|Rochester, New York|
|City of license||Rochester|
|Slogan||The Team You
|Channels||Digital: 45 (UHF)
Virtual: 8 (PSIP)
8.2 Bounce TV
|Owner||Nexstar Broadcasting Group
(Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc.)
|First air date||June 11, 1949|
|Call letters' meaning||ROChester|
|Sister station(s)||WSYR-TV, WWTI, WETM-TV,
WUTR, WFXV, WPNY-LP,
|Former callsigns||WHAM-TV (1949–1956)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
6 (VHF, 1949–1954)
5 (VHF, 1954–1962)
8 (VHF, 1962–2009)
|Former affiliations||NBC (1949–1989)
DuMont (secondary, 1949–1956) 1
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
WROC-TV, virtual channel 8, is a CBS affiliate based in Rochester, New York, USA, owned and operated by Nexstar Broadcasting Group. WROC-TV is the flagship of the company's Upstate New York stations and it has studios on Humboldt Street in Rochester. WROC-TV's transmitter is located on Pinnacle Hill in Brighton, New York. Syndicated programming on WROC includes: Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, Inside Edition, and Steve Harvey.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|8.1||1080i||16:9||WROC-HD||Main WROC-TV Programming / CBS|
WROC-TV is Rochester's oldest television station, signing on June 11, 1949, as WHAM-TV, an NBC affiliate on channel 6. It was owned originally by Stromberg-Carlson, a telephone equipment manufacturer, along with WHAM radio. The station was also affiliated with the now defunct DuMont Television Network. ()
WHAM-TV moved to channel 5 on July 24, 1954, as part of a revision of upstate New York's VHF allotments resulting from the Federal Communications Commission's Sixth Report and Order of 1952. However, WHAM on channel 5 dealt with interference issues from CBLT, a CBC Television station from Toronto, after that station moved from its original channel 9 allocation to channel 6 in 1956. CBLT was replaced on channel 9 by CFTO-TV in 1960, and that channel relocation would later play an indirect role in the station's second frequency shift, eight years later.
Stromberg-Carlson sold its broadcast holdings in 1956, with WHAM-TV going to Transcontinent Broadcasting, which owned WGR radio and WGR-TV in Buffalo. The new owners changed the call letters to the current WROC-TV. In 1961, Transcontinent sold the station to Veterans Broadcasting Company, which subsequently sold its half of what is today WHEC-TV (channel 10) to the Gannett Company, then based in Rochester.2 (The WHAM-TV callsign is now used on Rochester's ABC affiliate, channel 13, previously known as WOKR. Other than the shared callsign, that station is unrelated to the earlier WHAM-TV.)
Under Veterans' ownership, WROC-TV moved to channel 8 on September 8, 1962, as part of another channel allocation change, this one being a switch involving Rochester and Syracuse.3 The FCC moved WROC-TV's former channel 5 east to Syracuse, and it was taken by Meredith Corporation-owned WHEN-TV (now WTVH), which was previously on channel 8. The move also allowed a new station on channel 9 to enter the Syracuse market; it signed-on as WNYS-TV (later WIXT and now WSYR-TV) the following day.
Veterans Broadcasting merged with Rust Craft Broadcasting in 1964. Rust Craft became a subsidiary of Ziff Davis in 1979. Rust Craft then sold WROC-TV and sister stations in Saginaw, Michigan, Augusta, Georgia and Steubenville, Ohio to Television Station Partners LP in 1983. Television Station Partners sold WROC-TV, along with the Saginaw and Steubenville outlets, to Smith Broadcasting in 1996. Nexstar purchased WROC in 1999.
Under the stewardship of Television Station Partners, WROC-TV made another switch: On July 1, 1989, after 40 years with NBC, channel 8 swapped network affiliations with WHEC-TV and became a CBS station.4
Since the 1970s, WROC's newscasts have struggled in the Nielsen ratings, usually placing a distant third behind WOKR/WHAM-TV and WHEC-TV. Even with the strong NBC prime-time line-up in the mid-to-late 1980s (the last few years of WROC's affiliation contract with NBC) and the strong CBS line-up during the 2000s (decade), WROC's newscasts remained in third place for the most part, although it slowly grew in market share over the course of the decade. In the November 2008 ratings period, however, WROC's 11 pm newscast finished ahead of the slumping WHEC for the first time in many years.
When the analog television shutdown and digital conversion took place on June 12, 2009, the station remained on its pre-transition digital channel 45 for post-transition operations. Its analog signal was officially turned-off at 11:35 P.M., following the late newscast. However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display WROC-TV's virtual channel as 8.
For many years, WROC was one of three Rochester area stations offered on cable in the Ottawa/Gatineau and Eastern Ontario regions. The Rochester area stations were replaced with Detroit stations when the microwave relay system that provided these signals was discontinued. Until January 2009, WROC was also available in many Central Ontario communities such as Belleville, Cobourg, and Lindsay.
On September 26, 2011, WROC-TV launched Bounce TV on sub-channel 8.2.
On July 9, 2012, WROC-TV replaced WLKY-TV Louisville on Time Warner Cable systems in that station's region, when WLKY's owners, Hearst Television, pulled its stations off Time Warner Cable's systems in a retransmission dispute.5 However, Nexstar complained that Time Warner Cable has used their signals outside their markets without permission, while Time Warner Cable was within its rights to use their signals as replacements until a deal with Hearst is reached.6 WROC, for its part, made the best of its predicament, naming the administrator of a Facebook group of tongue-in-cheek Louisvillean WROC fans its fan of the week and making a handful of other shout-outs to its emerging Louisville fanbase.7 The substitution of WROC in place of WLKY lasted until July 19, 2012, when a deal was reached between Hearst and Time Warner.8
In August 1957, WROC began airing the area's first 11 o'clock broadcast called Eleventh Hour News. Regular sports segments were added to the show on April 7, 1958. WROC enjoyed ratings dominance with popular anchorman Tom Decker and weatherman Bob Mills. Anne Keefe, another well-known talent who split time between WROC radio and TV, contributed to the station's success in the 1960s and 1970s. However by the mid-1970s, Decker and Keefe left and Mills was fired. The loss of these familiar faces and the station's failure to keep up with changing technology lead to a ratings slump that lasted decades.
Since the mid-1970s through the early 2000s (decade), WROC's newscasts struggled in the Nielsen ratings usually placing a distant third behind WHAM and WHEC. Even with the strong NBC prime-time line-up in the mid-to-late 1980s (the last few years of WROC's affiliation contract with NBC) and the CBS line-up during the early 2000s (decade), its newscasts remained in third place. However, after finally establishing some stability with its anchor team, market share has been growing over the course of the past decade. In the November 2008 ratings period, WROC's 11 p.m. newscast finished ahead of slumping WHEC for the first time in many years.
After becoming operated by Nexstar, WUHF's separate news department was shut down. Two anchors, a producer, and a photographer were added to WROC's news staff. The remainder of its personnel was laid-off in this move. On September 1, 2005, a nightly half-hour prime time broadcast (produced by WROC) called Fox First at 10 began airing on WUHF. Originating from a secondary set at this station's facilities, the show eventually expanded to 45 minutes followed by a fifteen-minute sports highlight program known as Sports Extra. On September 13, 2010, this station began airing a weeknight 4 p.m. newscast for a half-hour (an area first).9 As of 2011, WROC's newscasts remain in third place overall. On September 4, 2012, WROC became the second Rochester area TV station to have upgraded its local newscasts to high definition. The 10 p.m. newscast on WUHF was included in the upgrade. On December 31, 2013, WUHF terminated its SSA with WROC and entered into a new one with WHAM-TV, on January 1, 2014. It also moved to WHAM's studio in Henrietta, where WHAM now produces WUHF's 10 o'clock newscasts, re-naming it as 13 WHAM News at 10 on Fox Rochester,10 and creating a morning newscast Good Day Rochester.
- TV-8 Total News (1971–1974)
- TV-8 Action News (1974–1978)
- NewsCenter 8 (1978–1981)
- News Eight/News 8 (1981–1980s)
- Eyewitness News (1980s-1990s)
- NewsChannel 8 (1990s)
- News 8 (1990s-1999, 2009–present)
- News 8 Now (1999–2009)
- "Take a Look at TV-8" (1978–1981)citation needed
- "Your Great Expectations Station" (1990–1991)
- "The Team to Watch"
- "8 On Your Side" (1998–2004)
- "See the Difference Everyday" (2004–2009)
- "The Team You Can Trust" (2009–present)
- Mark Gruba - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and noon; also reporter
- Ali Touhey - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.); also reporter
- Rachel Barnhart - weekdays at 4:00; also reporter and fill-in anchor for 5:00, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. broadcasts
- Kevin Doran - also Managing Editor; Sundays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. and Monday - Thursdays at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. (also "Golden Apple Award" and "Rochester's Finest" segment producer)
- Maureen McGuire - Sundays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. and Monday - Thursdays at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. (also "Scholastic Arts Spotlight" segment producer)
- Ashley Zilka - Fridays at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. (also reporter)
- Scott Hetsko (AMS and NWA Seals of Approval) - Chief Meteorologist; Sundays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. and Monday - Thursdays at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
- John DiPasquale (AMS Seal of Approval) - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
- Stacey Pensgen (AMS Seal of Approval) - Fridays at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. and Saturdays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. (also "Around Town" segment producer and early morning reporter Wednesdays-Fridays)
- John Kucko - Director; Sunday - Thursdays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. (also "Buffalo Blitz" producer)
- Thad Brown - Friday and Saturdays at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. and sports reporter (also fill-in sports anchor and host of Friday "Football Frenzy" and "Roundball Roundup" and Sunday "The Fifth Quarter")
- Prescott Rossi - sports reporter (also co-hosts Friday "Football Frenzy" and "Roundball Roundup" as well as Sunday "The Fifth Quarter")
- Scott Pitoniak - Buffalo Bills and Syracuse University basketball contributor
- Vanessa Herring
- Katrina Irwin (weekly "Go Green" segment on Thursdays)
- Chelsea Pompeani
- Caroline Tucker
- Amy Young
- Jim Ellwanger. "TV Guide: Lake Ontario Edition". (personal website) Ellwanger.tv. Retrieved 2010-07-08.
- "FCC okays $30 million in station sales." Broadcasting, August 7, 1961, pg. 90. 
- "Final orders add vhf to three markets." Broadcasting, August 7, 1961, pg. 55. 
- "In brief." Broadcasting, April 10, 1989, pg. 96 (top of page). 
- Adweek: "Imported Signals in Retrans Fight Raise Regulatory Questions", July 10, 2012.
- Greensboro News-Record: "New twist in dispute between Time Warner and WXII", July 12, 2012.
- Naughton, Peter (July 12, 2012). Elsewhere: Louisville, KY fans embrace WROC-TV. CNYTVNews.com. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
- Broadcasting & Cable: "Hearst TV, Time Warner Cable End Viewer Blackout", July 19, 2012.
- WROC out, 13WHAM in on Fox. Democrat & Chronicle, 7 October, 2013, Retrieved 8 October, 2013