WHIZ-TV is the NBC affiliate in Zanesville, Ohio and its media market. Although this station is somewhat overshadowed by network affiliates in the nearby Columbus, Ohio market such as WCMH-TV, WHIZ-TV provides local news to its limited local area. In addition, WHIZ-TV provides local sports programming, including local basketball games on Friday. It is the only major commercial television station in Zanesville, with the other local stations being PBS member station WOUC-TV (Ohio University at Athens) and a TBN repeater (W16BT). Syndicated programming on WHIZ-TV includes Steve Harvey, Access Hollywood, Ellen, and Family Feud.
Construction on WHIZ-TV began in 1952 at the Downard Road site for Zanesville's first television station. On May 23, 1953, WHIZ-TV began broadcasting on channel 50, with just enough power to reach the 500 or so television sets in the Zanesville area. A year and a half later, WHIZ-TV moved to channel 18, and increased its power output to 186 kW in addition to operating broadcast translators on channel 71 (W71AB) in Coshocton and channel 80 (W80AA) in Cambridge. In 1986, channel 18 increased power output to 589 kW with a new antenna, and introduced stereo sound. WHIZ-TV has been a primary NBC affiliate since the station began, but until 1966 cherry-picked programming from CBS and ABC as well. It also aired some DuMont programming in the 1950s. As WHIZ is the only commercial station in the area, Time Warner Cable's area system supplements the area with the Columbus stations.
In 2003, WHIZ-TV began broadcasting in digital on channel 40.
On July 25, 2008, WHIZ was knocked off the air when its power combiner failed. While the station was able to restore its digital signal, it was determined that there was no way to restore the analog signal until early 2009. Since this meant the analog signal would have only been back online for two months before shutdown of analog signals for all full-service stations, WHIZ decided to permanently cease analog broadcasting.
WHIZ is seen on cable systems in several adjacent counties, including Coshocton, Guernsey, Hocking, Licking, Morgan and Perry. It is shown on cable as far south as Nelsonville, Ohio and used to be on cable systems as far west as Lancaster, Ohio but has not been carried on cable any farther west than Perry County, the Buckeye Lake region and Granville, Ohio in several years.
The WHIZ Media Group also owns and operates radio stations WHIZ AM and WHIZ-FM ("Z-92"). Formerly the company operated WCVZ-FM ("Highway 102") prior to its replacement by WWCD ("CD101 @ 102.5"); WWCD owner Fun With Radio, LLC. now operates the station via WHIZ Media Group through a local marketing agreement (technically, WHIZ Media Group still owns the station). WHIZ stands for "We're here in Zanesville".
Until early 2008, WHIZ also operated CW Plus stations in Zanesville, WBZV; and Parkersburg, West Virginia, WBPB. After their closure, it was replaced on cable lineups by WWHO in Zanesville, and WQCW in Parkersburg. The CW Plus has since been reinstated on Zanesville cable lineups, now operated directly by the various cable providers serving the market.