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 on cable, and WISHTV.com, 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 over 80 staff members including reporters, anchors, photographers and producers, as well as more than two dozen news gathering units, multiple live and satellite trucks and WISH-TV’s own Live Chopper 8. When it comes to investigations that change lives and change laws, nobody gets results like 24-Hour News 8. 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 Forecast 8 center, WISH-TV has the team and the tools to keep viewers ahead of threatening weather. The Forecast 8 meteorologists work with some of the most highly advanced weather technology in the nation, including Forecast 8 VIPIR, Live Doppler, Storm Tracker, FutureCast and their exclusive Neighborhood Weather Net. Along with the technology that Forecast 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.

In 2008, WISH-TV was honored 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. In 2006, WISH-TV was honored with 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 more than 100 community activities or events over the course of a calendar 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. Another community event WISH-TV sponsors is the March of Dimes Walk America every spring. Every Winter WISH-TV and its WISH Tree partners collect toys for families in need during the holiday season to donate to the Salvation Army. In addition to these community events, WISH-TV also sponsors: I Love to Read; and Freedom Blast – 4th of July Fireworks; SkyConcert; the 500 Festival One America Mini Marathon; and the 500 Festival IPL Parade. WISH-TV is also the Home of the Colts, bringing Indianapolis’s favorite football team into their viewers’ living rooms each game day.

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. It was in 1956 WISH-TV changed its primary affiliation from ABC to CBS. 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 2004, WISH-TV celebrated its fiftieth-year of serving the viewers of central Indiana.

WISH-TV is owned by LIN TV Corp. LIN Television owns and/or operates 28 television stations in 17 cities across the U.S. stretching from New York to Texas, including several in Indiana. Along with WISH-TV, LIN owns and operates MyINDY-TV, which provides around-the-clock entertainment, news, sports and local interest programming to central Indiana viewers. MyINDY-TV also provides an earlier newscast, “24-Hour News 8 at 10PM,” produced by WISH-TV, as well as expanded coverage of 24-Hour News 8’s Daybreak from 7:00AM-8:00AM each weekday morning.

In April 2007 WISH-TV unveiled a brand new, state-of-the-art news set and graphics package for their daily newscasts. The new 3,000 square foot set features a new anchor desk, multiple plasma and projection screens, and a 24-hour weather center with more than 15 different locations to present news stories and interviews, the new set gives WISH-TV more unique and original ways of presenting the news than ever before.

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 anchors and reporters 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.

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