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New Haven / Hartford, Connecticut
Branding News 8
Slogan Coverage You

Can Count On

Channels Digital: 10 (VHF)

Virtual: 8 (PSIP)

Subchannels 8.1 ABC
Affiliations ABC (1955-present)
Owner LIN TV Corporation

(WTNH Broadcasting, Inc.)

First air date June 15, 1948
Call letters' meaning Television New Haven or Welcome To New Haven
Sister station(s) WCTX
Former callsigns WNHC-TV (1948-1971)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

6 (VHF, 1948-1953) 8 (VHF, 1953-2009)

Former affiliations Primary:

DuMont (1948-1949) CBS (1949-1955) Secondary: NBC (1949-1955) DuMont (1949-1956) ABC (1950-1955)

Transmitter power 20.5 kW
Height 342 m
Facility ID 74109
Transmitter coordinates 41°25′22.7″N 72°57′4.1″W / 41.422972°N 72.951139°W / 41.422972; -72.951139


[hide]*1 History

  • 2 News operation
    • 2.1 Newscast titles
    • 2.2 Station slogans
  • 3 News team
  • 4 Notable former staff
    • 4.1 References
  • 5 External links


The station debuted on June 15, 1948 as WNHC-TV broadcasting on VHF channel 6. It was founded by the New Haven Register along with WNHC radio (1340 AM, now WYBC; and 99.1 FM, now WPLR). It is Connecticut's oldest television station and the second-oldest in New England (WBZ-TV in Boston signed-on less than a week earlier). It was originally an affiliate of DuMont and claims to have been the first full-time affiliate of that short-lived network.[1] It added NBC and CBS in 1949 with ABC following in 1950. In late-1953, WNHC-TV changed frequencies and moved to channel 8. The next year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) collapsed Hartford and New Haven into a single market. It shared some NBC programming with New Britain's WKNB-TV (now WVIT) until 1955 as that station's signal was not strong enough to cover New Haven at the time.

In 1955, the New Haven Register and the WNHC stations were bought by Triangle Publications of Philadelphia. Also in that same year, WNHC-TV lost its CBS affiliation when that network purchased Hartford's WGTH-TV (later WHCT and now WUVN). The station became a sole ABC affiliate although it shared ABC programming with Waterbury-based WATR-TV (now WCCT-TV) until 1966. It has been a primary ABC affiliate longer than any station in New England except WMTW in Portland, Maine; also located on channel 8. Triangle was forced to sell its television stations in 1971 after then-Pennsylvania Governor Milton J. Shapp complained the company had used its Pennsylvania stations in a smear campaign against him.

The WNHC stations were among the first batch to be sold going to Capital Cities Communications along with sister stations WFIL-AM-FM-TV in Philadelphia and KFRE-AM-FM-TV in Fresno, California. However, Capital Cities could not keep the radio stations because it already owned the maximum number allowed at the time. As a result, WNHC-TV changed its call letters to the current WTNH-TV soon after Capital Cities took over. The station dropped the -TV suffix from its calls in 1985 but continued to call itself "WTNH-TV" on-air well into the 1990s.

Capital Cities bought ABC in 1986 in a deal that stunned the broadcast industry. However, the FCC would not allow the merged company to keep WTNH due to a significant signal overlap with ABC's flagship station, WABC-TV in New York City. Channel 8 provides city-grade coverage of Fairfield County, which is part of the New York City market. It also provides at least grade B coverage to most of Long Island, and has been carried on several Long Island cable systems for many years alongside WABC-TV. At the time, the FCC normally did not allow common ownership of two stations with overlapping coverage areas, and would not even consider granting a waiver when the overlap involved two city-grade signals. As a result, channel 8 was spun off to a minority-controlled firm called Cook Inlet Communications.

During the mid-1980s, the Sally Jesse Raphael Show originated from studios in New Haven until the show moved to New York City. Cook Inlet sold WTNH to the LIN TV Corporation in 1994. When a new UHF independent station in New Haven, WTVU (later WBNE and now WCTX) signed-on in 1995, WTNH began operating the station under a local marketing agreement (LMA). In 2001, LIN TV Corporation bought WCTX outright. On May 18, 2007, the company announced that it was exploring strategic alternatives that could have resulted in the sale of the company.[2] It was the first station in the country to use videotape for local programming and one of the first to broadcast in color. On June 12, 2009, WTNH left channel 8 and moved to VHF channel 10 when the analog to digital conversion completed.[3]

News operation

Its weekday noon news open.For over a quarter century, the station used the Action News format made famous at its former Philadelphia sister station, WFIL-TV (now WPVI-TV) and even used the same "Move Closer" music and graphics packages as that counterpart. It switched to the NewsChannel title in 1996. In 2010, the station re-branded as News 8.

For many years, WTNH has been a distant runner-up in the market to WFSB. However, in recent times it has had to fend off a spirited challenge from WVIT; the two stations have spent the last decade trading the runner-up spot.

Historically, WTNH's ratings for news and local programming are far higher in Nielsen's "Metro B" area (New Haven County) than "Metro A" (Hartford County). This trend does not hold for network programming. It is the only Connecticut station with a large Fairfield County audience as well, even though that area is part of the New York City market.

Since the start of the LMA with WCTX in 2000, WTNH has produced a nightly 10 o'clock newscast for that station. In 2005, WCTX began simulcasting the 6 a.m. hour of WTNH's weekday morning show followed by a second hour, 7 to 8, seen only on WCTX. The 6 o'clock hour was eventually dropped. In addition to its main studios, WTNH operates a New London Bureau in The New London Day newsroom on Eugene O'Neill Drive and a Hartford Bureau on Columbus Boulevard. Its weekday noon broadcast was originally an hour long but was reduced to thirty minutes in recent times after a lifestyle magazine show, known as Connecticut Style, was added at 12:30.

Along with regional NOAA National Weather Service radar data, the station operates its own weather radar near its transmitter site in Hamden. Together, these two sources are called "SkyMax Doppler Network". WCTX broadcasts a 24-hour live feed of that system on a second digital subchannel. It operates a mobile weather vehicle, built around a modified Dodge Durango, known as the "SkyMax Mobile Weather Lab". It operated a Bell 206L3 Long Ranger helicopter known as "Chopper 8" until December 2008. The helicopter was shared with sister stations WPRI-TV and WNAC-TV in Providence. Currently, the helicopter is stored in Indianapolis as a backup for sister station WISH-TV. On April 26, 2010; WTNH became the third station in the market to begin broadcasting newscasts in 16:9 widescreen. WCTX's morning and 10 p.m. newscasts, as well as WTNH's lifestyle and entertainment program, Connecticut Style, were also included in the upgrade. However, the newscasts are not broadcast in high-definition, rather in 16:9 widescreen standard-definition. The station is scheduled to upgrade to full HD operations in Summer 2010.

Newscast titles

  • Action News (1972–1996)
  • NewsChannel 8 (1996-April 2010)
  • News 8 (April 2010–present)

Station slogans

  • "Connecticut's News Leader" (1992–1996)
  • "Working For You" (1996–2003)
  • "Coverage You Can Count On" (2003–present)
  • "Count on 8" (2009–present)

News team


  • Kristen Cusato - weekday mornings
  • Chris Velardi - weekday mornings
  • Keith Kountz - weekdays at noon and 6 pm
  • Darren Kramer - weeknights at 5, 5:30, 10, and 11
  • Sonia Baghdady - weeknights at 5, 5:30, and 11
  • Ann Nyberg - weeknights at 6 and 10
  • Annie Rourke - Sunday mornings and reporter
  • Ted Koppy - Saturday mornings, Sunday evenings and reporter
  • Sara Welch - weekend evenings and reporter

Storm Team 8 Meteorologists

  • Dr. Mel Goldstein - Chief seen weekdays at noon
  • Geoff Fox - weeknights
  • Gil Simmons (Certified Broadcast Meteorologist) - weekday mornings
  • Matt Scott (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - weekend mornings
  • Sid Starks - weekend evenings


  • Noah Finz - Director seen weeknights at 6, 10, and 11
  • John Pierson - weekend evenings
  • Marc Robbins - reporter


  • Tina Detelj - New London Bureau
  • Mark Davis - Chief Political Correspondent
  • Desiree Fontaine - weekday traffic and Connecticut Style host (arrested June 19, 2010 for shoplifting $104.98 at a Sears store in Milford CT)
  • Jocelyn Maminta - health and medical
  • Erin Cox - investigative and general assignment
  • Jamie Muro
  • Annie Rourke - Anchor/Reporter
  • Bob Wilson
  • Sara Welch - Anchor/Reporter
  • Ted Koppy - Anchor/Reporter
  • Crystal Haynes
  • Kent Pierce
  • Marc Robbins - News/Sports Reporter
  • Rachel Guerra

Notable former staff

  • Nancy Aborn
  • Brian Burnell
  • Mike Boguslawski
  • Dennis Buckman
  • Ed Caputo
  • Alan Cohn - now at WFTS-TV
  • Jon Crane
  • Leon Collins
  • Verna Collins
  • Persefone Contos
  • Judy Chong
  • Skip Church
  • Wendy Cicchetti
  • Kendra Farn
  • Joe Francis
  • Dick Galliette
  • George Grande
  • Jim Hoffer
  • Christina Hager - now at WBZ-TV
  • Mike Hambrick
  • Marci Izard - now at WGGB-TV
  • Gail Janus
  • Bob Jones
  • Tom Kirby
  • Tom Lewis - now at WTIC-TV
  • Cathy Marshall
  • SallyAnn Mosey
  • Bob Norman
  • Janet Peckinpaugh
  • Bob Picozzi
  • Sam Rosen
  • Stelio Salmona
  • Anna Sava
  • Barbara Semedo
  • Pat Sheehan
  • Jocelyn Sigue
  • Sue Simmons - now at WNBC-TV
  • Toby A. Smith
  • Jayne Smith
  • Peter Standring
  • Andrea Stassou
  • Alexandra Steele - now at The Weather Channel
  • Diane Smith
  • Tricia Taskey- now at WTIC-TV
  • Al Terzi - now at WFSB
  • George Thompson
  • Kenn Venit
  • Mike Warren
  • Carla Wohl - now a correspondent at ABC's Los Angeles bureau


  1. ^ DuMont TV historical website, Chapter 3: Stations, C. Ingram
  2. ^ LIN TV Corp. Exploring Strategic Alternatives, LIN TV, May 18, 2007
  3. ^

External links

Connecticut portal

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