WIVT, channel 34, is the ABC-affiliated television station for Binghamton, New York. Its transmitter is located near Summit Hill. Owned by Newport Television, the station is sister to low-powered NBC affiliate WBGH-CA. The two stations share studios on Ingraham Hill Road near Summit Hill. Syndicated programming on WIVT includes: Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Access Hollywood, and Judge Judy.
Al Anscombe, former General Manager of WKBW-AM-TV in Buffalo, secured a construction permit for Binghamton's third television station in 1956. He named it WBJA-TV after his wife, Beth J. Anscombe. However, not long after Anscombe won the permit, two competing ABC affiliates in northeastern Pennsylvania--WILK-TV, channel 34 in Wilkes-Barre and WARM-TV, channel 16 in Scranton-- merged to form WNEP-TV. The newly merged station retained WILK-TV's license but used WARM-TV's old channel 16. Seeing a chance to use more signal at less cost, Anscombe sought and won a new construction permit for channel 34. The new station signed on in November of 1962 from studios near its transmitter on Ingraham Hill south of Binghamton. It has always been an ABC affiliate. Coincidentally, the northeast Pennsylvania-area station now known as WOLF-TV signed on in 1982 using channel 56.
WBJA was sold in the late-1970s and the call letters were changed to WMGC-TV with the station adopting the slogan "Magic 34". It dropped the "Magic 34" branding by the mid to late-1980s but kept the call letters until the Ackerley Group bought the station in 1997. At that time, the station adopted its current calls, WIVT. This was where a connection to WIXT (now WSYR-TV) came in as the new calls were based on the group's station in Syracuse, New York.
However, a few months later, Ackerley nearly lost its investment. On May 31, 1998, a tornado ripped through the station's Ingraham Hill studio and blew down its tower. Cross-town rival CBS affiliate WBNG-TV had live reports that night literally from the WIVT studio. WIVT had a feed restored to cable providers within days but was off the air for several months.
Ackerley merged with Clear Channel in 2001. On April 20, 2007, Clear Channel entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Newport Television, a broadcasting group established by Providence Equity Partners.
Immediately after taking control, the Ackerley Group significantly upgraded WIVT's news operation sharing resources with WIXT's well-respected news department. For almost 40 years, channel 34 was more or less a non-factor in the news race in Binghamton. It spent most of its history as the third station in what was essentially a two-station market and reaped virtually no benefit when longtime NBC affiliate WICZ switched to Fox in 1996. WIVT's weeknight newscasts at 5:30 and 6, as well as a short 11 o'clock update, are simulcasted on WBGH.
The Rookies: Thanks to an Acute Shortage of Television Producers, Many Young, Inexperienced Journalists Are Holding Down Those Critically Important Positions on Local Newscasts. and Sometimes It Shows
Nov 01, 2001; When viewers in Binghamton, New York, tune into WIVT's 5:30 p.m. news and see graying anchorman Steve Craig, they probably...