WKRN-TV, virtual channel 2, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Nashville, Tennessee, United States. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group. WKRNs studios are located on Murfreesboro Road on Nashvilles southeast side, and its transmitter is located in Forest Hills, Tennessee.
The station first signed on the air on November 29, 1953, as WSIX-TV, broadcasting on VHF channel 8; it was the second television station in Nashville. The station was originally licensed to WSIX, Inc., which was owned by Louis and Jack Draughon, along with WSIX radio 980 AM, now WYFN. The call letters came from the 638 Tire Company in nearby Springfield, where the Draughon brothers had started WSIX in 1930; neither the radio nor the television stations have ever had the number six in their frequencies, which would explain it otherwise. Originally a CBS affiliate that shared the ABC affiliation with WSM-TV channel 4, now WSMV, it became a full-time ABC affiliate after only one year when WLAC-TV channel 5, now WTVF signed on and took the CBS affiliation due to WLAC radios long history as a CBS radio affiliate. During the late 1950s, the station was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network.
The stations original studio facilities were located on Old Hickory Boulevard, south of Nashville at the stations transmitter site. In 1961, WSIX-AM-FM-TV moved to a new studio located at 441 Murfreesboro Road, where the television station remains located today. The current WKRN studio facility is where the Wilburn Brothers television program was produced during the 1960s and 1970s however, WSM-TV had the rights to air the show in the Nashville market.
WSIX-TV, however, did not have much luck against WSM-TV and WLAC-TV. Part of the problem was a weak signal, as its transmitter was short-spaced to channel 8 in Atlanta – occupied first by WSB-TV currently occupied by WGTV. WSIX-TV was also hampered by a weaker network affiliation ABC was not truly competitive with CBS and NBC until well into the 1970s.
The Draughons sold the WSIX stations to General Electric in 1966. In 1973, GE agreed to a deal with Nashvilles PBS member station, WDCN-TV now WNPT, then on channel 2, to swap frequencies. GE participated in the channel trade because the analog channel 2 facility was better suited for a network affiliate as opposed to a non-commercial educational station. The swap occurred on December 11, 1973, at 9 p.m., in the middle of prime time programming, between the Movie of the Week, The Cat Creature, and Marcus Welby, M.D. At the same time, even though General Electric still owned WSIX-AM-FM, WSIX-TVs call letters were changed to WNGE-TV for N ashville G eneral E lectric. This was only the third facility swap in American television history.
General Electric pared down its broadcasting holdings during the early 1980s possibly in preparation for its purchase of then-NBC parent company RCA in late 1985, selling WNGE-TV to Knight Ridder Newspapers in 1983. The new owners changed the calls on November 29 to the current WKRN-TV. Knight Ridder sold off all of its television stations in 1989, at which point Young Broadcasting bought the station along with its sibling WTEN in Albany, New York. Merely by coincidence, the call letters reflect the former Young Broadcastings flagship outlet, KRON-TV in San Francisco.
On June 6, 2013, Media General announced that it would acquire Young Broadcasting in an all-stock deal. The merger was completed on November 12, 2013, resulting in WKRN and its Knoxville sister station WATE-TV becoming sister stations of Johnson City-based WJHL-TV.
However, less than two years after that merger was finalized, the stations ownership appeared as though it was once again put into flux, as on September 8, 2015, Media General announced that it would acquire the Meredith Corporation for $2.4 billion, with the combined group to be renamed Meredith Media General once the sale was finalized. Because Meredith already owned WSMV, and the two stations rank among the four highest-rated stations in the Nashville market in total day viewership, the companies would have been required to sell either WSMV or WKRN to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as recent changes to those rules regarding same-market television stations that restrict sharing agreements.
The overlap issue was later rendered moot as the deal collapsed, and on January 27, 2016, it was announced that the Nexstar Broadcasting Group would buy Media General for $4.6 billion. WKRN became part of "Nexstar Media Group", and along with its Tennessee siblings, became stablemates to fellow ABC affiliate WATN-TV and CW affiliate WLMT in Memphis. The sale was completed on January 17, 2017.
On October 31, 2016, WKRN introduced a refreshed news graphics and music package and station logo, retiring the "Circle 2", which the station had been using in some capacity since 1981.
2. Digital television
WKRN shut down its analog signal over VHF channel 2 on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The stations digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 27. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the stations virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 2.
3.1. Subchannels WKRN-DT2
WKRN-DT2 is the MeTV-affiliated second digital subchannel of WKRN-TV, broadcasting in standard definition on UHF channel 27.2 or virtual channel 2.2 via PSIP.
3.2. Subchannels As Nashville WX Channel
WKRN launched the subchannel in 2008 as a local 24-hour weather channel for the Nashville area. It was branded on-air as the "Nashville Weather Channel," but stylized as the "Nashville WX Channel." The subchannel also simulcasted the main channel’s wall-to-wall severe weather coverage when a tornado warning was issued for any part of WKRNs coverage area. The Channel was somewhat of a locally oriented version of the AccuWeather channel, except that it implements a backward L bar for its screen orientation, with an information crawl on the bottom of the screen. It provided pre-recorded weather segments produced by the WKRN Weather Team, and it featured radar imagery, the current time, temperature, and precipitation count in the Downtown Nashville area. This subchannel was also ad-supported, for commercials are shown between a replay of the taped weather segments, and the next time they show the weather slides with music in the background. Like the digital weather channels of other stations formerly owned by Young Broadcasting, the channel is produced in-house with no outside assistance from any national services such as The Local AccuWeather Channel and is fully automated using the stations weather computers. This format was similar to that of WBAY-DT2, the local weather-oriented second subchannel of Green Bay, Wisconsin area ABC affiliate WBAY-TV, one of WKRNs sister stations.
In addition, some syndicated programming aired on this channel, most notably on Sunday mornings where E/I programming is offered through syndication, mainly including Canadian-imported syndicated show, Edgemont. The syndicated version of Storm Stories was also shown on WKRN-DT2 on weeknights at 7 p.m. CT. Both Edgemont and Storm Stories were discontinued a month before WKRN-DT2 switched to the MeTV affiliation.
It previously shown Atlantic Coast Conference basketball and football games from Raycom Sports from 2012 until late August 2014, when MyNetworkTV affiliate WUXP took over those rights for the purpose to serve as a replacement for the syndicated Southeastern Conference football and basketball packages by ESPN Plus-produced SEC TV those were previously provided by Jefferson-Pilot/Raycom Sports until 2009, which were discontinued because of the launch of the new cable-exclusive SEC Network.
In 2014, a Wikipedia user listed WKRN-DT2 as an affiliate of WeatherNation TV, but it never aired programming from that network. WZTV-DT2, the second subchannel of local Fox affiliate WZTV channel 17, became a WeatherNation affiliate in November 2014.
WKRN-DT2s programming was simulcast on WKRN-DT3, beginning on May 30, 2015, when the Live Well Network which was previously broadcast on WKRN-DT3 ceased national distribution outside of ABCs owned-and-operated stations. This ended on December 30, 2015, when WKRN added Justice Network to the third subchannel.
3.3. Subchannels Bounce TV affiliation
In September 2019, WKRN started running advertisements on WKRN-DT2 stating that the subchannel would switch to Bounce TV on September 23, with MeTV moving to WJFB channel 44.1. A WKRN spokesperson stated the decision was made "at the corporate level." WKRN-DT2 officially switched from MeTV to Bounce TV at the stroke of midnight on September 23, 2019. Bounce TV continued to be seen on low-powered station WLLC-LP 42.3 until December 2, when it was replaced with AMGTV.
3.4. Subchannels WKRN-DT3
On August 26, 2012, WKRN began carrying the Live Well Network on its third digital subchannel. Originally announced to launch on July 18, 2012, LWNs carriage on the new subchannel was part of an agreement announced in January 2012, between Young Broadcasting and Live Well Network in which the network will be carried as a digital multicast service on Young-owned stations in seven markets. Live Well Network was scheduled to be shut down in January 2015, but ABC decided to continue broadcasting the Live Well Network for an estimated two to three months beyond the reported January 15, 2015, shutdown date. On May 29, 2015, Comcast reported that they had been informed by Media General that as of May 30, 2015, Media General would discontinue carrying Live Well Network on their channels, including WKRN. On May 30, 2015, WKRN began broadcasting the Nashville WX Channel on WKRN-DT3, the same feed as they carry on WKRN-DT2. On December 30, 2015, WKRN began broadcasting The Justice Network on WKRN-DT3.
3.5. Subchannels WKRN-DT4
On the afternoon of Friday, October 27, 2017, WKRN added the action oriented Network aimed towards Men, Grit to a New Subchannel of 2.4, thus marking the return of the Network to the Nashville Market. Grit was previously seen on WNABs third subchannel of 58.3 until June 1, 2017, when Grit was replaced with Charge!, a competitor network to Grit, which also focuses on action and drama, and is owned and operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, who also operates WNAB.
Syndicated programming on WKRN includes Wheel of Fortune, Dr. Phil, The Doctors, Live with Kelly and Ryan and The Mel Robbins Show, among others. The Nashville market is one of the few that carries Wheel of Fortune on a separate station because Jeopardy! as a broadcast oddity airs on Fox affiliate WZTV.
The station has an agreement with the Tennessee Titans to broadcast Bridgestone Titans on 2, the teams coachs show that originally aired from 8 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, preempting ABC programming in that timeslot during the NFL season which featured low-rated and critically derided sitcoms for the majority of the 2000s. The show now airs Mondays and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m., preempting Wheel of Fortune in that timeslot during football season. It moved to that timeslot after viewer criticism during the early episodes first season of the 2009 series V where it was pushed to late Tuesday evenings one week, then to a day-and-date airing on WKRN-DT2 the next. WKRNs then-sister station in Green Bay, WBAY-TV, also faced the same situation with a locally produced football program covering the Green Bay Packers, but after a week moved that program to air before prime time to accommodate V later affiliation agreements eventually made pre-empting programming in this manner impossible outside breaking news and severe weather situations.
WKRN is the Nashville home and the flagship station of the Tennessee Titans Preseason Television Network, which broadcasts Titans Preseason Football during August and sometimes the very early parts of September. These games often prompt WKRN to broadcast the nights ABC prime time programming on a tape delay in the overnight hours of the following morning. WKRN also simulcasts ESPNs Monday Night Football any time the Tennessee Titans are involved in a Monday night match-up during the regular season.
Like all other ABC affiliates that were owned by Young Broadcasting, WKRN preempted ABCs broadcast of the movie Saving Private Ryan in 2004.
5. News operation
WKRN broadcasts 38 hours of locally produced newscasts each week with six hours each weekday and four hours each on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, the station produces a half-hour public affairs program, This Week with Bob Mueller, which airs Sundays at 11:00 p.m. WKRN is the only Big Three network affiliate in Nashville that does not run an hour-long newscast at 6 p.m., although its early evening newscasts on weekdays begin at 4 p.m., including ABC World News Tonight at 5:30 p.m.
Before the advent of satellite technology in the 1980s, the Vanderbilt Television News Archive taped all ABC News broadcasts from the airwaves of WSIX/WNGE/WKRN. Some of the recordings prior to that time include local cut-ins to ABC coverage of national elections, which represent the only preservations of the stations news broadcasts of that time.
On October 11, 2011, WKRN began broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition, becoming the last Nashville television station to make the upgrade. This included a brand new news set that was built in a separate studio that was based on a design shared by all Young stations that have upgraded to HD, replacing the "working newsroom" set that had been used for the newscasts since 1986.
On March 29, 2014, WKRN added an additional hour of newscasts on both Saturday and Sunday mornings beginning at 5 a.m.
6.1. Availability Cable carriage
WKRN is available to every Middle Tennessee cable provider, including Comcast Xfinity channels 2 SD and 1002 HD. Those channel allocations also apply to AT&T U-verse. WKRN is also available on Charter Spectrum channels 2 SD and 702 HD.
In Clarksville, it is available to subscribers of CDE Lightband Cable Channels 2 SD and 902 HD. WKRN is also available on Mediacom and Charter in the Hopkinsville, Kentucky area.
6.2. Availability Out-of-market coverage
Due to proximity to the Bowling Green, Kentucky, area, WKRNs over-the-air OTA signal can be picked up in some areas of the Bowling Green media market, the home territory to fellow ABC affiliate WBKO channel 13. WKRNs signal can reach as far north as an area along the Green River in areas just north of Bowling Green. It is for that reason that WKRN ends up competing with WBKO for viewing allegiances. WKRN was previously available on CATV in Glasgow, the Barren County seat, via the Glasgow Electric Plant Board. This ended during the 2000s as more of their customers watched WBKO than WKRN; this was also due to part of controversial issues that occurred concerning the carriage of both stations. WKRN was permanently dropped from the Glasgow EPB’s channel lineup in 2003 because WBKO wanted to be the sole ABC affiliate to be carried. However, WHAS, the ABC affiliate in Louisville, Kentucky, is still available on that system as a backup ABC affiliate if one or the other pre-empts network programming for severe weather coverage, but carriage of both stations on the system is subject to the FCCs syndication exclusivity rules.
WKRN is also available on cable television in the Fayetteville, Tennessee, area in Lincoln County, the only Middle Tennessee county that is considered to be in the Huntsville, Alabama media market. Fayetteville Public Utilities customers can view the station on channels 2 SD and 243 HD.
From 1957 through the 1970s and 1980s, WKRN, along with WSMV, WTVF, and eventually independent station WZTV now a Fox affiliate, was also available on CATV systems in the Huntsville media market, including TelePrompter later Group W Cable, now Comcast and Knology now WOW!. They were eventually dropped as more national cable channels were launched throughout the mid- and late 1980s.
- stations to carry the digital multicast channel WKRN - TV WRIC - TV WTEN, WATE - TV WBAY - TV WLNS - TV and KLFY On August 20, 2012, Standard General filed
- Symphony Center. Matthew Zelkind, News Director of WKRN - TV and Gregg Stone, photographer for WHNT - TV in Huntsville, Alabama were inducted into the Silver
- to WKRN s third subchannel, instead, Justice Network was added. It was then announced that Me - TV would then move to WKRN s second subchannel WKRN - DT2
- properties that serve various portions of the state, including WKRN - TV in Nashville, Tennessee, WOWK - TV in Charleston, West Virginia, and WEHT and WTVW in Evansville
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- short - spaced to WDCN - TV in Nashville now WNPT on channel 8 the channel 2 frequency was later occupied by WKRN - TV WSB - TV in Atlanta and WFMY - TV in Greensboro
- KSEE - TV in Fresno, California. From 1997 to 2000, Hill spent time with WKRN - TV in Nashville, Tennessee, covering high school football and earning two
- Network, operated by Nashville area ABC affiliate and Nexstar sister station WKRN From 1995 until 2009, WJKT broadcast syndicated Southeastern Conference
- Complex, Like Cool, The Strut, and BeyondBoxGifts. In 2014, ABC affiliate WKRN - TV in Nashville, Tennessee broadcast and syndicated a story featuring Master
- regionally syndicated by sister station and fellow ABC affiliate WKRN - TV Nashville. WATE - TV broadcasts 40 hours of locally produced newscasts each week with
- career at WLNS - TV in Lansing, Michigan, where he would eventually move to Nashville, Tennessee to WKRN - TV while finally landing at KIRO - TV in Seattle, Washington
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