call_letters = WDJT-TV
station_slogan = First. Fast. When Seconds Count.
station_branding = CBS 58 Milwaukee (general)
CBS 58 News (newscasts)
(10 p.m. newscast)| analog = 58 (UHF)
digital = 46 (UHF)
November 10, 1988
callsign_meaning = Debra Jackson and John Torres (original license holders)
licensee = WDJT-TV Limited Partnership
WBME-TV, WMLW-CA, WYTU-LP
former_affiliations = independent (1988-1994)
effective_radiated_power = 5000 kW (analog)
1000 kW (digital)
HAAT = 339 m (analog)
322 m (digital)
facility_id = 71427
coordinates = coord|43|6|42.1|N|87|55|49.9|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.cbs58.com/ www.cbs58.com]
WDJT-TV "CBS 58 Milwaukee" is a
televisionstation located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It's an affiliateof the CBStelevision network. Its transmitter is located in Milwaukee's Lincoln Park next to WISN (Channel 12)'s tower and its signal covers southeastern Wisconsin and parts of northeastern Illinois, including Racine, Kenosha, Sheboygan and Waukesha.
WDJT is Wisconsin's only UHF CBS affiliate. The station also gathers news for
CBS Radioin Milwaukee.Fact|date=October 2007
WDJT signed on the air on
November 10, 1988as an independent station. Its call letters were selected in honor of its original owners, Debra Jackson and John Torres. Jackson died before the station took to the air, and Torres decided to sell controlling interest to Weigel in order to get more financing. (Weigel became the station's sole owner shortly after its sign-on.) At that time, its programming fare consisted of second-hand reruns of sitcoms, first-run syndicated shows, and a movie library.Fact|date=October 2007
The station struggled at first, as there was barely enough room for a third independent in the city alongside
WVTV-TVand WCGV. It was also hampered by a weak signal, which made cable carriers shy away from adding it to their lineups.Fact|date=October 2007
The Milwaukee television market was in for a major shakeup in 1994 when
New World Communicationsannounced that most of its stations, including Milwaukee's WITI, would become Fox affiliates. That prompted CBS to look for a new affiliate in Milwaukee. It approached all four of Milwaukee's major stations-- WTMJ-TV, WISN-TV(who was affiliated with CBS from 1961 to 1977), WVTV (which ironically was a CBS O&Oin the 1950s) and WCGV. None of those stations were interested, however. This left CBS to negotiate with the city's lower-profile independents, WJJA (now WBME) and WDJT, as well as religious WVCY-TV. After negotiations with both WJJA and WDJT fell through, CBS made an abortive attempt to buy WVCY before its ownership group decided not to sell.Fact|date=October 2007
With days to go before WITI was to join Fox, and faced with having to pipe in
WISC-TVin Madison, WFRV-TVin Green Bay or WBBM-TVin Chicagofor cable customers, the network finally affiliated with WDJT, even though it didn't even have a news department. This was similar to what happened to CBS in Detroit--as was the case in Milwaukee, CBS was forced to affiliate with a lower-profile station after being turned down by all of the high-profile stations in the market.Fact|date=October 2007
As WDJT had not expected to go to CBS, a hastily-made logo with the CBS Eye to the left of WDJT's italic Times New Roman '58' of the time in red (and later yellow) was the station's logo for the next year and a half, along with a neutral image campaign using default CBS graphics while Channel 58 built a news department and looked for upgraded studio facilities. The switch took place on the afternoon of December 11, 1994 (the same day as Detroit with their CBS, Fox, and Independent affiliates), and the first CBS program to air on Channel 58 was "
60 Minutes".Fact|date=October 2007
WDJT's CBS affiliation caused major shuffles among area cable systems as they worked to quickly add it to their systems; it took until March 1995 for some Marcus Cable (the precursor to
Charter Communications) cities to carry WDJT. As a result, many Milwaukee-area viewers without set-top or housetop antennas missed several major events, including the 1995 Grammy Awards, Daytona 500, Big Ten Basketball, and the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments.Fact|date=October 2007
Channel 58 launched its news operation from new studios on South 60th Street in
West Allisin early 1996. Previously, the station's studio and transmitter were located on the top floors of what was then the Marc Plaza Hotel (now the Hilton Milwaukee City Center).
Three years later in 1999, the station's current Lincoln Park transmitter was put into service, giving the station an over-the-air signal comparable to the city's five other major commercial stations. Weigel would use this tower to launch two additional low-powered sister stations to WDJT (see below).
In 2007, WDJT gained [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=558576 national attention] after is live news truck broke through ice on Big Muskego Lake in Muskego, ironically while covering a story on ice safety. The estimated cost of repair was $250,000. A week after, the station would air a
public service announcementon ice safety which premiered during CBS' Super Bowl XLIcoverage, making light of the situation by referring to their news department as providing "the most in-depth coverage in Milwaukee." 2008 NFL season
The station has asked
CBS Sportsto allow them to carry as many New York Jetsgames as can be offered for the 2008 season, since that team acquired former Packer quarterback Brett Favreon August 7, 2008, and expects high viewer interest from Milwaukee viewers for Jets games. Since CBS holds the rights to the AFC contract, the majority of Jets games are carried on that network. Station general manager Jim Hall has asserted that the Jets are now the station's "adopted team" [ [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=781043 JS Online: Favre lands Jets on CBS ] ] . High DefinitionProgramming
August 29, 2008, WDJT became the first Milwaukee television station to produce a local program in High Definitionwithout the help of Milwaukee Public Televisionor another outside source. The one hour program was called 105 Years In The Making [http://www.cbs58.com/pages/harley/] , a program on the Harley-Davidson105th Anniversary that was going on at the time.
WDJT-TV is owned by Chicago,
Illinois's Weigel Broadcasting. The company also owns full-power WBME (Channel 49) and two LPTVstations, Spanish-language Telemundoaffiliate WYTU (Channel 63) and independent WMLW-CA(Channel 41), in the Milwaukee market.
The station's digital channel:
*Additionally, a fourth and fifth digital subchannel have been added in the past for multi-casting of games during the early rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament in mid-March. In 2008 however, only one additional game was aired using WDJT-DT, over MeTV Milwaukee.
WDJT carries a
digital subchannelcalled MeTV Milwaukee, which features a lineup of classic sitcoms and dramas resembling that of sister station WWME-CA(Channel 23) in Chicago. The subchannel is available over the air on Channel 58.3, over the air on Channel 49 and over Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications on Channel 201.
MeTV is in the process of moving to new sister station
WBME-TV(Ch. 49), but will continue to simulcast over 58.3 until Weigel activates Channel 49's digital signal on the Weigel tower. [ [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=741831 JS Online: Shopping channel gets new owner, Me-TV format of nostalgic shows ] ] [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=716524 JS Online: Me-TV for a wider audience ] ] Weigel hopes to launch WBME-DT by October 1, and on that date WBME will become exclusive to Channel 49, while WDJT-DT3 becomes home to This TV, a new subchannel network being launched by Weigel and MGM Television. [ [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=777160 JS Online: Rebooting may help when mystery bugs bedevil Time Warner channels ] ]
After the analog television shutdown and digital conversion, which is tentatively scheduled to take place on February 17, 2009, http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1082A2.pdf] WDJT will continue digital broadcasts on its current pre-transition channel number, 46. [http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts?context=25&appn=101232249&formid=387&fac_num=71427 CDBS Print ] ] However, through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers will display WDJT's
virtual channelas 58.
Because of its relatively new status in the market, the station has the lowest rated newscast in Milwaukee. The station uses the "Ten at Ten" format for its late news, emphasizing the top stories and weather in the first 10 minutes of the program. WDJT has won regional
Emmyawards, along with honors from the Associated Pressfor best newscast presentation. However, even with this critical acclaim, WDJT has yet to notch a ratings win, and syndicated programming on WVTV and WCGV is competitive with WDJT's newscasts, although in the May 2008 sweeps period both WITI and WDJT were separated by only a few thousand homes for the third place slot at 10pm.
WDJT, during the
2007 World Seriesproduced a 9pm newscast for sister station WMLW-CA, in an attempt to attract non-Baseball viewers who would normally watch news on WITI-TV(but due to pre-emptions weren't able to during the World Series). [http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=678164 "Channel 58 to fill 9 p.m. news gap; Cuban's season over on 'Dancing'"] The station then introduced a 9pm newscast permanently on WMLW beginning on January 1, 2008. WDJT also produces both a 10-minute spanish newscast for co-owned Telemundoaffiliate WYTU-LPand a 11-minute newscast for sister station WBND-LPin South Bend, Indianacalled "Eleven at 11:00".
*"CBS 58 News" (1996-present)
*"10 at 10" (10 p.m. newscast; 2007-present)
*"First. Fast. When Seconds Count." (2002-present)
* [http://www.cbs58.com/ WDJT Official Website]
* [http://www.metvmilwaukee.com/ MeTV Milwaukee Official Website]
* [http://www.milwaukee-horror-hosts.com/MilwTV.html History of Milwaukee television]
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