|Binghamton, New York|
|Branding||NBC 5 (general)
WETM 18 News
Can Count On
|Channels||Analog: 20 (UHF)
Digital: WIVT-DT 34.2 (UHF)
|Owner||Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|Founded||September 10, 1995|
|Call letters' meaning||BinGHamton|
|Sister station(s)||WIVT, WETM-TV,
|Former callsigns||W08DL (1995-1997)
|Former channel number(s)||8 (VHF, 1995-2001)|
|Transmitter power||0.161 kW
345 kW (WIVT-DT2)
278 m (WIVT-DT2)
WBGH-CA is the Class A NBC-affiliated television station for the Eastern Twin Tiers of Southern Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania. Licensed to Binghamton, it broadcasts a low-powered analog signal on UHF channel 20 from a transmitter at its studios on Ingraham Hill Road south of downtown. The station can also be seen on Time Warner Cable channel 5 (hence the NBC 5 branding) and in high definition on digital channel 1203. Owned by the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, WBGH is sister to ABC affiliate WIVT and the two share studios.
However, master control and some internal operations are based within centralcasting facilities at the facilities of ABC outlet WSYR-TV on Bridge Street in East Syracuse (a village of DeWitt). Syndicated programing on WBGH includes The Dr. Oz Show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, The Doctors, and Family Feud among others. It can be seen in high definition over-the-air on WIVT's second digital subchannel from the same transmitter.
The station began broadcasting on September 10, 1995. It aired an analog signal on VHF channel 8 with the call sign W08DL. The sign-on occurred after the market's long time NBC affiliate WICZ-TV switched to Fox in wake of similar affiliation switches in other parts of the country. W08DL was initially a semi-satellite of WETM in Elmira owned by Smith Broadcasting. In 1997, this station upgraded to low-powered status and changed its calls to WBGH-LP. As time went on, it largely separated from the WETM partial simulcast but continued to air that station's newscasts.
In 2000, Smith Broadcasting sold the station (along with Watertown's ABC affiliate WWTI) to the Ackerley Group of Seattle, Washington which also entered into a local marketing agreement (LMA) to take over operations of WETM. With this sale, WBGH's last ties with WETM were severed as Ackerley already owned WIVT. WBGH moved its operations into WIVT's studios on Ingraham Hill south of Binghamton. Shortly after, it upgraded to Class A status, moved to UHF channel 20 (to accommodate WICZ's digital signal on channel 8), and changed call letters to WBGH-CA. Ackerley was bought out by Clear Channel Communications in 2002. On April 20, 2007, the company entered into an agreement to sell its entire television stations group to Providence Equity Partners with the group deal closing on March 14, 2008.
It is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as a low-powered Class A analog station and does not provide its own digital over-the-air transmission. However, WIVT's second digital subchannel carries WBGH in 1080i high definition as of February 9, 2010. The official plan is to broadcast WBGH in high definition in the future with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) roll-out plan for low-power digital stations. Newport announced on July 19, 2012 that it would sell 12 of its stations, including WBGH and WIVT, to Nexstar Broadcasting Group.1 The sale was finalized on December 3.
Throughout its entire existence, WBGH has never had its own news operation. In the late-1990s as a semi-satellite of WETM, it simulcasted that station's local newscasts. After severing its ties with that outlet in 2000, WIVT's weeknight newscasts began to be simulcasted on WBGH. In 2003, WIVT dropped its weekend newscasts due to a loss of viewership. It eventually began originating its early weeknight shows, including exclusive musical performances, from secondary studios in the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City.
On June 5, 2009, WIVT and WBGH announced there would be a consolidation of news operations with WETM after Newport Television made across the board cuts. Rival CBS affiliate WBNG-TV reported all but two people from the news staff and all production personnel for the news department would be terminated. The Press & Sun-Bulletin later identified the two personnel remaining as news anchor Peter Quinn and News Director Jim Ehmke but also said fifteen other members of the original 28 person staff, including non-news personnel, would remain based in Binghamton. The two continue to be locally operated and maintain engineer staff at the Ingraham Hill Road studios.
As of September 2012, WIVT produces a taped newscast on weeknights specifically focusing on Binghamton and the Eastern Southern Tier. The news and sports segments are recorded earlier in the day (usually by 5 o'clock) from its Ingraham Hill Road studios and feature locally-based photojournalists. WETM provides a local weather forecasts that is regional in nature and also taped in advance. WIVT has since ceased simulcasting WETM's newscasts altogether making the recorded newscast on weeknights the only offering of local coverage shown on the station. WBGH, however, still simulcasts WETM's live newscast weekends at 11.
+ denotes personnel based in Binghamton
- + Jim Ehmke - News Director; also weeknight news
- Sam Smink - weekend news; also reporter
- Nicole Phillips - weeknight meteorologist
- Sean Bailey - weekend meteorologist
- + Shannon Sommerville - weeknight sports
- Mario Sacco - weekend sports
- + Peter Quinn - fill-in weeknight news anchor
- Marissa Perlman - fill-in weekend news anchor
- Chuck Brame - sports
- Erica Brecher
- Bobby Brooks
- Shannon Lins
- "Newport Sells 22 Station For $1 Billion". TVNewsCheck. July 19, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
- Official website
- WETM-TV website
- Query the FCC's TV station database for WBGH-CA
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WBGH-CA