WTIC-TV, channel 61, is a television station in Hartford, Connecticut. Owned by the Tribune Company, WTIC-TV is a charter affiliate of the Fox Broadcasting Company. The station broadcasts from the Hartford Courant building in Hartford, and its transmitter is located onRattlesnake Mountain in Farmington, Connecticut.
|Hartford / New Haven, Connecticut|
|Branding||FOX CT (general)
FOX CT News (newscasts) (spoken as "FOX Connecticut")
|Slogan||So FOX CT(general)
Right Team. All the Time.(newscasts)
|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)|
61.1 - Fox
61.2 - Antenna TV
(Tribune Television Company)
|First air date||September 17, 1984|
|Call letters' meaning||Travelers InsuranceCompany (original
owner of WTIC radio)
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
61 (UHF, 1984-2009)
|Former affiliations||Independent (1984-1986)|
|Transmitter power||380 kW|
WTIC-TV is one of three media properties in Connecticut owned by Tribune; the others are The CW Television Network affiliate WCCT-TV(channel 20), and the Hartford Courant. This television station was once co-owned with Hartford's WTIC radio and WTIC-FM, which are now properties of CBS Radio.
A group led by Arnold Chase (Arch Communications Corp.) won a construction permit for channel 61 in September 1983. Chase originally planned to call his new station WETG-TV, in memory of Ella T. Grasso (the first woman in Connecticut to be elected governor) who died in 1981. After permission was granted by Chase Broadcasting (owned by other Chase family members), owner of WTIC radio (1080 AM and96.5 FM) to allow Arch to use the historic WTIC-TV call-sign, a waiver was granted by the FCC in early 1984. This call sign had last been used by what is now WFSB from 1957 to 1974. In memory of Grasso, WTIC showed clips of Grasso at work at sign off while church bells played the Star Spangled Banner. A graphic at the end mentioned that the station was dedicated in Grasso's memory. Grasso's son was part of Chase's group.
WTIC-TV began operation on September 17, 1984. Originally, it was a general entertainment independent station running cartoons, sitcoms, old movies, CBS shows pre-empted by WFSB, ABC shows pre-empted by WTNH, drama shows, and sports in competition with WCCT's predecessor, WTXX. In 1985-1986, the station invested in stronger programming and managed to become a charter Fox affiliate on October 6, 1986. However, by 1987, Arch encountered financial problems and WTIC nearly filed for bankruptcy. Many syndicators went unpaid and responded by pulling their programming from channel 61. Extensive litigation followed as the contracts that were standard in the industry at that time stated that if a single payment was missed, no more programs would be provided, but the station was still required to pay the full amount due under the contract. As the litigation progressed, the shows were replaced by low-budget barter programming. Central to the litigation were allegations of illegal "tie-in" sales by program syndicators that artificially drove up the cost of programming to WTIC. The cases soon settled on terms favorable to Chase and WTIC.
Chase Broadcasting (owned by Arnold Chase's father's organization) acquired WTIC in 1988. Although the barter programming continued, the station began to realize some sustained success in part due to the early success of the Fox network and shows like 21 Jump Street and Married...With Children. A milestone was reached in 1992, when WTIC began to regularly beat WTXX in the ratings. Chase sold all its stations to Renaissance Broadcasting, who owned WTXX, in 1992. To follow prevailing Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations, Renaissance sold WTXX in March 1993 to a Roman Catholic non-profit group, Counterpoint Communications. Renaissance tried to negotiate a local marketing agreement(LMA) with Counterpoint in which it would buy WTXX's entire broadcast day, except for overnights and an hour during the day in which WTXX was to run Catholic programming. During negotiations, which lasted from the time the sale became final until July 1993, Renaissance agreed to have WTXX run The Disney Afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. and some off network sitcoms from 5 to 7 p.m. weekdays free of charge, as well as first run syndicated shows on weekends in this slot. However, Counterpoint wanted only a part-time arrangement, and negotiations ultimately fell through, WTXX then entered into a part-time LMA with WVIT.
In selling WTXX, Renaissance retained much of that station's programming, which was then moved to WTIC to create a stronger lineup for channel 61. Some programming (such as older sitcoms), however, was returned to their syndicators and wound up first on WTWS (now WHPX-TV) and then WTVU (nowWCTX). The cartoons that did not move to WTIC were sold to WVIT, which ultimately moved them back to WTXX.
As time went on, WTIC began dropping cartoons, movies, and older sitcoms in favor of more talk and reality shows. The weekday cartoons ended at the end of 2001 when Fox ended its weekday kids' block.WTIC was sold to the Tribune Company in 1997 as part of a group deal. One year later, it replaced WVIT as the LMA partner for WTXX (then a UPN affiliate, later WB, currently a The CW station). In 2001, Tribune bought WTXX outright. Both stations became sister properties of the Hartford Courant after Times Mirror merged with Tribune in 2000.
Since the network entered sports programming in 1994, WTIC has had to deal with issues regarding Major League Baseball and National Football Leaguecoverage. Connecticut is split between the traditional home territories for Boston and New York City teams. The football issue is not typically as stark because the New York Giants and New England Patriots play in separate conferences, each with their own network television deals, so there is little overlap. However, it is often a source of frustration during baseball season. Fox picks both the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox for its baseball broadcast windows from time-to-time. MLB limits Fox to a single game and does not allow other channels to broadcast baseball in that window (from 3:30 to 7 P.M.) This creates serious anger among Connecticut baseball fans when WTIC must broadcast either the Yankees or the Red Sox as the usual cable channels (YES and NESN) are blacked out for the team not broadcast by Fox. WTIC generally shows each team as many times as possible.
This also had an effect on the Springfield/Holyoke, Massachusetts television market because the station had served as the area's default affiliate since that area did not have an affiliate of its own. This changed on March 31, 2008 when ABC affiliate WGGB-TV added Fox on its second digital subchannel. Beginning with the 2008 season to alleviate coverage issues, game broadcasts of the Yankees from WWOR-TV and the New York Mets from sister station WPIX will alternate between WTIC and WTXX.
|61.1||WTIC-DT1||Main WTIC-TV Programming / Fox (HD)|
The station launched a weekday morning newscast on March 3, 2008. The 7 a.m. hour competes with WCTX's morning show, which is produced by sister station WTNH, and airs for one hour. On August 4, 2009 the weekday morning newscast was expanded to 2½ hours and began airing from 4:30-9 a.m. During the 8 a.m. hour, the format of the program includes several talk show segments focusing on entertainment, lifestyle, and health. This hour is simulcast on WCCT; the station's simulcasts of portions of the morning newscast have been intermittent throughout the newscast's existence. Since launching the morning broadcast, WTIC-TV has entered into a weather department partnership with WTIC radio (1080 AM). The weather center now features meteorologists from the radio and television stations. Weather reports can also be heard on WTIC, WTIC-FM (96.5 FM), WRCH (100.5 FM), WZMX (93.7 FM), and WZBG (97.3 FM).In 1989, WTIC debuted its nightly 10 o'clock newscast which was the second in the market after a short-lived attempt on WHCT-TV (now WUVN) in 1969. News anchor Pat Sheehan had been the anchor on that station. In 1998, when WTIC replaced WVIT as WTXX's LMA partner, the WVIT-produced 10 p.m. broadcast was replaced with a simulcast of the first half-hour of this channel's news program. On April 24, 2006, WTXX began to simulcast the full hour. That station did not have a separate news opening for the nightly broadcasts. Whenever Fox programming or sports delayed the news on WTIC, it was still shown on WTXX but under the name of News at Ten. There was also a "News at Ten" logo bug in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen in place of "Fox 61 News". WTXX discontinued its simulcast of the 10 p.m. newscast in June 2010, shortly before changing its callsign to WCCT-TV; that station continues to show the newscast when it is preempted on WTIC.
Starting on September 8, 2008, a weeknight 11 p.m. newscast was added. On September 21, the station launched a weekday midday newscast at 11 a.m. An weeknight 6 p.m. newscast was planned, but did not not debut on that date. On August 23, 2010 WTIC launched an hour-long late afternoon newscast at 4 p.m. on weekdays. Currently, in addition to simulcating the 8 a.m. hour of WTIC's morning newscast, WCCT rebroadcasts the 11 p.m. newscast at 1 a.m. on weeknights; on weekends, it airs the 10 p.m. newscast at that time.
In July 2009, news reporter Shelly Sindland filed both state and federal complaints alleging age and sex discrimination in the station's newsroom. Media sites also raised questions about the way the case was covered by the Hartford Courant which operates under the same management team as WTIC.
Along with obtaining world and national news footage from Fox News, WTIC is also broadcasts world and national news footage from CNN NewsSource. The station broadcasts theComcast Sports Desk at 10:45 on Saturday and Sunday nights. WTIC also produces a weekly public affairs show, The Real Story, which airs Sunday mornings at 8:30 with a repeat on WCCT at 11.
On December 12, 2009; WTIC, WCCT (then WTXX), and the Hartford Courant moved into their new combined newsroom facilities in downtown Hartford, and re-branded from FOX 61 toFOX CT (a transition completed in July 2010). In addition; WTIC began broadcasting newscasts in high definition, becoming the second station in the market to do so. WCCT's newscasts also made the transition. On January 22, 2011; WTIC launched weekend morning newscasts, airing from 7-9 a.m. The station will be the third Tribune-owned station with a weekend morning newscast (CW affiliate WGN-TV in Chicago and Fox affiliate WXIN in Indianapolis are the only others). This will increase the station's weekly local news output to 45½ hours of news each week, the most of any station in the Hartford/New Haven market.
During the February 2007 sweeps period, WTIC beat 11 p.m. leader WFSB with 100,000 viewers to that station's 98,000. It achieved this by showing reruns of Everybody Loves Raymondand Seinfeld while the big three stations broadcast their local news. Since the February 2008 ratings period, WTIC's evening newscast has usually been the most watched 10 or 11 p.m. broadcast in the market. The station has been one of Fox's strongest affiliates ever since the network was launched.
- WTIC News at 10 (1989–1994)
- Fox 61 News (1994–2010;2015-present)
- Fox CT News (2009–2015)
- We're All Yours (1984–1986)
- Connecticut's Prime News (2005–2007)
- Right Team. All the Time. (2007–present)
- So Fox CT (2010-present; local version of Fox Network ad campaign)
Current on-air staff
- Erika Arias - Sun-Thurs. at 10 and 11 p.m.
- Logan Byrnes - weekday mornings (4:30-9 a.m.)
- Sarah French - weekday mornings (6-9 a.m.) and 11 a.m.
- Brent Hardin - weekdays at 4, Sun-Thurs. at 10
- Audrey Kuchen - weekend mornings; also reporter
- Rachel Lutzker - weekday mornings (8-9 a.m.) and weekdays at 4 p.m.; also weekday morning traffic and weeknight entertainment reporter, host of Acoustic AfterDark on WHCN-FM, and traffic reporter for WWYZ-FM, WKSS-FM, WURH-FM and WPOP-AM
- Alison Morris - weekends at 10 p.m. and Sundays at 11p.m.; also weeknight reporter
Fox CT Meteorologist
- Dan Amarante - meteorologist; weekend mornings 7-9 a.m.; weekend evenings at 10 and 11pm on Sundays
- Rachel Frank (AMS member; NWA member) - meteorologist; weekdays at 4 p.m., Sun.- Thurs.at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
- Joe Furey - meteorologist; weekday mornings and 11 a.m., also director of New England Weather Service
- Steve Chapron - fill-in, also weather producer
- Sam Samperi - fill-in, also weekday morning producer
Sports team (both seen on Comcast Sports Desk)
- Rich Coppola - sports director; Sunday-Thurs. at 10 and 11 p.m.
- Bob Rumbold - sports anchor; Saturdays at 10 p.m., also sports reporter
- Tim Lammers- sports producer; also sports anchor
- Jim Altman - Reporter
- Jenn Bernstein - Reporter
- John Charlton - Reporter
- Narmeen Choudhury - Reporter; also fill-in anchor
- George Colli - New Haven Bureau Reporter
- Sarah Cody - "Daytrippers" feature reporter
- Anthony DiLorenzo - Reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Rick Hancock - "Rick's RSS" segment reporter
- Jennifer Lahmers - Reporter; also fill-in anchor
- Tom Lewis - Reporter
- Laurie Perez - Reporter and host of The Real Story
- Ayana Noni Harry- Reporter
- Jeevan Vittal- Reporter
- Sara Grant- Web Producer seen on 4pm News
Notable former on-air staff
- Steve Berthiaume - sports anchor (later at CNNSI, and SNY, currently with ESPN)
- Steve Brown - reporter (now Chicago bureau reporter for Fox News Channel)
- Mika Brzezinski - reporter (later at WFSB, WCBS in New York, and then at CBS News; now anchor of Morning Joe on MSNBC)
- Beth Carroll - co-anchor (now host NH Outlook at New Hampshire Public Television in Concord, NH)
- John Carroll - chief meteorologist (new meteorologist in Grand Junction, CO)
- Susan Christensen - main anchor for 13 years (retired to spend more time with her family)
- Katishia Cosley - reporter (now freelance reporter at KTRK-TV Houston)
- Jay Crawford - sports anchor (now co-host of ESPN2's First Take, and host of 1st & Ten on ESPNews)
- Michael Friedmann - meteorologist and weather columnist, The Hartford Courant, 1997–2008
- Ted Greenberg - anchor/reporter (now reporter at WCAU in Philadelphia)
- Nicole Jacobs - morning reporter (now reporter for FOX affiliate in Boston)
- Lynn Jolicouer - reporter (now reporter at WCVB in Boston)
- Justin Kiefer - meteorologist (now meteorologist at WMBB in Panama City, Florida)
- Doug Meehan - reporter (now reporter at WFXT in Boston)
- Tom Misczuk - award-winning reporter (deceased July 2004)
- Irene O'Connor - reporter/anchor (now morning co-anchor at WFSB)
- Meg Oliver - reporter/anchor (now anchor of CBS News Up to the Minute)
- Frank Recchia - reporter
- Carolee Salerno - weekend anchor/reporter (now anchor/reporter at WTNH in New Haven)
- Amelia Santaniello - weekend anchor/reporter (now evening co-anchor at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis)
- Pat Sheehan - anchor (now financial consultant)
- Jason Shoultz - reporter (now producer/reporter for America's Heartland syndicated magazine)
- Shelly Sindland - senior reporter/political reporter
- Shawn Smith - reporter/anchor (now PR Manager at Cleveland, OH nonprofit)
- Rebecca Stewart - anchor (now Director of Media Relations at Hartford Hospital)
- Andrew Stockey - sports anchor (now morning anchor at WTAE in Pittsburgh)
- Tony Terzi - sports anchor/reporter (now Sales Manager in facilities services industry and freelance ESPN Radio anchor)
- Jeff Valin - morning reporter
- Paul Williams - meteorologist (now at WLBT in Jackson, Mississippi)
- Rob Williams - reporter (now morning anchor at WXIX in Cincinnati)
- Eric Zager - investigative reporter
- ^ http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/190904-Tribune_Merging_Hartford_TV_and_Paper_Operations.php
- ^ http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-fox-ct-4pm-show-0822,0,5143059.story
- ^ http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/media_matters/veteran_reporter_files_agedisc.php
- ^ http://www.ctemploymentlawblog.com/2009/07/articles/decisions-and-rulings/fox-61-reporter-discrimination-case-faq-analysis-and-whats-next-part-i/
- ^ http://thelaurelct.com/2009/07/09/hartford-media-managers-judgment-called-into-question/
- ^ FOX CT Adds Weekend News/Personalities, Hartford Courant, January 11, 2011. Retrieved 1-12-2011.