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Introduction

ation WXYZ-TV|other uses|WXYZ (disambiguation)WXYZ}}WXYZ-TV, virtual channel 7 (UHF digital channel 41), is an ABC-affiliated television station located in Detroit, Michigan, United States. The station is owned by the E.W. Scripps Company; Scripps also operates MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYD (channel 20) under a time brokerage agreement with owner Granite Broadcasting Corporation, pending approval of WMYD's acquisition by Scripps. WXYZ-TV maintains studio and transmitter facilities located at Broadcast House on West 10 Mile Road in Southfield.



        Introduction
                        As an ABC-owned station
                        Sale to E.W. Scripps Company
                        Digital channels
                        Analog-to-digital conversion
                Coverage
                Programming
                        Programming history
                In popular culture
                News operation
                        History
                        News/station presentation
                                Newscast titles
                                Station slogans
                        On-air staff
                                Current on-air staff
                                Notable former on-air staff
                See also


As an ABC-owned station

The station first signed on the air on October 9, 1948 as the second television station in both the Detroit market and the state of Michigan, after WWJ-TV (channel 4, now WDIV-TV). Channel 7 was also the third of ABC's five original owned-and-operated television stations to sign on, after New York City's WJZ-TV (now WABC-TV) and Chicago's WBKB-TV (now WLS-TV) and before San Francisco's KGO-TV and Los Angeles's KECA-TV (now KABC-TV). WXYZ-TV was created out of ABC-owned radio station WXYZ (1270 AM), which produced the popular radio programs The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet. WXYZ radio personality Dick Osgood was host of WXYZ-TV's inaugural broadcast.The television station originally broadcast from studios located in the Maccabees Building on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit, across from the Detroit Institute of Arts. In the 1950s, WXYZ-TV began producing a series of popular and innovative programs that featured many personalities from WXYZ radio. The station's success generated revenues large enough that it became instrumental in financially helping the then-struggling ABC network and other ABC ventures during the 1950s, including ABC-Paramount Records. In 1959, all of WXYZ's radio and television operations moved into new broadcast facilities at Broadcast House in Southfield, where WXYZ's television operations remain. The facility was built on the site of a former farm and included three television production studios and its own free-standing broadcast tower with a single-person maintenance elevator. WXYZ began broadcasting in color in 1964.By 1978, WXYZ-TV was the second most-dominant television station in the United States in terms of local viewership, no doubt attributable to ABC's prime-time ratings dominance and the continued success of Channel 7 Action News with lead news anchor Bill Bonds. In 1979, ABC named Jeanne Findlater as WXYZ?s general manager. She was the first woman to hold that title at a major market television station. WXYZ-TV was carried by the Cancom system from 1983 as the ABC station for Canadian cable television providers too distant to receive a border station's signal over-the-air, though later, Seattle station KOMO-TV was added to Cancom's offerings as a Pacific Time Zone alternative.




Sale to E.W. Scripps Company

In May 1985, Capital Cities Communications, which owned Detroit radio stations WJR and WHYT (now WDVD), announced its acquisition of ABC. Operation Can-Do and Detroit's annual children's immunization fair. On October 4, 2006, WXYZ became the first television station in Michigan and the first Scripps-owned station to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition.




Digital channels

WXYZ-TV's third digital subchannel originally carried a video feed of the station's tower camera at Broadcast House. Most recently, it formerly carried Doppler7Weather, a local weather channel looping weather radar, temperatures and live local radar ? along with an L-Bar (similar to that used by The Local AccuWeather Channel and the defunct NBC Weather Plus, though it was operated independently from either network) that showed current conditions and five-day local forecasts. On May 21, 2010, this channel was removed to prepare and utilize its channel bandwidth exclusively for mobile television, labelled as WXYZ-MH 7.3 and simulcasting 7.2/Live Well Network at 1.83 MBps. WXYZ, along with WDIV-TV, became the first Detroit stations to offer Mobile DTV feeds on August 6, 2010.On July 12, 2012, the E. W. Scripps Company signed an affiliation agreement with Bounce TV to make WXYZ-TV the Detroit area affiliate of the network, becoming the first Scripps-owned station to affiliate with Bounce TV. Bounce TV itself launched on September 25, 2012, after a week of audio-only testing.




Analog-to-digital conversion

On September 29, 1998, WXYZ became the first television station in Detroit to transmit an over-the-air digital signal, broadcasting on UHF channel 41. WXYZ-TV shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 7, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 41. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 7. WJBK began using the channel 7 allocation for its digital signal after the transition.




Coverage

In addition to carriage across Southeast Michigan, WXYZ is carried on most cable providers in Southwestern Ontario and Northwestern Ohio. Coverage on cable systems outside the Detroit/Windsor market may be subject to syndication exclusivity rules and network blackouts in the United States and simsubbing in Canada. The station can be received from as far away as Flint, Michigan with a good-quality antenna. It is also carried on cable in Grand Marais, Michigan.The station also serves several other parts of Canada as an ABC affiliate on satellite provider Shaw Direct as well as on cable providers in several Canadian markets, including Windsor, London, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Thunder Bay, Ontario; Saint John, New Brunswick; all of Manitoba (except for areas served by Shaw's Steinbach or Winnipeg system); and the National Capital Region.WXYZ-TV was previously offered as the ABC affiliate on cable through Cable Atlantic (now Rogers Cable) in Newfoundland and Labrador, including in St. John's from 1985 to 1997 (which has since been replaced by Boston ABC affiliate WCVB-TV). As of 2010 however, some Rogers Cable customers in Newfoundland and Labrador began receiving WXYZ again, along with WDIV and WWJ.Until April 2011, Comcast subscribers in Holly, which is located within the Detroit market in northwestern Oakland County, were unable to see much of WXYZ's programming, as it was often blacked out at the request of Flint's WJRT-TV; the blackout was due to the Comcast system being tied to the Flint headend, instead of one in Oakland County or elsewhere in Detroit. That month, following complaints from Detroit stations and area viewers of being blacked out or unavailable in an area that they were supposed to serve, Comcast discontinued blackouts of the Detroit stations it already carried, added additional stations from that market and dropped many Flint/Tri-Cities area stations from that system. WJRT-TV was one of two stations retained (along with WCMZ-TV), as it was considered to have significant viewership in the Holly area.




Programming

Syndicated programs carried on WXYZ-TV include Katie, The Dr. Oz Show, Let's Ask America, Right This Minute, Castle and The Doctors. Although it occasionally preempts shows for special events (such as the Woodward Dream Cruise), WXYZ-TV is one of the few major market ABC affiliates that runs the network's entire schedule.




Programming history

In the 1950s, WXYZ-TV created a series of widely popular locally produced children?s programs. The most famous program, Lunch with Soupy, launched the career of comedian Soupy Sales. The program debuted in 1953 and was such a success that ABC moved production to Los Angeles in 1960, and aired the show nationally. Soupy also hosted a very popular late night adult comedy show during that same period in the 1950s called Soupy's On. Other successful children's shows to follow would include Wyxie's Wonderland hosted by Detroit comic Marv Welch. In 1954, Bob Brickwedde (using the stage name Bob Henry) hosted the Nash Theater Hour on Thursday nights, and hosted western movies, featuring Deadeye and Black Bart on Saturdays as "Sheriff Bob". Ricky the Clown was hosted by professional clown and magician Irv Romig, and The Johnny Ginger Show was hosted by local comic Johnny Ginger. The Auntie Dee Show hosted by Dee Parker was a popular children's talent show. In 1974, WXYZ-TV launched and produced another successful children's show, the nationally syndicated Hot Fudge.Former WXYZ-TV general manager John Pival is credited for launching several other popular innovative programs in the 1950s and 1960s, including the World Adventure Series with host George Pierrot, an author on world travel and a speaker at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The program showed films about exotic locations around the world. The Lady of Charm and later House O' Charm with host Edythe Fern Melrose was a predecessor to today's Martha Stewart home-making programs. Prize Movie with popular host Rita Bell introduced feature films and held a viewer call-in contest (with cash prizes that started at $7) to name the title of a song she played on the air. Several music programs also aired including Club Polka and Club 1270. WXYZ disc jockey Ed McKenzie also brought his talents to television with The Ed McKenzie Saturday Party, which featured live musical performances from such artists as Chuck Berry and Louis Armstrong.WXYZ-TV also had a series of popular morning shows, starting with the Pat and Johnny Show, hosted by WXYZ radio announcers Pat Tobin and Johnny Slagle. Later in 1966, The Morning Show debuted as a morning variety program with host Bob Hynes. The station also helped to launch the career of Dennis Wholey, who started his AM Detroit talk show at WXYZ before going on to WTVS (channel 56) to host PBS Late Night. The most popular and successful WXYZ morning talk show was Kelly & Company, which ran from 1978 to 1995 and was hosted by a married couple who were both former members of WXYZ's news staff, John Kelly (who served as news anchor) and Marilyn Turner (who served as a weathercaster). It was primarily a talk show with featured guests and a studio audience. In 1984, Turner and Kelly would also host the short-lived afternoon program, Good Afternoon Detroit. The program was a pilot for other ABC-owned stations including those in New York and Chicago to launch their own Good Afternoon... shows.In 1965, the Sunday morning public affairs show Spotl
In popular culture

    WXYZ-TV was featured on the ABC series Detroit 1-8-7 (which was filmed on location in Detroit), as the only real-life local news station being portrayed on the show (the others were fictional).
    The ABC sitcom Home Improvement, which was set in Detroit, had Tim Allen's character, Tim Taylor, wear a WXYZ-branded sweatshirt in the second-season episode, "Love is a Many-Splintered Thing".
    Children's shows like Sesame Street or Captain Kangaroo have parodied ABC by calling a TV network XYZ-TV, thus possibly confusing children into thinking it's WXYZ.




News operation

WXYZ-TV presently broadcasts 37 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with six hours on weekdays, four hours on Saturdays and 3 hours on Sundays); in addition, the station produces two half-hour sports programs that air on Sundays, the weekly sports highlight program 7 Sports Cave (which airs weekly at 11 a.m.) and the Detroit Lions highlight program Ford Lions Report Live (which only airs during the NFL season).




History

WXYZ-TV's newscasts had long been dominant in the Detroit market's news ratings partly due to the popularity of longtime lead news anchor Bill Bonds. The station?s news department started as a small operation but would gain credibility for its coverage of the 1967 Detroit race riots. In the 1970s, WXYZ began an aggressive build-up of its news department by adopting many elements of the Eyewitness News format, such as the Cool Hand Luke theme that was used by ABC's four other owned-and-operated television stations in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. However, it opted to title its newscasts Action News, since rival WJBK-TV was already using the Eyewitness News brand. Under the direction of general manager Jim Osborn and news director Phil Nye, the station would lure popular news personalities from rival stations, WJBK-TV and WDIV-TV (then known as WWJ-TV), to join its already well-known anchors Dave Diles and Bill Bonds. WXYZ assembled Detroit?s most popular news anchors and reporters for its news staff such as John Kelly, Jac LeGoff, Al Ackerman, Marilyn Turner, Jack McCarthy, Jerry Hodak, Don Lark and Doris Biscoe.By 1973, WXYZ's newscasts became the highest-rated in Detroit for the first time ever, and the station has held the lead ever since. Its success was linked to the serious, controversial, opinionated hard delivery of lead anchor Bill Bonds. ABC tried to apply Bonds' success in Detroit at KABC-TV in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, and again in 1975 at New York City's WABC-TV; in both cases, he was unsuccessful and soon returned to WXYZ. During the 1980s and 1990s, Bonds hosted the interview segment, Up Front, on WXYZ's 5 p.m. newscast. During the interviews, Bonds confronted the Detroit area's public officials and newsmakers with hard-hitting and sometimes controversial questions. Bonds' hard-edge style was widely known in Detroit for both captivating viewers while repulsing others, leading Bonds to become the station's icon and its main star. In Ron Powers' book, The Newscasters, Powers called Bonds "one of the six most influential news anchors in the country." However, Bonds had public battles with alcoholism which are credited with his dismissal from the station in 1995. Bonds anchored newscasts and a late night talk-show called Bonds Tonight at WJBK-TV shortly afterwards and later hosted a radio show at WXYT. Bonds returned to WXYZ-TV in 1999 to present editorials during the newscasts, but left the station after only a few months.WXYZ?s ratings dominance was challenged by WDIV-TV in the 1980s, due in part to a change of ownership and culture at WDIV, and viewers looking for an alternative to Bonds' hard-hitting style of news presentation. The two stations continue a head to head battle for ratings to this day. In recent years, the station's news coverage received several journalism honors including two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University awards, and the George Foster Peabody Award. WXYZ?s Action News was named the best television newscast in the U.S. by United Press International in 1989.In the 1990s, WXYZ continued to expand its morning newscast, Action News This Morning to the eventual start time of 5 a.m. T
News/station presentation




Newscast titles

    The Big News (1960?1964)
    Channel 7 News (1964?1968 and 1970)
    The 11th Hour News (ca. 1968)
    Channel 7 News / 7 News (1968?1969)
    NewsBeat 7 / Supernews (1969?1970)
    WXYZ-TV 7 News (1970?1971)
    Bill Bonds with The News (1971?1972)
    7 Action News (2011?present)




Station slogans

    "We Got Who You Wanted" (news slogan; 1970s)
    "So Good to Turn To" (1981?1982)
    "Where Detroit Turns First" (1982)
    "Stand Up and Tell 'em You're From Detroit" (1985?1987; based on Frank Gari's "Turn To..." series)
    "Made in Detroit" (1987?1991; as a production endcap for station produced shows)
    "7 Stands For News/Stands By You" (1992?2003)
    "The Spirit of Detroit" (1996?2000; still used on occasion)
    "7 On Your Side" (2003?2011)
    "Taking Action for You" (2011?present; news slogan)




On-air staff




Current on-air staff

WXYZ-TV's primary news anchors are Stephen Clark (weeknights at 6, 7 and 11 p.m.); Carolyn Clifford (weeknights at 6, 7 and 11 p.m.); Vic Faust (weekday mornings from 4:30-7 a.m.); Dave LewAllen (weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.; also weekday field reporter); Glenda Lewis (weekdays at noon; also weekday field reporter); Malcolm Maddox (weekend mornings; also weekday morning reporter and fill-in anchor); Anu Prakash (weekend mornings; also weekday field reporter); JoAnne Purtan (weekdays at noon and weeknights at 5 p.m.; also "Don't Waste Your Money" consumer reporter); Alicia Smith (weekday mornings from 4:30-7 a.m.; also fill-in noon anchor, weekday field reporter); and Jeff Vaughn (weeknights at 5 p.m.).The sports team includes sports director Tom Leyden (Mondays-Thursdays at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.; also host of Ford Lions Report Live and Detroit Lions preseason game sideline reporter), sports anchor David Solano (Fridays at 5 and Fridays-Sundays at 6 and 11 p.m.; also Monday-Thursday sports reporter and host of Sunday Sports Update and Ford Lions Report Live) and sports reporter Brad Galli (also fill-in sports anchor).The station's reporting staff includes Julie Banovic (general assignment reporter); Andy Choi (multimedia journalist); Kimberly Craig (general assignment reporter); Ronnie Dahl (general assignment reporter); Tara Edwards (general assignment reporter); Smita Kalokhe (general assignment reporter); Erin Nicole (weekday morning traffic reporter, "7 First Alert Traffic"/entertainment reporter); Kim Russell (general assignment reporter); Nima Shaffe (general assignment reporter); Chuck Stokes (Spotlight On The News feature reporter; also (Primary) Election Day analyst. Reporters for the station's investigative unit, The Investigators, are Heather Catallo, Ross Jones and Jim Kiertzner. Contributors are Tom Long (film critic; also seen in The Detroit News) and Gerry Gleeson (legal analyst).




Notable former on-air staff

    Bill Bonds - longtime lead anchor of Action News (early 1960s-1968, 1971?1975 and 1976?1995)
    Jerry Hodak - chief meteorologist (retired on September 23, 2010)
    Diana Lewis - longtime co-anchor (1977?1984, 1988?2012; retired)
    Bill Proctor - longtime general assignment and investigative reporter (retired)
    Soupy Sales - host of Lunch with Soupy and Soupy's On (deceased)
    Cheryl Chodun - longtime general assignment reporter (1988-2013; retired)




See also





 
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