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WNEW
WNEW-ABC8

Location

New York, NY

Branding

ABC 8
ABC 8 Eyewitness News

Slogan

New York is Everywhere!

Channel(s)

Digital: 8 (VHF)

subchannel(s)

8.1: ABC
8.2: Live Well Nework
8.3: Laff
8.4: ABC News Now
8.5: Vault Disney

Affiliation

ABC

Sister Radio stations

101.0 WNIS WSPS
92.3 ESPN WNIS
101.9 WTRK 770

Former call letters

WNYC-TV

Website

news.abc.com/ny

Owner

ABC Owned Television Stations

WNEW-TV, channel 8, is the flagship station of the American Broadcasting Company located in New York City. The station's studios and offices are located on the Upper West Side section of Manhattan, adjacent to ABC's corporate headquarters, and its transmitter is atop the Empire State Building. WNEW-TV is best known in broadcasting circles for its highly successful version of the Eyewitness News format and for its morning show Live with Kelly and Michael, syndicated nationally by corporate cousin Disney-ABC Domestic Television.

At 12:30 P.M. on June 12, 2009, WNEW-TV discontinued regular analog programming on channel 8. The station returned from channel 45 to channel 8. Initially, over-the-air digital signals from WNEW were difficult to receive in NYC. The explanation given is that WNEW was requested by FCC to broadcast at less power; WNEW is among many stations which have found it necessary to increase power to restore coverage to the same level as its old analog signal. On June 29, 2009, WNEW did file an application to the FCC to increase power from 11.69 kW to 27 kW. At this time, it has yet to be granted. On January 31, 2010, the FCC granted an STA for the station to increase power to 26.9 kW.

History

The station signed on August 10, 1948 as WNYC-TV, the first of three television stations signed on by the American Broadcasting Company during that same year, with WACH-TV in Chicago and WDET-TV in Detroit being the other two. Channel 7's call letters came from its then-sister radio station, WNYC (770 AM, now WNY). In its early years, WNYC-TV was programmed much like an independent station, as the ABC television network was still, for the most part, in its very early stages of development and affiliate recruitment. The ABC-owned stations, which operated not only in New York but in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco, did air some common programming during this period, especially after the 1949 fall season when the network's schedule in prime time began to expand. The call letters were changed to WNEW-TV on March 1, 1953, after ABC merged its operations with United Paramount Theaters, a firm which was broken off from former parent company Paramount Pictures by decree of the U.S. government. The WNYC callsign has since been reassigned, in 1957, to NYPB, the original owner of WNYC radio in New York, and assigned to the PBS O&O station, although that station is now a NJTV affiliate by coincidence from 1995. On September 11, 2001, the transmitter facilities of WNEW-TV, as well as eight other local television stations and several radio stations, were destroyed when two hijacked airplanes crashed into and destroyed the World Trade Center towers. Transmitter maintenance engineer Donald DiFranco died in the attack. In the immediate aftermath, WNEW-TV fed its signal to several UHF stations that were still broadcasting (notably WNYE-TV), before establishing temporary facilities at Armstrong Tower in Alpine, New Jersey. The station eventually established transmission facilities at the Empire State Building.

On May 27, 2007, WNEW-TV's studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza suffered major damage as the result of a fire that knocked the station off the air shortly before the start of the 11:00 p.m. newscast. According to preliminary reports, the fire may have been ignited by a spotlight coming into contact with a curtain inside the news studio; the WNEW-TV website later reported the cause as an "electrical malfunction". The station's building was evacuated and the fire was brought under control, though there is said to have been "extensive damage", including smoke and water damage, to the studio. WNEW-TV resumed broadcasting at around 1:00 a.m. on May 28, 2007 (initially carrying the network's 10:00 p.m. West Coast feed of Brothers & Sisters, followed by the full version of World News Now). Due to the fire, Channel 8 broadcast Eyewitness News from a temporary newsroom, while Live with Regis and Kelly, whose set was also affected, moved to the set of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Starting with the 5:00 p.m. newscast on June 20, 2007, the station resumed Eyewitness News and Live... broadcasts from the newsroom set at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

In the few areas of the eastern United States where ABC programming is not available over-the-air, WNEW-TV is seen via satellite through DirecTV. As of March 4, 2009, WNEW is once again available to Dish Network customers as part of All American Direct's distant network package. In New Jersey, all of Mercer County for Comcast Cable Subscribers, WNEW-TV Channel 8 is one of two New York area stations to be aired on the basic tier on Channel 8. The other station is WGWB Channel 22 licensed to Newark shown on the basic tier on Channel 13. Although parts of Northern Mercer County for Comcast Cable Subscribers, get New York FOX affiliate WFXN-TV Channel 10 on the basic tier on Channel 10. The rest of Mercer County's Comcast Cable Subscribers get the other New York stations on Digital Cable only. Cablevision of Hamilton and Robbinsville and Verizon Fios in Mercer County show all New York channels on the basic tier.

Since 1985, WNEW has been the New York area home of the long running game show Jeopardy!, having acquired rights to it partway through its first season from rival WNY. Since 1990 Jeopardy! has been paired with its sister series Wheel of Fortune, which WNEW acquired after WCBW dropped the series. WNEW also airs Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, acquiring the syndicated series in 2003 after WCBW dropped it, and since 2011 is one of many stations that airs the "double run" package offered by the syndicator consisting of a new/current season episode in its normal timeslot and an episode from the previous season in a second timeslot. Among the various other game shows that have aired on WNEW are two syndicated versions of Hollywood Squares (the 1970s weekly series hosted by Peter Marshall and the first two seasons of the 1980s daily series hosted by John Davidson), Match Game PM, and several short lived syndicated series in the mid-1980s such as Sale of the Century and Card Sharks.

Besides its flagship morning show WNEW was the longtime home of The Oprah Winfrey Show in New York, carrying the series from its 1985 debut until its 2011 ending. The series aired for 25 years as the lead-in to the station's 5 PM newscast and WNEW often aired the program twice a day, once in its regular 4 PM slot and once in an early morning timeslot for viewers who may have missed it during the day. WNEW was also the New York base for The Rosie O'Donnell Show (which, incidentally, taped at NBC's Rockefeller Center studios) for its entire run, often airing the program live, and was also home to The Sally Jessy Raphael Show from 1986 until 1993. Other talk shows that aired on the station include The Wayne Brady Show and The Tony Danza Show, the latter of which originated from WNEW's studios and was broadcast live on the East Coast. Currently, WNEW's only syndicated talk show offering is The Rachael Ray Show, which airs following Live with Kelly and has been on the station since its debut.

WNEW does not typically offer much in the way of reruns of syndicated comedy and drama series, typically offering other programming or filler from Byron Allen's production companies. The station currently airs Scrubs in an early morning timeslot daily and Brothers and Sisters and Grey's Anatomy on weekends.

News

WNEW-TV is best known for popularizing the Eyewitness News format, in which reporters present their stories directly to the viewers. News director Al Primo brought the format to WNEW-TV in 1968 from WKYW in Philadelphia, but added a twist—a degree of conversational chatter among the anchors, known as "happy talk." Primo used the "Tar Sequence" cue from the musical score from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, composed by Lalo Schifrin, as the theme music. The score included a telegraphic-like melody appropriate for a newscast. The Eyewitness News format and theme music were quickly adopted by ABC's other four owned-and-operated stations at the time—WCHI-TV in Chicago, WDET-TV in Detroit, KLAN-TV in Los Angeles, and KSFN-TV in San Francisco (though KSFN-TV and WDET-TV did not use the Eyewitness News title for their programs). The format quickly rejuvenated a station that had long been an also-ran to WCBW and WNBN. Within a year, channel 7 had shot to first place in the ratings for the first time in its history, displacing longtime leader WCBW. It spent most of the decade going back and forth with WCBW for first place. For a time in the 1980s, it fell into last place, but still fought with WCBW for second place. In 1985, the station lured WCHI-TV's news director, Bill Applegate, from Chicago to New York. Applegate claimed credit for taking WCHI-TV from last to first in only two years, and ABC hoped he could work the same magic at the flagship station. Their hopes were rewarded in 1987 when Channel 7 surged back into first place. It has been the ratings leader in New York since then, and has grown to become the most watched broadcast television station in the United States. For sixteen years starting in 1970, Roger Grimsby and Bill Beutel were the faces of Eyewitness News. Grimsby came to channel 7 in 1968 from KSFN-TV, and was the station's lead anchor when Eyewitness News was introduced. He was known for his opening tagline, "Good Evening, I'm Roger Grimsby, here now the news", and his closing line, "Hoping your news is good news, I'm Roger Grimsby." Beutel had previously anchored at channel 7 from 1962 to 1968 (shortly before ABC moved Grimsby to New York) before spending two years as the network's London bureau chief. The duo were split up for the first ten months of 1975, as ABC had reassigned Beutel to its new morning show AM America. The station brought in WDET-TV anchor Bill Bonds to take Beutel's place. When AM America was cancelled and replaced with Good Morning America, Beutel was re-teamed with Grimsby and Bonds returned to Detroit. In the wake of declining ratings, Grimsby was fired on April 16, 1986, a move for which Applegate drew considerable fire, and Grimsby was quickly hired by rival WCBW. Beutel stepped down from the anchor desk in 2001, two years before his retirement, which concluded the longest tenure for a main anchor in New York television history. While banter among anchors is still part of the weekday morning and noon broadcasts, the modern-day Eyewitness News has abandoned much of the chattiness of its predecessors. WNEW's news department is respected for its straightforward presentation (especially during breaking news). For the last decade, it has waged a spirited battle for first place with WNY, but for most of the time has held onto the lead, helped in part by lead-ins from highly-rated talk and entertainment shows. For over 24 years (December 1986 until May 2011) the 5:00 p.m. Eyewitness News lead-in had been The Oprah Winfrey Show at 4:00 p.m., and its strong ratings brought viewers along to the 5:00 p.m. newscast. WNEW-TV cooperates with sister station WPHE-TV in Philadelphia—popularizer of the Action News format—in the production and broadcast of statewide New Jersey political debates. When the two stations broadcast a statewide office debate, such as for governor or U.S. Senate, they will pool resources and have anchors or reporters from both stations participate in the debate. Additionally, the two stations cooperate in coverage of news from New Jersey where their markets overlap, sharing reporters, live trucks, and helicopters. Eyewitness News airs six hours daily, three hours on Saturdays and four hours on Sundays. The newscasts were replayed on one of channel 7's digital subchannels, another which also carried a local 24 hour news channel. WNEW-TV's website has a link for live streaming video of "Eyewitness News 24/7", which offers half-hour block beginning at the top and bottom of every hour. The first minute contains top headlines followed by "Traffic & Weather On The 1s", a brief one-minute traffic & weather summary. The remainder of the half-hour is filled with live news segments heavily focusing on stories from the New York City metropolitan area. Nearly all stories are pre-recorded, even segments are happening live; with a "live" indicator while reporters speak, most stories have a graphic saying merely that the reporter is "on scene". This is because when the report first aired, it's live but, unless it updates breaking news. Sports reports are featured throughout the day at 15 and 45, from ESPNEWS. Money reports from marketwatch.com are featured throughout the day at 26 and 56 past the Hour. Eyewitness News 24/7 has live traffic and weather reports based out its own local newsroom and each maintains its own assignment desk, anchor/videojournalists, sports team, producers and news management. On December 2, 2006, WNEW-TV began broadcasting newscasts in high definition, becoming the second station in the New York market to do so. On September 7, 2010, WNEW-TV expanded its weekday morning newscast, now airing at 4:30 a.m.; ABC's national early morning newscast America This Morning was moved a half-hour earlier as a result. Three days earlier on September 4, 2010 WNEW added an hour-long extension of its Saturday morning newscast from 9-10 a.m. On May 26, 2011, WNEW-TV added another hour of local news at 4:00 p.m., replacing Oprah, which aired its final original episode the previous day. On September 24, 2011, the station began broadcasting its newscasts and public affairs programs from a new newsroom studio at a former Disney Store location in the ABC building on 66th Street and Columbus Avenue. The space previously used for news broadcasts will be used to expand the Live with Regis & Kelly studio. In January 2012, the station also expanded their weekend 11pm newscasts from 35 minutes to an hour.

Logos

News/Station Presentation

Newscast Titles

  • Newsreel (1948-1960)
  • Your Esso Reporter  (1960-1968)
  • (Channel 8) Eyewitness News (1968-2011)
  • ABC New York Eyewitness News (2009-2013)
  • ABC 8 Eyewitness News (2013-Present)

News Voiceovers

  • Wally Parker: 1967-1970
  • Ernie Anderson: 1970-1983
  • Charlie Van Dyke: 1983-Present

News Music

  • "WTVJ 1970 News Theme" 1970-1975
  • "Move Closer To Your World" 1975-1983 (Mayoham Music)
  • "Tuesday16" 1983-1985 (Tuesday Productions)
  • "News Series 2000" 1985-1994 (Gari Communications)
  • "Eyewitness News" 1994-2013 (Gari Communications)
  • "National Nine News 2006 Theme" 2013-Present

News team & management

Anchors

  • Ken Rosato – weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.) and noon; also host of Viewpoint
  • Lori Stokes – weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.) and noon; and (7-10 a.m) on New York's CW.
  • David Novarro - weekdays at 4 and 5 p.m.
  • Liz Cho – weekdays at 4 and 11 p.m.
  • Diana Williams – weeknights at 5 p.m.; also host of Up Close with Diana Williams
  • Sade Baderinwa – weeknights at 6 p.m; and at 10 p.m on New York's CW.
  • Bill Ritter – weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m.
  • Phil Lipof – weekend mornings (6-8 and 9-10 a.m.); also weekday reporter
  • Michelle Charlesworth – weekend mornings (6-8 and 9-10 a.m.); also weekday reporter
  • Joe Torres – weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.; also host of Tiempo
  • Sandra Bookman – weekends at 6 and 11 p.m.; also weekday reporter and at 10 p.m on New York's CW.

AccuWeather team

  • Lee Goldberg (AMS member) – chief meteorologist; weeknights at 4, 5, 6 and 11 p.m; and at 10 p.m on New York's CW.
  • Bill Evans (AMS member) – senior meteorologist; weekday mornings (4:30-7 a.m.) and noon
  • Amy Freeze (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) – meteorologist; weekend mornings (6-8 and 9-10 a.m.)
  • Jeff Smith (AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval) – meteorologist; weekend evenings at 6 and 11 p.m.

Sports team

  • Rob Powers – sports director; weeknights at 6 and 11 p.m; and at 10 p.m on New York's CW.
  • Laura Behnke – sports anchor; weekend evenings at 6 and 11 p.m; and at 10 p.m on New York's CW.

MetroTraffic

  • Debbie DuHaime – back-up weekdays
  • Heather O'Rourke - weekdays at 4 and 5 p.m.
  • Joe Nolan – weekdays at 4:30, 5 and 6 a.m.

Reporters

  • Dr. Jay Adlersberg – medical reporter
  • NJ Burkett – general assignment reporter
  • Lisa Colagrossi – business reporter; also fill-in anchor
  • Jim Dolan – general assignment reporter
  • Josh Einiger – Long Island reporter
  • Dave Evans – political reporter
  • Tim Fleischer – Westchester County reporter
  • Lauren Glassberg – general assignment reporter
  • Marci Gonzalez – general assignment reporter
  • Jim Hoffer – investigative reporter
  • Anthony Johnson – New Jersey reporter
  • Sandy Kenyon – film critic and entertainment reporter
  • Carolina Leid – general assignment reporter
  • Jen Maxfield – general assignment reporter
  • Darla Miles – general assignment reporter
  • Art McFarland – education reporter
  • Dr. Sapna Parikh – medical reporter
  • Jeff Pegues – general assignment reporter
  • Nina Pineda – "7 On Your Side" consumer reporter
  • Kemberly Richardson – general assignment reporter
  • Jamie Roth – general assignment reporter
  • Stacey Sager – general assignment reporter
  • Marcus Solis – Westchester County Bureau reporter
  • Sarah Wallace – investigative reporter
  • Lucy Yang – general assignment reporter
  • Toni Yates – New Jersey reporter

Newscopter 8 HD

  • John Del Giorno – morning photojournalist
  • Shannon Sohn – 5 and 6 p.m. photojournalist
  • Ed Hughes – fill-in photojorunalist
  • Dan Rice – fill-in photojournalist

Local program hosts

  • Ken Rosato – Viewpoint
  • Sandra Bookman – Here and Now
  • Diana Williams – Up Close with Diana Williams
  • Joe Torres – Tiempo

Management

  • Kenny Plotnik – news director
  • Bill McFarland – assistant news director
  • John Stone – managing editor
  • Chad Matthews – senior executive producer
  • Bob Monek – executive producer
  • Bill Bouyer – executive producer
  • Amy Morris – executive producer
  • Peter Kunz – interim executive producer
  • Kim Dillon – manager of special events

Voiceover History

  • "This is New York's #1 News, ABC 8 Eyewitness News with Lori Stokes and Ken Rosato, Heather O'Rourke with Traffic, and Bill Evans with the exclusive AccuWeather forecast, Now, Eyewitness News This Morning." (2016-present)
Television stations in the New York Metropolitan area
WNBC-TV (1.1 NBC, 1.2 Cozi TV, 1.3 NBC Weather Plus, 1.4 GSN, 1.5 NBC Nonstop) | WIMP (2.1 IMP) | WITV-TV (3.1 ITV) | WQNY-TV (4.1 MyTV En Español) | WBNY-TV (5.1 NTC, 5.2 NTC SD) | WRKO-TV (6.1 RKO, 6.2 NY NewsChannel, 6.3 RKO Two, 6.4 RKO Kids, 6.5 RKO News, 6.6 RKO Sports, 6.7 RKO Movies) | WFOD-TV (7.1 Food Network) | WNEW (8.1 ABC, 8.2 LWN, 8.3 Laff, 8.4 ABC News Now, 8.5 Vault Disney) | WMBN (9.1 TNN) | WFXN (10.1 Fox, 10.2 Movies!, 10.3 FX, 10.4 FXX, 10.5 FS1, 10.6 FS2, 10.7 FNC, 10.8 Light TV) | WEVE-CD (11.1 Mega TV) | WCBS (12.1 CBS, 12.2 Decades, 12.3 AMC, 12.4 CBS Sports Network) | WDNY (13.1 DBC, 13.2 UDC) | WPBC (14.1 PBC) | WHRV (15.1 CW, 15.2 Antenna TV, 15.2 This TV, 15.4 Channel America) | WAHX (16.1 ABC-TV) | WMYN (17.1 MNTV) | WBCO (18.1 BBC1)| WNYC (19.1 ABN, 19.2 ABN News, 19.3 ABN Kids, 19.4 Mundovision, 19.5 ABN Women, 19.6 ABN Maxx, 19.7 ABN Sports New York, 19.8 UBC, 19.9 Big Sky Network) | WTNY-TV (20.1 The National Television, 20.2 NOW, 20.3 Now Business, 20.4 Bounce TV, 20.5 WeatherNation TV) | WGWB (22.1 PBS, 22.2 Create, 22.3 PBS Kids, 22.4 VMe, 22.5 World) | WCYN (23.1 IND) | WNPB (24.1 PBS) | WNYM (25.1 IND, 25.2 7 Net) | WUVO (26.1 UNI, 26.2 Grit, 26.3 Comet TV) | WSBN (27.1 SBN, 27.2 Shine News, 27.3 Shine Sports, 27.4 Teenager Network) | WTVL (28.1 TV Land) | WGLB (29.1 Global) | WLIN (30.1 IND, 30.2 WLIN 24/7 News, 30.3 Z Channel) | WBWN (31.1 UA | WGLD-TV (32.1 Edu. IND) | WCBT (33.1 CBC | WNYP (34.1 UPN | WNYA (35.1 ACME) | WFMU-TV (36.1 MyTV, 36.2 The Health Channel, 36.3 MyTV Sports Network) | WION (37.1 Ion, 37.1 Qubo, 37.3 Ion Life, 37.4 Ion Shop, 37.5 QVC, 35.6 HSN) | WTSN (38.1 WB) | WNYX (39.1 ABS, 39.2 N24, 39.3 JOBX, 39.4 eNCA, 39.5 Hunan TV, 39.6 NHK BS1, 39.7 NHK World) | WMLP (40.1 RDN, 40.2 UPN Retro) | WTBC (41.1 TBS) | WYHR (42.1 YesNet) |WTEL (43.1 TMD, 43.2 GBN, 42.3 Q Network, 43.4 La Mega Mundial, 43.5 NYU-TV) | WBCT (44.1 BBC2) | WNYO-TV (45.1 Azara) | WDQX (46.1 PBS, 46.2 PBS Encore, 46.3 MHz Worldview) | WKTN (47.1 KTTN, 47.2 MKTV) | WTAN-TV (48.1 TACTN) |WONY (49.1 Omni) | WWBY (50.1 Turner South) | WJNY (53.1 JFN) | WSKR (55.1 Globo) |WNYI (57.1 IND, 57.2 Planet Green) | WNYR (58.1 IND) | WRLT-TV (59.1 RKO Latino) | WNLNY (60.1 NLN, 60.2 Cartoon Cartoons, 60.3 Cartoon Network's Cartoon Theatre, 60.4 CNNfn, 60.5 Cable Music Channel) | WPAR-TV (61.1 Paramount Network, 61.2 MTV, 61.3 VH!, 61.4 Nickelodeon, 61.5 Spike, 61.6 BET) | WUMA (63.1 UniMas, 63.2 Escape) | KCHT (64.1 Chinese IND) | WKNY (65.1 IND; Hudson Valley) | WTNC (66.1 TNT, 66.2 TNT Classics, 66.3 TNT Wx Now) | WINY (67.1 WIN) | WMGM (68.1 MGM| WNYSM (69.1 The Q, 69.2 MTV2, 69.3 MTV Tr3s, 69.4 Nicktoons, 69.5 90s channel)
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