|Bowling Green, Kentucky|
WNKY NBC 40|
WNKY CBS 40 (on DT2)
WNKY MeTV 40 (on DT3)
|Slogan||Because Local Matters|
Digital: 16 (UHF)|
(to move to 24 (UHF))
Virtual: 40 (PSIP)
(Marquee Broadcasting Kentucky, Inc.)
|First air date||December 17, 1989|
|Call letters' meaning||We're NBC KentuckY|
|Former channel number(s)||40 (UHF analog, 1989–2009)|
UPN (secondary; 1999-2003)
Shop at Home Network (secondary, c. 1993–2005)
90 kW (CP)
|Height||177.5 m (582 ft)|
|Transmitter coordinates||37°2′4″N 86°10′40.8″W / 37.03444°N 86.178000°W|
|Public license information:||
WNKY is a dual NBC/CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Bowling Green, Kentucky, United States and serving South Central Kentucky. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 16 (or virtual channel 40 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Pilot Knob in Smiths Grove along I-65. Owned by Marquee Broadcasting, WNKY has studios on Emmett Avenue in Bowling Green.
On cable, WNKY can be seen on Charter Spectrum channels 7 (NBC) and 10 (CBS). It is also available on Glasgow Electric Plant Board (GEPB) cable channels 7 and 514 for NBC, 10 and 515 for CBS and on South Central Rural Telephone Cooperative (SCRTC) cable channels 7 and 307.
As an independent station
Although granted a construction permit in 1983, the station did not begin broadcasting until December 17, 1989. At its sign-on, the outlet operated as an Independent under the call sign WQQB. Airing an analog signal on UHF channel 40, the station had a general entertainment format with a mixture of low-budget syndicated programming, like old movies, sitcoms, and cartoons. In its early days, the picture and sound quality of the station was very poor resulting in a low-budget feel. Programs would often broadcast mis-tracked, sticking, and skipping. Sometimes, the picture would appear clear but the sound would consist of complete static. It had little presence in the market at the time; indeed, most residents didn't even know it existed.
As a Fox affiliate
WQQB's original owner, Word Broadcasting Network, sold the station to Southeastern Communications for $1 million in 1991. On January 10, 1992, WQQB would not only change its call letters to WKNT, but the station would also become the area's first Fox affiliate, and adopt the then-new branding Fox 40. At one time during its time as a Fox station in the 1990s, WKNT broadcast select Southeastern Conference football games via Jefferson Pilot Sports until ABC affiliate WBKO took over to air those games to go with JP Sports (later Lincoln Financial Sports, now Raycom Sports) SEC basketball broadcasts in 2002. During the overnight hours (except Fridays), WKNT also aired programming from the Shop at Home Network from 1:00 to 5:00 a.m CT until that network's closure in 2005. Despite being a Fox affiliate, UPN's Disney's One Too also aired on the station from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. weekday mornings and from 5:00 to 7:00 a.m. CT Sunday mornings to cover the Children's educational programming requirements. That programming block, which aired on the station until 2003, was the only UPN programming that was ever available in Bowling Green. Reception of WUXP in Nashville was necessary to receive all other UPN programming, as that station was the default UPN affiliate for the market.
On January 1, 1997, the operations of WKNT were taken over by Crossroads Communications under a local marketing agreement. Crossroads, a subsidiary of Northwest Broadcasting, would buy the station outright on July 17, 2000.
Switch to NBC
In March 2001, Fox announced that it had dropped its affiliation with WKNT, saying that the station did not comply with the terms of the affiliation agreement; almost immediately, NBC agreed to affiliate with the station., thus finally giving Bowling Green a locally-based NBC affiliate of its own for the first time. On March 27, 2001, the station changed its call sign to the current WNKY. At the same time, the station boosted its power from 776,000 watts to 1,640,000 directional with a null to the east. Previously, WBKO had been the only station in Bowling Green affiliated with a "Big Three" network, and WSMV in Nashville had been the default NBC affiliate for the area. Even after WNKY flipped to NBC, WSMV could still be received in the Bowling Green market in parts that WNKY could not, and certain cable systems still carried WSMV. Following the loss of channel 40's Fox affiliation, Bowling Green was served on cable and over-the-air by Nashville's Fox affiliate WZTV.
In March 2003, Northwest Broadcasting sold WNKY to Max Media for $7 million. On December 12 of that year, it signed-on a digital signal on UHF channel 16 from its transmitter tower in Smiths Grove. WNKY-DT was then added to digital cable systems including Insight in Bowling Green and the Electric Plant Board in Glasgow.
On August 7, 2004, this signal began airing the NBC network programming in high definition. The upgrade was made in time to broadcast special coverage of the 2004 Summer Olympics from Athens, Greece. WNKY also installed a Dolby model 569 AC-3 surround sound encoder to relay the 5.1 full surround audio from the network.
In October 2006, WNKY reached an agreement with CBS to air that network on a new digital subchannel. It was officially launched as WNKY-DT2 on February 1, 2007, which finally gave Bowling Green a locally-based CBS station. Until that point, the Bowling Green media market was one of the few areas east of the Mississippi River without its own CBS affiliate. The default CBS affiliates for the area were WTVF in Nashville and WLKY-TV in Louisville. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, they were both available on cable in Glasgow and Bowling Green. The distant CBS and NBC affiliates, including WSMV, have now been mostly removed from cable providers in Bowling Green. WBKO had launched two new subchannels to serve as Fox and CW affiliates, respectively, in September 2006. After WNKY added CBS in 2007, with WCZU-LD signing on in the first quarter of 2014 with MyNetworkTV and Antenna TV programming, Bowling Green now has all major television networks available in the area except for the Ion Television programming service, which is available on cable and satellite television via its national feed, or over-the-air via Cookeville-licensed Ion owned-and-operated station WNPX-TV. In spite of the existence of WNKY-DT2, WTVF remains available on Spectrum systems, and the cable system of the South Central Rural Telephone Cooperative. Both WNKY-DT2 and WTVF are also available to Mediacom cable customers in Butler and Edmonson counties, including Morgantown and Brownsville, respectively. WTVF and WLKY are both available to Mediacom's customers in Park City. As of December 2017, WNKY claimed exclusivity in terms of NBC and CBS affiliates on the Glasgow Electric Plant Board cable system.
On June 3, 2010, Dish Network began offering both of WNKY's digital subchannels, along with WBKO's ABC and Fox-affiliated subchannels on its system. Thanks to the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 signed by President Barack Obama in the week prior to that change, viewers within the Bowling Green DMA who already subscribe to Dish can access WNKY and WNKY-DT2 on their system. Bowling Green area channels are not currently carried on DirecTV.
On November 5, 2013, the station's licensee, MMK License, was assessed a $39,000 fine by the Federal Communications Commission due to a mid-June 2012 ad filmed by and aired on the WNKY stations for a licensed sports apparel store which featured Emergency Alert System tones being used in a promotional and non-warning situation which went out over the air. WNKY's stations, in addition to the FCC fine, will also launch a local campaign about the EAS through their programs and the stations' website, air additional emergency preparation public service announcements, and lease space on their tower to the Warren County Emergency Management agency and the City of Bowling Green for modernized warning equipment.
On April 5, 2017, Max Media announced that it would sell WNKY to Marquee Broadcasting for $5.6 million. The sale was completed on June 30.
Cable carriage dispute
On January 1, 2015, the Glasgow Electric Plant Board dropped both of WNKY's digital subchannels from its lineup. The reason for that is because a 1,000 percent increase in cost was in store for cable carriage. Both WNKY and WNKY-DT2 returned to the EPB's cable lineup in February 2015 after agreeing on a 100 percent increase rather than the 1,000, but also were placed on different channels (WNKY on 16, and WNKY-DT2 on 23) as their positions were given to WTVF and WSMV; in addition, WNKY's HD signals are not seen on the system, with both WTVF and WSMV's high definition signals featured as the HD sources for CBS and NBC programming on the system.
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP short name||Programming|
|40.1||1080i||16:9||WNKYNBC||Main WNKY programming / NBC|
|40.2||720p||WNKYCBS||WNKY-DT2 / CBS|
On June 12, 2009, WNKY turned off its analog transmitter in compliance with the FCC-mandated digital TV transition of 2009. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition channel assignment, UHF channel 16, using PSIP to see it displayed as virtual channel 40. WNKY was the last station within the Bowling Green market to make the transition since the other three full-powered stations in the market shut down their analog signal at earlier dates.
On December 20, 2017, WNKY began to broadcast a testing loop consisting a promotion for MeTV on a new third subchannel, which began to carry that network on January 1, 2018.
In 2017, due to the FCC’s 2016 Spectrum auction, WNKY filed for a construction permit for its digital subchannel to relocate to UHF channel 24. As a result, WNKY must move to digital UHF channel 24 due to spectrum re-packing. Channels will be changing over a transition period, which in this case, will take place between September 7, 2019 and October 18, 2019.
WNKY clears the entire NBC network schedule. Outside of network programming, syndicated programming on WNKY as of March 2017 includes Judge Judy, The Wendy Williams Show, Entertainment Tonight, Jeopardy!, The Doctors, and Dish Nation, among others. On weekends in syndication, The Simpsons, which has been a longtime staple of the station's syndication lineup, along with Whacked Out Sports and Raceline are aired.
WNKY-DT2 clears the entire CBS network schedule, including the weekday and Saturday morning editions of CBS This Morning and the entire CBS Dream Team lineup. Like most CBS affiliates in the Central Time Zone, The Young and the Restless is aired on the station at 11 a.m., whereas WTVF airs that program at 11:30 a.m. following their midday program Talk of the Town.
Syndicated programming on WNKY-DT2, as of June 2017, includes The Insider, Divorce Court, Modern Family, Hot Bench, Judge Mathis, and TMZ, among others. On weekends, WNKY-DT2 also airs The Simpsons, Whacked Out Sports, Whacked Out Videos, and CSI: Miami, among others.
In 2016, WNKY began broadcasting Tennessee Titans preseason games not nationally televised, which originate from Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN-TV. This would especially apply to non-Olympic years; WNKY-DT2 broadcast the first two preseason games of that origin due to NBC's coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2018, WNKY announced that they would carry all four of the Titans' preseason games on MeTV-affiliated subchannel WNKY-DT3.
As the first commercial television station to launch in Bowling Green, ABC affiliate WBKO has been a longtime leader according to Nielsen ratings. Even after the sign-on of WQQB in 1989, WBKO has remained the dominant outlet for South Central Kentucky. However, it has also competed with Nashville stations transmitting rimshot signals into parts of the Bowling Green area. As the area's original Fox affiliate in the mid-1990s, WKNT established its own news department. Unable to gain consistent viewership and ratings against WBKO, channel 40's short lived full news operation was eventually shut down.
After the station's switch to NBC, WNKY simulcast WSMV's 10 p.m. newscasts from April 2001 until the end of the 2002-03 television season, when they were replaced with syndicated programming. However, only the intro originated from WNKY, and a WNKY logo was covering up WSMV's channel 4 logo, and WNKY's commercials usually cover up the commercials run by WSMV.
On September 10, 2005, WNKY slowly re-entered the market with an unusual weather-only approach. Instead of full newscasts, it offers weekday morning and nightly local weather forecast cut-ins provided through AccuWeather of State College, Pennsylvania. It began airing five-minute First Look AccuWeather forecasts on weeknights. In December of that year, weekend weather forecasts were added to the schedule at 10. In January 2006, local weather updates began airing during NBC's Today on weekday mornings from 7 until 11. It covers severe weather events in addition to the regular updates. Its weather team currently consists of three people although a fourth non-human member of the weather team, "Radar the Weather Dog", can also be seen on-air.
"Radar" was a purebred Border Collie that was adopted from the Bowling Green/Warren County Humane Society in 2005, and has served as the station's mascot since the weather shows began with former meteorologist Chris Sowers. Viewers could often catch "Radar" interacting with one of the three meteorologists as they begin the weather updates. The weather dog idea may have been inspired by KPRC-TV in Houston which once had a "Radar, the Weather Dog". WNKY's former sister station in Tyler, Texas, KYTX, took a similar approach with "Stormy, the Weather Dog." Radar passed away in December 2017 after a 16-year-long life. He was replaced by sister, "Soky", as the station's mascot.
In late January 2009 in an attempt to increase its presence against WBKO, WNKY launched a weekday morning show known as Bowling Green Today. Airing for a half-hour at 6:30, the broadcast is produced in partnership with the Bowling Green Daily News. The newspaper provides short local news updates and WNKY produces traditional weather segments. The show is replayed at 9 in the morning on WNKY's CBS-affiliated second subchannel. Weather forecasts from this station can be heard on these radio stations: WBGN-AM 1340, WBVR-FM 96.7, WUHU-FM 107.1, and WLYE-FM 94.1. Despite airing a news program in the morning period, WNKY does not produce newscasts in the traditional 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. slots or on weekends.
During the Summer of 2012 television season, WNKY debuted a weekend news magazine program called In KY News, which includes interviews and highlights many happenings in and around south central Kentucky.
On February 19, 2018, WNKY began broadcasting live half-hour evening newscasts weeknights at 5 p.m. on its main channel, and at 6 p.m. on WNKY-DT2. This marks the first time WNKY broadcast a newscast since they ended simulcasts of WSMV's 10 p.m. newscasts in 2003. Combined with the Noon newscast on WNKY-DT2 and the hour-long SOKY Sunrise weekday mornings on the main channel, WNKY produces a total of 12.5 hours of news content, plus the 6-minute weather updates every night at 10 p.m. simulcast on both NBC and CBS. This includes 7.5 hours of news content on the main channel, and 5 hours on WNKY-DT2.
- Jordan Smith - Host of SoKY Sunrise
- Telia Butler - Throwback Thursday reporter for SoKY Sunrise
- Cecilia Herrell - Field reporter
- Alissa Kendrick - Anchor of SoKY @ Noon and field reporter
- Matthew White - Anchor for SoKY Sunrise News Express and field reporter
- Max Winitz - Anchor of WNKY News at 5 and WNKY News at 6
- Cody Bailey - Weekday evening meteorologist
- Scott Burchett - Weekend weather anchor
- Kristy Steward - Weekday morning meteorologist
- Matt Foster - Sports reporter
WNKY has limited out-of-market coverage, due in part to the station's 120,000-watt signal and its small coverage area, especially since the 2009 Digital TV transition. However, the station can be received in the northernmost areas of the Nashville media market, including Allen, Monroe, Simpson, and much of Logan County in southern Kentucky, along with much of Macon and Sumner counties of northern Middle Tennessee. Some Louisville market counties like Grayson and Green counties can also pick up WNKY's signal.
Suddenlink cable customers in Logan County, including Russellville and Lewisburg (but excluding Adairville), can access WNKY's primary channel on cable channel 15. Both WNKY and WNKY-DT2 are available to Mediacom subscribers in the Sonora and Upton area along Hardin County's boundary with Larue County.
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@wnkytv will broadcast all four @Titans preseason games this August on WNKY MeTV 40! #BecauseLocalMatters #TitanUpMissing or empty
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