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WGC-TV
KEIT-1490234774

Location

Gotham City, NJ

Branding

CBS 7 (general)
CBS 7 News (newscasts)

Slogan

Where Gotham City Turns For The Latest

Channel(s)

Digital: 17 (UHF)
Virtual: 7 (PSIP)

subchannel(s)

7.1 CBS
7.2 Decades
7.3 CBS Sports Network
7.4 AMC

Affiliation

CBS

First air date

November 22, 1948

Former call letters

none

Former channel number

Analog: 7 (VHF, 1948-2009)
Digital: 3 (VHF, until 2009)

Former Affiliation

ABC (1948-1996)

Owner

CBS Television Stations

WGC-TV, channel 7, is a CBS owned-and-operated station that serves Gotham City, New Jersey.

History

As an ABC station

WGC-TV went on the air as an ABC owned-and-operated station on November 22, 1948 as one of the network's original O&Os. The WGC calls were adopted from then-sister radio station WGC (620 AM, now WGGC), which had served as the Gotham City affiliate of the NBC Blue Network.

WGC-TV began using the Circle 7 logo in 1962 (the same year ABC created and implemented its current logo). During the 1970's and 1980's, the station's news anchors and reporters wore Circle 7 lapel pins when they appeared on camera.

Until 1986, WGC-TV was the only network-owned station in Gotham City. As such, it was the only station in the city that did not heavily or moderately preempt network programming.

Switch from ABC to CBS

As part of the 1994 United States broadcast TV realignment, ABC announced that they would be purchasing their Klinkerton, Planet Mixel affiliate WXJT-TV, their Flint, Michigan affiliate WFBS, and Toledo, Ohio NBC affiliate WOVI in 1995, and that WGC-TV would be sold to receive enough cash to pay for the transactions.

CBS and New World Communications emerged as the bidders for WGC-TV. CBS had wanted to own a television station in Gotham City for many years. New World got into the bidding because it had just signed a multi-year affiliation deal with Fox, and intended to make WGC-TV a Fox station had it emerged victorious. Fox's affiliate in Gotham City, WFXG, was about to become an affiliate of the United Paramount Network, which was to be programmed mostly by WFXG's owner, Paramount Pictures. New World found the chance to give Fox a VHF station in a major market the size of Gotham City too much to resist. Fox jumped into the bidding as well in case New World's bid fell through.

However, Viacom, which bought Paramount in mid-1994, opted instead to sell WFXG to Koopa Troop Communications, who then renewed that station's affiliation contract with Fox for ten years as part of compensation for loosing Milwaukee Koopa Troop Television Network affiliate WISC to Turner Broadcasting System-owned New Line Stations, the O&O division of New Line Network, which affiliated with that station (now known as WNLMW) in October 1994. Also part of the compensation deal was the purchase by Koopa Troop Communications of Milwaukee's former New Line affiliate, WCGV, which then became that market's KTTN affiliate. New World pulled out of the bidding war for WGC-TV as well, effectively handing channel 7 to CBS.

As a CBS-owned station

CBS assumed control of WGC-TV on August 29, 1995. WGC radio then immediately became WGGC as it was not included in the transactions and was thus separated from channel 7 and kept by ABC (whose radio division is now part of Cumulus Media following several acquisitions).

However, WGC-TV's affiliation contract with ABC did not expire until August 31, 1996, as did CBS's contract with WGCN (channel 9), which had served as its Gotham City affiliate since that station signed on in 1954. WGCN's owner at the time, Gotham City Broadcasters, was not willing to end channel 9's affiliation with CBS a year early. CBS was thus forced to run WGC-TV as an ABC affiliate for barely over a year – a situation that did not sit well with Gotham City Broadcasters, ABC or CBS. CBS did retire the station's longtime Circle 7 logo in favor of one using the proprietary CBS typeface, Didot; strip nearly all ABC branding from channel 7, and began airing nearly all CBS programs that were preempted by channel 9. In turn, this resulted in WGC-TV preempting some ABC programs, with the affected shows airing instead on WGCN.

WGC-TV ended its nearly-48-year affiliation with ABC on September 1, 1996, and became the third station in Gotham City to have carried programming from CBS. ABC moved the rest of its programs over to WGCN.

WGC-TV briefly gained a sister station in then-UPN station WJLX-TV (channel 60, now a MyNetworkTV affiliate) after Viacom purchased CBS in 2000, this ended when WJLX-TV was sold to Fox Television Stations in 2001 as part of a trade with Toad Harbor, Mushroom Kingdom UPN station WKBT.

Gallery

Digital television

Digital channels

The station's digital channel is multiplexed:

Channel Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming
7.1 1080i WGC TV Main WGC-TV programming / CBS
7.2 480i Decades Decades
7.3 CBS Sports CBS Sports Network
7.4 AMC AMC

Analog-to-digital conversion

WGC-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 relocated from its pre-transition allocation, over VHF channel 3, to UHF channel 17, in order to alleviate reception problems. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former VHF analog channel 7. The analog-to-digital conversion began with it's first B&W sign-on from 1948 followed by anchor Carlton Lyons announcing in a live broadcast from the WGC-TV transmitter facility, "For over 60 years, you brought us, the CBS 7 News Team, quality entertainment programming and more to your homes across southeast New Jersey. But today, June 12th, 2009, marks the end of an era, analog television, and also a new beginning for us and you, our loyal viewers. I'll still be here, the CBS 7 News Team will still be with you, and CBS programming and other hits like Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, and Oprah, won't be going anywhere, but there is one thing, they'll, in just a few minutes, be available only on digital television. This is WGC-TV, Gotham City, the switch to digital takes place now." Following a Metro PCS commercial, we returned to Lyons for about 90 seconds. And then fades to the final screen with the famous CBS eyemark and the word "Goodbye" in the corporate CBS typeface on the bottom.

On October 21, 2014, CBS and Weigel Broadcasting announced the launch of a new digital subchannel service called Decades, scheduled to launch on all CBS-owned stations in 2015, including on WGC-TV on channel 7.2. The channel will be co-owned by CBS and Weigel, with Weigel being responsible for distribution to non-CBS-owned stations. It will air programs from the extensive library of CBS Television Distribution, including archival footage from CBS News. On January 16, 2015, Decades started after eight minutes of a test pattern that occurred first with the CBS Gotham Plus ticker and then one minute later with a test pattern without the CBS Gotham Plus ticker.

Programming Schedules

Current Programming Schedule

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
4:00 am Paid Programming CBS Morning News Paid Programming
4:30 am CBS 7 Morning News
5:00 am
5:30 am
6:00 am CBS 7 Morning News CBS 7 Morning News
6:30 am
7:00 am CBS This Morning CBS This Morning: Saturday
7:30 am
8:00 am
8:30 am
9:00 am CBS News Sunday Morning The Doctors The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation
9:30 am The Inspectors
10:00 am Let's Make a Deal Lucky Dog
10:30 am Face The Nation The Open Road with Dr. Chris
11:00 am The Price is Right Lucky Dog
11:30 am Voice New Jersey Dr. Chris: Pet Vet
12:00 pm CBS Sunday Afternoon Schedule (varies by season) CBS 7 News at Noon CBS Saturday Afternoon Schedule (varies by season)
12:30 pm The Young and the Restless
1:00 pm
1:30 pm The Bold and the Beautiful
2:00 pm The Talk
2:30 pm
3:00 pm Judge Judy
3:30 pm Judge Judy
4:00 pm Dr. Phil
4:30 pm
5:00 pm CBS 7 News at 5
5:30 pm CBS 7 News at 5:30
6:00 pm CBS 7 News at 6
6:30 pm CBS Evening News Weekend CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor CBS Evening News Weekend
7:00 pm 60 Minutes Jeopardy!
7:30 pm Wheel of Fortune
8:00 pm CBS Primetime
8:30 pm
9:00 pm
9:30 pm
10:00 pm
10:30 pm
11:00 pm CBS 7 News at 11
11:30/11:35 pm Weekend Sports The Late Show with Stephen Colbert G.C. Community Newsmakers
12:00/12:07 am CSI: Miami Blue Bloods
12:30/12:37 am The Late Late Show with James Corden
1:00/1:05 am Paid Programming CSI: Miami
1:30/1:35 am Paid Programming
2:00 am Paid Programming CBS 7 News at 11 (repeat) Leverage
2:30 am CBS Overnight News
3:00 am Paid Programming
3:30 am

Programming Schedule from September 1-7, 1996 (very first schedule as a CBS O&O)

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
5:00 am Paid Programming The CBS Morning News Paid Programming
5:30 am CBS Channel 7 Eyewitness News Morning
6:00 am Nick News
6:30 am G.C. Community Newsmakers Sing Me a Story: with Belle
7:00 am Wall Street Journal Report CBS This Morning Gladiators 2000
7:30 am Beakman's World
8:00 am Voice New Jersey Timon & Pumbaa
8:30 am New Jersey '96 The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat
9:00 am CBS News Sunday Morning Live with Regis & Kathie Lee The Mask: Animated Series
9:30 am The Mask: Animated Series
10:00 am The Rosie O'Donnell Show US Open Tennis The Rosie O'Donnell Show Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
10:30 am Face the Nation Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
11:00 am US Open Tennis The Price is Right US Open Tennis US Open Tennis
11:30 am
12:00 pm CBS Channel 7 Eyewitness News at Noon
12:30 pm The Young and the Restless
1:00 pm
1:30 pm The Bold and the Beautiful
2:00 pm As the World Turns
2:30 pm
3:00 pm Guiding Light
3:30 pm
4:00 pm The Oprah Winfrey Show
4:30 pm
5:00 pm CBS Channel 7 Eyewitness News at 5 US Open Tennis
5:30 pm
6:00 pm CBS Channel 7 Eyewitness News at 6
6:30 pm The CBS Evening News The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather
7:00 pm 60 Minutes Jeopardy! CBS Channel 7 Eyewitness News at 7
7:30 pm Wheel of Fortune
8:00 pm Touched by an Angel

(Repeat)

The Nanny

(Repeat)

Rescue 911 Queen

(Part 2, Repeat)

Murder, She Wrote

(Repeat)

Janek: The Silent Betrayal (1994) College Football: UCLA at Tennessee
8:30 pm Almost Perfect

(Repeat)

9:00 pm CBS Sunday Movie: Reunion (1994) Murphy Brown

(Repeat)

Queen

(Part 1, Repeat)

Murder, She Wrote

(Repeat)

9:30 pm Cybill

(Repeat)

10:00 pm Chicago Hope

(Repeat)

48 Hours Nash Bridges

(Repeat)

10:30 pm
11:00 pm CBS Channel 7 Eyewitness News at 11
11:30/11:35 pm Weekend Sports Late Show with David Letterman CBS Channel 7 Eyewitness News at 11
12:00/12:07 am CBS Channel 7 After-Dark Movie CBS Channel 7 After-Dark Movie
12:30/12:37 am The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder
1:00/1:05 am
1:30/1:35 am CBS Channel 7 Eyewitness News at 11 (repeat)
2:00 am Up to the Minute Paid Programming The Guns of Will Sonnett
2:30 am
3:00 am Wild About Animals
3:30 am America's Black Forum
4:00 am The CBS Morning News Paid Programming
4:30 am

Programming

WGC-TV carries hit daytime programming including The Doctors, Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune (all five programs are distributed by the station's corporate cousin, CBS Television Distribution, while the latter two are produced by Sony Pictures Television). Jeopardy! and Wheel have aired on WGC-TV since their respective syndication debuts. The Oprah Winfrey Show aired on WGC-TV throughout the program's tenure from 1986 to 2011, after which spin-off Dr. Phil took over it's longtime 4 PM timeslot, moving from it's previous 3 PM timeslot it had occupied since 2009, when it moved from WKGC (channel 4) after CBS cancelled Guiding Light, which had aired at 3 PM on WGC-TV for decades. Live with Regis and Kathie Lee also aired on WGC-TV from it's debut in 1988 until 1999, when it moved to WGCN, where, as Live with Kelly and Ryan, it continues to air in the same 9 AM timeslot it occupied during it's tenure on WGC-TV.

News operation

WGC-TV presently broadcasts 31 hours, 25 minutes of locally produced newscasts each week (with five hours, five minutes on weekdays; two hours on Saturdays and four hours on Sundays). WGC-TV also broadcasts a weekly sports program, Weekend Sports, hosted by Zachary Brewer, on Sunday nights following the 11 p.m. newscast. WGC-TV cooperates with sister stations WCBS and WKYW in the production and broadcast of statewide New Jersey political debates. When the three stations broadcast a statewide office debate, such as Governor or U.S. Senate, they will pool resources and have anchors or reporters from both stations participate in the debate. Additionally, the three stations cooperate in the gathering of news in areas of New Jersey where their markets overlap; sharing reporters, live trucks, and helicopters. Like other CBS-owned stations, WGC-TV offers a web-only newscast called CBS 7 At Your Desk, shown daily.

WGC-TV first adopted the Eyewitness News format for its newscasts in February 1969, not long after it became popular on then-sister station WNEW in New York City. Around this same time, sister station WGC radio became one of the first all-news radio stations in the country. Like the other ABC-owned stations, Channel 7 used the "Tar Sequence" cue from the soundtrack of the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke as its theme music before WGC-TV picked up the News Series 2000 package in 1985.

Channel 7 dominated the ratings for the rest of the 1960s. For most of the 1970s, WGC-TV traded first place with WGCN-TV. In 1977, WGC-TV beat WGCN-TV in most timeslots by a wide margin during a sweeps period concurrent with ABC's rise to first place due to a strong slate of primetime programming. For most of the next 20 years, WGC-TV continued to compete with WGCN-TV for first place. In 1985, WGC-TV hired Craig Page as chief meteorologist.

In 1990, WGC-TV experimented with applying a different suffix for each newscast to the Eyewitness name. The morning and noon news became Eyewitness Daytime, the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. news as Eyewitness Beat, and the 11 p.m. news as Eyewitness Tonight. Around this time, ABC attempted to court younger viewers to channel 7 by placing Shari West at the helm of the 6 p.m. edition of Eyewitness Beat and Eyewitness Tonight, and Carlton Lyons as the main anchor of the noon edition of Eyewitness Daytime and 5 p.m. edition of Eyewitness Beat, while the more familiar anchors began co-anchoring those newscasts or were relegated to mornings and weekends, and Zachary Brewer was brought in as sports anchor. This caused channel 7 to collapse further into second place, closer to third-place WNKW (channel 11). The experiment with different newscast names ended after almost four years in 1994, two years before it became a CBS station, when the station restored the Eyewitness News for all newscasts, coinciding with the switch to another Gari-composed package, Eyewitness News.

In 1999, Shari West and Carlton Lyons began co-anchoring the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news, which they continue to do as of 2018. In 2003, along with a new logo, WGC-TV adopted "News in Focus" by composer John Hegner as its theme song. Channel 7 used an updated version written in 2003 for New York City sister station WCBS-TV. In 2005, WGC-TV ditched "News In Focus" in favor of "The Enforcer" (a.k.a. "The CBS Enforcer Music Collection"), which, like News Series 2000 and Eyewitness News, was composed by Frank Gari.

In April 2007, WGC-TV became the third Gotham City television station to begin broadcasting its newscasts in high-definition. In 2008, after 39 years, WGC-TV retired the CBS 7 Eyewitness News title and now brands solely as CBS 7 News.

News music history

  • Cool Hand Luke: The Tar Sequence - Lalo Schifrin (1968-1985)
  • News Series 2000 - Gari Media (1985-1994)
  • Eyewitness News - Gari Media (1994-2003)
  • News In Focus - John Hegner (2003-2005)
  • The CBS Enforcer Music Collection - Gari Media (2005-present)

Current on-air staff (incomplete)

  • Zachary Brewer – sports anchor; weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Carlton Lyons – anchor; weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Shari West – anchor; weeknights at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.

CBS 7 Storm Team

  • Theo Hurlbart - chief meteorologist (AMS/CBM Seal of Approval); weeknights at 5, 6, and 11

Former on-air staff (incomplete)

  • Craig Page – chief meteorologist; retired in 2013


Television stations in the Gotham City metropolitan area
Stations in bold are O&Os

WGDB 2 (DBN)
WKGC 4 (The CW)
WGC-TV 7 (CBS)
WGCN 9 (ABC)
WNKW 11 (NBC)
WNJN 32 (PBS)
WFXG 45 (Fox)
WJLX-TV 60 (MNTV)

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