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Wmur

WMUR-TV
Manchester, New Hampshire
Branding WMUR ABC 9 (general)
WMUR News 9 (newscasts)
Slogan No One Covers New Hampshire Like We Do (primary)
It's how you know (secondary)
Channels Digital: 9 (VHF)
Virtual: 9 (PSIP)
Subchannels 9.1 ABC
9.2 Me-TV
Translators W27BL 27 Berlin
WMUR-LP 29 Littleton
W38CB 38 Littleton
Owner Hearst Television
(Hearst Properties, Inc.)
First air date March 28, 1954
Call letters' meaning Governor Francis P. MURphy (founder)
Sister station(s) WCVB-TV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
9 (VHF, 1954-2009)
Digital:
59 (UHF, 1998-2009)
Former affiliations Fox (two repeaters, 1994-2001)
Transmitter power 6.5 kW
Height 314 m
Facility ID 73292
Transmitter coordinates

42°59′1.7″N 71°35′22.9″W / 42.983806°N 71.589694°W / 42.983806; -71.589694

Website www.wmur.com

WMUR-TV, channel 9, is an ABC-affiliated television station located in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA. WMUR-TV is owned by Hearst Television, a subsidiary of the New York City-based Hearst Corporation, and has its studios on South Commercial Street in downtown Manchester. The station's transmitter is on the south peak of Mount Uncanoonuc in Goffstown, New Hampshire.

Manchester is considered to be part of the larger Boston television market; that city's ABC affiliate WCVB-TV is also owned by Hearst. WMUR-TV shares common coverage areas with two other sister stations, WMTW-TV in Portland, Maine; and WNNE in Hartford, Vermont.

During election seasons, WMUR is well known for organizing and producing candidate debates for ABC News, as well as CNN, before the first United States presidential primary; the debates have been held at Saint Anselm College.

Digital Television

Channel Video Aspect Programming
9.1 720p 16:9 Main WMUR-TV programming / ABC
9.2 480i 4:3 Me-TV

Repeaters

Since August 22, 1994, WMUR has operated three repeaters in northern New Hampshire. Until December 19, 2001, two of the stations aired programming from Fox but simulcast channel 9's newscasts (the third one carried all WMUR programming, including ABC network programming). The two Fox stations started simulcasting WMUR when WMTW (at that time separately owned) moved its transmitter off Mount Washington. Since all three stations are low-powered, they were exempt from the transition to digital-only broadcasting on June 12, 2009.

Callsign Channel City of license Notes
W27BL 27 Berlin *part of Portland market
*first on-air in 1994
WMUR-LP 29 Littleton *tower shared with W38CB on Cannon Mountain
*formerly W16BC and (briefly) W29CM
W38CB 38 Littleton *tower shared with WMUR-LP on Cannon Mountain
*always aired ABC programming

History

WMUR-TV was established by former New Hampshire governor Francis P. Murphy, owner of WMUR radio (610 AM; now WGIR), on March 28, 1954. Murphy beat out several challengers, including William Loeb III, publisher of the Manchester Union-Leader.[1][2]

It was the first television station in the state and aired daily newscasts, local game shows, and movies. In 1955, channel 9 significantly boosted its signal, providing a strong signal well into the Boston area. Only a year later, however, Murphy decided to sell the WMUR stations. While a buyer was immediately found for the AM station, there were few takers for channel 9. Finally, in early 1957 he agreed in principle to sell WMUR-TV to Storer Broadcasting. However, Storer came under fire when it announced it planned to move the station's transmitter to just outside Haverhill, Massachusetts--only 20 miles north of Boston. It soon became apparent that Storer intended to move all of channel 9's operations across the border to Massachusetts and reorient it as the Boston market's third VHF station. The outcry led regulators to reject Storer's request to build a new tower near Haverhill, and Storer backed out of the deal. The station remained in Murphy's hands until his death in December 1958; his estate finally sold the station a few months later, to Richard Eaton's United Broadcasting.[2][3]

Soon after taking over, United laid off all but nine of WMUR's employees, and reduced local programming to its two daily newscasts. For the next 22 years, the station more-or-less ran on a shoestring budget. It continued to broadcast in black-and-white well into the 1970s, long after the Boston stations all upgraded to color capability. United paid almost no attention to the station, instead devoting most of its efforts in New Hampshire to managing the Manchester cable system. Two of the few things the station had going for it during this time were The Uncle Gus Show, hosted by Gus Bernier for more than 20 years, and an increasingly active news department led by Tom Bonnar and Fred Kocher.[2]

Eaton began running into regulatory problems at his other stations that nearly resulted in the FCC revoking all of his licenses, including WMUR's, in the 1970s. As a result, the station continued to be run very cheaply. In July 1981, following Richard Eaton's death, WMUR was sold to Columbus, Mississippi businessman Birney Imes Jr., who also owned that city's WCBI-TV, as well as WBOY-TV in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Imes made WMUR a major influence in New Hampshire by upgrading its facilities and news department.[2] In September 1987, the station moved from its original studios on Elm Street in Manchester to facilities in the historic Millyard area of the city.[2] Then in 1995, WMUR purchased land and a building at its current location. This building was rebuilt as a state-of-the-art broadcast center with 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) available. It went on-the-air from this new location in January 1996.

In November 1998, WMUR's digital signal began broadcasting on UHF channel 59.

During 1996 to 2000, WMUR was a national leader in developing a presence on the internet for a regional broadcast television channel. During this time WMUR hired a Webmaster, was the first TV station to stream a newscast live and archive it for later viewing. It was the first TV station to post the Megan's Law list, first to have a virtual tour of its TV studio online and have 24/7 (morning, noon and night) weather coverage from a professional Meteorologist.

In September 2000, a deal was reached in which Imes Communications would sell the station to Emmis Communications, which then traded WMUR to Hearst-Argyle Television for that company's three radio stations in Phoenix, Arizona: KTAR, KMVP, and KKLT.[4]

In 2004, WMUR-TV celebrated fifty years of broadcasting.[2]

On September 24, 2005, WMUR became available on satellite via DirecTV in Coos, Carroll, Grafton, and Sullivan counties in northern and west-central New Hampshire.[5]

In the sixth season of live ad for his campaign.

WMUR used to sign-off with "New Hampshire Naturally" by The Shaw Brothers. The music was synchronized to bucolic scenes of a fly fisherman casting his line into a mountain stream, a covered bridge, the Old Man of the Mountain, flowers, fall foliage, etc. This theme was replaced at some point by The Star Spangled Banner.

In February 2010, WMUR introduced a new slogan, "It's how you know." This slogan often promotes its local news, weather, its picture sharing site, "uLocal," and other ideas of interest that would lead to its website. Hearst affiliates KCRA and KSBW also uses this slogan, which is seen at the beginning of each video segment on YouTube.[6][7]

On October 3, 2011, WMUR added subchannel 9.2 with programming from classic television network Me-TV.[8]

New Hampshire network affiliates

Manchester is about 45 miles (72 km) north from Boston while Concord is about 60 miles (97 km). Boston's VHF stations have Grade A signals in Manchester and Grade B signals in Concord while the UHF stations have Grade B signals in Manchester but spotty signals in Concord. It was once thought that southern New Hampshire could break away from Boston and become its own market. If the sub-market were to break away from Boston, it would rank in the top 100 of all U.S. DMAs. However, CBS' ownership of WBZ-TV makes this unlikely as it could dilute that station's ad revenue. In the early-1990s, that station operated a news bureau in Manchester which was re-established on Elm Street in November 2006.

At the start of 1988, the sub-market had WMUR and PBS member station WENH-TV. On February 1, 1988, WNHT, an independent station based in Concord became southern New Hampshire's first CBS affiliate and began to produce local newscasts. WNHT lost the affiliation and stopped broadcasting on March 31, 1989 as a result of low viewership and ratings. There has not been an affiliate of the network based in the state since then. The situation with WMUR and sister station WCVB is not unlike that of Wildwood, New Jersey-based NBC affiliate WMGM-TV, which is considered part of the Philadelphia market alongside Philadelphia NBC O&O WCAU.

When WNHT signed-off, WMUR and WENH remained the only network affiliated stations in the state until the creation of MyNetworkTV on September 5, 2006. On that date, WZMY-TV, another independent station based in Derry, became the southern New Hampshire and Boston affiliate for MyNetworkTV; that station is now WBIN-TV, which continued to offer MyNetworkTV programming until September 2011 (though MyNetworkTV has since transitioned to operating as a programming service rather than a network).

Except for WRLH out of Lebanon, which operated from 1966 until 1976, there has never been an NBC station based in the state. However, since 1978, WNNE has broadcast programming from that network into parts of western New Hampshire (the region previously served by WRLH) from across the state line in Vermont (and was, for a time early in its existence, licensed to Hanover). Much of this area is considered part of the Burlington / Plattsburgh market, although WMUR is still available. The rest of the state receives the NBC feed from that network's affiliates in either Boston or Portland. There were no The WB and UPN affiliates when those networks were active; likewise, The CW does not presently have any affiliates in New Hampshire.

WMUR has always promoted the fact that it is the only major network affiliate and consistent local news source in the state. The station's current slogan reflects this.

Programming

Syndicated programming on WMUR includes Live with Kelly and Michael, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Ellen, and Inside Edition. Many of these programs are also seen on sister station WCVB-TV, and as a result the stations have similar schedules on weekdays. WMUR also airs a localized version of Chronicle, WCVB's longtime signature program. The station also produces a local political talk show, Close-Up, which airs on Sunday mornings.

WMUR was one of the longest-serving affiliates of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Love Network, having carried the MDA Show of Strength and its predecessors annually on Labor Day and/or the night before since the late 1960s.[2][9] The MDA moved the telethon from syndication to ABC in 2013; as a result, WMUR continues to broadcast the program.

In the 1960s and 1970s, one of its local programs was the children's weekday strip known as The Uncle Gus Show. Unlike Boston's astronaut "Major Mudd" or the widely franchised "Bozo", host "Uncle Gus" Bernier wore no costume except an angler's hat.

News operation

WMUR broadcasts around 28.5 hours of local news each week. The station added a 10 p.m. newscast on its Me-TV-affiliated subchannel in January 2012, which has expanded WMUR's weekly news production to 34 hours.[10] WTPL (107.7 FM) in Hillsborough and WTSL (1400 AM) in Hanover simulcast WMUR's newscasts weekdays from 5 to 6 a.m., 12 to 12:30 p.m., and 5 to 6:30 p.m.. WTSN (1270 AM) in Dover also carries WMUR newscasts from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and WASR (1420 AM) in Wolfeboro simulcasts the newscasts from 5 to 6 p.m.. WMUR news from 5-5:30 a.m. and 6-6:30 p.m. are simulcast on WEEY (93.5 FM) in Keene.

In addition to its main studios, WMUR operates two news bureaus in the state. The Lakes Region Bureau is at The Inn at Bay Point in Meredith, and the Seacoast Bureau is at Harbor Place in Portsmouth. The station also broadcasts national news from a Washington D.C. Bureau operated by Hearst. The bureau employs several reporters who give live reports to the various Hearst affiliates. In addition, WMUR and WCVB share video when covering news from the other station's area; WCVB has a live truck based at WMUR's studios in Manchester.

WMUR began broadcasting newscasts in high definition on August 2, 2011 along with a completely new set and graphics.

Although WMUR does not own or operate a weather radar of its own, it uses live NOAA National Weather Service radar data from several regional sites. During weather segments, this data is presented on-screen in a forecasting system called "Storm Watch 9 Storm Tracker" that is provided through the Weather Services International graphics system. A live video feed of this radar is offered on WMUR's website. During instances of severe weather year-round, the station may extend local newscasts to provide coverage; this coverage is sometimes streamed live on the website.

WMUR launched a weeknight newscast at 10 in March 2012 on its MeTV subchannel. This half-hour show will compete with a recently re-launched news operation on WBIN-TV. That station also airs a thirty minute broadcast weeknights at 10 although it is recorded in advance.[11]

Newscast titles

  • New England Tonight (1960s)
  • Newswatch
  • The News
  • NewsNine (early 1980s–1994; still used on occasion as an alternate spelling of News 9)
  • News 9 (1994–present)
  • WMUR News 9 (1998–present)

Station slogans

  • Nine's Alive! (1987–1990)
  • News You Can Use (1990–1994)
  • No One Knows New Hampshire Like We Do (1994–2002)
  • No One Covers New Hampshire Like We Do (2002–present)
  • Channel 9 News (Current)

News team

Anchors

  • Sean McDonald - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.); also New Hampshire Chronicle host, seen weeknights at 7:00 p.m.
  • Erin Fehlau - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon; also New Hampshire Chronicle host, seen weeknights at 7:00 p.m.
  • Josh McElveen - weeknights at 5:00 and 5:30 p.m.; Reporter, Political Director, also Close Up host, seen Sundays at 10:00 a.m.
  • Jean Mackin - weeknights at 5:00 and 5:30 p.m.; also reporter weeknights at 11:00 p.m.
  • Jennifer Vaughn - weeknights at 6:00 p.m.; also medical reporter
  • Tom Griffith - weeknights at 6:00, 10:00 (WMUR-DT2) and 11:00 p.m.
  • Shelley Walcott - weeknights at 10:00 (WMUR-DT2) and 11:00 p.m., Reporter
  • Amy Coveno - weekend mornings (6:00-9:00 a.m.); also reporter
  • Melinda Davenport - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also reporter

Storm Watch 9 Meteorologists

  • Mike Haddad - Chief seen weeknights at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 10:00 (WMUR-DT2) and 11:00 p.m.; also heard on WMLL-FM 96.5
  • Kevin Skarupa (CBM Seal of Approval) - weekday mornings (5:00-7:00 a.m.) and weekdays at noon
  • Josh Judge (CBM Seal of Approval) - weekend mornings (6:00-9:00 a.m.) and weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.
  • Chris Jarzynka - freelance fill-in
  • Bill Gile - freelance fill-in

Sports

  • Jamie Staton - Director seen weeknights at 6:00, 10:00 (WMUR-DT2) and 11:00 p.m.; Fill-in News Anchor
  • Jason King - weekends at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.; also sports reporter

Reporters

  • Suzanne Roantree - weekday morning traffic (5:00-7:00 a.m.) Freelance Reporter; also heard on WZID-FM 95.7
  • Marga Bessette - weeknight traffic reporter (5:00 p.m.); also heard on WZID-FM 95.7
  • Hallie Jackson - weekday morning national correspondent (5:00-7:00 a.m.)
  • Nikole Killion - national correspondent
  • Sally Kidd - national correspondent
  • Nick Spinetto
  • Andy Hershberger - crime reporter
  • Heather Hamel
  • Adam Sexton
  • Ray Brewer
  • Kria Sakakeeny - freelance Reporter
  • Jennifer Gannon
  • James Pindell- Political Director
  • Jennifer Crompton
  • Dick Lutsk- Fill in Traffic Anchor
  • Tara Mergener- Fill-in national correspondent
  • Audrey Cox- Freelance Reporter/Anchor
  • Danielle Larcom- Freelance Reporter

Former on-air staff

Anchors

  • Kyle Meenan - Weeknight Anchor (1984–1988) (Now at WTLV-TV Jacksonville)
  • Ramey Becker - Weeknight Anchor (1985–1989)
  • Lauren Baker - Weeknight Anchor (1983–1985)
  • Jim Bartlett - Weeknight Anchor (1968–1984)
  • Tiffany Eddy - Weeknight Anchor (1998-2012)

Reporters

  • Steve Cooper - (1992-2000?) (Now at WHDH 7 NBC Boston)
  • Bob Ward - (1983–1988) (Now at Fox 25 Boston)
  • Judy Fortin - (1985–1990) (Now Anchor/Medical Reporter for CNN Atlanta)
  • Odetta Rogers - (1986–1988) (Now NBC Network Correspondent)
  • Nanette Hanson - (1985–1988) (Now CBS Network Correspondent)

Sports

  • Frank Mallicoat - Sports Director (1986–1990) (Now at KPIX 5 in San Francisco)
  • Phil Andrews - Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter (1985–1986) (Later 15-years with WPVI-6 Philadelphia)
  • Naoko Funayama (2004–2008) (Now at NESN)
  • Jack Edwards (now at NESN)
  • Charlie Sherman

References

External links

  • WMUR.com - Official WMUR-TV Website
  • MeTVNewHampshire.com - Official Me-TV New Hampshire Website
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for WMUR-TV
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for W27BL
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for WMUR-LP
  • Query the FCC's TV station database for W38CB
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