WNEP-TV, channel 16, is the ABC-affiliated television station for northeastern and north central Pennsylvania, licensed to Scranton. Its transmitter is located on Penobscot Knob in Mountaintop. Owned by Local TV, the station has studios on Montage Mountain Road in Moosic.
|16.1||49.1||720p||16:9||main WNEP-TV programming / ABC HD|
|16.2||49.2||480i||4:3||Newswatch 16 Anytime (24-hour news and weather channel)|
|16.3||49.3||480i||4:3||SD version of WNEP-TV programming (used to feed cable systems)|
In 2009, WNEP-TV will leave channel 16 and move to channel 49 when the analog to digital transition is complete.
|Call letters||Analog Channel||Digital Channel||City of license|
|W07DC||7||7 1 3||Allentown (Philadelphia market)|
|W10CP||10||10 1 3||Towanda|
|W14CO||14||14 1 3||Clarks Summit|
|W20AD||20||20 1 3||Williamsport|
|W26CV||26||26 1 3||Towanda (Elmira/Corning, NY market)|
|W36BE||36||36 1 3||State College (Johnstown market)|
|W39BE||39||39 1 3||State College (Johnstown market)|
|W40BS||40||40 1 3||Renovo|
|W61AG||61||28 1 4||Pottsville|
|W66AL||66||26 1 4||Stroudsburg|
|W69CE||69||15 1 4||Towanda|
WILK wanted to get a head start on the other local stations when it signed on in 1953, going on the air at 2 p.m. rather than the 3 p.m. sign on that the other stations did. The engineers got the signal ready by Noon and decided to take a break. However, at lunch, they turned on the station to inspect their handiwork, only to find the signal was dead. They rushed back and were able to establish the link by 1:50 PM, 10 minutes before sign on.
Getting a signal from ABC headquarters in New York City was a challenge in the early days with no access to satellites. As a result, WILK set up a microwave tower in Effort, about 45 miles east of Wilkes-Barre. From there, the network signal was bounced to the Penobscot Knob transmitter site. Often, station engineers had to adjust the Effort transmitter to accept a signal from WFIL-TV in Philadelphia (now WPVI-TV) if they were unable to receive the New York feed.
WILK-TV and WARM-TV were both losing money, in large part because ABC was not on an equal footing with NBC and CBS (and would not be until the 1970s). However, they stayed on the air because they were owned by well-respected local radio stations.
WNEP initially struggled to survive, just like its predecessors. However, the station took off in 1958 thanks in part to ABC's color programming and the station's new transmitter on Penobscot Knob. The new transmitter, which was the first million-watt signal in the market, increased WNEP's broadcast range to cover 15 counties .
Despite its increased coverage area, WNEP bounced back and forth in the ratings for most of the next two decades. It was never able to achieve any consistency because viewers in Scranton thought of it as a Wilkes-Barre station, while viewers in Wilkes-Barre thought of it as a Scranton station. In the mid-1970s, news director Elden Hale decided to take a regional approach. He billed the station as serving "Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania," and stepped up coverage of the remote portions of the market. These areas had largely been ignored by the other stations in town. He also added the area's first (and as of 2008, only) news helicopter. This approach quickly paid off. In November 1976, WNEP surged to first place for the first time in a decade. After briefly falling back to second it surged to number one in 1978, around the same time ABC became the nation's number one network. Apart from a brief period in the mid-1990s when WBRE passed it, it has been number one ever since.
As the WNEP-TV analog broadcast tower collapsed on December 16, 2007, one of the falling guy wires supporting the WNEP-TV tower damaged the neighboring tower broadcasting WVIA-TV (analog and digital) and WVIA-FM by shearing off the top section of the WVIA tower supporting the antenna for the analog and digital TV signals. The antenna for WVIA-FM remained intact, as it is located on the lower section of the shared WVIA-FM-TV tower. The WVIA-TV analog signal on channel 44 was temporarily put off the air until service was restored through a back-up tower on Penobscot Knob.
Today, WNEP produces two in-house programs: Pennsylvania Outdoor Life, a show about hunting and fishing in Pennsylvania, and Home & Backyard, a show about do-it-yourself home improvements, cooking and gardening. 'Pennsylvania Outdoor Life' airs Sundays at 6:30 p.m. on WNEP and 'Home & Backyard' airs Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. on WNEP. Both of these programs re-air on the "Newswatch 16 Anytime" channel. The station also participates in several local charity events, including the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and Scranton's annual Santa Parade.
The station is best known for its local newscasts which are among the highest-rated in the United States. The station runs its newscasts under the branding of Newswatch 16. It has led the ratings in Northeast Pennsylvania for most of the last 30 years, and according to A.C. Nielsen data, attracts more viewers than the other stations in town combined. The station's on-air personalities are well-known in the area. Chief Meteorologist Tom Clark has been with the station since 1981 and is one of the region's more popular broadcasters. His wife Noreen does forecasts on the weekend newscasts, and has been with the station since 1982. Marisa Burke, a native of nearby Danville, has been with the station since 1984 and now co-anchors the weeknight 6 o'clock newscast with Mike Lewis.
Fox requested most of its affiliates to air local news in 1990. To satisfy this, WNEP began producing a nightly 10 o'clock newscast on Fox affiliate WOLF-TV (channel 38) in 1991. Know as Newswatch 16 at 10 on Fox 38, it was the first instance of one station producing a newscast for another. When the Fox affiliation moved from channel 38 to channel 56, the 10 o'clock newscast switched stations as well. It became known as Fox 56 News at 10 with a secondary title of Newswatch 16 at 10 on Fox 56. WNEP broadcasts the newscast from a secondary set at its studios.
WNEP runs Newswatch 16 Anytime, a 24-hour news and weather channel that features rebroadcasts of newscasts. It is available on WNEP's second digital subchannel, area cable systems, and via live streaming video on its website. WNEP is the only media outlet in the market to utilize a helicopter, known as "Skycam 16", for news gathering purposes. The helicopter has been operational since the 1970s. The station airs the Pennsylvania Lottery televised nighttime drawings live seven nights a week and the live Powerball drawing on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Storm Tracker 16 Meteorologists
The Pennsylvania Outdoor Life Team
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Mar 25, 2010; WASHINGTON -- The following information was released by FCC-Industry Reports:: PUBLIC NOTICE Federal Communications Commission...