WWL-TV is the CBS affiliate serving New Orleans, Louisiana, southeast Louisiana and parts of southern and coastal Mississippi, and is the primary CBS station for South and Coastal Mississippi. It broadcasts on virtual channel 4. Its main studios and offices are located on Rampart Street in the historic French Quarter, with a North Shore bureau located on North Causeway Boulevard in suburban Mandeville. Its transmitter is located at 4 Cooper Road in Gretna, Louisiana.

WWL-TV
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New Orleans, Louisiana
Branding WWL-TV Channel 4 (general)

Channel 4's Eyewitness News (newscasts)

Slogan The Spirit of Louisiana

Louisiana's News Leader

Channels Digital: 36 (UHF)Virtual: 4 (PSIP)
Affiliations CBS

Live Well Network (DT2)

Owner TEGNA

(WWL-TV, Inc.)

First air date September 7, 1957
Call letters' meaning WorldWideLoyola(after Loyola University New Orleans, founder and former owner)
Sister station(s) WUPL
Former channel number(s) Analog:4 (VHF, 1957-2009)
Transmitter power 957.8 kW
Height 311 m
Facility ID 74192
Transmitter coordinates 29°54′22.9″N 90°2′22.1″W / 29.906361°N 90.039472°W / 29.906361; -90.039472
Website www.wwltv.com

History

WWL-TV signed on the air on September 7, 1957 as the fourth television station in New Orleans, behind WDSU-TV, WJMR (now WVUE) and WYES-TV. It was owned by Loyola University New Orleans along with WWL radio (AM 870 and 101.9, now WLMG). WWL-AM had been a CBS affiliate since 1935 so WWL-TV naturally joined CBS. It competed head to head with NBC affiliate WDSU in the 1960s and 70s. However, after WDSU was sold to out-of-town owners, it began deemphasizing local features in favor of its highly regarded news format. By comparison, WWL, as the only locally-owned station, heavily stressed its local roots. By the early 1980s, WWL had emerged as the market's ratings leader.

WWL-TV has been the strongest CBS affiliate in the country for more than 20 years, aided by a strong programming lineup (with popular syndicated shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and Live with Regis and Kelly), and that has remained unaffected by the market's affiliation switch in the mid-1990s. When Viacom, which owned UPN affiliate WUPL, merged with CBS in 2000, CBS did not consider moving its affiliation from WWL to WUPL.

In 1988, WWL and Cox Communications, the cable company serving the Greater New Orleans area south of Lake Pontchartrain, began a joint venture called NewsWatch 15. It was one of the first regional cable news networks in the United States at the time. Viewed on cable channel 15, the network broadcasts recent editions of "Eyewitness News" around the clock as well as simulcasts live newscasts and breaking news.

In 1989, Loyola sold its media properties to different owners. WWL-TV's employees formed a group called Rampart Broadcasting (named after the station's studios on Rampart Street), led by general manager J. Michael Early and longtime news director and station editorialist Phil Johnson, and bought the station. It was the first (and thus far, only) time an employee-investor group acquired a local television station. Belo Corporationbought the station in 1994. To this day, WWL is a subsidiary of Belo, known as WWL TV, Inc. [1][2]WWL Building on Rampart StreetWWL-TV preempted moderate amounts of CBS programming throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. These included, most notably, the 9-10 a.m. weekday timeslot, and, prior to the debut of Late Show with David Letterman in 1993, CBS' late-night lineup. Also, WWL-TV preempted the last hour of Saturday children's programming, between Noon and 1 p.m., during the 1970s. In the late 1980s, WWL-TV dropped the weekday morning CBS news show in favor of an additional hour of local news and Regis at 8 a.m. Eventually the local news was expanded into the 8 a.m. hour.

In 1990, WWL began running one of the most successful station image campaigns in the United States with its "Spirit of Louisiana" promotions. The one minute spots feature the region's musical and cultural heritage as well as showcases life in southeastern Louisiana. Many of the ads feature well-known area musicians and singers. The campaigns continue today. [2]

In 2005, Viacom/CBS, which owned WUPL at the time, made an offer to buy WWL-TV. After Belo rejected Viacom's offer, Viacom instead made a deal to sell WUPL to Belo. This would have created a duopoly with WWL and WUPL. However, due to uncertainty created by Hurricane Katrina concerning the New Orleans market, Belo delayed the deal to purchase WUPL. As a result, CBS filed a lawsuit against Belo in February 2006 for breach of contract. The litigation has apparently been settled as Belo agreed to complete the purchase of WUPL in late February 2007.[1] The deal has already received regulatory approval, and closed on February 26, 2007. In April 2007, Belo moved WUPL's operations into the WWL facility. WWL-TV celebrated a half a century of broadcasting on September 7, 2007.

Hurricane Katrina

WWL began 24-hour continuous coverage on Saturday, August 27, from its New Orleans studio. At 10:45 p.m. CDT Sunday operations moved to the Manship School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. LSU students and staff helped produce the telecast with WWL-TV staff in a 'bare bones' fashion.

The station briefly returned to its Rampart Street studios in New Orleans Monday, August 29, at 4 p.m. Flooding forced the station to again move operations back to LSU, as well as a makeshift studio at the transmitter site in Gretna. The station relayed its signal via fiber optics and the use of a satellite truck from sister station KHOU in Houston.

Beginning Thursday, September 1, 2005, the station again moved operations, this time to the studios of Louisiana Public Broadcasting in Baton Rouge. This provided WWL with a much larger facility and expanded their audience to include LPB's statewide network. This coverage was also aired by many PBS stations. WWL would finally return to New Orleans about six weeks later.

WWL's coverage of Hurricane Katrina earned the station its sixth Peabody Award in early April 2006.

WWL's coverage of Katrina was featured on an episode The Weather Channel's Storm Stories.

Post-Katrina

After Hurricane Katrina, some of the station's most visible talent - including weekend anchor/reporter Josh McElveen and reporter Stephanie Riegel - left the station to pursue other opportunities. Fans were also shocked to hear that 10 p.m. anchor Karen Swensen was leaving the station to work at NECN in Boston. Meteorologists David Bernard and John Gumm also left (Bernard was already scheduled to leave before the storm.)

The station has also brought back an old WWL-TV tradition, the editorial. Modeled after the editorials of Phil Johnson, the station's long-time and very popular news director/station manager, today's editorials are in the form of a narrator reading from a virtual notepad, speaking about current issues related to the post-Katrina redevelopment of New Orleans.

The station and Belo announced plans to construct a new multi-million dollar broadcasting facility for WWL, WUPL and WWLTV.com at 700 Loyola Avenue in downtown New Orleans. It was originally scheduled to be completed in late 2007-early 2008 and is to be called the J. Michael Early Broadcast Center, after the former general manager. Its construction has been delayed, however. As a result, WWL-TV and WUPL will remain at their Rampart Street studio location for the foreseeable future.

Hurricane Gustav

The same agreement for the use of LPB studio facilities and the statewide LPB simulcast listed above was also utilized for coverage of Hurricane Gustav in early September 2008. WWL's coverage also aired on the digital subchannels of fellow Belo sister stations WFAA-TV 8.2 in Dallas and KHOU-TV 11.2 in Houston for the convenience of evacuees.

Digital television

The station's digital channel on UHF 36, is multiplexed:

Digital channels

Digital channel Programming
4.1 WWL Main Programming / CBS HD 1080i
4.2 Live Well Network SD 480i

Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display WWL-TV's virtual channel as "4".

Currently, the local newscasts are broadcast in 16:9 widescreen standard definition (SD) and is one of three major stations who presents local newscasts in this format (the others are WDSU and WGNO).

News operation

The station has used the Eyewitness News format for many years, and according to local AC Nielsen ratings, has had the leading newscast in New Orleans for nearly 30 years. The November 2007 sweeps period—the first major ratings period in New Orleans reported to Nielsen since Hurricane Katrina—affirmed that WWL continues to lead its nearest competitors, WDSU and WVUE, by a wide margin. And even when the Olympics on NBC aired on WDSU in February 2010, WWL's newscasts continued to dominate the Nielsen ratings.

In March 2006, WWL began "I-News", a 30-minute newscast featuring more in-depth reporting on topics important to viewers. The newscast also features live interviews with local, state and national officials. The newscast aired weekday evenings on the station's website after the 6 p.m. newscast and was rebroadcast on Channel 4. The webcast has since been canceled.

On June 4, 2007, WWL-TV began airing a 30-minute weeknight newscast called "Eyewitness News at 9" on WUPL-TV. It is anchored by Lucy Bustamante and Mike Hoss, the current "Eyewitness News Nightwatch" anchors (Bustamante departed WWL-TV on October 1, 2010).

In April 2010, the station became the second in the market to install a new HD-based weather system.

On August 9, 2014, WWL-TV debuted hour-long weekend editions of its Eyewitness Morning News broadcasts on Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. and Sundays at 6:00 a.m. On September 9, the station restored an evening newscast on WUPL's schedule with the debut of a half-hour 6:30 p.m. newscast on weeknights.[20]

News/station presentation

Newscast titles

  • Shell News (1957–1959)
  • Newsroom (1959–1963)
  • TV-4 News (1963–1966)
  • News 4 (1966–1968)
  • Eyewitness News (1968–1989)
  • Channel 4 Eyewitness News (1989–present)

Station slogans

  • The South's Most Complete and Comprehensive Coverage of News, Sports and Weather (1970-1976?)
  • The Best is Right Here on Channel 4/Channel 4 is Easy on the Eyes (1973-1974; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • See The Best...Channel 4 (1974-1975; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Catch The Brightest Stars on Channel 4 (1975-1976; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • The Best Things in Life Are Here on 4 (1978–1985)
  • Channel 4, We’re Looking Good (1979-1980; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Looking Good Together on Channel 4 (1980-1981; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Reach For The Stars on Channel 4 (1981-1982; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Great Moments on Channel 4 (1982–1983, localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • We Got The Touch, You and Channel 4 (1983-1984, localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • You and Channel 4, We Got The Touch (1984-1985, localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Louisiana's News Leader (1984–present; news slogan)
  • We Got The Touch on Channel 4 (1985-1986; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Share The Spirit of Channel 4 (1986-1987; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Channel 4 Spirit Oh, Yes! (1987-1988; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • You Can Feel It on Channel 4 (1988-89; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Get Ready for Channel 4 (1989-1991; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • The Spirit of Louisiana (1990–present; general slogan)
  • The Look of New Orleans is Channel 4 (1991-1992; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • This is CBS, on Channel 4 (1992-1994; localized version of CBS ad campaign)
  • Around the Clock News (early 1990s)

Anchors

  • Eric Paulsen - weekdays on Eyewitness Morning News (4:30-7am) and (4:30-9am on WUPL); also a fill-in anchor
  • Sheba Turk - weekdays on Eyewitness Morning News (4:30-7am) and (4:30-9am) on WUPL
  • TBD - weekdays at noon
  • Lesile Spoon - weekdays on Eyewitness Morning News (4:30-7am) and (4:30-9am) on WUPL
  • Karen Swensen - weeknights at 5 and 6pm (previously from 1993-2005)
  • Katie Moore - weeknights at 6 and 10pm; also an investigative reporter
  • Charisse Gibson - weeknights at 5 and 10pm
  • Devin Bartolotta - weekend anchor; Saturdays at 5, 6, and 10pm and Sundays at 5:30 and 10pm
  • Paul Dudley - weekend morning anchor; Saturdays at 8am and Sundays at 6am; also a reporter

Weather team

  • Chris Franklin - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 6, and 10pm
  • Dave Nussbaum - weekdays on Eyewitness Morning News (4:30-7am) and (4:30-9am) on WUPL; and at noon
  • Alexandria Cranford - weekend meteorologist; Saturdays at 5, 6, and 10pm; Sundays at 5:30 and 10pm
  • Payton Malone - weekend meteorologist; Saturdays at 8am; Sundays at 6am

Sports team

  • Doug Mouton - sports director; weeknights at 5, 6 and 10 pm
  • Ricardo LeCompte - sports reporter
  • TBD - weekend sports anchor; Saturdays at 5, 6, and 10pm; Sundays at 5:30 and 10pm

Reporters

  • Duke Carter - general assignment reporter
  • Jade Cunningham - general assignment reporter
  • Erika Ferrando - general assignment reporter
  • David Hammer - investigative reporter
  • Mike Perlstein - investigative reporter
  • Paul Murphy - general assignment reporter
  • Meghan Kee - general assignment reporter
  • Meg Farris - medical watch reporter
  • Don Dubuc - outdoors reporter
  • April Dupre - traffic reporter
  • Thanh Throng - reporter
  • Donald ”Chick” Foret - legal analyst
  • Clancy DuBos - political analyst
  • Kevin Belton - chef for Eyewitness Morning News

Notable former on-air staff

  • Jason Allen (now at WGCL-TV in Atlanta)
  • Carl Arrendondo - chief meteorologist (1991-2019) (retired)
  • Dave Barnes - chief meteorologist (1984-1997); later a commissioner for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Agency; (deceased)
  • Jim Basquil - sports anchor/reporter (?-2007; now with ESPN Radio)
  • David Bernard - meteorologist (1997-2005; now chief meteorologist at WVUE-TV)
  • Krystal Boothe - Traffic, weekday mornings (left in 2008 to become teacher at Chalmette High School)
  • Sandy Breland - (1997-2008; now at WAFB-TV Baton Rouge; married to Dave McNamara)
  • Dawn Brown - weekend meteorologist (2005-2009; later at WVUE-TV)
  • Laura Butchtel - meteorologist (2005-2016)
  • Lucy Bustamante - anchor/reporter (2004-2010) (later at WVEC-TV in Norfolk; now at WCAU-TV in Philadelphia)
  • Len Cannon - weekend anchor (1991-2006; now at KHOU-TV in Houston)
  • Bill Capo - reporter (1980-2017) (retired)
  • Karen Carlson - weekend anchor/reporter (2001-2003)
  • Wayne Carter - morning news anchor (2010-2011)
  • Scott Cody - sports anchor
  • Doug Darby - reporter
  • Frank Davis - feature reporter “Fishin Game Report”, “In the Kitchen“, and “Natural N’Awlins” (1981-2011) (deceased)
  • Jean Doherty - station's first female weathercaster (1967)
  • Albert W. "Al" Duckworth - first chief meteorologist (1968-1984; also worked at WDSU, later went to WVUE, died August 17, 2001 at age 71)
  • Joe Duke - news director (1986-1995) (later at KHOU-TV, CBS News, now at Loyola University)
  • Henry Dupre (a.k.a. "Uncle Henry") - first host of Popeye and Pals (deceased)
  • Brian Durst - former WWL-TV weekend meteorologist
  • Susan Edwards - reporter (2008-2010) (deceased)
  • Jeremy Eisenzopf (now Jeremy Eisen) - meteorologist (2005-2007) (later at WXYZ-TV, now at WBBH-TV)
  • Bill Elder - anchor/investigative reporter, nicknamed the "Mike Wallace of Louisiana" (1966-2000) (deceased)
  • Patrick Evans - weekend anchor (1996-2003) (later at WVUE-DT)
  • John Ferguson - weekend sportscaster (1970s; also broadcast LSU sports over WWL radio from 1946-1987, died December 16, 2005 at age 86)
  • Tom Foreman - now at CNN
  • Lloyd A. "Hap" Glaudi - sports anchor (1961-1978) (later at WWL Radio) (deceased)
  • Bob Greene - reporter (2005-2006)
  • Janet Gross - reporter; later at WVUE-TV and later WWL-AM/WWL-FM, now at K-TV
  • John Gumm - weekend meteorologist (1999-2005) (now at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati)
  • Janet Lawhon
  • Melanie Hebert - morning news anchor (2012-2013)
  • Jim Henderson - sports director (1978-2012) (later at WVUE-DT) (now retired)
  • Taylor Henry - reporter (1981-1986)
  • Jill Hezeau - traffic reporter
  • Angela Hill - longtime anchor (1975-2013) (retired)
  • Paul Hornung - sportscaster (1967)
  • Mike Hoss - anchor/reporter (1988-2017) (retired)
  • Ginny Hostetler - "Miss Ginny" on WWL's version of Romper Room
  • Dana Howard - Reporter (1988-1992; now at KXTV in Sacramento)
  • Jennifer Huntley - morning news anchor (2000-2006) (now external relations coordinator at Washington State Department of Personnel)
  • Ron Hunter - anchor/reporter (1967-1972; later at WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, WMAQ-TV in Chicago, WVUE, WTIX-AM and WSMB-AM; also hosted New Orleans' Most Wanted on WGNO-TV from 1988-89; retired to Las Vegas in 1998, died June 24, 2008 at age 70)
  • Rosemary James - station's first female anchor/reporter (1968-1976); previously reported for The New Orleans States-Item; now cofounder of The Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society, author of Plot or Politics, and owner of Faulkner House Books with her husband
  • Jennifer John - reporter/anchor (1998-2003)
  • Ken Johnson - reporter
  • Lyn Johnson - morning anchor (early 1970s)
  • Phil Johnson - editorialist/news director/station manager (1960-1999) (deceased)
  • Bob Jones - anchor (1960s)
  • Terry Jones - (1979-2006; now at Sat-Link of Arkansas)
  • Derek Kevera - meteorologist (2012-2013)
  • Jim Kincaid - anchor (1960s) (later at KMOX-TV, WCBS-TV, ABC News, and WVEC-TV) (deceased)
  • Juan Kincaid - sports anchor (2001-2015) (now at WVUE-DT)
  • Hoda Kotb - anchor/reporter (1992-1997; now with NBC News as a co-host of The Today Show)
  • Bob Krieger - sportscaster (also worked at WDSU and WVUE; died August 13, 1996 at age 62)
  • Dr. Janet Lawhon - anchor/medical reporter (now a board certified psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas)
  • Ben Lemoine - Reporter, also covered Hurricane Katrina (2005-2007; now at KTVK in Phoenix)
  • Mike Longman - investigative reporter (1984-1997) (later at WVUE-TV; arrested for child pornography in 2000 and sentenced to four years in prison)
  • Ed Marten - action reporter (1982-1984; died August 9, 2010 at age 72)
  • Josh McElveen (now with WMUR-TV)
  • Dave McNamara - feature reporter (now at WVUE)
  • Rachel McNeil - anchor/reporter (now at KPRC-TV)
  • Larry Matson - sports anchor (1979?-1985?; later at WGNO-TV; then play-by-play man for the Tulane ISP Sports Network, next WJBO in Baton Rouge, morning sportscaster for Z-100 (KLRZ) in LaRose, and after that St. Charles Parish Recreation Department)
  • Jim Metcalf - anchor/reporter; A Sunday Journal (1966-1977; died March 8, 1977 at age 49, the Jim Metcalf Memorial Award is named in his honor)
  • Michelle Miller - anchor/reporter (1994-2003; now with CBS News)
  • Miles Muzio - meteorologist (now at KBAK in Bakersfield, California)
  • Chris Myers - sports anchor/featured reporter (1982-1988; now with Fox Sports)
  • Jonathan Myers - meteorologist (2008-2013)
  • Rob Nelson – weekday mornings "Eyewitness Morning News", 5-6 a.m. (2007-2010) (later at ABC News) (now at WABC-TV)
  • Brad Panovich - meteorologist (1999-2003) (now at WCNC-TV in Charlotte)
  • John Pela - host of The John Pela Show, a dance show styled after American Bandstand (1961-1972; also the first replacement host of Popeye and Pals in the wake of Henry Dupre's retirement; provided voiceovers)
  • Cindy Poulet - traffic reporter (early 1980s)
  • John Quaintance - reporter (1976-1984), morning news anchor (1979-1984; now syndicated radio host)
  • Larry Ray - weekend anchor (1976-1977)
  • Stephanie Riegel - political/investigative reporter (1993-2005)
  • Susan E. Roberts - anchor/reporter (1995-1997; later at WDSU-TV, now with CBS News)
  • Nash C. Roberts Jr. - longtime meteorologist (1978-2001) (deceased)
  • Sally Ann Roberts - morning news anchor/reporter (sister of Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts (1977-2018) (retired)
  • Garland Robinette: Anchor/reporter (1970-1990; married to co-anchor Angela Hill from 1978-1987; now at WWL-AM/WWL-FM) (now retired)
  • Norman Robinson - reporter (1979-1989) (later at WDSU-TV, now retired)
  • Maya Rodriguez- reporter
  • Mike Ross - reporter (1988-2006) now anchor at KTUU-TV, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Nancy Russo - station's first female meteorologist (March 1993 - January 1998)
  • Bryan Salmond - weekend sports anchor (now at KSNV)
  • Shauna Sanford - anchor/reporter (2003-2006; now a project advisor at the Louisiana Department of Education/Recovery School District)
  • Scott Satchsfield - reporter (2007-2013) (later at WVUE-DT)
  • Natalie Sheppard - anchor (2013-2018)
  • Dan Simon - (now with CNN)
  • Lea Sinclair - hosted local version of PM Magazine with Eric Paulsen; now director of communications for the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation)
  • John Snell - anchor/reporter (1983-1994) (now at WVUE-DT)
  • Jim Stone - morning anchor (early 1970s)
  • Judy Storch - anchor/reporter (1984-1992)
  • Roger Thompson - voiceover for WWL-TV (1986-2006)
  • Joel Thomas - reporter
  • André Trevigne - morning news anchor (later at WGNO and WRNO-FM; deceased)
  • Frank Turner - reporter (1980s; later an anchor for WXYZ-TV, now an author and traveling preacher)
  • Ronnie Virgets - feature reporter
  • Don Westbrook - longtime meteorologist/staff announcer (1960-1999, simultaneously with Phil Johnson) (deceased)
  • Dennis Woltering - anchor/reporter (1977-1984 and 1995-2014) (retired)
  • Rachel Wulff - weekend morning news anchor (2014-2017)
  • Charles Zewe - anchor/reporter (later at WDSU and CNN; now vice president of communications for the Louisiana State University System)
  • Lee Zurik - weekend anchor/reporter (2001-2009) (now at WVUE-TV)


Former Programming on WWL-TV

  • American Journal
  • Access Hollywood
  • The Angla Show
  • Blue Blood
  • Bonanza
  • Dukes of Hazzard
  • Entertainment Tonight
  • Family Feud
  • Tic Tac Dought
  • T.D. Jakes
  • Hollywood Squaues
  • The Jokers Wild
  • Jeopardy!
  • M*A*S*H
  • The Mary TYler Moore Show
  • Northern Exposure
  • NYPD Blue
  • The Oprah Winfrey Show
  • The Six Million Dollar Man
  • Scandal
  • Perry Mason
  • The Rockford Files
  • Pyramid
  • Wheel Of Fortune
  • 9 To 5

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