WWTV is the CBS-affiliated television station for the northern Lower and eastern Upper Peninsulas of Michigan. Licensed to Cadillac, the station broadcasts an analog signal on VHF channel 9 and a digital signal on UHF channel 40. Its transmitter is located at the station's studios on 130th Avenue, northeast of Tustin, in northern Osceola County. At 1,631 feet (497 m) high, WWTV's transmitter tower is the tallest in the state of Michigan. When atmospheric conditions are right, WWTV's signal can be picked up as far east as Lansing and the northern suburbs of Detroit (when CBET in Windsor, Ontario is off-the-air), and as far west as the communities on Wisconsin's eastern shore of Lake Michigan.
Like other network affiliates serving this vast and rural area, the station operates a full-time satellite, WWUP-TV. Licensed to Sault Ste. Marie, this station broadcasts an analog signal on VHF channel 10 and a digital signal on UHF channel 49. WWUP's transmitter is located approximately 30 miles SSE of Sault Ste. Marie near Goetzville in rural Chippewa County.
At one point, WWTV (not WWUP) was seen on cable in the Canadian Sault. However, local cable provider Shaw Communications switched its CBS feed to WWJ-TV from Detroit. For many years, WWTV was the only in-market station on cable from the American side of the locks as other American stations were fed from Flint and Detroit. WWTV is also available on cable television in much of Michigan north of Lansing as well as Charter cable systems in Midland. In Canada, the Persona systems in Sudbury and Timmins, Ontario carry the station. WWTV was also originally seen on the Cablevision systems in Rouyn-Noranda and Val-d'Or, Quebec until the early-2000s when it was replaced with WBZ-TV from Boston, Massachusetts.
In 1958, broadcast pioneer John Fetzer purchased WWTV. Fetzer also owned the Detroit Tigers and the purchase brought Tigers games to Northern Michigan for the first time. In 1961, a fire at the station's transmitter spread to the studio and destroyed the building. The building was quickly rebuilt, complete with new equipment. In 1962, WWTV swapped channel locations with WZZM in Grand Rapids and moved to its current location on channel 9. The move to channel 9 allowed WWTV to boost its broadcasting power to cover the entire northern half of the Lower Peninsula. On June 15 of that year, Fetzer signed on WWUP in Sault Ste. Marie as a full-time satellite of WWTV. The stations were known collectively as "TV 9&10" from 1962 until the late-1990s when the stations dropped "TV" from their name and began referring to themselves as "9&10 News". Many viewers, however, continue to refer to the station as "TV 9&10".
In 1967, TV 9&10 broadcast in color for the first time (as CBS was the last network to convert to color broadcasting). In 1978, Fetzer sold TV 9&10 to Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson. In 1988, the stations were sold to Heritage Broadcast Group, headed by Detroiter Mario Iacobelli. 9&10 News has long been one of the most technologically advanced small-market television stations in the country. Legend has it that when the station broadcasted in color for the first time, CBS was jealous because 9&10's color picture was of higher quality than the rest of the network. Under Iacobelli's ownership, the station has frequently made commercials that many claim to have the look and feel of Detroit-based stations.
On May 10, 2007, it was announced that the area's FOX affiliate, WFQX-TV, was being sold by current owner Rockfleet Broadcasting to Cadillac Telecasting. The FCC gave regulatory approval in late-October. After the closing of the sale, Cadillac Telecasting entered into a shared services agreement (SSA) with 9&10 News. As a result, 9&10 News began to operate WFQX.
9&10 News has long been the highest-rated television station in the market, especially in news. However, longtime runner-up NBC affiliate WPBN-TV ("TV 7&4") has closed the gap in recent years. 9&10 News has always made a large investment into its news department resulting in a higher-quality product than conventional wisdom would suggest for a station based in the 116th market. In addition to their main studios, 9&10 News operates two news bureaus. The Traverse City Bureau is located on Aero Park Drive (near Cherry Capital Airport). There is also a Petoskey Bureau. During its weather forecasts, 9&10 News uses live, NOAA National Weather Service radar data from several regional sites. This data is presented on-screen as the "Doppler 9&10 Radar Network". The main signal comes from the radar located at the NWS Local Forecast Office in Gaylord.
All told, 9&10 News airs 30 hours of news every week, a very large amount for a small-market station. Mondays through Thursdays after the 11 o'clock news, the station airs Sports Extra, an extended sportscast. During high school sports season, Friday night 11:00 newscasts devote over 20 minutes to Sports Overtime. Known as "the original big show", it regularly features highlights from more than a dozen area high school sporting events and has won numerous awards for the station. 9&10's website features video content from news and sports. It also offers the first and only wireless news website of the Northern Michigan television market.
One of 9&10 News's best-known faces belongs to John McGowan, who joined the station's on-air roster in 1977. He has served as Sports Director and is currently seen as 9&10 News' weekend news anchor. McGowan also co-anchors Sports Overtime. Other 9&10 News alumni include WTVG weatherman Bill Spencer, Jeopardy! "Clue Crew" member Sarah Whitcomb, WOOD-TV reporter Dee Morrison and former KPSP anchor Trish O'Shea.
9&10 News courted controversy when it polled viewers asking if they wanted the station to air a CBS special about the life of CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather who was stepping down from his broadcast. After much attention from both local and national press, the poll was dropped and the special was aired.
On October 31, 2007, 9&10 News began producing a weeknight 10 o'clock newscast on Fox affiliate WFQX. On January 7, 2008, CBS began requiring affiliates to carry The Early Show in its entirety (beginning at 7 A.M.). The third hour of 9&10's Michigan This Morning, which had been running from 7 to 8 A.M., was moved to WFQX and expanded to two hours. That evening on WFQX, 9&10 News launched the market's first 7 o'clock newscast.
Doppler 9&10 Weather Team