WHOO-FTV

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WHOO-FTV
WHOO-FTV Logo.png
Indianapolis, Indiana
United States
City of license Noblesville, Indiana
Branding ABC 24 (general)
ABC 24 Eyewitness News (newscasts)
Slogan Indiana's News Channel (general)
On Your Side (newscasts)
Channels Digital: 22 (UHF)
Virtual: 24 (PSIP)
Subchannels 24.1 ABC
24.2 local weather
Affiliations ABC (2012-present, O&O 2016-present)
Owner ABC Fantasy Television Stations
(Indiana Media, LLC)
First air date March 15, 1954; 68 years ago (1954-03-15)
Call letters' meaning HOOsier
Sister station(s) WICW-FTV
Former channel number(s) Analog:
24 (UHF, 1954–2009)
Digital:
45 (1998-2018)
Former affiliations Primary:
CBS (1954-2004)
NBC (2004–2012)
Secondary:
DuMont (1954–1955)
Transmitter power 989 kW
Height 474 m

WHOO-FTV, virtual channel 24 (UHF digital channel 45), is an ABC-owned-and-operated affiliated fantasy television station located in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. WHOO was previously the co-flagship station (with WMRI in Fort Wayne) of Indiana-based ATE Media Corporation. Since 2016, the station has been owned by ABC Fantasy Television Stations, as part of a duopoly with Me TV O&O WICW-FTV (channel 69).


Both stations share studio facilities located on West Market Street in Downtown Indianapolis; WHOO maintains transmitter facilities located in Carmel. On cable, the station is available on Comcast Xfinity and Bright House Networks channel 8, and AT&T Uverse channel 24 in standard definition and in high definition on Bright House Networks digital channel 1008, and Xfinity and AT&T U-verse channel 1024.

History[edit]

The station first signed on the air on March 15, 1954; WHOO is the market's oldest continuously operating UHF television station.

As a CBS affiliate[edit]

As an NBC affiliate[edit]

For three decades, WHOO had been one of CBS' strongest affiliates. However, in 2004, ATE Media and ABC announced a long-term affiliation deal, which called for all of ATE Media-owned stations to switch their affiliation to ABC.[1] WHOO was included in the deal, which ABC agreed to as a condition of their sister stations that had their CBS affiliations revoked due to the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime controversy in addition to as a condition of keeping its affiliation on ATE Media's three largest stations, WCOH in Cleveland, WEAE in Pittsburgh, and KPTL in Porland, Oregon. WCOH and KPTL had been heavily wooed by NBC, while ATE Media had recently acquired WEAE from NBC (which would eventually affiliate with former ABC affiliate WPTL).

CBS decided not to renew ATE Media Stations in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Rockford, Flint, Terre Haute, and Lexington. However, while the Chicago, Rockford and Fort Wayne stations (WAWZ-FTV, WRIL-FTV and WMRI) switched to ABC in August 2006, September 2004 and January 2005, respectively, ATE Media had to switch WHOO, WCIN and WFNT to NBC and WTHL and WLFX (then KDN) as the respective ABC affiliation contracts in Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Lexington, and Cincinnati (WEVI, WATW, WLKA, and WCAB) did not run out until June 2012 while ABC already owned the Flint station. ATE Media had to maintain WHOO as an NBC affiliate for the next eight years.


As an ABC affiliate[edit]

In January 2010, DakMedia merged with MHB Television[2] that was a result in many of thier stations becoming Fox owned-and-operated stations. Locally, WIND-FTV (now on channel 36), which had become the CBS affiliate in 2004, became a Fox O&O in 2009. The CBS affiliation, in turn, moved to longtime Fox affiliate WIFX (channel 11), leaving WHOO without an affiliation and the likelihood of becoming an an independent station, prompting ATE Media to negotiate an affiliation agreement with ABC.

On January 7, 2012, Val Steele, president of NBC Owned Fantasy Television Stations, announced that NBC would launch WNBI as an NBC owned-and-operated station known as "NBC Indiana" on July 1, 2012; Steele explained that with NBC's recent investments into the studio facilities of cable channel INCN and WNBI, "we have built a very strong news organization in the Indianapolis market—both from a personnel and facilities perspective—which puts us in a great position to launch an NBC-owned station locally." Steele did outright confirm WNBI will carry NBC programming, but iterated that the network will remain available over-the-air following the transition, and that NBC was "committed to expanding our over-the-air coverage of the market and are currently looking at a variety of options to accomplish that". Days later, ATE Media Founder and President Patrice Rafferty appeared before WHOO staff and Indianapolis media and exclaimed, "This is my station in my hometown!" She reiterated that, despite problems, the rumors that WHOO was becoming an independent station were untrue. Not wanting WHOO to be relegated to become an independent station, Patrice Rafferty personally made the trip to ABC corporate headquarters in New York and began to negotiate with Rebecca Campbell for a group-wide affiliation deal to extend the 2004 affiliation contract with ATE Media's stations.

After the deal was announced, Rafferty used the threat of making WHOO a minor network affiliate or an independent station unless ABC affiliated with all of its big three stations. Eventually, ATE Media signed a 30-year long-term deal with ABC in May of 2012 that would keep their existing ABC affiliates owned by ATE Media. As a condition of that agreement and extension, fantasy television stations in other cities including Grand Rapids, Miami, Cincinnati, Terre Haute, Louisville, Des Moines, Atlanta, Lima (Ohio) and Dayton-Springfield would lose their ABC affiliations to the respective competing ATE Media-owned stations (WWMI, WCBM, WCIN, WFAZ, WLOK, KUDM, WGA, WLOH, and WOWO). Locally, this resulted in the displacement of ABC from affiliate WEVI (channel 4).

ABC's affiliation agreement with WEVI did not expire until June 30, 2012; however, WEVI had already begun to drop ABC shows from its schedule, unhappy about losing its affiliation with the network after 13 years. As a result, ABC's programming migrated to WHOO sister station WICW in stages, and that station carried programming from both ABC and MyNetworkTV for a while, with ABC as a secondary affiliation. The View was the first ABC program to move to WHOO (airing on WICW), following the first round of changes at the end of May 2012. WHOO then picked up World News Now, The Chew, and ABC's Saturday morning programming when the station officially dropped its NBC affiliation on July 31. The rest of ABC's programming moved to WHOO on August 4, 2012.

WHOO became the third station in Indianapolis to affiliate with ABC, as the network originally aligned with WIND from its sign-on in 1957 until moving to WEVI in 1999. WHOO also reunited with the network with, which had a secondary affiliation with ABC until WIND's launch in 1957. WHOO, along with nearby Cincinnati sister station WCIN, became the first two ATE Media stations have been a primary affiliate of all "Big 3" networks. WHOO also became the second station in Indianapolis after WIND switched from NBC to CBS in 2004 before becoming a Fox O&O in 2009.


Sale to ABC Fantasy TV Stations[edit]

On June 3, 2016, the estate of Patrice Rafferty signed an agreement to be acquired by ABC Fantasy Television Stations. The deal resulted in WHOO becoming an ABC owned-and-operated station and WICW an independent station.[3] With the completion of the deal, WHOO became the third network station in Indianapolis (after WIND and WNBI) to become an owned-and-operated station of its associated network.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channel[edit]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]

WHOO-FTV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 24, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 45.[4] Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 24.

Programming[edit]

WHOO clears the entirety of ABC's network schedule and typically airs all network programs in pattern, except during instances where the station carries breaking news or severe weather coverage, or special programming.


ABC Indiana Network[edit]

Since a majority of the viewing area includes central Indiana, WHOO is part of the ABC Indiana (formerly ATE Media Indiana) Network, a system designed to rapidly share information among ATE Media's widespread group of television stations and websites in Indiana. A regional network has developed among Fort Wayne's NewsCenter 9 (WMRI), Lafayette's News 19 (WLFY) (though WLFY is a semi-satellite of WHOO), South Bend's ABC 2 Eyewitness News (WTXI), Evansville's ABC 21 News (WEAI), Terre Haute's News 5 (WFAZ), New Albany/Louisville, KY's ABC 13 News (WLOK), Cincinnati's ABC 15 News (WCIN), Gary/Chicago's ABC 39 News (WAWZ), and Dayton's ABC 33 News (WOWO) in which stations share information, equipment such as satellite trucks or even reporters' stories. Between them, these ten stations cover the entire of the state of Indiana. The ten stations also comprise the ABC Indiana Network and the ABC Indiana Weather Blog, where meteorologists from all ten stations post forecasts and storm reports, as well as live feeds from all of the cameras that the ten stations operate. The site also has live feeds of ABC 24 VIPIR (WHOO/WLFY), Live Skytrak Doppler 9 (WMRI), Live Doppler 39 StormVision (WAWZ), Doppler 33 StormVision (WOWO), Live Doppler 13 (WLOK), Live Doppler 15 (WCIN) and Pinpoint Doppler 21 (WEAI).

Sports Programming[edit]

WHOO serves as the local over-the-air broadcaster of Monday Night Football games involving the Indianapolis Colts, airing simulcasts of the team's ESPN-televised games (WHOO's corporate parent, the The Walt Disney Company, holds 80% majority ownership stake in ESPN, and the ABC Fantasy Television Stations have right of first refusal for simulcasts of ESPN's NFL telecasts within a team's home market). Because of this, atypical for a network-owned station outside of breaking news and severe weather coverage necessitating such situations, the station has had to reschedule ABC network programs pre-empted by the telecasts. The preseason and MNF telecasts mark the only NFL games to have aired on WHOO since joining ABC in 2012 as ABC lost the rights to NFL games in 2006 onwards (WHOO formerly aired Colts games the arrival of the Colts in 1984 until 1993 as a CBS affiliate for select games televised by CBS in which the Colts play against an NFC opponent and from 1998 until 2004; then from 2006 until 2011 as an NBC affiliate, WHOO carried non-preseason games and select Indianapolis Colts NFL games broadcast by NBC as part of the network's Sunday Night Football package) on occasions when a game involving the Colts was scheduled.

Since joining ABC in 2012, during the regular season, Colts games are rotated between WIFX (channel 11, through the NFL on CBS and Thursday Night Football), Fox O&O WIND (channel 36, through the Fox NFL), CW affiliate WEVI (channel 4, through select telecasts via the NFL Network's Thursday Night Football and/or via ESPN's MNF if the ABC Indiana Network decides not to air the event on the ABC Indiana network), The ABC Indiana Network (see below, with MNF), NBC-owned WNBI (channel 18, through NBC Sunday Night Football and TNF), and at some cases, WICW (through MNF).

As ABC carries the Indianapolis 500, WHOO and the ABC Indiana Network airs the race in primetime on a tape delay rather than airing it live during the daytime, with that day's primetime schedule transmitted by ABC under a special dispensation early to the ATE Media Network to air in the afternoon during the race. This dates back to when WIND and WEVI were the ABC affiliate in Indianapolis when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway requires this arrangement to encourage residents and tourists in the Indianapolis metropolitan area to attend the race.

Until 2012, some fringe parts of the market were able to watch the race via affiliates in Fort Wayne (WMRI since 2005), Terre Haute (WATW, now a Fox O&O), Dayton, Ohio (WJDO, now a CBS affiliate), and Louisville, Kentucky (WKJM, now a CBS affiliate). Starting with the 2013 race, the nine other stations joined WHOO to air the race in prime time. This did not sit well with race fans as they were angry that they could no longer were able watch the race live after nearly 30 years, especially with fans in the northern fringe of the market that were used to watching the race via WAWZ, WTXI, WMRI and WLFY. ATE Media President and CEO Patrice Rafferty imposed the restriction as a condition of WHOO ABC affiliation contract.


Since 2013, WHOO serves the exclusive local English-language carrier of the annual Indianapolis Mini-Marathon, in which WHOO (via ABC Indiana) will televised the marathon live and will televised the highlights through ESPN on ABC. The station pre-empts a weekend edition of Good Morning America and delays This Week to schedule time for the live broadcast of the Marathon (which would be seen locally on WICW). The telecasts of the marathon on station which former broadcaster WIFX backed out after the 2012 event.

On May 25, 2016 with the event sold out, IMS and WHOO announced that it would air the Indianapolis 500 live in the market for the first time as an ABC affiliate.[5][6]

News operation[edit]

WHOO-FTV provides all weather forecasts for WLFY as well as weekend weather for WMRI and WTXI.

ATE Media produces a half-hour early evening newscast that airs at 4:30pm. The newscast, titled Indiana News Tonight with Karly Ryder, formerly (Indiana Nightly News) is broadcast live from the Indianapolis studios in high definition on all 10 ATE Media-owned stations in Indiana. WHOO also produces a Sunday morning political discussion program, Hoosier View, as well as a weekly sports program Hoosier and Boilermaker Nation Pig Trail (which is produced in conjunction with Lafayette sister station WLFY), which airs Sundays after the hour-long 11:00 p.m. newscast.


The Clyde, Bill, and Dan era (1965-1978)[edit]

The station had news operations from its beginning, but ceased broadcasting a 6 p.m. newscast in the fall of 1965, due to a mass exodus of viewers to WINB-FTV.[7] In lieu of a 6 p.m. newscast, WHOO-FTV's evening newscast aired at 7:20 p.m. in its early years.

From 1965 to 1992, and again since 2013, WHOO-FTV has called its news operation Eyewitness News and uses a variation of the iconic circle 24 logo to this day. However, since the fall of 1970, it borrowed most of the basic elements of the "NewsCenter" format used at longtime sister station WFAZ in Fort Wayne, combined with the format news director Clyde Lemon developed and called "Rockin' Indy News" (modified for television). It even used "Move Closer to Your World," the theme song made famous by WPVI-TV (though it was known by the station as The Eyewitness News Theme). Furthermore, WMRI-FTV was a source for much of WHOO-FTV's on-air talent.

Lemon was WHOO-FTV's main anchor from 1964 until moving to rival WEVI in 1978, doubling as news director for most of that time. From 1965 to 1978, he was partnered with sports director Dan Hein and weatherman Bill Gregory (who had been poached from WINB and did double duty as host of Commander Bill); the three formed the longest continuously running anchor team in television history until 1978 (it has since been surpassed by Ted Shileds and Karly Ryder and the aforementioned Bill Gegory and Dan Hein in 1998 ). The noon newscast, during the mid-1970s, featured the first pairing of the long-running WMRI anchor team of Patricia Edwards and Pete Ward, with Laura Bakula frequently filling in for Edwards.

1978-1984[edit]

In 1975, John Patterson joined Lemon on the early newscast and then became co-anchor on the 11:00 p.m. newscast in 1976. Ted Shields, who joined WHOO in 1975 at age 18 as a behind-the-scenes producer, got his start on the air later in 1976 as a weekend weatherman. In later years, Shields would admit that he, not knowing the slightest thing about forecasting, basically copied his forecasts from a Chicago radio station.[8]

Patterson and Lemon continued to anchor the newscasts together until Lemon left for WEVI in 1978. At that time, Ted Shields became the weekend anchor, and then a year later in 1980, co-anchor on the weekday evening newscasts with Patterson. Shields continued as the lead anchor until his retirement on May 21, 2015.[9] This era marked the start of dominance for the WHOO news programs that lasted until well into the 1980s. In 1980, weekend co-anchor Patrice Rafferty left WHOO to become an entrepreneur (and founded WHOO's eventual owner ATE Media Corporation in October 1982). Laura Bakula and Patricia Edwards left WHOO in 1979 and 1983, respectively, for WFAZ in Fort Wayne.

The first Ted, Karly, Bill, and Dan era (1984-1990)[edit]

The WHOO news department underwent two major changes in 1984. Previously, the 5–6 p.m. slot was occupied by syndicated programming, was replaced by a new program was named Five PM Indiana. The broadcast was originally hosted by Patrice Rafferty, and added many elements, such as interviews, movie reviews, health reports, and some cooking segments. Added to the mix were news updates from Ted Shields.

After ATE Media acquired WHOO, Patrice Rafferty personally decided to make major changes at WHOO's news department. Rafferty felt the news team did not have enough female anchors. Rafferty realized that, since there was only a weekday half-hour morning news broadcasts were anchored by Ellen Evans, the noon broadcast was anchored by meteorologist Bryan Moore, and the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. nightly newscasts were anchored by Ted Shields and Mike Aikins on weeknights and the weekends anchored by Rick Cortos and Hugh Allen. Rafftery decided upon becoming the owner of WHOO, she decided to pair Shields with an up-and-coming anchor from WTHL Terre Haute named Karly Ryder.

Rafferty recalls when she left and acquired WHOO as a station owner, the market have had female anchors teamed already, but in the then male-dominated world of Indianapolis television news, this was a first at WHOO while WMRI already had a male-female anchor team. Rafferty recelled, "In some sort of symbolic synchronicity, I remember when I paired Karly and Ted in Indy and Marshall and Patricia (Edwards) in Fort Wayne, I knew I'd be sending someone to the noon news and a commentary gig, the ultimate case of new gender diversity dislodging the old boys' network." Rafferty then moved Mike Aikins from the weeknight newscasts to the noon newscast with Ellen Evans to make room for the Shileds-Ryder anchor team effective beginning July 2, 1984. Karly Ryder became the first woman to co-anchor the station's main weeknight evening newscasts (and continues to do so to this day).

Rafferty wanted both Shields and Ryder to get to know each other. So Rafferty personally handed Shields a phone number for the then 33-year-old Ryder, who had happened to be invited to Rafferty's upcoming wedding, with a suggestion to telephone her.

According to Shields, "I remember the first phone call from Karly back on the 4th of July in 1983, we stayed on the phone for nearly six hours, just chat-chat-chatting. We bonded right there the day Glenn and Patrice got married. There was just something since that wedding there that let me know: Karly is a great person."

From about 1983 until February 1990, the station kept the Eyewitness News name for its newscasts out of posterity, resulting in rather long station announcements made by Ernie Anderson (for example, "First in Indiana, WHOO-FTV 24. Live from Indiana's NewsChannel, this is Eyewitness News 24"). During this era, it dropped the "Move Closer to Your World" theme to newscast composer Frank Gari's "Hello News" package from 1984 to 1986 and again from 1992 to 1997, which included an imaging song individualized to each market's city; in this case "Hello Indy" or "Hello Indiana", which remains well-remembered to the present day, and was cited as one of the factors in driving viewers to the station in the late 80's and allowing it to be competitive.

The station's morning news program, the first in Indianapolis, debuted in 1984. Indiana Sunrise (the program's title from 1984 to 1990 and now known as ABC 24 News This Morning) initially started at 6 a.m. ET, before moving up to 5:30 a.m. in 1992 and at 5 a.m. in 1998; it currently starts at 4:30 a.m. since 2007. (WHOO's morning show predated by two years the next competitor, WEVI, which did not debut its morning newscast, NewsCenter 4 This Morning (now News 4 in the Morning), until 1986. WIND (then on channel 62) followed suit with Daybreak in 1989 and WIFX with Fox 11 Good Day Indiana (now CBS 11 Morning News) in 1990).

News Channel 24[edit]

In 1990, WHOO dropped the long-standing "Eyewitness News" branding, switching to "News Channel 24" for its newscasts and its general branding was changed to Indiana's News Channel, WHOO 24. Early on, the new branding came with the slogans of "Indiana's 24 Hour News Source", as it produced news updates every hour. During this era, it dropped Frank Gari's "Good News" theme for Gari's "NewsChannel" theme for two years as the primary theme and as the late newscast theme until 1997, which included an imaging song individualized to each market's city; in this case "Indiana's News Channel", which remains well-remembered and remains used in various ways by WHOO-FTV to the present day. The 24/7 updates were dropped a few years later.[7]

In 1993, longtime anchor Mike Aikins left the station to sign with rival WEVI.[10] The same year, longtime morning and noon weatherman Bryan Moore died of cancer.[11]

In 1997, the station replaced the NewsChannel package with a new news theme package incorporating components (including the eight-note musical signature) from the song Back Home Again in Indiana produced by Stephen Arnold Music – the "WISH-TV News Music Package," a customized version of Arnold's "Counterpoint" package (used from 1997 to 2004) – an alteration of the V.3 package from 615 Music's "In-Sink" (used from 2004 to 2013).[12] that was already used on WMRI-FTV, which has remained in use by WHOO ever since and was updated in 2013 with a new custom package by Gari Communications – "ATE Media Indiana News Package," a customized version of Gari's "Eyewitness News" package also used on ATE Media's nine other stations in the ATE Media Indiana Network (WHOO Indianapolis, WLFY Lafyette, WTXI South Bend, WEAI Evansville, WFAZ Terre Haute, and four non-Indiana stations--WCIN Cincinnati, WOWO Dayton, WAWZ Chicago, and WLOK Louisville) introduced in September 2013 (all of them are ABC affiliates), is the first theme used by the station since joining ABC combine both compositional ties to "Back Home Again in Indiana" and its network affiliation.

For many years, WHOO had the top-rated newscasts in the Indianapolis market. However, its ratings plummeted in the mid-2000s when the station switched from CBS to NBC and the newscasts were changed to follow a tabloid format (which was toned down considerably compared to other television stations); as a result, WIFX (channel 11, a former Fox affiliate that has since joined CBS) took the news ratings lead in the market. Even with the decrease, WHOO remained in second place through most of the latter half of the 2000s, before falling to third for a brief period in the early 2010s. WHOO has since increased viewership for its newscasts and is now very competitive in the market especially becoming an ABC affiliate. A significant aspect of its broadcasts presently is an emphasis of Indiana-oriented content over national stories. In recent years, due to the prime-time struggles in the Nielsen ratings, WHOO's newscasts have remained in second place for the most part although close enough to remain competitive with WIFX, NBC-owned WNBI, Fox-owned WIND, and CW affiliate WEVI.

On January 7, 2008, WHOO became the third Indianapolis television station to begin broadcasting newscasts in high-definition (after WIFX and WIND). At present, all locally produced portions of the station's newscasts, including live remote field footage, are presented in HD.

Since ATE Media acquired WHOO in October 1982, the station's news broadcast aspect is an emphasis of Indiana-oriented content over national stories. In fact, WHOO cooperates with its Indiana sister stations (WMRI, WTXI, WTHL/WFAZ, WEAI, WLOK, WCIN, WOWO, WAWZ, and later WLFY), in the production and broadcast of statewide Indiana political debates. Whenever the ATE Media Indiana network of stations broadcast a statewide office debate, such as those involving gubernatorial or U.S. Senate races, WHOO will pool resources and have anchors or reporters from those stations participate in the debate. Additionally, the ten stations cooperate in the gathering of news in several counties in Indiana where their markets overlap, sharing reporters, live trucks, and helicopters. Since WLFY was acquired by ATE Media in 1995 (13 years after ATE Media acquired WHOO, and the eight other stations serving Indiana), WHOO and ABC-affiliated sister station WLFY in Lafayette have shared certain news resources; some reports filed by WLFY personnel are occasionally used during WHOO's news broadcasts. In 2007, the two stations began co-producing a weekdaily newscast at noon, Indiana at Noon, with news anchors based in both Indianapolis and Lafayette. In February of 2005, WHOO began producing a 35-minute (later an hour-long) prime time newscast at 10 p.m. for sister station WICW (then known as WBIN). This expanded to include an hour-long extension of its weekday morning newscast (airing from 7 to 9 a.m.), which debuted in August 2007 and a 7 p.m. newscast.[13]

Return to Eyewitness News (2013–present)[edit]

The station revived "Move Closer to Your World" for promotions celebrating the station's upcoming switch from NBC to ABC, for the intro to breaks during its newscasts. It also reintroduced the theme for the introduction to its 11:00 newscasts on September 10, 2012 and began using the Eyewitness News name for its 2 a.m. one-minute news brief. On April 1, 2013, WHOO news anchors launched what has been described as the "Big Tease,"[14] an announcement that an ostensibly top-secret "major change" was coming; although only a few of the senior members of the staff knew about the change, it was widely predicted to be a revival of the Eyewitness News name and classic theme.

On April 13, 2013 at 6:00 a.m., the Eyewitness News brand permanently returned to WHOO's newscasts (as ABC 24 Eyewitness News), as part of an overall rebranding of its newscasts that included new graphics and a modernized update to the news theme. ATE Media owner Patrice Rafferty cited the reasoning behind the restoration of the Eyewitness News brand, was that it "[still] resonated strongly with [viewers in] the Indianaplois market," despite being dropped by the station 23 years earlier. Nevertheless, the station retained the 2004 studio set for the next two years.

The early 2010s were a time of upheaval for the channel 24 newsroom as two of its key leaders, general manager Leah Ransom and news director Tim Cochrun, departed the station (Cochrun retired, while Ranson left for WAWZ Chicago). Ransom's replacement, Randi Lundberg, sought to overhaul the relatively undermanned newsroom by increasing the staff and overhauling the morning show.


On January 5, 2015, WHOO debuted a half-hour weekday 4:30 p.m. newscast titled Indiana News Tonight with Karly Ryder (similar to ABC's World News Tonight); the statewide newscast features news stories filed by reporters from all ten ATE Media-owned ABC stations serving Indiana as well as a sports segment produced by WLFY and WHOO, focusing on Indiana University and Purdue University athletics, called Hoosier Nation. The ATE Media Indiana Network stations simulcast the program at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (3:30 p.m. Central) and utilize their own on-air weather staff to provide local weather inserts during the broadcast that target their specific viewing areas (the coverage areas of WOWO/Dayton, WCIN/Cincinnati, WAWZ/Chicago, and WLOK/Louisville inculde several counties in Indiana (two in WOWO's viewing area, three in WCIN's, five in WLOK's, and six in WAWZ's), though WOWO and WCIN primarily serve parts of western Ohio, WAWZ serves parts of northeast Illinois and WLOK also serves parts of northern Kentucky).[15] In addition, WHOO carries a public affairs program called Indiana Decision Makers hosted by former WMRI anchor Patricia Edwards. This is simulcast on Saturday mornings at 5 and Sunday mornings at 11 on the ATE Media Indiana Network.


On May 21, 2015, Ted Shields retired as the primary news anchor at channel 24, after holding the post for 36 years. Shields is the longest serving news anchorman in Indianapolis fantasy television history[9] behind only Ellen Evans.

In the months following ABC's acquisition of WHOO, several popular on-air personalities left the station. Longtime morning and noon anchor Ellen Evans retired after 40 years at the end of 2016; within months, weekend meteorologist Michelle Abernathy and sports director Kevin Calabro took positions at Eskinazi Health after 5 and 26 years respectively, breaking up what had mostly been a static anchor team about for a decade. A year prior to ABC's acquisition, chief meteorologist Glenn Swaringen left for Fort Wayne CBS affiliate WTOR-FTV, and Swaringen's daughter, Cathryn, filled in the interim, left at the end of November 2016 to work at a mental health non-profit. Anchor Kristina Chow left to return to her hometown of Houston, where she is now morning anchor at sister station KGUL.

In November 2016, three anchors from Pittsburgh sister station WEAE were transferred to WHOO. This came after WEAE laid off most of their staff. Former WEAE reporter Rhonda Sallinger began to co-anchor the main newscasts, sports anchor Sheena Whitaker began her duties as WHOO's sports director with former WEAE morning meteorologist Julia Black hired as the station's chief meteorologist, resulting in Indianapolis' first all-female news team and the second after Fort Wayne's WTOR (a sister station of rival WIFX).

Notable current on-air staff[edit]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ??
  2. ??
  3. "ABC-ATE Media: It's A Done Deal". June 3, 2016. 
  4. DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds (PDF). Retrieved on 2012-03-24.
  5. Blackout Lifted: ABC 24 and ABC Indiana to show Indianapolis 500 Live on Race Day
  6. WHOO to air Indy 500 live
  7. 7.0 7.1 50 Golden Years of Excellence on WHOO
  8. "Ted Shields reflects on 35 years in broadcasting". May 2015.  Prior to joining WHOO, Shields worked on-air at several stations in Lafayette and Fort Wayne, and also as a weatherman at WQLI Lafayette.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Ted Shields longtime WHOO anchor, to retire". January 23, 2015. 
  10. ??
  11. Moore remembered
  12. http://www.615music.com/core/news_music_demos.cfm
  13. ??
  14. ??
  15. ATE Media Launches Statewide Indiana Newscast.

External links[edit]