call_letters = WKTV
station_slogan = Where the News Comes First
station_branding = NewsChannel 2
analog = 2 (VHF)
digital = 29 (UHF)
The CW (DT2)
December 1, 1949
Utica, New York
callsign_meaning = Kallet TeleVision
former_channel_numbers = 13 (1949-1957)
Smith Media, LLC
owner = Smith Media, LLC
former_affiliations = Secondary:
DuMont (1949-1955) [http://members.aol.com/cingram/television/dumont12.htm]
effective_radiated_power = 34.7 kW (analog)
708 kW (digital)
HAAT = 421 m (analog)
402 m (digital)
facility_id = 60654
coordinates = coord|43|6|8.4|N|74|56|19|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.wktv.com/ www.wktv.com]
[http://www.yourcwtv.com/partners/utica/ Central New York CW]
WKTV is the
NBC televisionaffiliate for Utica, New Yorkand surrounding areas including Rome, New York(in the Syracuse TV market via a Nielsenquirk) and parts of the Albany, Binghamton and Watertown markets. It is licensed to Utica and its transmitter is located just east of Utica to provide adaquate spacing to co-channel WGRZBuffalo. The station is currently owned by Smith Media and has been the dominant #1 station in the market since its sign on and, since 2003, is the only station in the market to air local news.
WKTV also controls WBU, the CW affiliate for the Utica market, available on cable and digital WKTV-DT 2.2. Prior to September 2006, WBU was a WB affiliate available only on cable.
WKTV signed on the air in 1949 on channel 13 with NBC and DuMont affiliations [http://members.aol.com/cingram/television/dumont12.htm] . Soon after, WKTV also picked up affiliations with
CBSand ABC, giving it the interesting situation of being a local network affiliate for all major TV networks for a period of time. The DuMont affiliation ended in the mid-1950s with the closure of that network, and due to a dispute with CBS that affiliation ended soon after. WKTV became an exclusive NBC affiliate in February 1970 (see below), which continues to this day. In 1958, WKTV moved from channel 13 to channel 2 in a dial realignment which had WKTV and the channel 13 in Hamilton, Ontario switching channel positions to add a channel 13 in Rochester and to relocate a UHF there in Albany. With the move, WKTV upgraded its signal and covers a fairly wide area stretching from the Catskillsto the Berkshireseven into Canada.
In the mid-1950's a young, local radio announcer named Dick Clay joined the staff of announcers at WKTV. Dick was a talented, good looking announcer and quickly gathered a following. The young Mr. Clay’s father was a disc jockey on a Utica radio station and the son wanted to avoid the name recognition factor, so Dick Clay became
Dick Clark. One day, Dick went to the station General Manager and told the boss that he'd been offered a radio job in Philadelphia...and the rest of that story is part of broadcasting history!
WKTV enjoyed a monopoly in the Utica TV market until 1970 when
WUTRsigned on as an ABC affiliate. Later in the decade, original owner Kallet Television would sell WKTV to Harron Communications, owner of a chain of cable companies in the Northeast and also then-owner of WMTWin Portland, Maine. During this time, WKTV was carried on cable systems in areas as far-flung as Schenectady and for a time was carried on cable in Syracuse.
Smith Broadcasting (predecessor to Smith Media) acquired WKTV from Harron in 1993 after Harron purchased the cable system in Utica (later sold to
Adelphia, now part of Time Warner Cable). In 1998, the creation of The WB 100+led to WKTV partnering with the group to launch WBUwhich replaced WPIXfrom New York Cityon area cable systems. In 2002, WKTV would begin to produce the first 10:00 p.m. newscast in the Utica market for FOXaffiliate WFXV, an arrangement that would last until 2004 when WFXV entered a relationship with WUTR. The 10:00 p.m. newscast was then moved to WBU where it remains to this day.
Since the cancellation of newscasts on WUTR in 2003, WKTV is the only local station in the Utica market with newscasts. Even prior to that point, WKTV has been known for airing a sizeable amount of news for a market of Utica's size and during the time of having a rival station was the #1 station by a very wide margin, largely in part of being the only full-powered station in the market on the VHF dial.
America's Greatest Heart Run & Walk
WKTV hosts a telethon for the
American Heart Associationevery March, during the same weekend as America's Greatest Heart Run and Walk. The telethon is broadcast live from Utica College, and usually begins the Friday evening before the run/walk. It continues on Saturday during the run/walk, with live coverage from various points along the course. Ironically, the telethon usually outraises the WIBXHeart Radiothon by more than tenfold, even though the radiothon was the original event from the entire "Heart Weekend."
Boilermaker Road Race
For many years, WKTV has provided live coverage of the
Boilermaker Road Race, a 15k (9.3 mile) race that begins near Utica Boilersand ends at the F.X. Matt Brewery. Coverage is anchored primarily from the finish line, where the WKTV's sports anchors are usually stationed. Another anchor desk is set up at the starting line, usually staffed by news anchors. The coverage is supplemented by live trucks positioned at key points along the course, and even with portable transmitters on the race's media truck, motorcycles (driven by volunteers), and a helicopter (rented for race day).
The coverage is unique in that it begins by covering the race itself, following the leaders throughout the race, with interviews after they reach the finish line. Then, the focus shifts to the local angles of the race, with "slices of life" on the volunteers who make the race happen, local notables running the race (usually including current WKTV personalities, and former personalities who "come back home" to run) and coverage of post-race events.
The station doesn't have enough live trucks to completely cover the course; equipment from other stations like
WSTM-TV, WSYR-TV, and WTVHall in Syracuse and WNYT of Albany or other sources like Herkimer County Community Collegeare often brought in for the day.
WKTV is popular in their coverage area for their "Christmas Cards," where station personnel play practical jokes on each other, or gather with their families. Each person (or group/family) gets about 7-10 seconds of face time, and various shots are spliced together, to create a 60-second spot. In order to include every employee, several versions are created and the various versions are rotated throughout the holiday season. The song "Christmas Is Paintin' The Town" by
The Oak Ridge Boysis played in the background every year.
For many years, every single version always ended with a shot of former General Manager Steve Merren and his family, with a
menorahprominently displayed somewhere in the shot. Since Merren exited the station, every version ends differently -- current general manager Vic Vetters does not appear in every version.
On Air Reporters
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/8831352.html Steve McMurray] - News Director, Live @ Five Anchor
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/1985307.html Bill Worden] - 6 & 11pm Anchor
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/1985097.html Don Shipman] - Sunrise, Daybreak, and Noon Anchor, Reporter
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/11259596.html David Dellecese] - Assistant News Director, Reporter
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/1983822.html Joleen Ferris] - General Assignment Reporter
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/2558596.html Pat Bailey] - General Assignment Reporter
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/3955806.html Kristen Copeland] - Live @ Five Co-Anchor
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/6595317.html Nicole Estaphan] - General Assignment Reporter
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/4843881.html Evan White] - General Assignment Reporter
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/9137596.html Megan Koskovich] - Daybreak Anchor
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/28599294.html Gary Liberatore] - Weekend Today Anchor, Reporter
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/news/1985272.html Dick Lawler] - Retired
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/sports/1984437.html Jason Powles] - Sports Director
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/sports/1985022.html Brian Sandler]
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/weather/1979962.html Matt Lanza] - Evening Meteorologist
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/weather/1984467.html Adam Musyt] - Sunrise, Daybreak, and Noon meteorologist.
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/weather/2223641.html Bill Kardas] - Friday Sunrise, Daybreak, Noon, and evening weekend meteorologist.
* [http://www.wktv.com/about/bios/weather/11890241.html Jill Reale] - Weekend Today meteorologist
*Fran Cafarell (now an attorney in Rochester, NY - often did the weather report bra-less in the mid 70's)Fact|date=March 2008
Dick Clark(started his TV career at WKTV)
*Matt DiNardo (now at WRIC in Richmond, Virginia)
Robert Earle(later host of "GE College Bowl"; Clark replaced him as news anchor) ["Rock, Roll and Remember", by Dick Clark and Richard Robinson (New York, Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1976)]
*Heather Kovar (now anchor at News 12 Connecticut)
*Kristin Lowman (now at WXXA in Albany, NY)
*Susan Tran (now at WSOC in Charlotte)
*Vic Vetters (still general manager of WKTV, but now doubles as general manager of WFFF/
*Rich von Ohlen
*Dennis Williams (recently fired from
*Andrea Bullard (now at
WSTM-TVin Syracuse, NY)
*"World News" (1950s-mid 1960s)
*"WKTV News" (mid 1960s-1975)
*"NewsCenter 2" (1975-1986)
*"Channel 2 News" (1986-1995)
*"NewsChannel 2" (1995-present)
*"Central New York's 24 Hour News Channel" (1989-1997)
*"Where the News Comes First" (1997-present)
WKTV pre-empts "
Last Call with Carson Daly" from NBC in favor of " Judge Joe Brown" at night. After that, WKTV airs " Seinfeld" reruns, to be followed by local paid programming.
From late 2005 on, WKTV has aired the
Bill KeelerShow, a local comedy series and current topics venue, on Saturday and late Sunday nights.
* [http://www.yourcwtv.com/partners/utica/ Central New York CW]
*http://www.fybush.com/site-010530.html (Some history on Smith Hill, where WKTV's original transmitter was located)
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