|Miami–Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Channels||Digital: 10 (VHF)|
Virtual: 10 (PSIP)
|Branding||Local 10 (general)|
Local 10 News (newscasts)
|Slogan||The One and Only|
|Owner||BH Media |
First air date
|August 2, 1957|
(current license dates from November 20, 1961)
Former call signs
Former channel number(s)
Call sign meaning
|Phillip Leslie Graham|
(in memory of the former Washington Post publisher)
|HAAT||309 m (1,014 ft)|
Public license information
WPLG, virtual and VHF digital channel 10, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Miami, Florida, United States and also serving Fort Lauderdale. The station is owned by Berkshire Hathaway as its sole broadcast property. WPLG's studios are located on West Hallandale Beach Boulevard (SR 858) in Pembroke Park, and its transmitter is located in Miami Gardens, Florida.
The station first signed on the air on August 2, 1957 as WPST-TV, as the second ABC affiliate in the Miami market; it was originally owned by Public Service Television, Inc., the broadcasting subsidiary of National Airlines. The station took ABC programming from WITV (channel 17, later occupied by PBS member station WLRN-TV), which ceased operations shortly after losing the ABC affiliation.
A Congressional investigation of former FCC commissioner Richard A. Mack in 1958 revealed that a Miami attorney named Thurman A. Whiteside, working on behalf of National Airlines, had bribed the former commissioner to obtain the WPST broadcast license. As a result, National Airlines was stripped of its license to operate WPST-TV.
A new channel 10
After the FCC revoked National Airlines' license, a group headed by Cincinnati-area broadcaster L. B. Wilson was awarded a construction permit to build a new television station on channel 10. As part of an FCC-supervised deal, National Airlines sold WPST's assets to Wilson's group. WPST signed off for the last time on November 19, 1961. The next day on November 20, channel 10 returned to the air as WLBW-TV (named after the owner's initials). Although it operates under a separate license, what is now WPLG claimed the National Airlines station's history as its own.
The new station branded itself as "Sunny Channel 10". It was also the first station in Miami to feature a weather girl, Virginia Booker. WLBW, while able to carry all of ABC's color programming, began local color from film and tape in 1964. In 1967, WLBW's operations were moved to a new studio facility located on Biscayne Boulevard, originally known as "Broadcast House". With this move, channel 10 had full local color capability, and began broadcasting their local newscasts, as well as "Saturday Hop", in color. The station became known as "Colorvision 10". In 1969, WLBW and Cincinnati sister station WCKY radio were purchased by the Washington Post Company and became part of its broadcasting subsidiary, Post-Newsweek Stations. On March 16, 1970, the station's call letters were changed to the current WPLG—the calls were chosen in honor of Philip L. Graham, husband of Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, who committed suicide in 1963. WPLG adopted its current "10" logo, which features four stripes of differing colors within the "0" that represent a sunset, in 1982.
On January 1, 1989, the Miami–Fort Lauderdale market underwent a three-way network affiliation swap that saw longtime CBS affiliate WTVJ (channel 4) becoming an NBC owned-and-operated station; longtime independent station and charter Fox affiliate, WCIX (channel 6) becoming a CBS owned-and-operated station; and longtime NBC affiliate WSVN (channel 7) taking the Fox affiliation from WCIX. WTVJ and WCIX later swapped channel positions on September 10, 1995 as compensation for an affiliation deal involving Group W, with WCIX moving to channel 4 as WFOR-TV and WTVJ moving to channel 6. Neither transaction affected WPLG, which retained its ABC affiliation as well as its channel 10 allocation. As a result, it is the only television station in the Miami–Fort Lauderdale market that has retained the same network affiliation throughout its history. Possibly because of this consistency, WPLG remains one of the highest-rated stations in South Florida. In 2004, WPLG began branding itself as "Local 10" under the branding standardization adopted by Post-Newsweek for its stations.
From April 2007 to May 2009, WPLG was South Florida's most-watched English-language television station according to Nielsen; this can partially be attributed to its availability on Comcast's West Palm Beach system, which in turn had a potentially negative effect on the ratings for that market's ABC affiliate, WPBF. However, Comcast dropped WPLG from its West Palm Beach area systems on April 13, 2011. After the May 2009 ratings period, the station switched to a single anchor format for its evening newscasts; WPLG's total-day viewership fell behind CBS-owned WFOR, which took the #1 position among the market's English-language stations. However, WPLG remains tied with WSVN for second/third.
On July 18, 2008, Post-Newsweek Stations announced that it would purchase WTVJ for $205 million. The purchase would have created a duopoly between WTVJ and WPLG—duopolies involving two "Big Three" stations ordinarily would be prohibited under the FCC's media ownership rules, which do not allow duopolies involving two of a market's four highest-rated stations in terms of audience share; however during the May 2008 Nielsen ratings period, WPLG ranked in first place and WTVJ ranked sixth in total-day viewership, allowing the possibility of a purchase. Under the proposal, WTVJ would have merged its operations with WPLG at the studio facility (which was under construction at the time) on Hallandale Beach Boulevard in Pembroke Park. However, the sale was cancelled on December 23, 2008, with NBCUniversal and The Washington Post Company citing poor economic conditions and the lack of approval by the FCC.
On March 28, 2009, WPLG relocated its studio facilities from 3900 Biscayne Boulevard to the new Pembroke Park facility. As a result of this relocation, all of the South Florida market's "Big Three" network stations are based outside of the Miami city limits.
Sale to Berkshire Hathaway
In 2013, the Washington Post Company sold the Washington Post to Amazon founder and chairman Jeff Bezos; the company retained most of the other non-newspaper assets, including the Post-Newsweek broadcast outlets, and renamed itself Graham Holdings.
On March 12, 2014, Graham Holdings announced that it would sell WPLG to the BH Media subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway in a cash and stock deal. Berkshire Hathaway and its chairman, Warren Buffett, had been longtime stockholders in Graham Holdings; the sale of WPLG included a large majority of Berkshire Hathaway's shares in Graham Holdings. To maintain continuity following the consummation of the purchase, BH Media entered into agreements with Post-Newsweek Stations (renamed Graham Media Group in July 2014) to continue providing the station with access to its centralized digital media, design, and traffic services after the sale's completion. The sale was finalized on June 30.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|10.1||720p||16:9||WPLG||Main WPLG programming / ABC|
|10.3||H&I||Heroes & Icons|
WPLG previously carried LATV on its second digital subchannel; the Spanish language network was replaced by MeTV on April 24, 2012. On January 24, 2013, Post-Newsweek Stations entered into an affiliation agreement to carry the Live Well Network on digital subchannels of WPLG and Orlando sister station WKMG-TV; both stations added the network in April 2013.
WPLG ended programming on its analog signal, on VHF channel 10, 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 station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition VHF channel 9 to channel 10 for post-transition operations. Three other local stations (WSVN, WPXM-TV and WLTV-DT) also moved their digital signals to their former analog channel allocation, requiring viewers to rescan their digital tuners. WPLG and WSVN are the only Miami stations that continue to broadcast on the VHF band.
WPLG carries the entire ABC programming schedule, including the ABC station-exclusive Saturday morning syndicated block Litton's Weekend Adventure. However, until the network dropped the program on August 28, 2010 (following Saban Entertainment's repurchase of the franchise from ABC's corporate parent The Walt Disney Company), the station ran the ABC Kids airings of Power Rangers on a week-delayed basis, airing it on Saturdays from 5:00 to 6:00 a.m. due to the station's three-hour weekend morning newscast (which at the time had aired from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m.). Around the same time, it also aired the 9:00–10:00 a.m. hour of the ABC Kids block from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. (then ABC's recommended timeslot to air Power Rangers). The latter scheduling continues in use even after the network replaced ABC Kids with Litton's Weekend Adventure in September 2011.
Dr. Phil on WPLG
In 2004, WPLG announced it had won a bidding war to air Dr. Phil and Judge Judy starting in 2006. However, the station had a contractual stipulation not to air Dr. Phil in direct competition with The Oprah Winfrey Show, also produced by Harpo Productions. WPLG's only option was to cancel its 5 p.m. newscast, forgoing its time slot to Dr. Phil, preceded by Judge Judy at 4 p.m. This became the station's final decision.
Initially slow out of the gate, the change ended up being successful as WPLG ranked No. 1 in the 5 p.m. time slot, beating out its competitors' 5 p.m. newscasts, and was able to lure viewers into its 6 p.m. newscast. This change was so successful that other local stations in the Miami and West Palm Beach markets started airing syndicated programming in place of local newscasts, such as WPTV, WTVJ, and WPBF. But by 2011, Dr. Phil's ratings had slipped and WPLG announced that the show would move back to WFOR, replacing Oprah which had just ended its 25-year run.
WPLG airs contests involving the NBA's Miami Heat via the network's contract with the league. The station has aired the Heat's 2006, 2011–14, and 2020 NBA Finals appearances, including the team's 2006, 2012 and 2013 championship victories.
WPLG presently broadcasts 54½ hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 8½ hours each weekday and six hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). In regards to the number of hours devoted to news programming, it is the second highest local newscast output of any station in the Miami market behind Fox affiliate WSVN (which runs 63½ hours of newscasts each week), and the highest of any ABC affiliate in the nation. In addition, the station produces the hour-long political discussion program This Week in South Florida, which debuted in 1990; airing Sunday mornings at 11:30 a.m., the program is hosted by senior political reporter Michael Putney.
In 1979, WPLG deployed the first helicopter in the Miami market used for newsgathering, known as "Sky 10". The station became well known from 1976 to 1982 for its popular anchor team of Glenn Rinker, Ann Bishop, sports anchor Chuck Dowdle and meteorologist Walter Cronise. In 1982, the station adopted the Eyewitness News format for its newscasts, which was used until its news branding was changed to the generic Channel 10 News in 2001; that year, Rinker left for another position in Orlando and was replaced as evening co-anchor by Mike Schneider. Schneider and Bishop remained paired as the station's lead anchor team until 1986, when Schneider left to become the 5:30 and 11:00 p.m. co-anchor at CBS flagship station WCBS-TV in New York City and was replaced by general assignment reporter Dwight Lauderdale (who had been working at WPLG since 1976); Lauderdale's appointment as anchor made him the first African-American to anchor a nightly newscast in the South Florida market, and he remained the station's primary evening co-anchor until his retirement in 2008.
By 1985, WPLG had surpassed rival WTVJ (channel 4, now on channel 6) in the ratings and would dominate the ratings for over ten years. Ann Bishop would continue to serve as co-anchor for the station's evening newscasts until 1995, when she moved to a part-time position at the station until she died from colon cancer in 1997. Don Noe joined WPLG in 1979 and was one of Miami's most popular chief meteorologists (Walter Cronise having moved to the morning newscasts) up until his retirement in 2007; Chuck Dowdle, meanwhile, had left by 1986 for fellow ABC station WSB-TV in Atlanta; his slot was filled by Khambrel Marshall, who later moved to WFOR and then to WPLG's former sister station in Houston, KPRC. Since 1993, WPLG has used several versions of Gari Media Group's "The One and Only" news music package, which took its name from a longtime slogan originally used by the station from 1979 to 1999 and was revived in 2014.
On March 28, 2009, in conjunction with the station's relocation to its Pembroke Park studios, WPLG became the third Miami station to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. On August 22, 2011, WPLG debuted an hour-long newscast at 5:00 p.m., which replaced Dr. Phil after it moved back to WFOR-TV; the station had produced an early evening newscast in that timeslot previously until it was replaced by Dr. Phil in 2004. On January 13, 2014, WPLG added an hour-long newscast at 4:00 p.m. weekdays, which competes against an existing hour-long newscast in that slot on WSVN. On April 27, 2014, WPLG expanded This Week in South Florida to one hour, retaining its 11:30 a.m. timeslot on Sundays. On August 13, 2018, WPLG added a half-hour 3 p.m. weekday newscast and later in fall, it expands to full hour.
Notable current on-air staff
- Calvin Hughes – anchor
- Max Mayfield – Hurricane Specialist
- Will Manso – Sports Director; also heard during coverage of University of Miami football on WQAM (560 AM)
- Bryan Norcross – Hurricane Specialist (also with station 1983–1990; formerly a hurricane specialist for The Weather Channel)
- Michael Putney – Senior Political Reporter; also host of This Week in South Florida
Notable former on-air staff
- Morry Alter – host of The Morry Story (1980s)
- Ann Bishop (1970–1995; deceased)
- Susan Candiotti (now a national correspondent for CNN)
- Jimmy Cefalo – sports anchor (now a radio show host and Radio Play by Play Voice of the Miami Dolphins)
- Liz Cho (now at WABC-TV in New York City)
- Bertha Coombs (now with CNBC)
- Victoria Corderi (now with NBC News)
- Roy Firestone (later with ESPN)
- Megan Glaros (now at WBBM-TV in Chicago)
- Carlos Granda (now at KABC-TV in Los Angeles)
- Larry King (later host of Larry King Live on CNN and Larry King Now on Ora TV, Hulu and RT)
- Steve Kroft (1977–1980; correspondent for CBS News' 60 Minutes)
- Dwight Lauderdale (1976–2008; now retired)
- Dean Miller news anchor in the early 1970s (now deceased)
- Charles Perez – anchor/reporter (now retired)
- Walter Perez – reporter (now at WPVI-TV in Philadelphia)
- Rob Schmitt (now at Fox News)
- Richard Schlesinger (now at CBS News)
- Mike Schneider – 6 and 11 p.m. anchor (now with NJTV as anchor and managing editor of NJ Today)
- Jon Scott – anchor (1983–1988; now anchor at Fox News Channel)
- Lisa Willis – reporter, fill-in anchor, 2001. Now retired from TV.
- "You Are to Be Pitied". Time. March 10, 1958. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
- "Local 10 News' Beginnings". Archived from the original on 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
- "Metromedia, Post-Newsweek expand." Broadcasting, Mar. 10, 1969, pp. 40–42. [permanent dead link] [permanent dead link]
- "WPLG-ABC 10 owner may buy WTVJ-NBC 6". Miami Herald, July 15, 2008.
- "Sale Of WTVJ To The Washington Post Company Terminated". NBC6.net. December 23, 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2008.
- "Inside Local 10's New Home". justnews.com. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Local 10's New Home: 3401 Hallandale Beach Blvd". justnews.com. Retrieved 9 April 2018.[permanent dead link]
- "Warren Buffett Buys Post-Newsweek's WPLG". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- "Exhibit 7 – Exchange Agreement", CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 21 April 2014.
- Consummation Notice, CDBS Public Access, Federal Communications Commission, Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- Graham Holdings and Berkshire Hathaway Complete Deal for Berkshire Hathaway to Acquire WPLG-TV, Press Release, Graham Holdings Company, 1 July 2014, Retrieved 2 July 2014.
- "RabbitEars.Info". www.rabbitears.info. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Me-TV Lands affiliation WPLG Miami - TVNewsCheck.com". www.tvnewscheck.com. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "Post-Newsweek Pair Signs On With Live Well". broadcastingcable.com. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-14. Retrieved 2009-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "TitanTV – WPLG". wplg.titantv.com. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
- "Big Changes at WPLG". www.sfltv.com. Jimmy. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- "Dr. Phil good for WPLG health". www.sun-sentinel.com/. Tom Jicha. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- "WPLG Brings Back 5pm Newscast". www.sfltv.com. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- In Miami, WPLG Returning Local News to 5 p.m., TVSpy, August 17, 2011.
- Dr. Phil good for WPLG health, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, December 1, 2006.
- 4pm Newscast Coming to WPLG; New Set in the Works, SFLTV, December 31, 2013.
- 'This Week in South Florida' expands to 1 hour, WPLG, April 18, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
- "Bertha Coombs Profile". CNBC. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "Victoria Corderi". Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- Huff, Richard (28 January 2011). "Charles Perez takes blowtorch to former coworkers at WABC/CH. 7 in new book". New York Daily News. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- Official website
- MeTVMiami.com – MeTV Miami official website
- WPLG in the FCC's TV station database
- BIAfn's Media Web Database -- Information on WPLG-TV