Definitions

WABI-TV

WABI-TV

WABI-TV, channel 5, is the CBS-affiliated television station for Bangor, Maine. Its transmitter is located on Peaked Mountain in Dixmont. It is the flagship station of Diversified Communications, which under the leadership of the Hildreth family, has owned the station since its inception. WABI's studios are located on Hildreth Street in West Bangor. Syndicated programming on the station includes: Two and a Half Men, King of the Hill, Oprah, and Ellen.

Overview

WABI operates a repeater, W61AO channel 61 in Calais, with a transmitter located in Meddbybemps. The tower is shared with W57AQ which is a repeater for NBC affiliate WLBZ. Until the mid-1990s, W61AO was used to feed cable systems across the border in the Canadian Maritimes. With the advent of CANCOM, WABI's cross-border carriage has declined. Today, it is not carried on any systems across the border. That includes those in St. Stephen, New Brunswick which is in W61AO's signal range. Most of Atlantic Canada's cable systems carry WBZ-TV from Boston for CBS programming. WABI operates the area's CW affiliate on its second digital subchannel. That station is part of The CW Plus and is known on-air as Eastern and Central Maine's CW. WABI-DT2 is also offered on various cable providers including Time Warner, and on satellite provider DirecTV. Dish Network does not offer WABI-DT2, though it does carry all other full power local stations.

History

WABI was the first television station in Maine to go on the air when it began broadcasting on January 25, 1953. It was owned by former governor Horace Hildreth along with WABI radio (910 AM and 97.1 FM, now WAEI). The station was a primary NBC affiliate but maintained affiliations with all major television networks. In 1955, it switched its primary affiliation to CBS. NBC completely disappeared from WABI's schedule in 1959. The station carried some ABC programs until WEMT-TV (now WVII-TV) signed on in 1965. The radio stations were spun off in the 1980s and are currently under the ownership of Blueberry Broadcasting. On January 24, 2006, The WB and UPN announced that they would cease broadcasting and merge. The newly combined network would be called The CW. The letters would represent the first initial of its corporate parents: CBS (the parent company of UPN) and the Warner Bros. unit of Time Warner.

On July 28, WABI announced that it was to create a new second digital subchannel to become an affiliate of The CW. On the station's website, an announcement said that Time Warner Cable, which was in the process of taking over coverage in the Bangor area for bankrupt Adelphia, would have cable-only WB 100+ affiliate "WBAN" on its system. WBAN would then become a simulcast of WABI-DT2. This was part of a three year deal with WABI which also let the main WABI channel be on the system as well. On September 18, The CW debuted on WBAN (now known officially as having the WABI-DT2 callsign) as part of The CW Plus service. On January 10, 2007, WABI introduced redesigned websites for itself and WABI-DT2.

Digital television

The station's digital channel is multiplexed.

Digital channels
Virtual
Channel
Physical
RF Channel
Video Aspect Programming
5.1 19.1 1080i 16:9 Main WABI programming / CBS HD
5.2 19.2 480i 4:3 Eastern and Central Maine's CW

Analog-to-digital transition

After the analog television shutdown and digital transition, scheduled to take place on February 17, 2009 , WABI will continue digital broadcasts on channel 19 using PSIP to display WABI's virtual channel as 5.

Programming

WABI carries the full slate of CBS programming except for CBS News Up to the Minute. The station does not carry all of CBS' SEC college football games on the weekends. The games that are not shown appear on ION affiliate WBGR-LP. WABI does this because the games interfere with its 6 P.M. news and may run over 7 P.M. programming. The station often pre-empts CBS programming to air University of Maine sports. It usually re-schedules regular CBS prime time to air late night or the next morning. On its website, WABI offers free streaming video repeats of its newscasts. The station also offers pay-per-view streaming video of its local sports programming through an affiliated website.

News operation

WABI has led the news ratings in Bangor for many years. One main reason for this long dominance is that it is the only station in the market with a full schedule of live, local news from Bangor. WLBZ only airs live news on the weeknights at 5 and 6 o'clock otherwise simulcasting sister station WCSH in Portland. WVII only produces newscasts on the weeknights with the late broadcasts being taped. Another factor is WABI's status as the only locally owned-and-operated commercial station in town. A few of WABI's personnel have remained at the station for more than 20 years which is somewhat unusual given that Bangor has always been a fairly small market. When WBAN became WABI-DT2 on September 18, 2006, WABI added local news and weather updates from the main channel during The Daily Buzz, a simulcast of its weekday Noon news, and a new weeknight 10 o'clock newscast (seen only on WABI-DT2). In January of 2008, WABI began to produce a weekday morning newscast at 7 on WABI-DT2. This displaced the first half of the second hour of The Daily Buzz on that station. In addition to their main studios, WABI operates two news bureaus. The Central Maine Bureau is located on Main Street in Waterville. The Coastal Bureau is located on High Street in Ellsworth.

News team

Anchors

  • Wayne Harvey - weekday mornings and reporter
  • Joy Hollowell - weekday mornings and reporter
  • Jon Small - Assistant News Director seen on weekdays at Noon
  • Jim Morris - News Director seen on weeknights at 5 and 5:30
  • Catherine Pegram - weeknights at 5 and 5:30 and reporter
  • Sharon Pelletier - weeknights at 6 and reporter
  • Craig Colson - weeknights at 6, 10, and 11
    • reporter
  • Amy Erickson - weekends and reporter three days a week

Meteorologists

  • Chris Ewing - Chief seen on weeknights
    • Thursday and Friday at 10
  • Todd Simcox - weekday mornings and Noon
  • Greg Dutra - weekends and Monday through Wednesday at 10

Sports

  • Tim Throckmorton - Director seen on weeknights at 6, 10, and 11
  • Keith Erickson - Assistant Director seen on weekends
    • reporter and live sports coverage anchor
    • "Keith's Corner" segment producer

Reporters

  • Susan Farley - Coastal Bureau
  • Adrienne Bennett - Central Maine Bureau
  • Kelly Pearson
  • Cori Skall

Station alumni

Anchors

  • Alan Grover - weekday mornings
  • Don Colson - Dews Director
    • retired
  • Jeffrey Hope - reporter
  • Denise Keniston - anchor
    • now president of the Maine Communication Network
  • Felicia Knight - now Director of Communications for the National Endowment for the Arts
  • Mindi Ramsey - reporter
  • Jim Sackett - reporter
  • Kim Vatis - now at WMAQ-TV
  • Lanie Witt - reporter
    • now at EMH
  • Dan Elias - reporter

Meteorologists

Reporters

  • Catherine Cambra - now at WMBD-TV
  • Jon Chrisos - now at WEHT
  • Jodi Hersey - now at Cumulus Radio
  • James Hamill - now at WNEP-TV
  • Ryan Hughes - now at WBBH-TV
  • Jennifer Kolbusz - formerly with KSHB-TV
  • Jeanne Meserve - now at CNN
  • Melissa Monti - now at WPBF-TV
  • Diana Olick - now at CNBC
  • Lisa Scott - fill-in anchor
    • now at WIVB

References

External links

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