History of WISH-TV

WISH Archives

Honored nationally, WISH-TV is best known locally for its commitment to twenty-four hour news and weather. With its many newscasts, twenty-four hour newsbreaks, Local Weather Station, WISHTV.com, and digital platforms, WISH-TV delivers more local news to viewers than any other station in Central Indiana. The most experienced news team in town, 24-Hour News 8 is lead by anchors Eric Halvorson and Lori Wilson and consists of dozens of staff members including multi-media journalists, anchors, photographers and producers. WISH-TV’s I-Team 8 is an entire department dedicated to investigative research and reporting. This investigative unit has been honored with numerous major television and journalism awards, including the television’s highest honor, the Peabody; but what the station is most proud of are the results of its investigations. Because of I-Team 8, numerous state and national policies have been changed or new laws enacted – not to mention potentially dangerous situations uncovered and scams or shady business practices exposed. WISH-TV has received numerous awards and recognition over the years for its in-depth reports; eye opening investigations and groundbreaking coverage. Among the many honors is the Edward R. Murrow Award, which the station received in 1998 and again in 2006. This award is presented by the Radio, Television and News Director’s Association and is the organization’s highest honor. Other such prestigious awards include the George Bliss Award, the Gracie Allen Award®, and numerous Emmys, Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalist awards.

With Indiana’s largest and most experienced team of meteorologists and a state-of-the-art Storm Track 8 center, WISH-TV has the team and the tools to keep viewers ahead of threatening weather. The Storm Track 8 meteorologists work with some of the most highly advanced weather technology in the nation, including Storm Track 8 VIPIR, Live Doppler, Storm Tracker, and FutureCast. Along with the technology that Storm Track 8 offers, WISH-TV also offers LWS (Local Weather Station), an entire channel on local cable dedicated to informing the community about the weather conditions 24 hours a day.

WISH-TV has been honored numerous times as the state’s “Outstanding News Operation” and “Outstanding Weather Operation” by the Indiana Associated Press Broadcast Association. Award winning, around-the-clock news coverage that makes a difference has become WISH-TV’s trademark, but the station is also known for its commitment to community service. WISH-TV has received the “Mayor’s Celebration of Diversity Award for Community Relations.” This award acknowledges Indianapolis businesses and organizations that embrace, celebrate and apply holistic inclusion and participation of a diverse people; and have excellent work-force diversity, opportunities for diversity education and communication with the organizations, community activities which encourage diversity in the community and leadership in developing supportive diversity strategies through the organization.

WISH-TV participates and supports dozens of community activities or events each year. Events include the Circle City Classic and Classic Parade, which the station airs live. WISH-TV also supports the Black and Minority Health Fair, which attracts approximately 250,000 Indiana residents over four days and offers free round-trip buses for seniors and people with special needs. During the holidays, WISH-TV and its WISH Tree partners collect toys for families in need during the holiday season to donate to the Salvation Army.

WISH-TV signed on the air at 6PM on July 1, 1954 and since then has been leading the way in broadcast technology. Before there was WISH-TV, there was WISH Radio, which went on the air in 1941. For the first year WISH-TV broadcast from one of the WISH radio towers until a 1,000-foot tower was built at which time WISH-TV was able to increase its coverage. The current tower was relocated to the north side of Indianapolis and built in 1995. Just two years after its initial broadcast, WISH became one of the nation’s first stations to install a video tape machine; in 1963 its coverage of the tragic Indianapolis Coliseum explosion was first news event of its kind to be broadcast live in the city. In 1983, WISH was the first to use the now industry-standard Sony Beta cam, and in 1998 it was one of the country’s first stations to broadcast digitally for high-definition television (HDTV) on WISH-DT. Two days later, on December 19, a football game became the first high definition television broadcast on WISH-DT.

WISH-TV was first affiliated with the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and the DuMont Television Network. In 1956 WISH-TV changed its primary affiliation from ABC to CBS. In 2015, WISH-TV will become Central Indiana’s independent, local news channel. WISH-TV and WISH Radio were first owned by lifetime Indiana resident C. Bruce McConnell until sold to J.H. Whitney and Company, which became Corinthian Broadcasting Company which later merged into Dun & Bradstreet. In 2014, WISH-TV celebrated its sixtieth-year of serving the viewers of central Indiana.

WISH-TV is owned by Media General, which owns and/or operates 71 television stations in 48 cities across the U.S. stretching from Rhode Island to Hawaii, including several in Indiana. Along with WISH-TV, LIN owns and operates MyINDY-TV, which provides around-the-clock entertainment, sports and local interest programming to central Indiana viewers.

WISH-TV has a tradition of excellence. Building on its past, it’s a station with an eye on tomorrow. With a commitment to news, award-winning team of journalists and emphasis on community service and cutting edge technology, viewers can be sure they’ll get the very best from WISH-TV whenever they tune in, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.