WPXI is the NBC-affiliated television station for Western Pennsylvania that is licensed to Pittsburgh. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 48 from a transmitter located on the north side of Pittsburgh. Owned by Cox Media Group, the station has studios in the Summer Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Syndicated programming on the station includes Rachael Ray, Judge Judy, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune.
|Branding||Channel 11 (general)
Channel 11 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||News (Or Weather)Coverage You Can Count On (general)
Live, Local, Late-Breaking (newscasts open)
|Channels||Digital: 48 (UHF)Virtual: 11 (PSIP)|
|Subchannels||11.1 NBC11.2 RTV|
|Translators||23 (UHF) Uniontown, PA33 (UHF) New Castle, PA
(construction permit) 21 (UHF) Derry, PA
|Affiliations||National Broadcasting Company|
|Owner||Cox Media Group
|First air date||September 1, 1957|
|Call letters' meaning||PittsburghXI (11 in Roman numerals)|
|Former callsigns||WIIC-TV (1957–1981)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:11 (1957–2009)|
|Transmitter power||1000 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||40°27′48″N 80°0′16″W|
- 1 History
- 2 Newscasts
- 3 Local programming
- 4 Digital programming
- 5 News/station presentation
- 6 On-air staff
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Gallery
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Bill Cardille (now a former Channel 11 host and weather forecaster) signed the station on the air. It addition to Cardille, five other announcers that were with the station during sign-on in 1957 include Mal Alberts, Bob Cochran, Ed Conway, Len Johnson and Mark Schaefer. Some of the first original programming to air on WIIC included Studio Wrestling and Chiller Theatre, both hosted by Cardille.
In 1964, the station was sold to current owner Cox Enterprises (which Cox traded its share in the then new cable system in Toledo, Ohio to the Post-Gazette's parent company, which is based in Toledo)
In 1970, WIIC made Pittsburgh broadcasting history as Eleanor Schano became the first woman to anchor a newscast alone. Schano also hosted a weekly 30-minute public affairs program called Face to Face.
During much of the 1970s, WIIC trailed in a distant third place in the ratings behind KDKA-TV and WTAE-TV. This coincided with much of the period where NBC also struggled in the ratings. About 1975, Channel 11 branded itself as "e11even", then around 1977 used the "11 Alive" moniker.
On April 20, 1981, the call sign was changed to WPXI (Pittsburgh 11, with XI being the Roman numeral sign for 11). Although the station has officially never had the -TV suffix since adopting the WPXI call sign, the station has on occasion been marketed as WPXI-TV. The WIIC calls still reside in Pittsburgh, but on a low-powered independent station airing music videos.
In 2000, Cox Enterprises purchased WTOV in Steubenville, Ohio and WJAC-TV in Johnstown, Pennsylvania from Sunrise Television. These stations, also NBC affiliates often appear in channel lineups for the same viewers that watch WPXI, either by over-the-air signal or via cable provider, and due to the proximity of the three stations to each other (as well as the common affiliation with NBC), are occasionally marketed together as a result. Cox changed the stations' on-air appearances to match WPXI's look, despite WPXI changing its own look in 2004. Those stations still use WPXI's former look.WPXI also has been airing the Jerry Lewis Telethon as the Pittsburgh affiliate of the annual event. The local portion of the telethon is still hosted by Bill Cardille.
Over the Labor Day weekend of 2007, WPXI introduced its new studio location in the city's Summer Hill neighborhood near the Parkway North. The move ended a 50-year tradition at Television Hill in the city's Fineview neighborhood. The station's tower is to remain in place at the top of the station's current location. WPXI officially launched its 6 p.m. newscast from its new studio in Summer Hill on October 6. WPXI is the first station in Pittsburgh broadcasting news in high definition. It has been criticized for technical glitches during the initial week of the new system run. With the switch to HD came a new set, created by FX Group & new HD graphics, created by Hothaus Creative.
In mid-October 2008, WPXI, in collaboration with Cox's longtime partner Internet Broadcasting, launched a redesigned website. As of early November 2008, the websites of all of Cox's stations east of the Mississippi River are using the new format pioneered by WPXI; the websites of the company's stations west of the Mississippi River followed suit a month later. As of January 7, 2010, The website's navigation bar and pages have been re-done.
WPXI occasionally pre-empts programming to report breaking news. Typically, WPXI offers 4½ hours of live newscasts on Channel 11. It offers an 1½ hours on PCNC and 1 hour onWPGH-TV. Previous branding for newscasts include Dateline, WIIC-TV 11 News, News/Watch, Instant News, Steel City News and Newscenter 11.
WPXI was the first channel to offer a 5:30 p.m. newscast in Pittsburgh from 1981 to 1984 (titled 5:30 Live), then revived in 1987, in which the newscast was named Channel 11 News First Edition. They were also the first station to offer a 5 p.m. newscast in the early 1990s. The newscast was named Channel 11 News First at 5.
WPXI dropped the NBC Saturday morning cartoons in September, 1990 in favor of a newscast airing from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The success of the weekend morning news prompted NBC network officials to extend the Today show to weekends. WPXI, however, has since scaled back its weekend morning news.
Pittsburgh native Jodi Applegate co-anchored NBC's Weekend Today, but was never seen locally due to WPXI's weekend morning news.
Pittsburgh Cable News Channel
The station went into cable television on January 1, 1994, with the launch of PCNC - the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel. PCNC brought the first 10 p.m. newscast to Pittsburgh. The final installment of PCNC's 10 PM news aired on January 26, 2006 as WPXI took over WPGH-TV's news operation.
PCNC offers 2 newscasts: "Pittsburgh This Morning", a 7-8 a.m. weekday newscast and a 7 p.m. weeknight newscast.
Channel 11 News on Fox 53
As of January 12, 2006, Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of Fox affiliate WPGH-TV) and Cox entered into an agreement where WPXI began producing a newscast specifically for WPGH. This agreement, called a "news share", began January 30, 2006. All of WPGH's news staff, except for sportscaster Alby Oxenreiter, were laid off. The 10 p.m. newscast became Channel 11 News on FOX 53 at Ten. Oxenreiter's "Ox on Fox Sports Extra" fills the final 15 minutes of the newscast.
Over the past decade, Pittsburgh has been a perennially competitive market for local news, with news ratings usually differing by less than a full ratings point. More recently, however, WPXI has had a increase in most dayparts and although it continues maintain a tie with KDKA in the market for daytime news, according to the Nielsen May 2009 ratings period. Also during this period, WPXI had in increase during the morning hours and the WPXI-produced 10 p.m. news remained in first place. As of May 2010, WPXI has a strong lead with viewers in the 5-6 a.m.and 10 p.m. hours. However, WPXI is the lowest watched Pittsburgh news station in the hours of noon, 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 11 p.m. hours (with KDKA being the highest watched during those hours).
WPXI currently uses the number 11 drawn into a circle, which debuted in 1987. The "11" symbol is colored gold, while the box around it is dark blue. WPXI previously used the NBC Peacock in its logo, which was copied by sister stations WTOV and WJAC-TV and is still used by those stations, but revamped its look in October 2004. WPXI's current look uses the circle 11 logo with stylized "WPXI" below it.
WPXI is known to commission its own theme music from companies, although it has previously used the famous "Move Closer to Your World" theme. It has commissioned both "Total Coverage" (its previous package still used by WJAC) and after WPXI moved to its new Summer Hill Television Building, it started using the Tower V.2, ending the NBC collection all together.
Channel 11 has had only one major foray into producing local programming. From 1963 to 1984, the station produced and broadcast Chiller Theater, a late Saturday evening horror film show hosted by Bill Cardille, or as he was referred to, "Chilly Billy." Cardille and a cast of characters would introduce the film being shown, as well as perform skits during breaks in the film. Cardille became well-known for hosting the show and the shows themselves became part of local yore. The final program aired on January 1, 1984. Cardille remained on-air at Channel 11 through the early-mid-1990s as the a.m. and noon weather forecaster. Cardille remains in Pittsburgh as midday personality on WJAS radio & occasionalChiller Theater reunions have been held over the years.
The show was part of a trend during the 1960s and 1970s for TV stations to produce local programming. Local stations often created their own children's shows as well. Horror theater shows, such as Shock Theatre, hosted by Ghoulardi & Big Chuck and Little John in Cleveland, as well as Chiller Theater, were not only easy to produce, but popular with the local audience.
For its part, WPXI (known then as WIIC) produced Cartoon Colorama, which aired old-time cartoons produced in color format (hence the name), hosted by Willie the Duck, a hand-puppet with a Donald Duck type of voice, speaking to off-camera announcer Don Riggs (who served as Willie's comedy foil) in between the cartoons. The show had been previously hosted by a character called "Captain Jim"," who'd hosted one WIIC's best-remembered children's program: "Cap'n Jim's Popeye Club," built around Popeye cartoons. The Captain was briefly played at the beginning by the little-known Jim Saunders, and from 1959 on by Ted Eckman.
- Our Region's Business
- Talkin' Pittsburgh
- Celebrate the Season Parade
- Carol Sing
- Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon
- A Star Spangled Salute
- The Jerome Bettis Show
- Chiller Theater (1963–1983)
- H.S. Sports Saturday with Mark Malone
- Studio Wrestling (1959–1972)
- Cartoon Colorama with Captain Jim
- Luncheon at the Ones
- Jackpot Bingo
- Pittsburgh Pirates baseball (1995–1996)
|11.1||48.1||1080i||16:9||main WPXI programming / NBC HD|
|11.2||48.2||480i||4:3||Retro Television Network|
|11.3||48.3||480i||4:3||currently dark, future unknown|
WPXI Broadcasts its digital signals (HD if programming permits) over the airwaves & on cable. Standard channel 11 (e.g. NBC) programming is broadcast on 11.1
WPXI was the first channel in Pittsburgh to make use of additional programming on its digital channels. On June 21, 2007, WPXI's Weather Plus began on Channel 11.2 and was also available on digital cable. WPXI 11 Weather Plus offered local and national weather information 24 hours a day. Locally, WPXI's Scott Harbaugh served as the main meteorologist on Channel 11 Weather Plus.
WPXI added an airwave digital channel on 11.3 in late October 2007 when it began an affiliation with Retro Television Network, a channel that airs classic TV programming. Sister stationsWJAC-TV and WTOV-TV also offer RTV programming on their subchannels.
Due to the shutdown of NBC Weather Plus in December 2008, WPXI moved RTV to 11.2 and 11.3 will be blank for the time being.
In July 2009 the station applied with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to have three repeater signals: channel 21 in Derry Township, channel 23 in Uniontown, and channel 33 in New Castle. The signal in Derry Township is expected to cover all of Westmoreland County, while the Uniontown signal could penetrate into the Pittsburgh suburb of McKeesport. The New Castle signal might go into Youngstown, Ohio (which New Castle is much closer to despite being part of the Pittsburgh DMA) and serve as a secondary NBC affiliate for the Youngstown television market, which is primarily served by WFMJ-TV, while giving the Youngstown market an outlet for RTV. Through the use of PSIP, all three signals are keepingchannel 11 as their virtual channel number.
- WIIC-TV 11 News (1960s–1970)
- News/Watch (1970–1975)
- Instant News (1975–1979)
- Steel City News (1979–1981)
- NewsCenter 11 (1981–1984)
- Channel 11 News (1984–present)
- E11even Alive (1976–1979)
- The New Spirit of Pittsburgh
- Channel 11, Proud as a Peacock! (1979–1981; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- When You're Good, The News Gets Around (1981-?)
- Channel 11, Our Pride is Showing (1981–1982; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- Look at 11 (1981–1983)
- We're Channel 11, Just Watch Us Now! (1982–1983; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- Pittsburgh's 11, Be There (1983–1984; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- Channel 11, Let's All Be There (1984–1986; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come Home to 11 (1986–1987; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come on Home to 11 (1987–1988; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come Home to the Best, Only on 11 (1988–1990; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- WPXI-TV, The Place to Be! (1990–1991; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- Your 24-Hour News Source (1990–?)
- More News. More Often. (1990s–1996)
- It's a Whole New WPXI-TV (1992-1993; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- The Stars Are Back on Channel 11 (1993-1994; local version of NBC ad campaign)
- Live, Local, Latebreaking News (1996–1998)
- Coverage You Can Count On (1998–present; primary)
- Live. Local. Latebreaking. (2007–2014)
Severe Weather Team 11
Notable former on-air staff
- Asa Aarons (1984-1990) (consumer reporter) - now a consumer reporter for WNBC New York
- Mal Alberts (1957-1961) (sports director)
- Jennifer Antkowiak (1992-1993) (reporter) - worked at KDKA-TV as an anchor, later hosted jennifer, a talk show on WTAE, now back at KDKA-TV
- Newlin Archinal (1999-2008) (anchor)
- Caroline Avedesian (1998-1999) (reporter)
- Hank Baughman (1977-1987) (anchor) - now morning news anchor at WHJB in Greensburg, PA, also worked at WSHH, KQV, WTAE-AM, WHTX
- Rocky Bleier (1981-1985) (sports) - former Pittsburgh Steeler
- Alan Boal (mid-1960s) (anchor)
- Regis Bobonis (1960s) (reporter)
- Mike Boguslowski (1989-1992) (consumer reporter); also worked at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles
- Dennis Bowman (1984-2000) (weather) - after 16 years he moved on to Topeka, Kansas, but returned to Pittsburgh in 2005; now a meteorologist at KDKA-TV
- Jim Brinson (1985-1987) (sports) - now at KSWT-TV in Yuma, AZ
- Natasha Brown (2000-2002) (reporter) - now at KYW-TV and WPSG in Philadelphia
- Stu Brown (1980-2009) (reporter) - retired
- Bob Bruce (1996-2009) (anchor)
- Beverly Byer (1975-1978) (anchor) - was an anchor at KION-TV in Monterey, Calif.; now at KRXA 540 AM
- Bill Cardille (1957-2000) (weather) - was the first personality on air at WIIC, now a radio DJ at WJAS
- Darryl Carver (1997-2000) (reporter) - now a reporter at WAGA in Atlanta
- Reg Chapman (2000-2002) (reporter) - now a reporter at WCCO in Minneapolis/St. Paul
- Steve Chenevey (2000-2002) (reporter) - now co-anchors WTTG morning news from 5 to 7 a.m.
- John Christian (1969-1992) (reporter) - died November 29, 2009
- Dave Clark (19xx-1993) (reporter) - later worked at CBS 2/KCAL 9 Los Angeles, now morning anchor at sister station KTVU in Oakland/San Francisco, CA
- Bob Cochran (1957-1975) (anchor/reporter)
- Ed Conway (1957-1961) (anchor/reporter)
- Beano Cook (late 1980s) (commentator)
- Jane Crawford (1980-1984) (anchor/reporter)
- Della Crews (1985-1998) (anchor/reporter) - now at News 12 in the New York/New Jersey area
- John Cross (1980-1984) (economics editor)
- Vince DeLisi (19xx-19xx) (reporter)
- Red Donley (1961-1970) (sports) - previously worked at WTOV-TV in Steubenville, Ohio/Wheeling, West Virginia-died in 1998
- Deidra Dukes (1995-1998) (anchor/reporter) - now weekend anchor at WAGA in Atlanta
- Tim Earl (1984-1986) (weather anchor/science reporter) - lives in Dallas, TX
- Kate English (mid 1980s) co-host Jackpot Bingo
- Jack Etzel (1974-1996) (feature reporter) - "Etzel at Large" and "Jack of All Trades".
- Stacia Erdos (1998-2008) (Weekend Anchor/Reporter)
- Ralph Fallert (late 1950s-1974) (announcer/weather forecaster)
- Judie Fertig (1981-1983) (reporter)
- Pat Finn (1979-1983) (weather forecaster/reporter) later a host of various game shows
- Cynthia Fodor (1987-1990) (anchor/reporter)
- Katina Forte (1999-2002) (traffic reporter) - was host of 'QVC @ The Mall', now at ShopNBC
- Alan Frio (1979-1981) (anchor) - later original anchor of Hard Copy
- Larry Gaffney (early/mid-1960s) (anchor)
- Andy Gastmeyer (1984-2008) (reporter) - retired
- Vince Gerasole (19xx-19xx) (reporter) - now at WBBM-TV, is a native of Pittsburgh
- Betty Gillette (1960's) (weather forecaster)
- Derrick Gunn (1987-1997) (sports) - now at Comcast SportsNet
- Mike Hambrick (1986-1989) (anchor) - now with the National Association of Manufacturers 
- Yolanda Hawkins (2003-2006) (reporter) - recently posed for the cover of Maniac Magazine's September 2006 issue
- Jack Henry (1970's) (business reporter)
- Midge Hill (1981-1984) (weekend anchor/reporter)
- Dagny Hultgreen (1988-1989) (anchor/reporter) - sister of Kara Hultgreen, first female US Navy fighter pilot; appeared in the film Speed as a reporter; spent time as a reporter for E! News and Good Day L.A.
- Jan Hutchins (1970-1974) (sports)
- Dave James (1960's) (reporter who later joined KDKA Radio circa 1971)
- Ron Jaye (1960s-2000) (anchor/reporter) (host of Hotline) -retired
- Mary Robb Jackson (1976-1979) (reporter), now at KDKA-TV
- Dick John (early/mid-1960s) (anchor)
- Len Johnson (1957-1961) (announcer)
- Keith Jones (1999-2003) (anchor/reporter), now at KDKA-TV
- Barry Judge (1975-1977) (anchor)
- Dave Kelly (1960s-1983) (commentator/reporter)
- C.S. Keys (1995-2000) (weather) now at XETV-TV in San Diego
- Pat Kiely (mid-1960s to early 1970s) (anchor) - formerly of KDKA-TV
- Herb Koster (1960's) (anchor)
- Karl Krug (early 60's) (commentator)
- Barry Lillis (1981-1983) (weather forecaster)
- Kris Long (1993-1998) (anchor) - now at KPSP-LP in Palm Springs, Calif.
- Adam Lynch (1963-1979) (anchor/reporter) - retired
- Mark Malone (1990-1993) (sports)
- P.J. Maloney (mid-1970s to mid 1980's) (reporter/weather forecaster) now at KQV
- Loran Mann (1976-1996) (reporter) - now a minister in Pittsburgh
- Bill Martin (1988-1991) (anchor)
- Kelley Mitchell (1987-1990) (anchor)
- Russ Montgomery (1970-1974) (chief meteorologist)
- Marissa Morris (1985-1988) (anchor)
- Kay Neumann (1957-1966) (host of Kay Calls)
- Danielle Nottingham (2008-2011) (anchor) now a CBS Newspath reporter in Washington D.C
- Sam Nover (1970-2001) (sports) - retired
- Katrina Owens (2006-2007) (reporter)
- Ken Philips (1974-1979) (chief meteorologist)
- Bruce Pompeani (1993-1996) (anchor/reporter) - worked at KDKA-TV
- Gina Redmond (2001-2003) (anchor) - now at WVTM-TV in Birmingham
- Don Riggs (1970-1990) (weather/reporter; voice of "Willie The Duck") - Died February 21, 2009.
- Dr. Mike Rosen (1997-2001) (medical reporter) - now the senior medical correspondent at WCBS-TV and also files reports for CBS Newspath
- Vicki Rogal (1975-1985) (reporter/anchor)
- Wes Sarginson (late-1960s) (anchor)
- Lori Savitch (1990-1996) (anchor/reporter) - now an award-winning freelance producer for Nickelodeon, Lifetime and the History Channel and contributor to WQED Pittsburgh's 'OnQ'
- Mark Schaefer (1957-1966) (anchor) - and KQV Radio
- Eleanor Schano (1970-1976) (anchor) - host of WQED's 'LifeQuest'
- Pat Shingleton (1979-1981) (chief meteorologist) now at WBRZ
- Jim Scott (1980-1983) (anchor)
- Margaret Shortridge (1992-2000) (reporter/anchor)
- Roxanne Stein (1981-1987) (anchor) - now at WPTV-TV
- Ray Stewart (1959-1971) (public affairs director and host)
- Emilie Story (2002-2005) (reporter)
- Dave Sullivan (late 1970s-early 1980s) (sports)
- Ray Tannehill (1970-1976) (anchor) - died in 2007
- Edye Tarbox (1987-1989) (anchor) - now with Fox News Channel
- Steve Teeling (2000-2006) (Chief Meteorologist) - now with WXXA in Albany, New York
- Becky Thompson (19xx-2006) (consumer reporter) - relocated to Texas
- Dee Thompson (1974-2009) (sports reporter/news reporter)
- Estha Trouw (1995-1999) (anchor/reporter) - Now anchorwoman with San Diego Fox 6 News at 10 p.m.
- Wayne Van Dine (1969-1978) (consumer reporter) "Action Line" on WIIC.
- Krista Villarreal (2005-2008) (meteorologist)
- Randy Waters (1981-1984) (sports) - now at WXIA-TV in Atlanta
- Karen Welles (1990-2009) (reporter)
- Alice Weston co-host "Luncheon at the Ones."
- By Williams (1957-1992) co-host "Luncheon at the Ones." Also, local host of The Mickey Mouse Club, weather forecaster, news director, as well as public affairs director.
- Marc Willis (2006-2009) (reporter)
- WPXI was the only Pittsburgh TV station that aired uncensored footage of Pennsylvania treasurer Budd Dwyer's suicide in 1987.
- Most of the news reports in Night of the Living Dead aired on WIIC within the film.
- Since the Fall of 1987, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune have aired on WPXI. Before that, KDKA aired the two game shows in a late afternoon slot.
- WPXI was privleged to show both the Pittsburgh Steelers winning Super Bowl XLIII and the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals as both championship games were on NBC.
- WPXI reporters, live trucks, and fictional newscasts were seen in the 2010 movie, Unstoppable, which was set in the station's market.
- ^ WPXI tunes in to Summer Hill folks - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- ^ Tuned In: WPXI moves to sleek, new digs
- ^ TUNED IN JOURNAL: WPXI's major malfunctions
- ^ WPXI to air old shows as Retro TV affiliate
- ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10064/1040385-67.stm
- ^ Tuned In: TV news pranksters try to 'bust' WPXI
- ^ http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?list=0&facid=73910
- ^ http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/ae/more/s_730137.html