - general assignment reporter; weekend morning anchor
- Amanda Berry - reports on missing people
Notable former staff
WXEL/WJW-TV (WJKW-TV) used many logos throughout its history:
Further readingSchodowski, Chuck (2008). Big Chuck: My Favorite Stories from 47 Years on Cleveland TV. Cleveland, OH: Gray & Company, Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59851-052-2
Zurcher, Neil (2010). Tales from the Road: Memoirs from a Lifetime of Ohio Travel, Television, and More. Cleveland, OH: Gray & Company, Publishers. ISBN 978-1-59851-064-5
- ^ Bob Dyer (1988-08-07). "Mystery of WJW call letters solved: Grandfather's initials launched station, woman says". Akron Beacon Journal. p. B2. http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/InfoWeb?p_action=doc&p_docid=0EDF49D1370B857D&p_docnum=89&p_queryname=NaN&p_product=NewsBank&p_theme=aggregated4&p_nbid=H67D5EHYMTE3OTE2OTQxNy44NjA4MDA6MToxMzoxOTIuMjMyLjMwLjgw. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- ^ "Television". The Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, OH): pp. 14. 1953-12-11.
- ^ "Television". The Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, OH): pp. 4. 1955-08-27.
- ^ New Castle News (New Castle, PA): pp. 30. 1950-06-08.
- ^ "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films". Boxoffice: 13. November 10, 1956. http://issuu.com/boxoffice/docs/boxoffice_111056-1
- ^ News Corporation
- ^ Washington, Julie E (2004-07-24). "End of the road for Zurcher’s 'One Tank Trips'". The Plain Dealer. http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/InfoWeb?p_action=doc&p_topdoc=1&p_docnum=1&p_sort=YMD_date:D&p_product=NewsBank&p_text_direct-0=document_id=(%201040CC8AC90942CB%20)&p_docid=1040CC8AC90942CB&p_theme=aggregated5&p_queryname=1040CC8AC90942CB&f_openurl=yes&p_nbid=X58S4CXHMTIwODM3MTc0Ny41MTI1NjoxOjEyOjE5OC4zMC4yMjguMA&&p_multi=CPDB. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
- ^ Washington, Julie E (2005-06-17). "Tales from the trips: Zurcher book offers Ohio tidbits and trivia". The Plain Dealer. http://infoweb.newsbank.com/iw-search/we/InfoWeb?p_action=doc&p_topdoc=1&p_docnum=1&p_sort=YMD_date:D&p_product=NewsBank&p_text_direct-0=document_id=(%2010ACE776B8187762%20)&p_docid=10ACE776B8187762&p_theme=aggregated5&p_queryname=10ACE776B8187762&f_openurl=yes&p_nbid=Y65F59FUMTIwODM3MTkwOC4zNzg4MzI6MToxMjoxOTguMzAuMjI4LjA&&p_multi=CPDB. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
- ^ http://www.fox8.com/about/dtv/
- ^ Boutilier, Corey (1 February 2007). "WJW-TV IN CLEVELAND PURCHASES JVC GY-HD250U PRO HD CAMERAS". http://www.independentfilm.com/technology/wjw-tv-cleveland-jvc-hd250.shtml. Retrieved 2008-04-21.
- ^ Washington, Julie E (2008-03-30). "Channel 8's morning shows win big in February sweeps". The Plain Dealer. http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/plaindealer/julie_washington/index.ssf?/base/entertainment-0/1206779560229150.xml&coll=2. Retrieved 2008-05-12.
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOXYzglk_14
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--UAlQOB5C8
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtyTo1smYWM