WBIN-TV, virtual channel 50 (UHF digital channel 35), is an independent television station serving Boston, Massachusetts, United States, that is licensed to Derry, New Hampshire. The station is owned by Carlisle One Media. WBIN's studios are located on A Street in Derry, with its news studio located in Concord, and additional offices located in Watertown, Massachusetts; its transmitter is located on Merrill Hill in Hudson, New Hampshire.
The news operation on WBIN-TV is branded as the NH1 News Network or NH1 News, Besides WBIN, the network is found on sister radio station WNNH. NH1 News is one of only two news departments based in the state of New Hampshire (the other being WMUR News 9), as much of the state is part of the Boston media market.
Syndicated programming on the station includes: Family Feud(Steve Harvey era), Entertainment Tonight, Rachael Ray, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Simpsons, American Dad!, The Cleveland Show, Family Guy, Tosh.0 and King of the Hill. Although WBIN broadcasts as virtual channel 50, it brands itself as "WBIN 18" in reference to its channel 18 slot on most area Comcast systems; conversely, Verizon FiOS carries the station on cable channel 6. It is offered on cable providers throughout New Hampshire, Windham County, Vermont on channel 14 on Comcast, and in southern Maine, as well as on DirecTV and Dish Network within the Boston market.
WBIN's programming is also seen on three translators in southern New Hampshire. All three stations are owned by New Hampshire 1 Network, Inc., a sister company to Carlisle One Media that previously owned (and still operates) WYCN-CD in Nashua, New Hampshire; historically co-owned with that station, the three repeaters were not included in a subsequent sale of WYCN.
|Station||City of license||Channels1||First air date||ERP||Facility ID||Transmitter coordinates|
|WORK-LD2||Nashua||3 (VHF)||1989||58 watts (STA)|
300 watts (CP)
|W04DP-D3||Concord||4 (VHF)||1989||57 watts (STA)|
300 watts (CP)
|W07DR-D4||Manchester||7 (VHF)||December 28, 20124||62 watts (STA)|
300 watts (CP)
- 1. All three facilities are currently construction permits; the accompanying analog signals left the air on January 3, 2012 to accommodate the construction of these signals. Since December 28, 2012, the stations are broadcasting under special temporary authority from a tower at the WBIN studios in Derry while their permanent facilities are being constructed in order to maintain their broadcast licenses.
- 2. WORK-LD is licensed to operate in analog as WORK-LP (channel 33), and used the call sign W33AK from 1989 until becoming WORK-LP in 2012.
- 3. W04DP-D is licensed to operate in analog as W39AR (channel 39).
- 4. W07DR-D is a digital companion channel for licensed analog station , which signed on in 1994.
Prior history of channel 50 in Boston
The channel 50 allocation in the Boston market originally belonged to WXPO-TV, which launched in October 1969. It operated from two studios: its offices and master production facilities were located on Dutton Street in downtown Lowell, Massachusetts; however, its transmitter and "main" studio was on Governor Dinsmore Road in Windham, New Hampshire, to comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations requiring that a station's transmitter be located within 15 miles of the city of license.
However, the station's coverage in many parts of Greater Boston was spotty at best. The station's Lowell studios were located less than 1,000 feet from the transmitter of WLLH, making high-quality production impossible during the day due to RF interference with the cameras. Advertisers were scared off when the Lowell Sun blacklisted anyone who advertised on the station. Bills went unpaid for several months. By early 1970, 90% of the station's staff was removed from the payroll, although many continued with the station, believing it could pull through. The Lowell studio was closed down that spring; finally, in June the power company pulled the plug at the Windham studios during a Maverick rerun, taking WXPO off the air.
On July 17, 1973, channel 50 returned to the air with a test transmission, with plans to return the station to the air later that year, possibly as New Hampshire's CBS affiliate. Those plans never materialized, and the WXPO-TV license was deleted in 1975.
WBIN station history
The current iteration of channel 50 signed on the air on September 5, 1983 as WNDS, an independent station known on-air as "The Winds of New England." It was owned by CTV of Derry, a company not related to the CTV Television Network in Canada. The station acquired some of the assets of WNHT (channel 21, frequency now occupied by WPXG-TV) in 1989 after that station shut down on March 31; the deal did not include the channel 21 license or WNHT's CBS affiliation.
In 1997, CTV of Derry attempted to sell the station to the Global Shopping Network (GSN). That network operated channel 50 from April to June with a home shopping format. However, GSN soon ran into financial problems; after it missed a payment for the station, CTV of Derry canceled the sale and reverted WNDS to its previous general entertainment format. CTV held onto channel 50 until 2004, when it sold the station to Shooting Star Broadcasting.
Soon after assuming control, in August 2005, Shooting Star Broadcasting announced that WNDS would change its call letters to WZMY-TV and its branding to "My TV". At that time, the station overhauled its schedule, based on viewer responses on the old WNDS website. The changes were implemented on-air on September 26, 2005.
On February 22, 2006, News Corporation announced the launch of a new network called MyNetworkTV, which created in response to another upstart network that was also set to launch that September, The CW (an amalgamated network that originally consisted primarily of UPN and The WB's higher-rated programs).
Since WZMY had already filed a trademark in mid-2005 for use of the "MyTV" name, it was speculated that WZMY would take legal action against News Corporation over its similar name. Ultimately on July 21, 2006, WZMY's My TV Club newsletter announced that the station would become the region's MyNetworkTV affiliate – giving channel 50 the first network affiliation in its history – this was later revealed on July 24 to the media and visitors to WZMY's website, and to the general public on July 26. Until the announcements were made, Boston and Southern New Hampshire had been the largest market where MyNetworkTV had not yet signed a full-time affiliate. With WZMY affiliating with MyNetworkTV upon the network's September 5, 2006 launch, the station continued to use its "My TV" branding, though the logo was changed to reflect MyNetworkTV's logo scheme (a different logo had been in use in the year following the 2005 relaunch).
In December 2009, the station laid off seven employees as part of strategy change to streamline operations and change some of the programming options to be more hyperlocal. Operation of WZMY was taken over by New Age Media, LLC, making it a sister station to WPXT and WPME in Portland, Maine. The station added a digital subchannel affiliated with Universal Sports in June 2010.
On March 3, 2011, Portsmouth-based Carlisle One Media, Inc., a company controlled by Bill Binnie, announced that it had reached an agreement to purchase WZMY-TV. The sale was completed on May 17; ten days later, the call letters were changed to WBIN-TV. It also dropped the "My TV New England" branding (becoming one of a number of MyNetworkTV affiliates to not feature the programming service's branding), choosing to refer to itself using its call letters.
Binnie originally indicated that WBIN-TV would retain its affiliations with MyNetworkTV and Universal Sports; however, the station announced on June 15 that it would leave MyNetworkTV and become an independent again as part of an increased local emphasis, with the service's programming moving to WSBK-TV (channel 38) on September 19, while Universal Sports restructured itself into a cable- and satellite-only channel in January 2012. Nonetheless, the station added an additional subchannel, carrying TheCoolTV, in October 2011; additionally, it replaced Universal Sports with Live Well Network on January 1, 2012. In July 2012, WBIN-TV terminated its affiliation with TheCoolTV; it was replaced with WeatherNation TV on January 14, 2013. The station has also made moves to strengthen its programming, including the addition of Entertainment Tonight and The Insider on September 10, 2012 (Entertainment Tonight had previously aired in New Hampshire on WMUR-TV; both programs also remain on WSBK-TV). In December 2014, Grit replaced WeatherNation TV on their DT3 sub-channel. In January 2015, LiveWell Network was replaced with "WBIN Classics" on the DT2 sub-channel, featuring original programming as well as programming from the Antenna TV network.
WBIN is the flagship of Binnie Media, a group that also includes WYCN-CD (channel 13) in Nashua and 16 northern New England radio stations formerly owned by Nassau Broadcasting Partners.
The news operation on WBIN-TV is branded as the NH1 News Network or NH1 News and the studio is located in Concord, NH.
The network has 30 minute newscasts on weekdays at 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 6:30 and an hour-long newscast at 10:00 p.m. The network runs another 30 minute newscast, Every Saturday Night at 10:00 p.m. after & before 2 episodes each of Comedy Central's Tosh.0, As well as Sunday Night at 10:00 p.m. after 2 episodes each of Steve Harvey's version of Family Feud.
The NH1 News Network is an affiliate of CBS, while WBIN-TV (the channel it airs on) is not. The network plans to add morning and midday newscasts in the near future. The network also runs a 30-minute weekend political show titled NH1 Newsmakers that airs Sundays at 11:30 a.m. and airs again after the 10:00 p.m. weekend newscast at 10:30 p.m.
The network can be found on TV (via WBIN-18), Radio (various Binnie Media Radio Stations), Internet (www.NH1.com), and the NH1 mobile app, available for Apple or Android devices.
NH1 News is one of only two news networks based out of the state of New Hampshire, as much of the state falls under the Boston media market, the other NH based network being WMUR News 9, an ABC affiliate.
Notable on-air staff
- Gail Huff – Special Correspondent & News Contributor (NH1 News)
WBIN-TV News History
Soon after signing-on in the fall of 1983, WNDS began airing nightly newscasts at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. The news staff included news anchor Larry Sparano, sportscaster Doug Brown, and meteorologist Al Kaprielian. The weekend newscasts were dropped in 1985, followed by the weeknight editions by 1986.
On September 28, 1998, WNDS debuted News Now, consisting of newscasts at 7 and 10 p.m. weeknights, as well as weekend afternoons (the latter of which were dropped by early 2002). By 2003, the 11:57 a.m. weekday news update was expanded into a half-hour newscast at noon. Shortly after Shooting Star bought the station, the noon broadcast was discontinued, and the 10 p.m. edition was cut down to 10 minutes. In addition to the full newscasts, some news/weather updates as well as standalone weather updates from chief meteorologist Al Kaprielian were provided throughout the day.
When the station was relaunched as WZMY, the 10 p.m. newscast was dropped entirely; the early evening newscast was renamed MyTV Now and aired weeknights from 7:30 to 8 p.m. An additional 60-minute news and commentary program, MyTV Prime, aired from 9 to 10 p.m. On March 10, 2006, however, the two programs were consolidated into a new, 90-minute version of MyTV Prime that aired from 8 to 9:30 p.m. News was no longer provided outside of that program. By July 2006, channel 50 had discontinued MyTV Prime in favor of sitcom reruns. Weather updates from Al Kaprielian were still provided each hour from noon to midnight; for a time, these were accompanied by news updates that used the MyTV Now title.
WZMY dissolved its news department completely (with the exception of weather) in November 2007, after Nicole Papageorge and Mike DeBlasi (the longest-tenured on-air employee after Kaprielian) departed the station. As a result, WZMY eliminated all daily news cut-ins, political commentary, and locally produced public affairs programming.
Channel 50 is well known in New England for meteorologist Al Kaprielian. His quirky, offbeat style made him a minor celebrity in Southern New Hampshire. As a result of his popularity, he appeared as a "Guest Meteorologist" on The Weather Channel's Abrams & Bettes: Beyond the Forecast on November 10, 2006. He had worked for WNDS/WZMY for his whole career. However, as a result of the station's December 2009 cutbacks, Kaprielian was laid off from the station, with his final day on-air occurring on December 31; as a result, the station discontinued its weather updates. Kaprielian returned to WBIN-TV on August 20, 2012, providing hourly forecasts from 2–9 p.m.; he also provides forecasts for Binnie Media's radio stations.
Soon after the sale to Carlisle One, the station announced plans to re-establish a local news department, including a bureau at Carlisle One's headquarters in Portsmouth; rival ABC affiliate WMUR-TV (channel 9) already operated a Portsmouth bureau. On September 29, 2011, WBIN debuted a new half-hour weeknight newscast. Known as News at 10 on WBIN, the show was produced in partnership with the Davenport, Iowa-based Independent News Network (INN). The news anchor and meteorologist were provided by the centralized news operation and other personnel from INN filled-in as necessary. WBIN maintained three local reporters who contributed relevant Southern New Hampshire content. All of the broadcasts originated from INN's Davenport studios. There was no regularly-scheduled sports report. The station maintained additional partnerships with the Boston Globe (which originally provided headlines through an on-screen ticker), the Nashua Telegraph, and Bloomberg. WBIN has indicated plans to further expand its newscast offerings, including long-range plans for a morning newscast; Binnie has stated his intention to construct "a public affairs infrastructure that will attract people who are serious about news in New Hampshire."
In addition to News at 10, WBIN-TV has sponsored several debates, including a Charlie Rose-moderated Republican presidential debate at Dartmouth College on October 11, 2011 in association with Bloomberg and The Washington Post, as well as one gubernatorial and two congressional debates at its Derry studios in partnership with various New Hampshire newspapers and AARP in October 2012. The station also aired a daily INN-produced half-hour political newscast, Campaign Countdown, at 5 p.m. during the latter portion of the 2012 election season. On February 6, 2012, WBIN began airing the syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz from 6–9 a.m. At the time, the station planned to add a political show to its lineup by 2014.
WBIN-TV moved its news operation to the former Walker School in Concord in 2014 (the remainder of the station's operations remain in Derry), with the school's auditorium being repurposed for debates held by the station. The building, which was acquired by Binnie Media at auction from the Concord School District on November 15, 2012, also houses Binnie's Concord radio stations as well as Binnie Media's offices. WBIN also established bureaus throughout New Hampshire, including Laconia (at a former police station), Manchester, and Lebanon, in addition to Derry and Portsmouth.
WBIN-TV ended its INN-produced newscast on April 26, 2013, leaving Kaprielian's forecasts as the only local news content on the station. The station also laid off two of its three reporters. The cancellation did not impact WBIN's plans for the former Walker School; Binnie has since stated that "it’s more important to make a wholesale commitment, which we will do with NH1 Network," while Robb Atkinson, WBIN's current news director, would subsequently concede that "we weren’t happy with the quality." The station debuted a weeknight 90-minute early evening news block at 5 p.m. and a nightly 10 p.m. newscast on September 15, 2014 under the NH1 News Network branding, based out of the newsroom in the Walker School building in Concord and the Nashua, Derry, Portsmouth, Laconia, and Lebanon news bureaus; WBIN also produces a weekly magazine program on Sunday mornings, and the news operation supplies half-hourly newscasts to Binnie Media's radio stations. While the new newscasts compete against the longer-established WMUR-TV news operation, Lee Kinberg, the executive vice president of NH1 News Network, has stated that the newscasts are "very different from Channel 9," and include more coverage of the Seacoast Region compared to WMUR. WBIN's newscasts also emphasize coverage of politics, with former Nashua Telegraph State House reporter Kevin Landrigan serving as chief political correspondent and longtime CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser becoming NH1's political director on January 1, 2015; Atkinson has said that "We want to own politics in New Hampshire." In addition to the weeknight newscasts, the station intends to launch a four-hour morning newscast and an hour-long noon newscast by 2015. Initially, the 10:00 p.m. half-hour weekend newscast didn't debut with the news department, but it did launch on October 25, 2014. The first new weekday newscast to launch since the founding of the news operation was NH1 News at 6:30, a brand new weeknight half-hour newscast that debuted on Monday September 21, 2015. Kaprielian left the station in 2015.
Other local programs
During its first year on the air, WNDS ran an impressive number of locally produced programs, including a cooking show (The Yankee Gourmet), a children's show (Just Kidding Around) and a weekly prime-time variety show (The Best of New Hampshire). All of these shows were cancelled by the end of 1985. The station also covered live local sports, including high school football, college hockey and minor league baseball. WNDS also ran a candlepin bowling show each weekend at noon called Candlepin Stars and Strikes, which aired from 1984 until August 2005.
Prior to affiliating with the Global Shopping Network in April 1997, WNDS also ran three additional shows: High School Sports Review (which provided high school sports news in the New Hampshire and Massachusetts region), Sports Wrap (a sports talk show discussing Boston sports), and WNDS News Up Front (a local newsmagazine). When regular programming was restored in June, these three shows were not resurrected. In addition, during the early 2000s, channel 50 ran a public affairs program titled Capitol Ideas hosted by Arnie Arnesen. Friday Night Chaos, a 30-minute weekly show from independent wrestling promotion Chaotic Wrestling, aired on WNDS from 2001 to 2002. The station also aired a locally produced talk show hosted by singer-comedian Bucky Lewis.
After the station became WZMY, much of its local programming consisted of visits to businesses around the region, in a format known as "My Shows". The original show under this format was My New England, but variants focusing on specific topics were subsequently added, such as My Premier Bride and My Good Health and My Home and Garden. Additionally, several local businesses (particularly car dealerships, but sometimes other businesses such as Dollar Bill's Discount World) produce programs that appear on weekend mornings; those programs had also appeared on WNDS. At the time of the relaunch, two other local programs also existed: a talk show entitled MyTV Prime (which originally aired from 9 to 10 p.m. and later from 8 to 9:30 p.m.), and Wild World (a review of action sports around the region, which was produced by Dan Egan). However, the station has subsequently discontinued these shows from its lineup (although Wild World is still produced for other outlets).
In its later years as "My TV", the station adopted a "Branded Entertainment" model, focusing on local product placement. Most of the station's local programming during this time, in addition to the remaining "My Shows"-formatted programs, included 30-minute wrestling show from the Massachusetts-based "Big Time Wrestling" promotion (which aired on the station from May 1, 2009 until moving to WMFP in December 2010), Scorch's PFG-TV (a talk show hosted by WGIR-FM personality Scorch), The Chef's Plate (which showcases New Hampshire's top chefs creating their signature dishes), The Steve Katsos Show (also aired on sister station WPME in Portland), Debra Crosby's Talent Quest TV Show, Quiet Desperation (a reality comedy series based in Allston, Massachusetts), Inside the Revolution (a spotlight on the New England Revolution. AFO Proving Grounds, Animation Nation, Boston Ruit, theGreenScreen.tv, and AsianBoston TV. Many of these programs were produced in collaboration with independent production companies through what the station referred to as "MyTV New England Studios." Some of these programs continue to be shown on WBIN-TV, though Quiet Desperation was dropped following the sale to Carlisle One due to concerns over the program's content, and Scorch's PFG-TV and the local history show Regional Chronicles now air on WMFP. WBIN intends to offer increased coverage of high school, college, and professional sports; this includes telecasts of New Hampshire Wildcats hockey and basketball (produced by the University of New Hampshire in association with Pack Network) Merrimack Warriors hockey, and the UMass Minutemen.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|50.1||720p||16:9||WBIN-HD||Main WBIN-TV programming|
|50.2||480i||4:3||WBIN Cl||WBIN Classics (Antenna TV)|
WBIN-TV (as WZMY-TV) shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 50, on December 1, 2009, which was within the permissible 90-day window prior to the original February 17, 2009 deadline for full-power television stations in the United States to transition from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate (this deadline was later moved to June 12, 2009). The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 35. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 50.