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WDJT-TV, channel 58, is the CBS-affiliated television station located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin broadcasting on UHF digital channel 46, that displays WDJT's virtual channel as its former analog channel assignment of 58 via PSIP. Its transmitter is located within Milwaukee's Lincoln Park next to WISN (channel 12)'s tower, with the station's signal covering southeastern Wisconsin and parts of northeastern Illinois, including Racine, Kenosha, Sheboygan and Waukesha.

WDJT-TV
[1]

[2]

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Branding CBS 58 Milwaukee (general)

CBS 58 News (newscasts) Ten at 10:00 (10 p.m. newscast)

Slogan Only CBS 58 Milwaukee (general)

First. Fast. When Seconds Count.; Just Ten Minutes of Your Day (newscasts)

Channels Digital: 46 (UHF)

Virtual: 58 (PSIP)

Subchannels (see article)
Affiliations CBS
Owner Weigel Broadcasting

(WDJT-TV Limited Partnership)

First air date November 10, 1988
Call letters' meaning Debra Jackson and John Torres (original license holders)
Sister station(s) WBME-TV, WMLW-CA, WYTU-LD
Former channel number(s) Analog:

58 (1988-2009) WYTU-LP 63 (June 2009-December 2009, analog lifeline)

Former affiliations Independent (1988-1994)
Transmitter power 1000 kW
Height 322 m
Facility ID 71427
Transmitter coordinates 43°6′42.1″N 87°55′49.9″W / 43.111694°N 87.930528°W / 43.111694; -87.930528
Website http://www.cbs58.com

WDJT was until the digital transition the only UHF affiliate of CBS in the state of Wisconsin, but retains the highest PSIP channel number in the digital age. The station also gathers news for CBS Radio in Milwaukee due to the lack of any area radio station broadcasting the network's radio newscasts (WOKY had broadcast the network's hourly newscasts until a September 2008 format change, but does not have a news division), and has a forecast and advertising agreement with the stations of the Milwaukee Radio Alliance, which includes WLDB, WLUM-FM, and WMCS.

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[edit] History

[3][4]WDJT's former logo, used from March 1996 - September 2001. The "58" continued in use until 2008 during the station's morning newscast.

[5][6]Aforementioned "Morning News Express" logoWDJT signed on the air on November 10, 1988 as an independent station. Its call letters were selected in honor of its original owners, Debra Jackson and John Torres. Jackson died before the station took to the air, and Torres decided to sell controlling interest to Weigel in order to get more financing. (Weigel became the station's sole owner shortly after its sign-on.) At that time, its programming fare consisted of second-hand reruns of sitcoms, first-run syndicated shows, and a movie library.

As an independent, WDJT found the going difficult against WVTV-TV and WCGV. Milwaukee, despite its relatively large size, wasn't big enough for what were essentially three independent stations (Fox affiliate WCGV was essentially programmed as an independent, as Fox wouldn't air a full week's worth of programming until 1994). It was also hampered by a weak signal transmitting from the tower atop of the then Marc Plaza Hotel (a tower originally utilized by WVTV and currently used by low-power WMKE-CA). This essentially limited channel 58's coverage area to Milwaukee itself and its close-in suburbs such as Cudahy, Waukesha and West Allis. The few syndicators who otherwise would have been willing to air their programming on channel 58 largely shied away due to its weak signal. Also, many cable operators weren't willing to carry it.

[edit] Joining CBS

The Milwaukee television market was in for a major shakeup in 1994 when New World Communications announced that most of its stations, including Milwaukee's WITI, would become Fox affiliates. CBS approached all four of Milwaukee's major stations--WTMJ-TV, WISN-TV (who was affiliated with CBS from 1961 to 1977), WVTV (which ironically was a CBS O&O in the 1950s) and WCGV. None of those stations were interested, however. This left CBS to negotiate with the city's lower-profile independents, WJJA (now WBME) and WDJT, as well as religious WVCY-TV. After negotiations with both WJJA and WDJT fell through, CBS made an abortive attempt to buy WVCY before its ownership group decided not to sell.

With days to go before WITI was to join Fox, and faced with having to pipe in WISC-TV in Madison, WFRV-TV in Green Bay or WBBM-TV in Chicago for cable customers, the network finally affiliated with WDJT, even though it didn't even have a news department. CBS faced similar situations in Atlanta, Austin, Cleveland and Detroit. In all these cases, the longtime CBS affiliates all switched to Fox. While CBS was able to land on higher-profile stations in Atlanta, Austin and Cleveland, it was unable to do so in Detroit or Milwaukee.

As WDJT had not expected to go to CBS, a hastily-made logo with the CBS Eye to the left of WDJT's italic Times New Roman '58' of the time in red (and later yellow) was the station's logo for the next year and a half, along with a neutral image campaign using default CBS graphics while channel 58 built a news department and looked for upgraded studio facilities. The switch took place on the afternoon of December 11, 1994 (the same day CBS moved its Detroit affiliation to WGPR-TV, now WWJ-TV).

WDJT's CBS affiliation caused major shuffles among area cable systems as they worked to quickly add it to their systems; it took until March 1995 for some Marcus Cable (the precursor to Charter Communications) cities to carry WDJT. As a result, many Milwaukee-area viewers without set-top or housetop antennas missed several major events, including the PGA Tour, Grammy Awards, Daytona 500, Big Ten Basketball, and the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments, all of which were CBS properties.

In early 1996, WDJT moved to a new studio on 60th Street, right on the line between Milwaukee and West Allis, from its original studio facilities on the top floors of the Marc Plaza, which is now the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. It also launched a news department.

Three years later in 1999, the station's current Lincoln Park transmitter was put into service, giving the station an over-the-air signal comparable to the city's five other major commercial stations. Weigel would use this tower to launch two additional low-powered sister stations to WDJT (see below).

In 2007, WDJT gained national attention[1] after its live news truck broke through ice on Big Muskego Lake in Muskego while covering a story on ice safety. The estimated cost of repair was $250,000. A week after, the station would air a public service announcement on ice safety which premiered during CBS' Super Bowl XLI coverage, making light of the situation by referring to their news department as providing "the most in-depth coverage in Milwaukee."

[edit] 2008 NFL season

The station asked CBS Sports to allow them to carry as many New York Jets games as were available for the 2008 season, since that team acquired former Packer quarterback Brett Favre on August 7, 2008, and expected high viewer interest from Milwaukee viewers for Jets games. Since CBS holds the rights to the AFC contract, the majority of Jets games are carried on that network. Station general manager Jim Hall asserted that the Jets were the station's "adopted team" [2].

[edit] High Definition Programming

On August 29, 2008, WDJT became the first commercial Milwaukee television station to produce a local program in High Definition without the assistance of Milwaukee Public Television or other stations in the Hearst Television chain, as WISN has done in the past. The one hour program was called 105 Years in the Making,[3] a program which was produced in conjunction with the Harley-Davidson 105th Anniversary celebration that weekend.

In late May 2010 the station became the fourth commercial operation in the market to be able to air their syndicated programming in high definition, which includes the combination of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune, along with Ellen and Dr. Oz.

[edit] July 2010 flooding incident

On July 22, 2010 the Milwaukee area experienced a major flash flooding event which caused major damage in several parts of Milwaukee County. Although Weigel's studios in West Allis didn't suffer any damage at all, the Weigel transmitter in Lincoln Park, only a few hundred feet from Lincoln Creek suffered flooding damage within the transmission shed, forcing the station off the air for the majority of three days while the equipment was dried out and repaired. The analog transmitter for WMLW-CA was used to relay WDJT's signal in some form to viewers, along with WTMJ offering the use of their 4.3 subchannel to transmit WDJT programming to a majority of the Milwaukee market as a thanks for an incident in 2009 where WTMJ was taken off-air by a lightning strike and Weigel offered them the use of a WBME subchannel temporarily. This TV and Shorewest TV were also off-the air until July 25, when WDJT resumed full operations over the Weigel transmitter.

[edit] Ownership

WDJT-TV is owned by Chicago, Illinois's Weigel Broadcasting. The company also owns full-power WBME (Channel 49) and two LPTV stations, Spanish-language Telemundo affiliate WYTU (Channel 63) and independent WMLW-CA (Channel 41), in the Milwaukee market.

[edit] Digital television

WDJT's digital signal on channel 46 is multiplexed into the following subchannel lineup.


Channel Programming
58.1 WDJT-TV
58.2 WMLW-CA (Channel 41), IND
58.3 This TV, a digital subchannel network managed by Weigel Broadcasting

and programmed by MGM Television

58.4 Shorewest TV, an automated looping channel of home and real estate listings from Shorewest Realtors
  • Additionally, a fourth and fifth digital subchannel have been added in the past for multicasting of games during the early rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in mid-March. Since 2008 as CBS has restricted stations to only one multicast, the station has aired the additional game over WDJT-DT3 (in 2008 as MeTV and since 2009 as This TV Milwaukee) [4].

58.4 & 58.5 were returned to the PSIP channel map in May 2009 to map them permanently into channel maps on digital converter boxes and television sets for the possibility of future use.

Dish Network currently does not carry WDJT in high definition.

[edit] Me TV

Main article: WBME-TVWDJT had carried a digital subchannel called MeTV Milwaukee, which features a lineup of classic sitcoms and dramas resembling that of sister station WWME-CA (Channel 23) in Chicago. The station launched on March 1, 2008 on WDJT-DT3 until October 30, 2008. In mid-April 2008, Weigel acquired Racine-licensed home shopping station WJJA (Channel 49), and immediately began to move MeTV to that station, changing the station's calls to WBME. The simulcast was maintained until a new digital transmitter for WBME on the Weigel tower was turned on in mid-October.[5][6][7][8]

[edit] This TV

Main article: This TVOn November 1, Weigel launched the digital subchannel network This TV in Milwaukee on WDJT-DT3 in cooperation with MGM Television, which provides the network with many of the programs from their archives. The introduction "man on the street" promotions for the network were recorded throughout Milwaukee, and This TV's imaging voice is that of Robb Edwards, formerly of WTMJ Radio and WOKY, and the public address announcer at Miller Park. Thus in technicality WDJT can be considered a This TV O&O.

[edit] Shorewest TV

Brookfield-based Shorewest Realtors is one of the largest real estate agencies in southeastern Wisconsin, and as an offshoot of earlier locally-produced cable shopping channels which often featured their listings along with those of other agencies, created Shorewest TV in October 2005[9] as digital cable and video on demand became commonplace and allowed Shorewest the ability to buy their own channel slot on Time Warner Cable [10].

In the form of the cable channel, basic pictorial tours of local homes and real estate classified by region or house types were presented using information compiled on a database used by both the channel and Shorewest's website [11], with narration given by agents encouraging viewers to call for more information on the property presented, along with limited advertising for partner contractors and programs from local homebuilders and mortgage providers. The VOD version of Shorewest TV (except for homes in Rock County, which is outside the Milwaukee viewing area) was discontinued with the launch of 58.4 in order to encourage viewership of the terrestrial channel and a common schedule allowing easy DVR recording of a regional block.

On October 13, 2009, Shorewest and Weigel Broadcasting launched Shorewest TV over digital channel 58.4 under a time-lease arrangement in order to increase their Shorewest TV's audience to all possible households in southeastern Wisconsin [12]. Charter Communications, which already carried the video-on-demand version of the service, also added the subchannel in this form to their systems. As is the current case with many digital subchannels (including This TV and others in the Milwaukee area), the channel is not carried over Dish Network or DirecTV.

The format of Shorewest TV has remained the same over-the-air, although to address license concerns regular breaks featuring public service announcements are taken (which are intermixed with promos for Weigel's Milwaukee stations), while Shorewest TV carries the E/I-compliant program Green Screen Adventures, which was produced by WCIU, seven days a week at 7am. Additionally Shorewest TV is moved to WBME-DT2 during NCAA multicasting in March to address multicasting bandwidth concerns. Since July 2010, some paid programming slots have been offered throughout the day over 58.4, though usually in slots with low viewership and never for more than a half-hour at a time.

[edit] Transition process

After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion took place on June 12, 2009,[13] WDJT continued digital broadcasts on its current pre-transition channel number, 46.[14] However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers displays WDJT's virtual channel as 58.

On June 12, 2009, the station shut down its analog transmission over full-power channel 58 at 11:59pm exactly, as required by law. However, the station decided to convert their low power signal on WYTU-LP (Channel 63) at 9am on the same day to carry WDJT's programming schedule; the Telemundo schedule now transmits exclusively on digital television over WYTU-LD digital channel 17 and WBME 49.4 [15]. This was to provide some kind of 'lifeline' service under special dispensation by the CBS network to those who had not yet made the conversion. On December 31, 2009, the simulcast on Channel 63 was discontinued at the end of the dispensaton, and WYTU-LP was converted to an analog translator of WBME's main schedule [16].

[edit] News operation

Currently, WDJT produces a total of 17 hours of local newscasts per week (with three hours on weekdays and one hour each on Saturdays and Sundays), which by a large margin, is the lowest newscast output out of the Big Four network affiliates in the Milwaukee area (WTMJ and WITI both offer 40½ hours and WISN offers 26½ hours of news each week) and the second-lowest in the market overall to sister station WMLW (which carries only 2½ hours of local news per week, all of which are produced by WDJT); WDJT is also the largest Big Three affiliate news operation in the United States (in terms of market size) to carry fewer than 20 hours of news each week.

Unlike most CBS affiliates in the Central Time Zone, WDJT does not air local news during the weekday noon or weeknight 6 p.m. timeslots; the noon timeslot has always usually featured a low-profile half-hour syndicated show, while WDJT carried a 6 p.m. newscast from the news department's creation in 1996 until the acquisition of the Sony-produced game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! in fall 2005, when the station chose to instead group the shows into an hour-long timeslot. Although this is unusual scheduling in the Central Time Zone due to the reduction of an hour out of the early primetime schedule, it is the common default scheduling for stations in the Eastern and Pacific Time Zones. The station also does not carry a newscast in the weekend morning timeslot, as is the case with Fox affiliate WITI-TV (channel 6), which indefinitely suspended its weekend morning newscasts in 2009.


The station uses the Ten at Ten format for its late newscast, emphasizing the top stories and weather in the first 10 minutes of the program. WDJT has won regional Emmy awards, along with honors from the Associated Press for best newscast presentation. In the May 2008 sweeps period both WITI and WDJT were separated by only a few thousand homes for the third place slot at 10 p.m. In January 2009, viewers began to take note of the straightforward approach of the anchor team of Paul Piaskoski and Michele McCormack. Both of the anchors are known to go out and report and edit their own stories and for the first time the station began surpassing its lead-in, and on several occasions was first in the market for the first ten minutes of the newscast. But, because it offers the seven day forecast in the first ten minutes, there was drop off in the so called "b" block which lowered the overall ratings average. In 2009, the station began to carry the syndicated Mr. Food cooking segments on their morning newscasts, bringing back the feature to the Milwaukee market after a three year hiatus when WITI dropped the segments.

WDJT, during the 2007 World Series produced a 9 p.m. newscast for sister station WMLW-CA, in an attempt to attract non-Baseball viewers who would normally watch news on WITI-TV (but due to pre-emptions were not able to during the World Series).[17] The station then introduced a full-time 9 p.m. newscast on WMLW, beginning on January 1, 2008. WDJT also produces both a 10-minute Spanish language newscast for co-owned Telemundo affiliate WYTU-LP; several of WDJT's reporters are bilingual. The station also produces an 11-minute late evening newscast for sister station and ABC affiliate WBND-LP (channel 57) in South Bend, Indiana called "News at 11:00" featuring video shot locally in South Bend and then edited and written by anchor McCormack and executive producer Adam Wilhelm who are based in Milwaukee, but have been known to frequently call sources in Indiana to verify information. McCormack is arguably the only main anchor in the country seen in two different markets at the same time; South Bend at 11 p.m. ET and Milwaukee at 10 p.m. CT.

[edit] Ratings

Because of its relatively new status in the market, the station had the lowest-rated newscast in Milwaukee for years. Only in 2008 and 2009 did it begin to increase from its lead-in and start finishing higher. In September 2009, WDJT's 10 p.m. newscast got its first single night finish in first place in station history with a 7.0 HH according to Nielsen. For October 2009 the 10 p.m. newscast averaged a 6.5/11 share according to Neilsen. That is ahead of Fox affiliate WITI, which finished with a 4.9/9 and very close to WISN's 7.3/12 and WTMJ's 7.8/13.

In November 2009, the 10 p.m. news got its first single night first place finish in sweeps with a 8.1 according to Neilsen followed by 7.4 for channel 12, 6.1 for channel 4 and 4.9 for channel 6. In November 2009 sweeps period WDJT was the only station to show audience growth with a 1.4 rating point climb to finish a solid 3rd place ahead of WITI according to Nielsen and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

[edit] News/station presentation

[edit] Newscast titles

  • CBS 58 News (1996–present)
  • CBS 58 Morning News Express (morning newscast; 1996–2008)[18]
  • Ten at 10 (10 p.m. newscast; 2005–present)[19]

[edit] Station slogans

  • More Stories. More Information. More News. (1998–2001)
  • Your Stories. Your Station. (2001–2004)
  • First. Fast. When Seconds Count. (2004–present)
  • Just Ten Minutes of Your Day (10 p.m. newscast; 2009–present)[20]

[8] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.===[edit] On-air staff===

[edit] Current on-air staff

Anchors

  • Shari Dunn - weekday mornings
  • Asa George - weekday mornings
  • Veronica Griffin - Saturdays at 5, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.
  • Michele McCormack - weeknights at 5, 9 (on WMLW) and 10 p.m.; also 11 p.m. anchor on WBND in South Bend, IN
  • Paul Piaskoski - weeknights at 5, 9 (on WMLW) and 10 p.m.; also host of the public affairs program "Eye to Eye"
  • Mike Strehlow - Saturdays at 5, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.; also fill-in weekday anchor

First Alert Weather In addition to providing forecasts for WDJT, the First Alert Weather team also provides weather forecasts for FM radio station WLDB (93.3 MHz.).

  • Mark McGinnis (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 9 (on WMLW) and 10 p.m.
  • Chris McGinness - Meteorologist; weekday mornings
  • Mike Tamas - Meteorologist; Saturdays at 5, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.

Sports Team

  • Evan Fitzgerald - Sports Anchor; weeknights at 5, 9 (on WMLW) and 10 p.m.
  • Kevin Holden - Sports Anchor; Saturdays at 5, Sundays at 5:30 and weekends at 10 p.m.

Reporters

  • Stephanie Brown - general assignment reporter
  • Fior Hernández - general assignment reporter
  • Keith Meka - general assignment reporter
  • Eric Rucker - general assignment reporter
  • Jenifer Tomazic - general assignment reporter
  • Kelli Watson - general assignment reporter

Former on-air staff

[9] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.==External links==

References

  1. ^ JS ONline
  2. ^ JS Online: Favre lands Jets on CBS
  3. ^ http://www.cbs58.com/pages/harley/
  4. ^ http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/entertainment/41318897.html
  5. ^ JS Online: Shopping channel gets new owner, Me-TV format of nostalgic shows
  6. ^ JS Online: Me-TV for a wider audience
  7. ^ http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6608561.html
  8. ^ JS Online: Rebooting may help when mystery bugs bedevil Time Warner channels
  9. ^ http://milwaukee.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2005/10/03/tidbits1.html
  10. ^ http://www.biztimes.com/news/2007/5/11/iq-innovation-quotient-winners-2007-shorewest-realtors
  11. ^ http://www.realtor.org/archives/feature1april06
  12. ^ http://www.shorewest.com/cms_real-estate-news_shorewest-realtorsr-relaunches-shorewest-tv-on-over-the-air-channel-584
  13. ^ http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf
  14. ^ CDBS Print
  15. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/stories/2009/06/01/daily93.html
  16. ^ http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/article_709da9fc-f59d-11de-95ca-001cc4c002e0.html
  17. ^ http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=678164 "Channel 58 to fill 9 p.m. news gap; Cuban's season over on 'Dancing'"

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