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WSMH (branded Fox 66) is the Fox-affiliated television station for the Flint/Tri-Cities market that is licensed to Flint. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 16 from a transmitter northeast of Chesaning. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station has studios on West Pierson Road in Mount Morris Township. Syndicated programming on WSMH includes:The Office, The Simpsons, Two and a Half Men, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, Seinfeld, and Grace Under Fire.

WSMH
[1]
Flint/Saginaw/

Bay City, Michigan

City of license Flint
Branding Fox 66 (general)

Fox 66 News

Channels Digital: 16 (UHF)
Subchannels 66.1 Fox

66.2 TheCoolTV (coming soon)

Affiliations Fox

ESPN Plus (occasionally)

Owner Sinclair Broadcast Group

(WSMH Licensee, LLC)

First air date March 1985
Call letters' meaning We Show More Hits
Former channel number(s) 66 (UHF analog, 1985-2009)
Former affiliations Independent (1985-1986)

The Tube (on DT2, 2006-2007) 4KidsTV

Transmitter power 245 kW
Height 365.5 m
Facility ID 21737
Transmitter coordinates 43°13′31″N 84°4′33″W / 43.22528°N 84.07583°W / 43.22528; -84.07583
Website wsmh.com

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[edit] History

WSMH went on-the-air in March 1985 as an independent station. On October 6, 1986, it became a charter Fox affiliate. The station took its call letters from the fact that it airs syndicated reruns of more hit series than most stations that eventually joined WSMH's current network. The call letters stand for the slogan We Show More Hits and not for anyone in the Smith family whose Sinclair Broadcast Group bought the station in 1996. From 1990 to 1997, WSMH was the Mid-Michigan provider of the now defunct syndication package Disney Afternoon. To this day, reruns of Fox affiliate programs as well as those normally not shown on most other affiliates (including those aired on many Tribune CW and past UPN stations) are part of WSMH's schedule. In addition, it also carries a few first-run syndicated programs seen on Fox affiliates and several shows not carried by those same stations.

In September 2006 shortly after WSMH's digital signal was activated on UHF channel 16, the station added the now defunct 24-hour music video channel called The Tube on a new second digital subchannel. However, this channel was removed sometime between February and March 2007.

The retransmission agreement between the Sinclair Broadcast Group and Comcast was set to expire on February 5, 2007. An extension was granted twice so the sides could negotiate. During the talks, Comcast stated that it would not pay cash for retransmission rights but were willing to give free commercial time to WSMH in exchange for retransmission rights. On March 9, Sinclair and Comcast signed a new deal to extend retransmission rights for four years to expire on March 1, 2011.

WSMH and WXMI in Grand Rapids are the longest serving Fox affiliates in the state because WKBD in Detroit joined UPN. Oddly, that station was available in Mid-Michigan cable systems while still a Fox affiliate and would serve as the region's UPN affiliate for that network's existence. WJBK is currently Detroit's Fox owned-and-operated affiliate. Sinclair and the network cut a six year affiliation contract extension for the company's nineteen Fox affiliates. As a result, the network will remain on WSMH through at least March 2012.

It gave up cartoons in December 2008 when Fox discontinued 4KidsTV.

[edit] Digital television

Channel Name Programming
66.1 WSMH-HD main WSMH/Fox programming in 720p
66.2 WSMH-DT2 TheCoolTV (coming soon)

The station shut down its analog signal and became digital exclusive at 12:00 PM ET on May 21, 2009. [1] WSMH remained on its current pre-transition channel number, 16, using PSIP to display its virtual channel as 66. [2]

WSMH, through a new carriage deal by owner Sinclair Broadcast Group, will launch music video channel TheCoolTV on its second digital subchannel in the spring of 2010. [3]

[edit] News operation

[2][3]Its news logo used from 2002 until 2006.On October 28, 2002, WSMH started up a news department and began airing local broadcasts nightly at 10. Known as Fox 66 News at 10, it was powered by Sinclair's controversial News Central operation. Local news originated from WSMH's studios while national news, weather, and sports aired from News Central headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The station was the first Sinclair-owned property to use the News Central service and marked the first time it had ventured into the news market.

In January 2006, Sinclair announced plans to end its News Central operation due to low ratings and expense. Other company-owned stations in Buffalo, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and Tampa were also notified of the decision and had their newscasts either outsourced to other stations or dropped all together. On April 10, Sinclair announced that CBS affiliate WNEM-TV would begin producing a nightly 10 o'clock show on WSMH known as TV 5 News at 10 on Fox 66. This began airing on April 24 from WNEM's studios on North Franklin Street in downtown Saginaw.

After the final News Central broadcast on April 21, some WSMH news employees were laid off. It had been expected that some personalities would join the WNEM-produced newscast in the future according to a press release. This was the case for former WSMH reporter David Custer who joined the WNEM news team on May 3. Custer left WNEM and is now a weeknight wnchor at WNWO-TV. Another WSMH News Central member, Jim Kiertzner, joined Detroit's NBC affiliate WDIV-TV. The final News Central broadcast featured, in its last few minutes, clips from past shows. At the end, the studio was darkened and Kiertzner and his boss left for the last time. Even after WSMH shut down its news operation, Mark E. Hyman's controversial "The Point" editorials continued to air following the end of the WNEM-produced newscasts. Hyman ended his commentaries on November 30. On May 1, 2009, the 10 o'clock news title was re-branded and received updated graphics. Every night at 10:45, a fifteen minute sports highlight show called Sports Extra airs.

[edit] News team

Anchors

  • Bill Walsh - weeknights
  • Carrie Sharp - weeknights
  • Julie Banovic - weekends

Meteorologists

  • Darrin Bradley - Chief seen weeknights
  • Eric Jylha - weekends and news reporter

Sports

  • Scot Johnson - Director seen weeknights
  • Jason Fielder - weekends
  • Darryl Sellers - sports reporter and fill-in sports anchor
  • Clay Church - "Game of the Week" segment producer seen Mondays at 10:45

Reporters

  • Craig McMorris
  • Tia Ewing
  • Brian Wood
  • Jay Brandow
  • Liz Gelardi

Former staff

  • Jim Kiertzner - weeknight news anchor and investigative reporter
    • now at WDIV
  • Tara Edwards - weeknight news anchor and reporter
  • David Custer - weekend news anchor, reporter, and producer
  • Dawn Sterling - weekend news anchor and reporter
  • Jennifer Gladstone - weeknight national news anchor
    • now weekday morning anchor at WBFF
  • Morris Jones - weeknight national news anchor
  • Vytas Reid - Chief Meteorologist seen weeknights
    • now Chief Meteorologist at WBFF
  • Chuck Bell - meteorologist
  • Megan Glaros - meteorologist
  • Elizabeth Hart - meteorologist
  • Scott Padgett - meteorologist
  • Jonas Schwartz - Sports Director seen weeknights
  • Mark Armstrong - weekend sports anchor
  • Mark E. Hyman - "The Point" segment producer
  • Jennifer Bauer - reporter
  • Katie McClelland - reporter
  • Nicole Hott Hunter - reporter

Sports

WSMH airs regional and national sports programming from Fox Sports. Local teams that appear on WSMH include Detroit Lions regular season games (from NFL on Fox) and Detroit Tigers games (from Fox Saturday Baseball). Since WSMH's normal coverage area reaches within 75 miles of the Lions' home Ford Field, it is part of the Lions' blackout area.

References

  1. ^ http://www.wsmh.com/community/dtv.shtml WSMH DTV information
  2. ^ FCC.gov - Appendix B: All Full Power Television Stations by DMA, Indicating Those Terminating Analog Service on or before February 17, 2009
  3. ^ Sinclair Gets COOL in 34 Markets TheCoolTV.com

External links

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