call_letters = WCAX-TV
station_slogan = Vermont's Own
station_branding = Channel 3
Channel 3 News
analog = 3 (VHF)
digital = 53 (UHF)
subchannels = 3.1 CBS 3.2 "WCAXtra" (24-hour news and weather)
other_chs = W69AR Rutland
September 26, 1954
Burlington, Vermont/ Plattsburgh, New York
callsign_meaning = College of Agriculture EXtension Service
(once provided by the
University of Vermont)
former_callsigns = WMVT (1954-1955)
owner = Mount Mansfield Television, Inc.
former_affiliations = Fox (secondary, 1996-1997)
erp_temporary = 38 kW (analog)
628 kW (digital)
HAAT = 821.5 m (analog)
845 m (digital)
facility_id = 46728
coordinates = coord|44|31|33.5|N|72|48|55.9|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.wcax.com/ wcax.com]
WCAX-TV, channel 3, is the
CBS-affiliated television stationfor the state of Vermont(except Bennington County) and Upstate New York. Its transmitter is located on Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak. Locally owned by the Martin family and their company, Mount Mansfield Television, the station has studios on Joy Drive in South Burlington. Syndicated programming on WCAX includes: " Entertainment Tonight", "Ellen", "Dr. Phil", and "The Doctors". The station operates a reapeater, W69AR channel 69 that is licensed to Rutland. Its transmitter is located on Mount Ascutney.
There is a construction permit to
flash cutthat station to broadcast digitally on channel 20 and have the same call sign. WCAX formerly operated another translator, W12AF channel 12, in Claremont, New Hampshire. That station's license was canceled on June 15, 2008. On cable, the station can be seen on Comcastchannel 3 in Burlington and Charter channel 8 in Plattsburgh. In Montreal on Vidéotronsystems, it can be seen on analog channel 21. The station can also be seen in that city on Illico digital cable channel 53.
WCAX first signed on the air on
September 26, 1954under the call letters of WMVT. It was the first television station in the Green Mountain State. It was owned by C.P. Hasbrook, publisher of the now-defunct "Burlington Daily News", along with WCAX radio (620 AM, now WVMT). In 1955, the call letters were changed to match its radio sister (the WMVT call letters are now held by Milwaukee's secondary PBS station). Hasbrook later turned over the station's ownership to his stepson, Dr. Stuart T. "Red" Martin, Jr., who ran the station until his death in 2005.
Today, Peter R. Martin, Red Martin's oldest son, is the President and General Manager. WCAX has always been a CBS affiliate although it was a secondary Fox affiliate for one year in 1996. As such, it is one of the few stations in the country (not counting
owned and operated stations) that has had the same owner, channel number, and primary network affiliation throughout its history. It has been the market leader for as long as records have been kept. On October 25, 2006, WCAX upgraded its digital signal to broadcast CBS programming in high definition.
WCAX has long had significant viewership in southern
Quebec, Canada. This includes Montreal, which is several times larger than the entire population of the station's American viewing area. In the past, WCAX has identified itself as "Burlington / Plattsburgh / Montreal" to acknowledge its Canadian viewership. However, its news presence there has generally been limited to weather and some sports coverage, in large part because it is not eligible for inclusion in Nielsen ratings. Like other Champlain Valley stations, WCAX once made a significant portion of its advertising sales across the border. However, Canadian advertising business has almost completely dried up, mostly due to the arrival of CKMI-TV, coupled with the availability of network affiliates from other U.S. markets (such as Bostonand Detroit) on Canadian satellite systems. WCAX's ratings in Montreal are quite modest compared to CFCF-TV, which has long been the highest-rated English-language station in Montreal. It should be noted that some viewers in Quebec might have to tune in to WCAX in order to see the entire CBS schedule since CFCF and CKMI do not carry all of that network's programming.
When its digital signal upgraded to high definition level, WCAX began to operate a 24-hour local weather channel on its second digital subchannel. Known on-air as "WCAXtra", it features news updates and live local weather, along with the FCC-required three hours of
E/I-compliant children's programming per week. Via digital cable, it can be seen on: Comcastchannel 168, Burlington Telecom channel 303, Charter channel 295, and Time Warner channel 165. During specific broadcasts such as The Masters, NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and U.S. Open Tennis, live newscasts are offered on WCAX-DT2. WCAX airs a live newscast on "WCAXtra" when CBS sports programming runs over the 6 and 11 P.M. time slots on weekends.
Channel 3's longest-running local programs (both dating to the founding of the station) are a daily 20-minute agricultural-information program entitled "Across the Fence", produced in association with the
University of VermontExtension Service (ironically, the original owner of WCAX-AM), and a 30-minute weekly public-affairs show called "You Can Quote Me". In September 2006, WCAX introduced its third local program called "Late Night Saturday".It is produced in conjunction with Champlain Collegefor its Media Arts Department. The program is hosted by Tim Kavanagh and airs weekly on Saturdays. It offers local musicians and artists a chance to perform in front of a live studio audience and showcase their work.
Not surprisingly for a station that grew out of a newspaper, WCAX has long been committed to local coverage. The station is the only channel that broadcasts news at Noon during the week (it only airs for 10 minutes, however). The station has more of a
Vermontfocus verses WPTZ. In 1997, WCAX launched its weekday morning news. It had run for one hour originally but expanded to a two-hour broadcast in recent years. WCAX has been carrying CBS News" Up to the Minute" since October 2005 following 13 years of not being on the station. In August 2006, WCAX began offering the first and only wireless news website in the market.
July 16, 2007, WCAX began to produce a weeknight, half-hour 10 o'clock newscast on "WCAXtra" known as "The Channel 3 News at 10". Although it was the first 10 P.M. news in the market, it competes with another one that airs at that time on Fox affiliate WFFF-TV. That station began producing a 30 minute, 10 P.M. news on December 3. WFFF's news runs seven days a week. Right from its start, it has been broadcasted in full high definition. It is the first station in the market to do that. On November 14, WCAX relaunched their newscast with a new look and became the first broadcaster in the market to air their newscasts in 16:9 widescreen.
In addition to its main studios, WCAX operates four news bureaus. The Montpelier Bureau is located on State Street (a.k.a U.S. 2, established in 1964). There is one in Rutland on North Main Street (a.k.a. U.S. 7, established in 1967). The New York Bureau is located on Sesame Street in Plattsburgh and was established in 1973. The Upper Valley Bureau is located on Glen Road in
West Lebanon, New Hampshireand was established in 2002. Due to the lack of news weeknights at 5 and 5:30, WCAX delays the " CBS Evening News" until 7.
*Judy Simpson - weekday mornings
**weekday morning producer
*Beth Parent - weekdays at Noon
**education reporter and fill-in anchor
*Marselis Parsons - News Director seen on weeknights at 6
*Kristin Kelly - weeknights at 6, 10, and 11
*Roger Garrity - weeknights at 10 and 11
**producer and fill-in anchor weeknights at 6
*Darren Perron - weekends and reporter
"Sky Watch 3 Meteorologists"
*Sharon Meyer (AMS Member) - Chief seen on weeknights at 6
*Dan Dowling - weeknights at 10 and 11
*Gary Sadowsky - weekday mornings and Noon
*Dave Busch - weekends
*Mike McCune - Director seen on weeknights
*Shawna Lidsky - weekday mornings and sports reporter
*Seth Leavitt - weekends and sports reporter
*Kristin Carlson - environmental and fill-in anchor
*Jack Thurston - feature reporter and fill-in anchor
*Jack LaDuke - New York Bureau
*Adam Sullivan - Upper Valley Bureau
*Bridget Barry Caswell - fill-in anchor
*Sera Congi - 6 and 11 o'clock anchor
*Richard Gallagher - 6 and 11 o'clock anchor
*Tom Farmer - 11 P.M. anchor and reporter
Seattlemedia and marketing consultant
*Brett Haber - 11 P.M. sports anchor
**now Sports Director at
*Lisa Swann 11 P.M. anchor and reporter
*Brad Wright - weeknight 11 o'clock sports anchor and City Hall reporter
**now News Director at WDEV
*Anson Tebbits - environment reporter
**currently working for the Vermont Department of Agriculture
*Tim Lewis - reporter
**now tenured at
Lyndon State Collegeas a Television Studies professor
**runs LSC-TV News 7 (Lyndonville, Vermont)
*Jessica Abo - reporter
*Lars Lifrak - sports anchor
**now a reporter at [http://www.soccer365.com Soccer365.com]
*Stuart Hall - longtime original weatherman
*Tony Adams - original Sports Director and host of "Across the Fence"
*J.J. Cioffi - Sports Director seen on weeknights at 6
*Mike McGill - weekend sports anchor and sports reporter
* [http://www.wcax.com/ WCAX-TV/DT "Channel 3"]
* [http://www.cbs.com CBS]
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