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WVUE-DT, broadcasting on virtual channel 8, is a TV station in New Orleans, Louisiana, affiliated with the Fox Broadcasting Company. WVUE is owned by Louisiana Media Company, with studios in the Gert Town section of New Orleans and transmitter in Chalmette, Louisiana

WVUE-DT
[1]
New Orleans, Louisiana
Branding Fox 8 (general)

Fox 8 News (newscasts)

Slogan Your Local News Channel (news)

Your Weather Authority (weather) Your Home Team (general)

Channels Digital:

8 (VHF) 29 (UHF) (STA) Virtual: 8 (PSIP)

Subchannels 8.1 WVUE / Fox HD

8.2 Fox 8 Newschannel

Affiliations Fox
Owner Louisiana Media Company, LLC
First air date

September 1, 1953

(The Television and Cable Factbook says December 17, 1958.)

Call letters' meaning VUE; French translation of the word "View"
Former callsigns WJMR-TV (1953-1965)
Former channel number(s) Analog:

61 (UHF, 1953-1956) 20 (UHF, 1956-1959) 13 (VHF, 1959-1962) 12 (VHF, 1962-1970) 8 (VHF, 1970-2008)

Former affiliations CBS (1953-1957)

ABC (1953-1995, secondary until 1957)

Transmitter power VHF 8: 14.6 kW

UHF 29: 660 kW (STA)

Height VHF 8: 302 m

UHF 29: 274 m (STA)

Facility ID 4149
Transmitter coordinates 29°57′15.8″N 89°56′58.5″W / 29.954389°N 89.949583°W / 29.954389; -89.949583
Website www.fox8live.com

History

WVUE began broadcasting on September 1, 1953 as WJMR-TV, the second TV station in New Orleans (behind WDSU-TV) and the third in Louisiana (behind WDSU and WAFB in Baton Rouge). Originally broadcasting on channel 61, it then moved to channel 20 in 1956[1]. It was originally a CBS affiliate with a secondary ABC affiliation. During 1957 and 1958 WJMR-TV simulcasted its signal on Channel 12 using the call sign KK2XFW-TV[2]. When WWL-TV signed on in 1957, WWL took over the CBS affiliation because of WWL radio's longtime affiliation with CBS radio. WJMR was left with ABC.

The station moved to channel 13 on January 13, 1959 and to channel 12 in 1962 due to interference with WLOX in Biloxi, Mississippi, which also broadcasts on channel 13. Screen Gems bought the station in 1965 and changed the call letters to WVUE. On June 10, 1970, it made a highly-publicized switch of dial positions with the city's PBS station, WYES-TV, and moved to its current location on channel 8.

As for the channels 61 and 20 allocations respectively, they are now occupied by television stations WLPN-LP and WHNO.


[2][3]WVUE logo in 1974Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the station would consistently rank as a distant third place in the ratings behind WWL-TV and WDSU-TV, even as ABC topped the national ratings for a time in the mid-1970s. One of the primary reasons for WVUE's third-place position was the station's heavy preemptions of network programs. For example, during most on the 1970s, WVUE preempted portions of ABC's daytime soap opera schedule and aired westerns, cartoons and off-network sitcoms in their place. Additionally, WVUE preempted many of the network's Saturday morning cartoons as well as American Bandstand. WVUE also preempted ABC's late night programming, which prior to the debut of Nightline consisted of movies and reruns of primetime shows. Viewers in the New Orleans area who wanted to see most of ABC's programming in full could turn their sets to the network's other affiliates in surrounding markets: WRBT (now WVLA) and later WBRZ from Baton Rouge, west of New Orleans, or to WLOX from Biloxi, to the east..

The Oklahoma City-based Gaylord Broadcasting Company bought WVUE in 1977. Under the new ownership, WVUE reinstated ABC's full daytime drama lineup to its schedule in the fall of 1978. On May 31, 1982, WVUE became the latest New Orleans affiliate to launch a 5 PM newscast, with Live At Five.

In spite of ownership changes and programming modifications, WVUE was still unable to improve its place in the ratings. When Gaylord Broadcasting began a gradual paring-down its station group in 1987, WVUE was sold to Burnham Broadcasting. It continued to under-perform into the 1990s.

In early 1994, after the Fox Broadcasting Company won television rights to the National Football Conference of the National Football League, it arranged to have Savoy Pictures purchase WVUE and Burnham's three other stations; WALA-TV in Mobile, Alabama; WLUK-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KHON-TV in Honolulu, Hawaii. As part of the deal, the stations would all convert to Fox affiliates. Fox would own a minority voting stock in these stations and the company would be called "Savoy Fox". (However, in 1995, Fox opted not to have voting stock in the company, although it would still hold an interest.)

The transaction was completed in the summer of 1995. On January 1, 1996, WVUE became the area's new Fox affiliate. The ABC affiliation in New Orleans went to WGNO, which had been an affiliate of the WB Television Network. WNOL-TV, which had been the market's original Fox affiliate, took the WB affiliation. Unlike the New World Communications-owned stations which joined the network at around the same time, the Savoy stations, including WVUE, carried Fox's children's programming during weekdays. Despite becoming a Fox affiliate, WVUE still did not have a weekday morning newscast throughout the 1990s. Fox's ratings increased slightly from when it was on WNOL, but WVUE's news ratings still stayed well behind WWL-TV and WDSU. Savoy sold the station (along with the other three former Burnham stations) in 1997 to Silver King/USA Broadcasting. Emmis Communications became the owner of these stations in 1999.

Finally, in 2002, WVUE added a weekday morning newscast. In recent years, WVUE acquired stronger shows on its lineup, including acquiring the New Orleans rights to Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! as part of a group deal with Emmis' Fox stations group—a rarity for a Fox station (prior to airing on channel 8, they aired for about two decades on WWL-TV).

On May 5, 2008, Emmis Communications announced an agreement to sell the station to Louisiana Media Company, a new media group founded by New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson. Benson stated that he planned for the new company to acquire several radio and television stations nationwide and to be involved in movie production. The FCC approved the sale on July 14, 2008. Louisiana Media Company took possession of the station on July 18, 2008.[3][4] Ownership of WVUE became evident when a fleur-de-lis emblem was superimposed in the "O" of the "Fox 8" logo after modifications were made.

[edit] Hurricane Katrina

[4][5]WVUE's Jefferson Davis Parkway studio, March 2007Hurricane Katrina struck Greater New Orleans at the end of August 2005. WVUE's operations were temporarily moved to then-sister station WALA's studios in Mobile, Alabama. WVUE's studio on Jefferson Davis Parkway is located in a low-lying part of the city that was badly flooded due to the Katrina levee failures. It was so badly damaged that Emmis has told some of the on-air staff that they were free to seek work elsewhere without penalty.

Soon, WVUE's morning meteorologist Crystal Wicker went to Indianapolis' WRTV, where she began work October 3.[5] Weekend meteorologist Jeff Baskin went to Portland, Oregon's KOIN-TV. Reporter Summer Jackson went to Chicago to work at CLTV while reporter Kerry Cavanaugh took a job at WBAL-TV in Baltimore, Maryland.

Following the storm, WVUE presented a rotating 15-minute newscast streaming on its website coming from WALA, slowly restoring the regular station schedule as developments faded and reconstruction on news operations continued.

In mid-June 2006, construction of the station's permanent news set and weather center was completed. Before then, a temporary news set and newsroom were set up in the station's production room. Station manager Vanessa Oubre said remodeling/reconstruction of the rest of the building should be completed by November 2006. The sale of the station was also affected and was delayed for two years because of the rebuilding; Emmis had intended to divest all its television assets by the start of 2007, but kept ownership until WVUE was sold to LMC.

[edit] Digital television

[edit] WVUE-DT

The station's digital channel on VHF 8, is multiplexed:

Digital channels


Digital channel Programming
8.1/29.1 WVUE Main Programming / Fox HD 720p
8.2/29.2 Fox 8 Newschannel / Various vintage television programs SD 480i

On December 15, WVUE became the first New Orleans television station to cease its analog broadcast. On December 22, 2008, WVUE moved its digital broadcasts to its former analog channel number, 8.[1] This made WVUE the second station in the market after Telemundo affiliate KGLA-DT (which was launched without an analog signal) to become a digital-only station prior to the analog television shutdown that occurred on June 12, 2009.

After New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson's Louisiana Media Company took over WVUE from Emmis, WVUE-DT was finally added to Cox Communications in New Orleans and to Charter Communications on the Northshore and Tri-Parish area in August (Cox) and September (Charter) 2008. Both Charter and Cox carry WVUE-DT on channel 708. WVUE-DT can also be found on other cable systems in Southeast Louisiana and South and Coastal Mississippi, plus on AT&T U-verse in the New Orleans area on channels 8 (SD) and 1008 (HD).

FOX 8 Newschannel, which is carried on digital 8.2, can also be found on Cox Communications in the New Orleans viewing area on channel 115 and Charter Communications in the surrounding parishes on channel 108 (Northshore), and on channel 137 (Southshore). AT&T has yet to offer this on their U-verse service for the area. Fox 8 Newschannel carries the most recent newscast on a rotation, as well as general entertainment programming on weekends.

Currently, the local newscasts are broadcast in 16:9 high definition and currently is the only station in the market to do so. This is in contrast to WWL, WDSU, and WGNO who broadcast their newscasts in widescreen standard-definition.

[edit] VHF digital transmission troubles

Due to post transition reception problems reported by viewers, WVUE petitioned the FCC to return to UHF channel 29.[2] Increased power would cause interference to a Baton Rouge station.[3]

WVUE is in the process of terminating their signal on digital channel 8 and fully moving back over to digital channel 29.[4]

[edit] News operation

WVUE broadcasts a total of 34.5 hours of local news a week (6½ hours on weekdays and an hour each on Saturdays and Sundays), more than CBS affiliate WWL-TV (channel 4) and NBC affiliate WDSU-TV (channel 6, which both carry 27.5 hours a week) for the most hours of local news in the New Orleans market.

After the Fox affiliation switch, WVUE initially kept its 6 p.m. newscast, along with the 5 p.m. newscast. The 10 p.m. newscast it had as an ABC affiliate was dropped in favor of an hour-long 9 p.m. newscast then was split ten months later into separate half-hour newscasts at 9 and 10 p.m. with syndicated sitcoms airing at 9:30 p.m.; it continued in this format until 2001, when the weeknight 9 p.m. newscast was reverted back to an hour and the 10 p.m. newscast was cancelled once more due to the lack of a strong program lead-in. The 6 p.m. newscast was dropped with a 5:30 p.m. newscast added in 2005, joining the existing 5 p.m. news, creating an hour-long block of news that competes against the local and national evening newscasts on WWL-TV, WDSU and WGNO.

WVUE is the only station that airs a local newscast at 5:30 p.m. and it does not broadcast local newscasts at midday or at 6:00 p.m. Unlike most other Fox stations that produce their newscasts in-house, WVUE's 9 p.m. newscast does not air for an hour seven nights a week as the weekend edition airs for a half-hour; WVUE is among the largest Fox affiliates (in terms of market size) to air its primetime newscast in such a fashion.

On April 29, 2007, WVUE became the first TV station in New Orleans to broadcast a newscast in high definition. In January 2010, WVUE underwent a major production upgrade by going nearly all HD for their entire operation, plus introducing the first HD-based weather system in New Orleans.

On February 1, 2010, WVUE expanded their morning newscasts from three to four hours by adding a new weather-heavy based newscast from 5-6 a.m. called "FOX 8 Morning Call" with morning meteorologists Chris Franklin and Dawn Brown, who was previously working at WWL-TV. Both Franklin and Brown now rotate on the FOX 8 Morning News every weekday morning from 6-9 a.m. A weeknight-only 10 p.m. newscast (the third newscast in that timeslot in the station's history) was also given a slot on the station's schedule on that date; initially only a test run, the 10 p.m. newscast became permanent again on May 5, 2010 when former WWL-TV anchor Lee Zurik [5] joined the on-air staff.

In July 2010, the station added on a weekend 10pm newscast.

[edit] Ratings

Throughout the 2000s, WVUE's news ratings have slowly increased, and by the middle part of the decade, the station overtook WDSU for the number two position in the local news ratings behind WWL-TV in the 5:00 p.m. timeslot. The station had retained the number two ranking through 2008. The station is ranked third in morning news and first over WWL's 9pm newscast on WUPL.

[edit] News/station presentation

[edit] Newscast titles

  • WJMR-TV News (1956-1965)
  • The Evening News (6 p.m. newscast; 1965-1970)
  • NewsVue (6:05 and 10 p.m. newscasts; 1966)
  • Alec Gifford News (6 and 10 p.m. newscasts; 1967-1974)
  • 24 Hours (10 p.m. newscast; 1965-1976)
  • NewsScene 8 (1974-1984)
  • Live at Five (5 p.m. newscast; 1982-1984?)
  • Channel 8 News (1984-1986)
  • News 8 New Orleans (1986-1988)
  • News 8 (general) / News 8 Tonight (10 p.m. newscast; 1988-1995)
  • FOX News Eight (1996-1998)
  • FOX8 News (1998-present)

[edit] Station slogans

  • This is the Place to Be! (early 1970s)
  • There's More on NewsScene 8 (late 1970s)
  • On Your Side (?)
  • Your Neighborhood Station (mid 1980s-1987)
  • The Station That's Making Good Things Happen (1987-1992)
  • The One to Watch (1992-1995)
  • Your Weather Authority (weather slogan, 2002-present; used as news slogan from 2002 to 2008)
  • Your Local News Channel (2008-present; news slogan)
  • Louisiana's Home Team (2008-present; general slogan)

[6] This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.===[edit] Notable personalities===

[edit] Current on-air staff

Anchors

  • Shelley Brown - weekends at 9 and 10 p.m.
  • Jennifer Hale - weekday mornings "FOX 8 Morning News" (6-9 a.m.); also reporter
  • Kim Holden - weeknights at 10 p.m.
  • Rob Masson - weekday mornings "FOX 8 Morning News" (6-9 a.m.); also reporter
  • Nancy Parker - weeknights at 5 and 9 p.m.
  • John Snell - weeknights at 5 and 9 p.m.
  • Lee Zurik - weeknights at 9 and 10 p.m.; also chief investigative reporter

Weather

  • Bob Breck (AMS Seal of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; weeknights at 5, 9 and 10 p.m.
  • Dawn Brown - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "FOX 8 Morning Call" (5-6 a.m.), rotates with Chris Franklin weekday mornings on "FOX 8 Morning News" (6-9 a.m.)
  • Chris Franklin (AMS Seal of Approval) - Meteorologist; weekday mornings "FOX 8 Morning Call" (5-6 a.m.), rotates with Dawn Brown weekday mornings on "FOX 8 Morning News" (6-9 a.m.)
  • Nicondra Norwood - Meteorologist; weekends at 9 and 10 p.m.
  • Kim Vaughn (AMS member) - Meteorologist; fills-in as needed on-air, mainly works behind the scenes presenting the on-air graphics.

Sports

  • Rob Ennis - sports anchor; weekends at 9 and 10 p.m.
  • Sean Fazende - sports reporter; also fill-in sports anchor
  • John Henry Smith - sports director; weeknights at 5:30, 9 and 10 p.m. and host of Final Play

Reporters

  • Evan Anderson - morning reporter
  • Val Bracy - general assignment and investigative reporter
  • Allison Braxton - weekend reporter
  • Liz Reyes - general assignment reporter
  • Natasha Robin - general assignment reporter
  • Jennifer Van Vrancken - general assignment reporter
  • Sabrina Wilson - general assignment reporter

Contributing writers

  • Angus Lind - Writer and columnist for WVUE's website and appears once a week on the morning newscasts.
  • Dave McNamara - feature reporter with "The Heart of Louisiana" which airs once a week on the 9pm newscasts, plus runs his own production company which contributes to these reports. [6]
  • Chris Rose - Former long-time contributor to The Times-Picayune, provides an editorial weekly on-air and online.

[edit] Notable former on-air staff

  • Steve Alexander - weekend anchor/reporter (1978-1985; now at WKRG-TV)
  • Richard Anderson - weeknight anchor (currently heads own communications company)
  • Richard Angelico - producer/investigative reporter (1969-1983; later at WDSU-TV, now semiretired)
  • Natalie Angel
  • John Armstrong - anchor (mid-1960s)
  • Blaire Arvin - Now at ABC-26
  • Ken Aucoin - Meteorologist (1983-1999; later at WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina; retired, now co-author of the "Weather & Kids" series[6])
  • Logan Banks - reporter (now at WWL-TV)
  • Chip Barrere - meteorologist
  • Andy Barton - former news director
  • Jeff Baskin (now Chief Meteorologist at KLRT in Little Rock, Arkansas)
  • Warren Bell (now on New Orleans radio and teaches at Xavier University of Louisiana)
  • Jim Bergamo (now at KVUE-TV in Austin, Texas)
  • Howard Bernstein (now at WUSA Washington, D.C.)
  • Lionel Bienvenu - sports (now at KMGH-TV in Denver, Colorado)
  • Bob Blair - anchor (mid-1960s)
  • Karen Boudrie
  • Mike Bush
  • Jonathan Carter - weekday anchor (August 5, 2007-July 24, 2009)
  • Kerry Cavanaugh (now at WBAL-TV in Baltimore, Maryland)
  • Furnell Chatman - weekend monitor and desk assistant, anchor/reporter (1968-1973; later at WKYC-TV and KNBC-TV; retired)
  • Joe Cioffi (went to News 12 Networks)
  • Eric Clemons sports director (2004-2007)
  • Robin Cohen
  • Ed Clancy
  • Claudia Coffey - reporter/fill-in anchor (January 1999-February 2003; now at WHAS-TV, Louisville)
  • Damon Darensburg (now at WGNO)
  • Sam DePino - built newsroom from four people to ample staff as executive news producer-writer-reporter-anchor (1964-1967), first "Action Reporter" (1967-1968; also freelanced for ABC News and hired full time in 1968, retired in Illinois)
  • Bernard "Buddy" Diliberto - sports director/anchor (1966-1980; later worked for WDSU, died in 2005)
  • Margaret Dubuisson - anchor/reporter (1980s-1996; now host of local infomercials)
  • Al Duckworth - weekend weather anchor (mid-1980s; died in 2001)
  • Kristen Eargal - now at WBRZ
  • Keith Esparros - news director (November 1997 – April 2004; now at KNBC in Los Angeles)
  • Patrick Evans [7] - weekend anchor and reporter (2005-2007, until his deployment to Iraq as a Public Affairs Officer for Operation Iraqi Freedom; currently on active duty with the Navy and assigned to a submarine base in Connecticut)
  • Lynn Faris
  • Dionne Floyd (Anglin) - reporter (now at KDFW in Dallas/Fort Worth)
  • Louis de la Foret (a.k.a. Lou Forrest)
  • Jim Gallagher - reporter (1983-2000)
  • Lynn Gansar (Zatarain) - anchor/reporter (1980?-1983; later at WDSU-TV)
  • Joe Giardina - investigative reporter (1985-1992; now Gulf Coast region general manager for Lindmark Outdoor Advertising)
  • Alec Gifford - anchor/reporter (1967-1980; retired)
  • Briean Greenwald
  • Sandra Gonzalez - general assignment reporter (now at WGNO)
  • Darrell Greene - sports Anchor/morning Anchor (1997 – 2007; now at WHBQ-TV in Memphis August 2nd. 6)
  • Janet Gross - anchor, WVUE Saturday Morning (1992-1996); also notable for her humorous "Gross Stuff" spots (1996-1999?); later at WWL-AM/WWL-FM; now host of Town Talk on K-TV Channel 76. Married to WDSU's Heath Allen
  • Michael Herrera - meteorologist; also did voiceovers for WVUE (1964-2007; now at WWL-TV)
  • Jon Huffman - reporter (now Morning News Anchor at WGNO)
  • Ron Hunter - anchor/reporter (1981-1985; retired to Las Vegas in 1998; died June 23, 2008 at age 70)
  • Christy Henderson - now chief meteorologist at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, South Carolina
  • George Jones
  • Ken Jones - general assignment reporter (June 1986 – June 1990; later at WDSU, now Director of Communications of the New Orleans Recovery School District)
  • Jim Kemp - managing editor; news director; later Senior Assignment Editor at CNN (1983-2001); retired
  • Lori Kilgore
  • Rhett (Lewis) Kleinschmidt - reporter/fill-in sports anchor (Now at WHDH in Boston, MA as Rhett Lewis) [8]
  • Mel Leavitt - sportscaster (also worked at WDSU, WGNO and WYES; died in August 1997)
  • Mike Longman - investigative reporter (January 1997—January 2001; arrested for child pornography in 2000 and sentenced to four years in prison, was put on a leave of absence by the station shortly after arrest)
  • Jim Marsh
  • Ed Marten - Action Reporter
  • Johnny Miller - "Johnny's Follies" feature reporter
  • Linda Mintz - "Miss Linda" on WVUE's version of Romper Room
  • Charles Mollineaux - reporter (now at WAGA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia)
  • Arthel Neville - reporter (former host of syndicated entertainment news show Extra
  • Adam Norris
  • Tim O'Brien - weekend anchor (1976)
  • Vanessa Oubre - station manager (now at WAFF in Huntsville, Alabama)
  • Monica Pierre - (now at WWL AM-FM)
  • Eric Richey - sports director (2007-2009; was at WIST AM 690, now at Cox Sports Television)
  • Norman Robinson - anchor/reporter (now at WDSU)
  • Nash Roberts - meteorologist (1973-1978; succeeded by Bob Breck, later at WWL-TV, now retired)
  • Steve Rosanovich
  • Nancy Russo - weekend weather anchor (1980-1984; succeeded by Al Duckworth)
  • Laura Shelton (now at CBS News)
  • Ken Strahorn - sports
  • Tom Stringfellow
  • Ron Swoboda - sports anchor (now at Cox Sports Television)
  • Leslie Sykes - now at KABC-TV in Los Angeles)
  • Joe Trahan - sports director/anchor/reporter (1994–2003; now at WFAA-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth)
  • Nischelle Turner - now works as an NFL sideline reporter for FOX Sports.
  • Ron Turner
  • Gary V Straub - anchor/reporter (1965; died 2007)
  • Dave Walker - weekend anchor (1977)
  • Ken Watts weekend anchor
  • Crystal Wicker - weekday meteorologist (2003-2005; now at WRTV in Indianapolis)
  • Al Wester
  • Elizabeth Willis - left WVUE to become a stay-at-home mom
  • Ross Yockey

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