|Miami / Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Branding||WSVN 7 (general)
7 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||The News Station|
|Channels||Digital: 7 (VHF)Virtual: 7 (PSIP)|
|Translators||WKIZ-LP 49 Key West, FL|
(Sunbeam Television Corporation)
|First air date||July 29, 1956|
|Call letters' meaning||channel SeVeN|
|Former callsigns||WCKT (1956-1983)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:7 (VHF, 1956-2009)
Digital: 8 (VHF, 2000-2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1956-1988)|
|Transmitter power||158 kW|
|Transmitter coordinates||25°57′49.9″N 80°12′43.6″W / 25.963861°N 80.212111°W / 25.963861; -80.212111|
WSVN, channel 7, is a television station located in Miami, Florida. WSVN is owned by Sunbeam Television, and is an affiliate of the Fox Broadcasting Company. The station has its studio facilities located in North Bay Village and transmitter based in north Miami-Dade County. WSVN is one of three South Florida stations based in Miami-Dade County alongside WFOR-TV and WBFS (both owned by CBS).
WSVN operates a Key West repeater, WKIZ-LP, on channel 49. WKIZ's calls are a play on the Florida Keys since the translator serves Key West.
The station began broadcasting on July 29, 1956. It had the call letters WCKT and was a NBC affiliate owned by Biscayne Television Corporation. The station was a partnership of the Cox and Knight publishing families who owned Miami's two major newspapers: the Miami News and Miami Herald, respectively. The same partnership also owned WCKR radio (610 AM, now WIOD) and WCKR-FM (97.3, now WFLC). Before WCKT signed on, NBC had been carried on WFTL-TV (channel 23) in Fort Lauderdale (later known as WGBS-TV after it had been acquired by Storer Broadcasting) along with some DuMont programming. However, WFTL struggled because television sets were not required to have UHF tuning capability. When the Cox/Knight partnership won a construction permit and license for channel 7, NBC quickly agreed to move its affiliation to that channel since WCKR had long been the NBC Radio affiliate in Miami. Channel 23 became an independent and eventually went dark, and later came back to the air in 1967 as WAJA-TV. It would eventually become Univision O&O WLTV.
WCKT and Biscayne Television lose licenseIn 1962, the Cox/Knight partnership was stripped of both of its broadcast licenses because it violated Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing rules and because of ethics violations. In hearings that began back in June 1960, it was found that some of the principals of Biscayne Television, as well as some of James M. Cox's personal friends, had made improper contact with FCC Commissioner Richard Mack in order to influence the award of the construction permit and licenses. Biscayne was competing for the license with East Coast Television and South Florida TV. Mack had also been found guilty of taking payoffs and was forced to resign by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, as well as the rest of the FCC commissioners.
Biscayne Television originally planned to appeal its license revocation but was advised that it would be turned down due to the gravity of the situation. Mack had also been found guilty of taking payoffs in the licensing process of another Miami station, WPST-TV (channel 10, now WPLG), to the broadcasting subsidiary of National Airlines. WPST had its license revoked and Biscayne then opted to put WCKT on the market. The owners of WPST were forced to sell the station only after they had to cease broadcasting.
Shortly afterward a new company called Sunbeam Television Corporation bought the station for $3.4 million and assumed ownership on December 19, 1962. Upon the change in ownership, Sunbeam retained the WCKT call letters and claimed the Cox/Knight station's history as its own. Sunbeam Television was a partnership between Sydney Ansin, a Miami Beach-based real estate developer, and his son Edmund ("Ed") Ansin. The younger Ansin succeeded his father as president of Sunbeam Television in 1971. WSVN has used its own version of the circle 7 logo since the 1970s. On June 7, 1983, the station's call letters were changed to the current WSVN, after those call letters were purchased from a PBS station in Norton, Virginia.
Sunbeam Television ownership
As an NBC station, WCKT/WSVN aired a newscast in place of whatever NBC aired weekdays at Noon. It also, at some times of the year, preempted shows during the 10 or 11 a.m. hour (but ran at least one of these hours) and preempted an occasional primetime show. While NBC was traditionally far less tolerant of pre-emptions than the other networks, it did not mind this at first provided that NBC was able to contact alternate independent stations in the Miami area to air whatever programs that WSVN did not air. In addition, NBC programs that WSVN didn't air were cleared by WPTV (channel 5) in West Palm Beach. WPTV's signal provides city-grade coverage of Fort Lauderdale and was available on nearly every cable system in the area. However, in the early 1980s, WPTV fell off a few Miami cable systems to make room for new channels. Largely due to those preemptions, WCKT/WSVN was one of NBC's weaker affiliates. Though the independent stations NBC contacted continued to air programs not shown on WSVN, NBC preferred that their whole schedule aired on one station and eventually concluded that they needed to own their own outlet in the growing Miami/Ft. Lauderdale market.
Network affiliation switch
NBC got its chance in the late 1980s when CBS affiliate WTVJ (channel 4, now on channel 6), Florida's oldest television station, went on the market. NBC purchased that station in 1987, but WTVJ's affiliation contract with CBS did not run out until the end of 1988. CBS was willing to let WTVJ out of its affiliation contract a year early. Conversely, Ed Ansin was not interested in letting NBC out of its pact with WSVN, which also expired at the same time. He wanted channel 7 to air NBC's strong fall 1988 lineup, which included the Major League Baseball World Series and the Summer Olympics. As a result, NBC was forced to run WTVJ as a CBS affiliate for more than a year, with all of the NBC shows preempted by WSVN airing to WTVJ (a situation that did not sit well with either network). When Ansin made an offer to take the CBS affiliation, CBS turned the offer down. Instead, CBS bought Miami's original Fox affiliate, WCIX (channel 6; now WFOR-TV, channel 4), even though that station had an inadequate signal in Broward County.
Finally, on January 1, 1989, South Florida's first network affiliation switch occurred, with NBC moving to WTVJ full-time and WSVN receiving the Fox affiliation, which had previously been carried by WCIX. WSVN had far less programming to pre-empt as a result, as Fox only programmed weekends at the time; thus, WSVN originally considered themselves an independent station and before the network's expansion into weeknights in the early 1990s, had aired a film in primetime every weeknight at 8 p.m. The station also took on a news-intensive format after the affiliation switch, expanding its newscasts to eight hours on weekdays. WSVN's affiliation with Fox could also be seen as a major coup for the fledgling network, as WSVN had been the area's longtime NBC affiliate and Fox was pleased to gain affiliation with a station which had been with a "Big Three" network for years (Miami-Fort Lauderdale remains the only market where the Fox affiliation moved from one VHF station to another). The combination of WSVN not following a similar pattern to other Fox affiliates at the time and WCIX becoming a "Big Three" affiliate also led then-struggling independent WDZL (now CW affiliate WSFL-TV) to rise to prominence, as WDZL picked up many shows once on WCIX.
Fox affiliationInstead of buying a lot of off-network sitcoms and running cartoons, WSVN opted to move to a news-intensive format and poured most of its resources into its news department. Because of this, the station had a higher local newscast output than the rest of Fox's stations did at the time of the switch; when WSVN became a Fox affiliate, only a small number of Fox stations ran local news, which were limited to late primetime slots (as of 2010, only about one-quarter of Fox's affiliates carry newscasts in either the midday, 4, 5 or 6 p.m. time periods, in addition to morning and/or primetime newscasts). It began to air a lot of first-run syndicated talk shows, court shows, off-network dramas, and eight hours of news a day. It did run some cartoons on weekends as well. It originally aired Fox Kids programming in 1990, but by 1993 it moved to WDZL (now WSFL-TV, channel 39). WBFS-TV (channel 33) aired the 4Kids TV block until the block ended on December 28, 2008.
In 1994, when New World Communications switched most of its stations' to Fox, the programming on them was very similar in format to WSVN except that their news format may have aimed at an older audience than WSVN. Also, many stations owned by New World passed on Fox Kids just like WSVN.Fox News also gives WSVN American Idol.
As a Fox affiliate, the station is branded "WSVN 7", rather than "Fox 7" under Fox's station standardization rule (Boston sister station WHDH does brand itself with its network name as "7 NBC", though NBC is not as strict with branding as Fox). However, Fox News Channel refers to the station as "Fox 7" when carrying WSVN's coverage of news from South Florida during breaking news emergencies. Also until a revamp of the website in late 2009, the Fox logo occasionally appeared in a rolling marquee on the top left hand corner of the website.
WSVN todayWSVN tends to run a lot of lower budget first run syndicated shows that other stations pass on. Fox supplies the station with a primetime lineup and plenty of weekend sports. Even though other stations outbid WSVN for the best programming, the station has far higher ratings than WSFL and WBFS and often beats the other network affiliates in ratings, considering Fox's growing ratings, especially when Fox finished the 2007/2008 season as the #1 network in the nation for the first time in its 22-year history. In May 2006, WSVN was the market's highest-rated English-language station from sign-on to sign-off.  WFOR has since surpassed WSVN as the number one English-language station in Miami, though WSVN has been a solid runner up and has tied with WPLG.Today some of their on air weather staff include Julia Durda, Brent Cameroon, Vivan Gonzalez, and their Chief Meteoroligist Phil Ferro. Today they have many news programs including, 7 Weather Center, Deco Drive, 7 Sports, Reelz News, Fast Track, a special weather program durring severe weather called Tracking the Tropics, and a short advertising/weather news campaign called The Phil Factor.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|7.1||720p||16:9||Main WSVN/Fox programming|
On June 12, 2009, WSVN remained on channel 7 when the analog to digital conversion was completed. The station was one of four VHF digital stations granted a power increase later that month after stations experienced signal problems on VHF that did not occur with UHF.
News operationWhen the station gained the Fox affiliation, it began to broadcast in a news intensive format and poured most of its resources into its news department. WSVN was the second Fox affiliate to have a weekday morning newscast and was the first with weeknight 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts. Led by news director Joel Cheatwood, it airs a format based on the philosophy "if it bleeds, it leads". WSVN's newscasts are heavy on crime stories and flashy graphics. When Ed Ansin bought WHDH-TV in Boston, Cheatwood moved there and adopted a considerably watered-down version of WSVN's format. The WSVN model would influence what most Fox affiliates would look like in years to come. Despite its reputation as a tabloid station, its newscasts consistently garner high reviews from some media critics. The station is often criticized for its sensationalized news reports. In 1994, for instance, nine Florida hotels (all owned or operated by Continental Companies) censored the station from their internal televisions due to WSVN's sensationalized coverage of murders around the greater Miami area. The Continental Companies reasoned that such yellow-journalistic practices would likely hinder the hotels' touristic revenue, though the rationalization was never proved.
Today, it continues to attract high ratings. It even has an 11 p.m. newscast, in addition to its main 10 p.m. newscast (the 11 p.m. newscast began in its current incarnation in 1995 as a 15-minute O.J. Simpson murder case wrap-up, and did not expand to weekend evenings until September 26, 2009, but an 11 p.m. newscast previously existed before the 1989 switch to Fox). A half-hour 4 p.m. newscast was added to the schedule on September 11, 2006, which later expanded to an hour in 2007; with that, WSVN is in the minority of Fox stations offering a 4 p.m. newscast (the only others being KPTV in Portland, Oregon, KBTV in Beaumont, Texas, WDRB in Louisville, Kentucky, WTIC-TV in Hartford and WXIN in Indianapolis). On July 11, 2010 WSVN expanded its Saturday and Sunday 6 p.m. newscasts to one hour with the addition of half-hour newscasts at 6:30 p.m.
In total, WSVN broadcasts a total of 55½ hours of local news each week, the third most of any local television station in the United States (San Francisco MyNetworkTV affiliate KRON broadcasts a total of 60½ hours each week and fellow Fox affiliate WTVT, located across the state in Tampa, broadcasts 60 hours of local news per week) and the fourth most of any local television station in North America (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada independent station CHCH-TV broadcasts a total of 69 hours per week). The station currently airs 9½ hours of news on weekdays (5-9 a.m., noon-1 p.m., 4-7 p.m., 10-11:30 p.m.), and typically about four hours on weekends, not counting entertainment programming or breaking news coverage; unlike other news-intensive Fox stations, WSVN carries weekend evening newscasts at 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays (others either air early evening weekend newscasts at different times on Saturdays and Sundays (i.e., Saturdays at 6 and Sundays at 5 p.m.), air them either at only 5 or 6 p.m. on both nights or do not carry early evening weekend newscasts at all); however as is standard with Fox stations that carry early evening weekend newscasts, WSVN's weekend 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts are subject to preemption and/or delay due to network sports coverage.
Its reporters of various ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations displays the diversity of the South Florida community. The station's weather radar is called "Storm Tracker 7". All newscasts, including entertainment show Deco Drive, can be viewed live on WSVN's website. On January 11, 2009, starting with their 5 p.m. newscast, WSVN became the second station in Miami (behind WTVJ) to broadcast its local newscasts in high definition. With the switch to HD came a new updated newsplex that premiered on December 29, 2008 and new HD graphics which are a flashier update to sister station WHDH's HD graphics.
- WCKT-TV News (1956–1962)
- The World Today / The World Tonight (1962–1973; later used by WTVJ)
- TV-7 News (1973–1975, presented on air simply as News)
- Channel 7 News (1975–1980 and 1988–1993; presented on air as 7 News, which is currently used)
- NewsCenter 7 (1980–1988)
- Today in Florida (morning newscast, 1988–present; WTVJ uses similar title, Today in South Florida, for its morning newscast based on WSVN's former and WTVJ's current lead-in, Today)
- 7 News (1993–present)
- FaceBook/Twitter: PhilFerro7, derda7, and Brent7
- Bringing It Home to You (1975-1979; slogan which jingle was the base for The News Image, music package used by WSVN from 1979-1984)
- 7, We're Proud!
- Channel 7, Proud As A Peacock! (1979-1981; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Channel 7, Our Pride Is Showing (1981-1982; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- We're Channel 7, Just Watch Us Now (1982-1983; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- The Team to Watch (1982-1984)
- South Florida's 7
- WSVN, the New Channel 7 (1983; provisional slogan to promote its new call sign)
- Channel 7 There, Be There (1983-1984; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- The Hometown Station (1984-1988; one version included a promo sung by Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine)
- WSVN, Let`s All Be There! (1984-1986; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come Home To WSVN (1986-1987; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come on Home To WSVN (1987-1988; localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- Come Home To The Best, WSVN (1988-1989; last localized version of NBC ad campaign)
- WSVN 7, This is the Year (1989-1990; first localized version of Fox ad campaign)
- South Florida's News Station (1988-1998)
- The News Station (1998–present)
Current on-air staff
- Blake Burman - weekends at 5, 6, 6:30, 10 and 11 p.m.
- Christine Cruz - weekday mornings Today in Florida (5-10 a.m.) and noon
- Diana Diaz - weekday mornings Today in Florida (5-10 a.m.) and noon; also health reporter
- Richard Lemus - weekday mornings Today in Florida (5-10 a.m.); also health reporter
- Lynn Martinez - weekdays at 4, 4:30 and weeknights at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.
- Mike Marza- weekdays at 4, 4:30 and weeknights at 5:30 and 6:30pm
- Belkys Nerey - weeknights at 5, 6, 10 and 11 p.m.
- Robbin Simmons - weekends at 5, 6, 6:30, 10 and 11 p.m.
- LuAnne Sorrell - Saturday mornings Today in Florida
- Craig Stevens - weeknights at 5, 6, 10 and 11 p.m.
- Phil Ferro (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - chief meteorologist; weekdays at 4 and 4:30, and weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6, 6:30, 10 and 11 p.m.
- Brent Cameron (NWA Member) - meteorologist; weekends at 5, 6, 6:30, 10 and 11 p.m., also weeknight fill-in
- Julie Durda (AMS Seal of Approval; NWA Member) - meteorologist; weekday mornings Today in Florida (5-10 a.m.) and noon
- Vivian Gonzalez (AMS Seal of Approval; NWA Member) - meteorologist; Saturday mornings Today in Florida
Sports team (entire team is seen on Sunday Sports Xtra)
- Steve Shapiro - sports director; weeknights at 6, 6:30, 10 and 11 p.m.
- Mike DiPasquale - sports anchor; weekends at 6, 10 and 11 p.m.; also sports reporter
- Donovan Campbell - sports reporter
- Stephen J. Grey - weekday mornings Today in Florida (5-9 a.m.); also "7 Skyforce" photographer
- Laura Lane - weekday mornings Today in Florida (5-9 a.m.)
- Tony Mareano - weekdays at 4 and 4:30 p.m.
- Blake Burman - general assignment reporter
- Carmel Cafiero - investigative reporter
- Dianne Fernandez - general assignment reporter
- Howard Finkelstein - legal analyst
- Patrick Fraser - investigative and political reporter
- Don Guevara - general assignment reporter
- Derek Hayward - general assignment reporter
- Andre Hepkins - general assignment reporter
- Richard Jordan - general assignment reporter
- Nicole Linsalata - general assignment reporter
- Rosh Lowe - general assignment reporter
- René Marsh - general assignment reporter
- Vanessa Medina - general assignment reporter
- Ralph Rayburn - "7 Skyforce" photographer
- Louis Aguirre - co-host; also entertainment reporter
- Lynn Martinez - co-host
- Ellie Rodriguez - Deco Drive and entertainment reporter
- Shireen Sandoval - Deco Drive and entertainment reporter
- Jessica Aguirre (now at KNTV in San Francisco)
- Brian Andrews - Weekend Anchor/Reporter (now at RCN in Bogota, Colombia
- Lisa Baldwin (now at KPRC-TV in Houston)
- Jill Beach - anchor (later worked at WTVJ)
- Tom Berman- reporter (now producer at ABC News 20/20)
- Jim Berry - sports anchor (now at WFOR-TV and WBFS-TV)
- Charles Billi- anchor- (retired)
- Joel Brown (now at CBS Newspath in Washington, D.C.)
- Ann Bishop - script writer (moved to WPLG and became a legendary anchor, died November 14, 1997)
- Tom Burse - chief meteorologist (now at SNN 6 in Sarasota)
- Rick Chambers (then KNBC-TV and KCAL-TV in Los Angeles, now at KPIX-TV in San Francisco)
- Wayne Chandler - meteorologist and host of "Sunday Funnies"
- Steve Dawson - anchor
- Chris Dunn - weekend meteorologist (1996–1999; now chief meteorologist at KPHO in Phoenix)
- Wayne Farris - anchor (1960s-1970s)
- Sally Fitz - anchor (retired)
- Peter Ford - anchor
- Ray Franklin (now production director Stage America, LLC (www.stageamerica.com))
- Pam Giganti - weather anchor (now morning anchor at WTVJ)
- Donna Hanover (ex-wife of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani)
- Tom Haynes (now 11 p.m. anchor at WAGA in Atlanta)
- J.P. Hervis - reporter
- Connie Hicks (now teaching at Barry University)
- Jason Jackson - sports reporter (left for ESPN, now at SunSports and Miami Heat reporter)
- Laurie Jennings (now primary anchor at WPLG)
- Jackie Johnson - now at KCBS-TV in Los Angeles
- Bill Kamal - chief meteorologist (found guilty for soliciting sex to a minor)
- Dave Kartunen - anchor (now at WHDH in Boston)
- Clennon King - reporter (later at WTLV-TV in Jacksonville, a free-lance field producer at NBC News and ABC News, now a fundraiser in Vermont)
- Alycia Lane (later at KYW-TV in Philadelphia, now morning anchor with KNBC-TV in Los Angeles)
- Rick Leventhal (now at Fox News Channel)
- Penny Daniels (retired)
- Elita Loresca (now at KNBC in Los Angeles)
- Mark Londner - senior reporter (deceased)
- Delaine Mathieu (now at WOAI-TV in San Antonio)
- Robin Meade (now at CNN Headline News)
- Sharron Melton (now at KTRK-TV in Houston)
- Kelley Mitchell - anchor/reporter
- Charles Perez (retired)
- Sharon Reed (now at WOIO in Cleveland)
- Jillian Warry (Reynolds) (now at KTTV and Fox NFL Sunday)
- Frank Robertson (now retired from WTVT in Tampa)
- Shaun Robinson (now at Access Hollywood)
- Ducis Rodgers - sports anchor (left for WCBS in New York, now at ESPNEWS)
- Steve Rondinaro - anchor (1979–84; later at WWAY in Wilmington, North Carolina))
- Rick Sanchez (later at MSNBC and then fired from CNN for anti-Semitic remarks.)
- Shepard Smith (now at Fox News Channel)
- Bob Soper - meteorologist (now retired)
- Linda Stouffer - now at CNN Headline News (went by Cinnamon Stouffer during her stint at WSVN)
- Mike Tobin (now Israel-based correspondent for Fox News Channel)
- Tiffani Tucker (now at WOIO in Cleveland)
- John Turchin (now reporter for Fox's America's Most Wanted)
- Michelle Tuzee (now anchor at KABC-TV in Los Angeles)
- Lee Webb - sports anchor (late 1970s, now news anchor for the 700 Club)
- Denise White (now at WTVT in Tampa)
- Michael Williams (now at WFOR)
- Dave Willingham - sports anchor (went on to work in the Washington, DC TV market; now retired: works in Key West and Washington DC as tour guide for the Old Town Trolley)
- Julia Yarbough (now at WTVJ)
- WSVN's newscasts were featured in at least two movies, The Mean Season (1985) and Flight of the Navigator (1986). The opening sequence of Flight of the Navigator, with the dogs catching Frisbees, was filmed in a grass field alongside WSVN's studios.
- ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
- ^ Eggerton, John (2009-06-29). "Boise Station Gets Power Boost". Broadcasting & Cable. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/307121-Boise_Station_Gets_Power_Boost.php?rssid=20068&q=digital+tv. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
- ^ "WSVN-TV Announces More News at the News Station". WSVN.com. September 23, 2009. http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/MI132150/. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
- ^ Bandell, Brian (September 4, 2006). "More news is good news for WSVN Channel 7". http://southflorida.bizjournals.com/southflorida/stories/2006/09/04/story4.html.
- ^ WSVN Adding More Weekend News, [TVNewsCheck.com], June 21, 2010. Accessed October 19, 2010.
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ljtms_fdzI
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC7QAq9TxX4
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4Wc21Fdq0I
- ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trK5KWqPQ_M
- ^ http://www.wsvn.com/newsteam/
- ^ http://www.linkedin.com/in/steverondinaro