WJZ-TV, channel 13, is an owned and operated television station of the CBS Television Network, located in Baltimore, Maryland. WJZ-TV's studios and offices are located on Television Hill in the Woodberry section of Baltimore, adjacent to the transmission tower it shares with four other Baltimore television stations.

WJZ 2017.png
Baltimore, Maryland
Branding WJZ 13 (general)

WJZ News(newscasts)

Slogan Maryland's News Station

Your Community Connection

Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)

Virtual: 13 (PSIP)

Subchannels 13.1 CBS
Affiliations CBS
Owner CBS Corporation

(CBS Broadcasting, Inc.)

First air date November 2, 1948
Call letters' meaning named after the former callsign of what is now WABC (AM), which stood for its original location in New Jersey
Sister station(s) WJZ, WJZ-FM, WLIF, WWMX
Former callsigns WAAM (1948-1957)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

13 (VHF, 1948-2009) Digital: 38 (UHF, 1997-2009)

Former affiliations ABC (1948-1995)

DuMont (secondary, 1948-1955)

Transmitter power 28.8 kW
Height 295 m
Facility ID 25455
Transmitter coordinates 39°20′5″N 76°39′3″W
Website www.cbsbaltimore.com


Baltimore's third television station started on November 2, 1948 as WAAM, owned by brothers Ben and Herman Cohen. Its first broadcast was the 1948 presidential election returns. Its studio was the first in Baltimore specifically designed for television.

Channel 13 was originally an ABC affiliate; it was the second primary affiliate of the fledgling network. Until 1956, it carried a secondary affiliation with the DuMont Television Network, and originated many Baltimore Colts games for DuMont.[1][2]

The Westinghouse Electric Corporation purchased WAAM in 1957 and renamed it "WJZ-TV". The WJZ call letters had previously resided on ABC's flagship radio/television combination inNew York City, which changed its calls to WABC-AM-FM-TV in 1953. However, Westinghouse's history with that set of call letters went back even further, as it was the original owner of WJZ radio, the flagship station of NBC's Blue Network, which would eventually become ABC.

All of Baltimore's TV stations had fairly short TV towers in the 1940s-50s with WJZ's at just over 700 feet tall. But in 1959, WJZ-TV built the world's first three-antenna candelabra tower and at roughly 1000 foot above average terrain, at the time, it was the tallest free standing TV antenna in the U.S., shared with WMAR-TV and WBAL-TV. The 997-foot (304 m) tower significantly improved the station's coverage in central Maryland, and also added new viewers in Pennsylvaniaand Delaware and of course Washington, D.C. It still operates from this 997-foot (304 m) tower today, which can be seen from Interstate 83 in Baltimore, not to mention from many parts of Baltimore County. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Antenna Structure Registration page gives the tower's height as 997 feet (304 meters).[3],[4]

The WJZ-TV studio and office facility, on Television Hill in Baltimore.

From 1957 to 1964, one of the station's highest-rated programs was The Buddy Deane Show, an in-studio teen dance show similar to ABC's American Bandstand, which WJZ-TV also pre-empted in favor of the Deane program. Deane's program was the inspiration for the John Waters 1988 motion picture Hairspray and its subsequent Broadway musical version, which in turn has been made into afilm.Over the years, WJZ-TV frequently pre-empted ABC programming in favor of local shows and syndicated content from Westinghouse's broadcasting division, Group W (notably the former ABC daytime soap opera Dark Shadows, which WJZ-TV pre-empted during the mid-1960s). However, ABC was more than satisfied with channel 13, which was one of its strongest affiliates. Additionally, Baltimore viewers could watch ABC programs on Washington, D.C.'s WMAL-TV/WJLA-TV, whose signal decently covers most of the Baltimore area.

In 1976, Oprah Winfrey became an anchor for the station's 6:00 p.m. newscast. She also co-hosted channel 13's local talk show, People Are Talking with Richard Sher, which premiered on August 14, 1978, and ran until she left for Chicago in 1983. The segment continues to run on the morning newscasts.

In 1994, ABC agreed to an affiliation deal with the broadcasting division of the E.W. Scripps Company, which called for three of Scripps' television stations to become ABC affiliates. ABC agreed to the deal as a condition of keeping its affiliation on Scripps' two biggest stations,WXYZ-TV in Detroit and WEWS in Cleveland. Both stations had been heavily wooed by CBS, which was about to lose its longtime Detroitand Cleveland affiliates to Fox. One of the stations due to switch was Baltimore's then-NBC affiliate, WMAR-TV. ABC was reluctant to include WMAR in the deal; it had been a ratings also-ran for over 30 years while WJZ-TV was one of the highest-rated ABC affiliates in the network's chain. However, not wanting to be relegated to UHF in two markets with few viable choices for a new affiliate, ABC opted to end its 47-year affiliation with channel 13 and move its affiliation to channel 2.

Group W felt betrayed by ABC after so many years of loyalty. At the time, channel 13 had been affiliated with ABC longer than any station not owned and operated by the network. As a safeguard, it began to shop for an affiliation deal of its own. Eventually, Westinghouse agreed to a longterm affiliation contract with CBS. As a result, WJZ-TV and sister stations in Philadelphia and Boston became CBS affiliates (Westinghouse's two other television stations, in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, were already CBS affiliates, but had to stop pre-empting network programming as a condition of the deal). The affiliation switch, the second in Baltimore television history, occurred early on the morning of January 2, 1995. As a result, channel 13 became the third station in Baltimore to affiliate with CBS. The network had originally affiliated with WMAR-TV in 1948 before moving to WBAL-TV in 1981. Westinghouse then bought CBS in early 1996, making WJZ-TV a CBS owned-and-operated station.

WJZ-TV has used its current "Stylized 13" logo, using a font face exclusive to Group W, since 1967. The only real change came in May 1997, when it added the CBS Eye to its logo. WJZ currently does not brand under the CBS Mandate, preferring to use its call letters.

The CBS affiliation came with an added plus in 1998, when the network gained the rights to air all afternoon National Football League games wherein the visitors were part of the American Football Conference. The NFL's current team in Baltimore, the Ravens, play in the AFC, and so most of their games are seen on WJZ-TV.

WJZ-TV is the Baltimore-area affiliate of the It's Academic high school quiz competition. Channel 13 has also served two stints as the television home of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team, and has been the over-the-air home of the Orioles since 1994. It is one of the few "Big Three" stations that airs baseball on a regular basis.

Digital television

WJZ-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, on June 12, 2009, as part of the DTV transition in the United States. The station had been broadcasting its pre-transition digital signal over UHF channel 38, but returned to channel 13 for its post-transition operations.[5][6]Rival WMAR-TV took channel 38 as WMAR-DT moved from channel 52 at the time as a result of the phaseout of channels 52-69.

The switch caused problems for some viewers, but WJZ-TV has been granted a power increase that helps some people.[7]

Channel  Name  Programming
13.1 WJZ-DT1 Main WJZ-TV Programming / CBS (HD)

Out of market coverage

In Delaware, it is carried on Comcast in Sussex County. There is no coverage in most of Kent County except in the area of Chesapeake City for Atlantic Broadband cable subscribers. There is no coverage in all of New Castle County. New Castle and Kent counties are part of the Philadelphia market, which also carries KYW, the market's CBS affiliate. Only Sussex County is part of the Salisbury, Maryland market which carries its CBS affiliate, WBOC.

In Maryland, the eastern shore communities of Cambridge, East New Market/Secretary, Pocomoke City, Ocean City, Salisbury and Snow Hill carry WJZ. These areas are in the Salisbury market which WBOC is carried. From Hagerstown and west towards Cumberland, WJZ is carried there as well in the far northwestern part of the Washington, DC market. Between Hagerstown and Cumberland, the towns of Hancock and Oldtown do not carry WJZ.

In Pennsylvania, it is carried in Greencastle which is part of the Washington DC market. It is also carried in Delta, Hanover, Rising Sun, Waynesboro and York County (but not in the city of York) which are in the Harrisburg-Lancaster-York market. In the Philadelphia market, it is carried in Oxford in Chester County.

In Virginia well west of Washington, DC in the far western end of their market, WJZ is carried on cable alongside with WUSA, the CBS affiliate for Washington, DC. It is carried on cable in the Shenandoah Valley in Elkton, Front Royal, Luray and Winchester.

In West Virginia, it is carried in the Martinsburg area. It is part of the Washington, DC market, which carries WUSA as well. In Keyser, Mineral County, WJZ is carried on cable.

WJZ's former analog signal could be picked up via antenna as far west as Warrenton and Culpepper, Virginia and as far east as Salem County, New Jersey. There is no satellite coverage outside of the Baltimore market for WJZ.

News operation

WJZ anchors Don Scott and Jessica Kartalija preparing for a live-shot during the funeral of former Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer, April 28, 2011

Soon after Westinghouse bought WJZ-TV, it significantly beefed up the station's news department. Within a few years, it passed WMAR-TV for second place. Like the other Group W stations, WJZ-TV adopted the Eyewitness News format pioneered at sister station KYW-TV in Philadelphia. By the early 1970s, WJZ-TV had passed WBAL-TV for first place—a lead it held for over 30 years. In recent years, however, WBAL-TV has taken over the top spot at 5, 6 and 11 p.m., though WJZ-TV is still a strong second. However, in the official November 2009Nielsen ratings sweeps period, the first since the debut of The Jay Leno Show (which aired on WBAL-TV), WJZ-TV has returned to a dominant position at 11 p.m. for the first time since the early 2000s. Both stations have since been in a virtual dead heat at that time slot.

WJZ-TV was the first station in Baltimore to hire a full-time consumer reporter, as well as the first station to organize an investigative reporting team. In 1965, shortly after it adopted the Eyewitness News format, Wiley Daniels became the first African-American anchor in Baltimore. He worked alongside Jerry Turner, one of the most popular anchormen in Baltimore television history. Between 1977 and 1987, Jerry Turner andAl Sanders were the top news team until Turner's death. Denise Koch succeeded Turner upon his death in 1987; she remains at the anchor desk alongside Vic Carter, who succeeded Sanders following the latter's death in 1995. Like other CBS-owned stations, channel 13 offers a web only newscast, "WJZ At Your Desk", shown weekdays.

Since 1987, WJZ-TV's news theme has been "Chroma Cues" by Music Oasis, which was specifically written for the station.

Since September 2008, The Baltimore Sun has been the newspaper partner of WJZ-TV; involving sharing content, story leads, and teaming up on stories. WJZ promotes Baltimore Sun stories in its news broadcasts. The Sun promotes WJZ's stories and weather team on its pages.

On October 25, 2009, WJZ-TV became the third Baltimore station to begin airing newscasts in high definition. For several months after the upgrade, field reports were still presented in 4:3 standard definition.

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Your Esso Reporter (1950s-1960s)
  • Channel 13 News (1960s-1972)
  • (WJZ) Eyewitness News (1972–2017)
  • WJZ News (2017-present)

Station slogans

  • Channel 13's The One (1977-1978 and 1979-1980; localized for ABC slogan)
  • You and Me and Channel 13 (1980-1981; localized for ABC slogan)
  • That's What Friends Are For (1981-1983)
  • Now Is The Time, Channel 13 is The Place (1981-1982; localized for ABC slogan)
  • Come on Along with Channel 13 (1982-1983; localized for ABC slogan)
  • That Special Feeling on Channel 13 (1983-1984; localized for ABC slogan)
  • We're With You on Channel 13 (1984-1985; localized for ABC slogan)
  • You'll Love It on Channel 13 (1985-1986; localized for ABC slogan)
  • It's a Good Feeling to Know (1985-1987)
  • Together on Channel 13 (1986-1987; localized for ABC slogan)
  • Something's Happening on Channel 13 (1987-1990; localized for ABC slogan)
  • We'll See you Through (1988-1993?)
  • Baltimore's Watching WJZ-TV (1990-1992; localized version for "America's Watching ABC" slogan)
  • If It's Baltimore, It Must Be Channel 13 (1992-1993; localized version for "It Must Be ABC" slogan)
  • Watched By More, Batimore, Channel 13, ABC (1993-1995; localized version for "Watched By More People Than Any Other Network" slogan, used before the switch)
  • I am WJZ People (January-September 1995; localized for CBS slogan, used after the switch)
  • There's Only One 'JZ (mid 1990s)
  • Baltimore's Most Watched Newscast (1992–2002)
  • The Address Is WJZ, Welcome Home (1997-1999; localized for CBS slogan)
  • The Address Is WJZ (1999-2000; localized for CBS slogan)
  • Baltimore's News Station (2002–2008; primary slogan)
  • Complete Coverage (2002–2017; secondary slogan)
  • Maryland's News Station (2008–present; primary slogan)
  • Your Community Connection (2017-present)

On-air staff


  • Gigi Barnett - weekend mornings "Eyewitness News Morning Edition"; also weekday reporter
  • Mary Bubala - weekdays at 4, and weeknights at 5 p.m.; also reporter
  • Vic Carter - weekdays at 4:30, weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Kai Jackson - weekdays at 4, and weeknights at 5 p.m.
  • Jessica Kartalija - weekdays at noon; also reporter
  • Denise Koch - weekdays at 4:30, weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Adam May - weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.; also weekday reporter and weekday fill-in anchor
  • Don Scott - weekday mornings "Eyewitness News Morning Edition" and noon

First Warning Weather Team

  • Bob Turk - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 4, 4:30, 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Marty Bass - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "Eyewitness News Morning Edition" and noon
  • Tim Williams (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekend mornings, and weekdays at noon.
  • Bernadette Woods (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekends at 6 and 11 p.m; weekdays at noon.

Sports Team

  • Mark Viviano - Sports Director; weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Stan Saunders - Sports Anchor; weekends at 6 and 11 p.m., also sports reporter


  • Sharon Gibala - weekday mornings "Eyewitness News Morning Edition", and weekdays at 4 and 5 p.m., also Sunday morning reporter
  • Kristy Breslin - fill-in traffic anchor


  • Suzanne Collins - investigative reporter
  • Alex DeMetrick - environmental and investigative reporter
  • Andrea Fujii - general assignment reporter
  • Mike Hellgren - general assignment reporter
  • Weijia Jiang - general assignment reporter
  • Ron Matz - general assignment reporter, also guest personality on the "Eyewitness News Morning Edition"
  • Kelly McPherson - general assignment reporter
  • Captain Mike Perry - "SkyEye Chopper 13" pilot/reporter
  • Mike Schuh - general assignment reporter
  • Derek Valcourt - general assignment reporter
  • Pat Warren - general assignment reporter

Notable former staff



  1. ^ http://www.dumonthistory.tv/3.html
  2. ^ http://www.dumonthistory.tv/a9.html
  3. ^ http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/AsrSearch/asrRegistration.jsp?regKey=600292
  4. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodberry,_Baltimore#Television_Hill
  5. ^ CDBS Print
  6. ^ http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/getattachment_exh.cgi?exhibit_id=616897
  7. ^ Dickson, Glen (2009-06-22). "WPVI Gets Power Boost From FCC". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-06-25.
  8. ^ Michael Olesker, "Here's a Royal cheer for a charitable guy", The Baltimore Examiner, May 20, 2008, p. 6.

External links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.