call_letters = WICU-TV
city =
station_slogan = Coverage You Can Count On
station_branding = WICU 12 (general)
12 News (newscasts)
analog = 12 (VHF)
digital = 52 (UHF)
post_transition =
other_chs =
affiliations = NBC
network =
founded =
airdate = March 15, 1949
location = Erie, Pennsylvania
callsign_meaning = ICU sounds like "I see you", an allusion to the NBC musical logo
former_callsigns =
former_channel_numbers =
owner = SJL Broadcast Management Corporation
licensee = SJL of Pennsylvania License Subsidiary, LLC
sister_stations =
former_affiliations = All secondary:
CBS (1949-1954)
ABC (1949-1966)
DuMont (1949-1955)
effective_radiated_power = 316 kW (analog)
1000 kW (digital)
HAAT = 305 m (analog)
324 m (digital)
class =
facility_id = 24970
coordinates = coord|42|3|50.7|N|80|0|18.9|W|type:landmark_scale:2000
homepage = [http://www.wicu12.com/ www.wicu12.com]

WICU-TV is a television station based in Erie, Pennsylvania. It serves as the local NBC affiliate. It broadcasts an analog signal on Channel 12 (VHF) (204-210 MHz) and a digital signal on Channel 52 (UHF) (698-704 MHz). Its transmitter is located at coord|42|3|50.7|N|80|0|18.9|W|type:landmark_scale:2000 in Greene Township just outside Erie [ [http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?call=WICU TV Query, Video Division, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)] ] [ [http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/call_hist.pl?Facility_id=24970&Callsign=WICU-TV Call Sign History, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)] ]


WICU began broadcasting in Erie on March 15 1949 [ [http://earlytelevision.org/postwar_stations.html Postwar Television] ] as an affiliate of all four networks of the time--NBC, CBS, ABC and DuMont. It was one of the last stations to be granted a construction permit before the Federal Communications Commission froze new applications.

Channel 12 was a major beneficiary of a quirk in the FCC's plan for allocating stations. In the early days of broadcast television, there were 12 VHF channels available, and 69 UHF channels (later reduced to 57 UHF channels in 1983). The VHF bands were more desirable because they carried a longer distance. Because there were only twelve VHF channels available, there were limitations as to how closely the stations could be spaced. After the FCC opened the UHF band in 1952, it devised a plan for allocating VHF licenses. Under this plan, almost all of the country would be able to receive two commercial VHF channels plus one noncommercial channel. Most of the rest of the country ("1/2") would be able to receive a third VHF channel. Other areas of the country would be designated as "UHF islands," since they were too close to larger cities for VHF service. The "2" networks became CBS and NBC, "+1" became PBS, and "1/2" became ABC, which, as the weakest network, usually wound up with the UHF allocation where no VHF was available.

However, Erie and Youngstown, Ohio were both sandwiched between Pittsburgh to the south, Cleveland to the west, Buffalo to the east and London, Ontario to the north. This created a large "doughnut" in northwestern Pennsylvania and northeastern Ohio where there could only be "one" VHF license. WICU was fortunate to gain that license, and has been the market leader in Erie for most of its history. It was the only station in town until WSEE-TV signed on in 1954 as a CBS affiliate; the two stations shared ABC until WJET-TV signed on in 1966.

SJL Communications, LP, a subsidiary of SJL Broadcast Management, and Alta Management acquired WICU-TV in 1996. SJL purchased Alta's interest in 2005. [ [http://www.sjlbroadcast.com/about_iframe.html About SJL Broadcast Management Corporation] ] [ [http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA14101.html Broadcast and Cable Magazine, 18 September 2000] ] [ [http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/09-29-2005/0004134670&EDATE= PR News Wire, 29 September 2005] ] [Note that SJL has obvious links to Montecito Broadcast Group, but URLs for Montecito no longer function. See [http://sjlhost.com/ SJL Host to see linkage and lack of function of Montecito URL.] ] A Consummation Notice was filed with the FCC in February 2007 to voluntarily transfer control of the station from SJL Communications, Inc. to SJL Broadcast Management Corporation. [ [http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/forms/prod/cdbsmenu.hts?context=25&appn=101173825&formid=905&fac_num=24970 Correspondence, Federal Communication Commission] ] [ [http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws.exe/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/comment.pl?Application_id=1171975&File_number=BTCCT-20070214AAM Public Notice Comment, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)] ] This transaction was authorized by the FCC. [ [http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/pubacc/Auth_Files/1171975.pdf FCC authorization] ]

Channel 12's broadcast signal reaches the city of Erie and surrounding communities, as well as across Lake Erie in parts of Ontario, Canada. Channel 12 is available on all cable systems in Erie; Warren and Crawford counties, as well as on selected cable networks in Venango County, Pennsylvania, southwest New York and northeast Ohio. [ [http://www.wicu12.com/tv_services/ WICU-TV Television Services] ] As recently as the 1990s, it was available on cable as far east as Olean, New York, well out of WICU's broadcast range and in competition with WGRZ-TV, the Buffalo NBC affiliate.

WICU has a local marketing agreement with CBS affiliate WSEE-TV. [ [http://www.sjlbroadcast.com/about_iframe.html About SJL Broadcast Management Corp] ] [ [http://www.sjlbroadcast.com/walter.html Biography of Walter W Ward says Ward works with WICU-TV and WSEE-TV (LMA). LMA is presumably short for Local Management Agreement.] ]

WICU 12 appears briefly in the film That Thing You Do, which takes place in 1960s Erie, PA.

WICU-TV was the subject of a television special entitled "WICU: The First 40 Years", which was broadcast on 15 March 1989. [ [http://mywebpages.comcast.net/tomkle/SPECIALS.HTM Tom Kleinschmidt's Video and Audio Collection] ]

In popular culture

In the movie That Thing You Do! (which is set in Erie), Tom Everett Scott's character is seen fooling with a TV set's antenna until he sees a test card of WICU.

Current On-Air Talent

* Lisa Adams (1978 to present) - weekend anchor

* Julie Coates (2000 to present) - weekday morning meteorologist

* Scott Cook (1998 to 2007) - reporter (left in 2007 for new job)

* Julie Eisenman- news director

* Emily Matson (2004 to present) - reporter

* Kevin MacDowell (1997 to present) - Weekday Anchor

* Jill McCormick (2002 to present) - weekday morning co-anchor
* Mary Nguyen (May 2006 to 2008) - took position in New York

* Amanda Post (1998 to present) - Weekday Anchor

* Jay Puskar (2003 to present) - weekend sports anchor/reporter

* Kelsie Smith (2007 to present) - morning producer/reporter
* Mark Soliday (1993 to present) - weekday morning co-anchor

* Mike Ruzzi (1983 to present) - weekday evening sports anchor/sports director

* Paul Wagner (1979 to present) - reporter

Newscast Titles (Courtesy Michael Csop, WICU-TV Chief Engineer 1949-1993)

* The World Tonight 1949-1953

* WICU Television News 1953-1970

* Channel 12 News 1970-1979

* ICU News 1980-1986

* NewsCenter 12 1986-1996

* 12 News 1996 - present

External links

* [http://www.wicu12.com/ WICU website]


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