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WIFX 11 Logo.png
Carmel, Indiana
United States
Branding CBS 11(general)
CBS 11 News (newscasts)
Slogan The Spirit of Indiana (general)
Coverage You Can Count On (newscasts)
Channels Digital: 11 (VHF)
Virtual: 11 (PSIP)
Subchannels 11.1 CBS
Affiliations CBS
Owner NoSirGifts Venues
(NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations)
First air date May 6, 1968 (1968-05-06)
Call letters' meaning Indiana's FoX (Former Affiliation)
Indiana FliX
Former channel number(s) Analog:
11 (VHF, 1968–2009)
Digital: 64 (UHF, –2009)
Former affiliations Indepednent (1968-1986)
Fox (1986-2009)
Transmitter power 50. kW
Height 300 m
Licensing authority FCC

WIFX, VHF digital and virtual channel 11, is a CBS-affiliated television station serving Indianapolis that is licensed to Carmel. The station is owned by NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations subsidiary of NoSirGifts Venues.


Early history[edit]

As a Fox affiliate[edit]

WIFX and its Lafayette sister station became a charter affiliate of the Fox Broadcasting Company when the network launched on October 9, 1986. As was the case with other Fox stations during the network's early years, channel 11 was for essential intents and purposes, remained programmed as a de facto independent station as Fox initially ran primetime programs only on weekends and would not carry seven nights a week of programming until September 1993. Until Fox began airing programming on a nightly basis, WIFX aired a movie at 8:00 p.m. on nights when network programs did not air. The station began identifying as "Fox 11" by 1988. Channel 11 also added more sitcoms to its inventory, and eventually began to overtake in the ratings. Fort Wayne, Indiana-based NoSirGifts Fantasy Television Stations bought Imperial Broadcasting's television properties for $1.13 billion on July 7, 2008. Under NoSirGifts ownership, WIFX added more first-run syndicated talk, court and reality shows to the schedule and also added the Sony-produced game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! for NoSirGifts' Fox and independent stations.

The station gained a major ratings windfall in the fall of 1994, as it became the home for the Indianapolis Colts. In December 1993, Fox outbid CBS to obtain the broadcast rights to football games from the National Football Conference of the NFL.[1][2]

Switch to CBS[edit]

On May 23, 2007, MHB Television signed an affiliation agreement with Fox to switch all their fantasy television stations to the network with the first stations involved in the deal switching to the network in January 2009.[3] WIND was one of the stations involved in MHB Television's affiliation agreement with Fox; although WIFX had been one of the network's strongest affiliates for the previous few years, Fox jumped at the chance to align with WIND and also gave a chance to own its outlet in Indianapolis.

However, as the station's affiliation contract with the network was not set to expire until July 31, 2009, Fox Television Stations had to operate WIND as a CBS affiliate for 7½ months after MHB Television's merger with DakMedia was completed on January 17, 2009; although this created the rare situation in which a station was run by the owned-and-operated station group of one network but maintained an affiliation with one of its competitors, it gave CBS enough lead time to find a replacement affiliate.

CBS approached WAAK (channel 18, now NBC O&O WNBI-FTV) for an affiliation agreement; however, any deal between the two parties would hit a roadblock after its then-owner expressed interest in only carrying CBS' prime time and news programming, as it was not interested in carrying the network's daytime and Saturday morning programs. Even though WAAK operated a news department at the time negotiations with CBS began, Paramount was also not willing to start a news department for WAAK; at the time it did not allocate a budget for news production for its non-Big Three stations. WEVI-FTV (channel 4, now a CW affiliate) was in the middle of a long-term affiliation agreement with ABC at the time, making it a non-viable option for CBS to replace WIND as its affiliate.

CBS then approached WIFX for an affiliation deal as NoSirGifts has very good relations with CBS since its flagship station WTOR-FTV (which had gone from one of Fox's weakest affiliates to CBS' ten strongest affiliates) in nearby Fort Wayne had affiliated with the network since February 2004. CBS reached an agreement with NoSirGifts to affiliate with WIFX in January of that year. On August 1, 2009, when WIND officially became a Fox owned-and-operated station and WIFX became a CBS affiliate. WIND originally planned to carry the entire Fox network schedule, running the Weekend marketplace block on Saturday mornings to replace the displaced CBS Saturday Early Show upon its move to WIFX. However, in what would be the catalyst to a change in the carriage policies for the former Fox Kids that allowed stations the option of either airing the block or being granted the right to transfer the rights to another station in the market, NoSirGifts approached WIND about retaining the rights to Weekend Marketplace for WIFX, which DakMedia allowed it to keep where it moved to its second digital subchannel.

The last Fox program to air on WIFX was American Dad! on July 31, 2009 and all Fox programming moved to WIND once American Dad! ended. WIFX's first CBS program was CBS News Up to the Minute (now CBS Overnight News) on August 1, 2009.

WIFX became the third fantasy television station in Indianapolis to affiliate with CBS. The network had originally aligned with WHOO (channel 24) from 1954 until moving to WIND in 2004.

In preparation for the switch to CBS, WIFX announced that it would change its branding to "CBS 11" (with branding similar mostly to CBS-affiliated stations broadcasting on channel 11 and unveiled a logo that was similar to the CBS channel number-style logo at the time upon affiliating with the network.

WIFX began taking on the format of a major network affiliate, expanding its local news programming as it had as a Fox affiliate and acquiring more first-run syndicated programs. WIFX also used the circle 11 logo and graphics package as had as a Fox affiliate during this time, and kept the slogan "The Spirit of Indiana" also used on WLIN in Lafayette and WXXC in Fort Wayne.

The switch to CBS provided a major windfall for WIFX in the fall of 2009, as it became the market's "unofficial home" for the Indianapolis Colts. Owing to the market's status as the home market for the Indianapolis Colts, Colts games on WIFX are consistently among the highest-rated programs in the market during the Colts season. The switch to CBS also made channel 11 Indianapolis' home for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Owing to the market's status as a college basketball hotbed and local teams such as Butler, Purdue and Indiana being longtime fixtures in the tournament, NCAA tournament games on WIFX are consistently among the highest-rated programs in the market during the tournament's run. In an ironic twist of fate, the first NFL and NCAA season since CBS moved to channel 11, the Colts lost the 2010 Super Bowl and Butler lost the Final Four championships to the New Orleans Saints and Duke, respectively.

On January 4, 2016, WIFX unveiled a logo (seen above) that is also similar to KTVT-TV's KCBS-style logo, and discontinued use of the station's "circle 11" logo, which the station had used in various forms since its 1968 sign-on.

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Analog-to-digital conversion[edit]


In addition to local news programming, syndicated programming on WIFX's weekday schedule includes only three syndicated programs: the Sony-produced game shows Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! (the station began airing both shows as a Fox affiliate in 2007), the NoSirGifts-produced The Karly Ryder, Jr. Show and Kathy Finklemyre.

Other syndicated programs seen on WIFX's weekend schedule include reruns of Elementary and Person of Interest (which also air their first-run episodes on channel 11 via CBS). The station's reliance on local programming outside of network hours over syndicated programs (which air for a limited number of hours each weekday on most CBS stations due to its heavy network-based schedule) is considered to be the strategy of WTOR, which only carries a few syndicated programs and primarily local newscasts outside of network hours as a news-intesive CBS affiliate.

WIFX broadcasts the entire CBS schedule, with the exception of CBS Morning News due its three hour long morning newscast, the Saturday editions of CBS This Morning, the weekend editions of the CBS Evening News, which instead air on WIFX-FDT2, in addition to program pre-emptions for breaking news or severe weather coverage.

Station Oddities[edit]

Channel 11 station clears the CBS weekday schedule with some exceptions: WTOR currently airs The Late Show and The Late Late Show on a 25-minute delay to facilitate the station's hour-long 11 p.m. newscast.

When WIFX became a CBS affiliate in 2009, the station aired The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful respectively at 3:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., differing from most other CBS-affiliated stations in the Eastern time zone, that commonly air the respective soap operas at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.; this earlier time slots was due to sister station (and NoSirGifts flagship station) WTOR moved CBS daytime programming one hour earlier (mirroring the scheduling of the network's daytime lineup in the Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones. The experiment, which lasted until the cancellation of The Guiding Light in September 2009, was succeeded by similar efforts by eventual sister stations WTNT in Chattanooga; Florida sister stations WFCN Jacksonville, WCBP West Palm Beach, WFSF Miami, WLOF Orlando, WWCF Tampa; and Indiana sister stations WTOR, WXSB and WWKI later in the decade).

Until September 9, 2016, WIFX aired the daytime line-up out of pattern like many NoSirGifts-owned CBS affiliates, the station respectively aired Let's Make a Deal at 9:00 a.m. and The Price is Right at 10:00 a.m. weekdays, instead of the respective 3:00 p.m. and 11:00 a.m. timeslots where the former program is carried nationally (this scheduling is most common with the network's O&Os as well as select affiliates in the Eastern and Pacific Time Zones, where Let's Make a Deal would normally air in the 3:00 p.m. timeslot); this earlier timeslot was due to the fact that WIFX aired an hour-long midday newscast at noon on weekdays.

On September 12, 2016, WIFX and sister station WTOR began to air the CBS Daytime lineup in pattern for the first time since becoming a CBS affiliate. The station cut its midday newscast to 30 minutes.

Sports programming[edit]

As previously mentioned WIFX has served as the home station of the Indianapolis Colts since arriving in Indianapolis in 1984, giving it rights to air the team's non-nationally televised preseason games, which as a result of a March 2008 broadcast agreement, are shared with sister stations WTOR in Fort Wayne, WLIN/WWKI Lafayette, WXSB in South Bend, and WVTH in Terre Haute, in addition to the existing television broadcasters across Indiana. WIFX holds the broadcast rights to the weekly coaches show (which aired Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. during the NFL season until moving to the second digital subchannel in 2009) and other shows involving the team and post-season team reviews. Regular season games televised over-the-air locally are split between WIFX (through CBS's rights to the team's American Football Conference division), and Fox-owned WIND (channel 36; for select games televised by Fox in which the Colts play against an NFC opponent, though WIFX aired such games from 1994 until 2008), with NBC-owned WNBI carrying non-preseason games via NBC's Sunday Night Football and ESPN's Monday Night Football, (which has traditionally aired on ABC-owned WHOO/MeTV affiliate WICW) on occasions when a game involving the Colts is scheduled.

Local programming[edit]


WIFX broadcasts 54 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with eight hours on weekdays and six hours each on Saturdays and Sundays). As is standard with CBS stations that carry early evening weekend newscasts, WIFX's Saturday and Sunday 6 p.m. newscasts are subject to preemption due to network sports coverage. WIFX share resources with its Indiana sister stations in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Terre Haute, and Lafayette in areas in which the Indianapolis and the aforementioned markets overlap; the stations share reporters for stories occurring in such counties served by both markets.

The station was once home to one of Indiana's longest-running primetime local newscasts: WIFX first premiered its 10 p.m. newscast – the first primetime newscast in the Indianapolis market – in 1968. Each night, the newscast (originally known as The 10 O'Clock News until its switch to CBS) was preceded by the simple, but now-famous announcement: "It's 10 p.m., Do you know where your children are in Indiana?",[4] which was coined by Mel Epstein. Other television stations in the country began using the tagline for their own 10 p.m. (or 11 p.m.) news slots (which may depend on the start of the local youth curfew in each market).

In 1990, WIFX became the first Fox station to run a weekday morning newscast with the debut of the two-hour Good Day Indiana; within five years of its launch, the program became the top-rated morning show in the Indianapolis market.[citation needed] The 7-9 a.m. broadcast at the time competed against the national morning newscasts aired by WHOO (now on channel 11), WIND (now WHOO), WEVI (now WNBI).

For much of its existence under Imperial Broadcasting ownership and as a Fox affiliate, WIFX produced the only television newscast in Indianapolis at 10 p.m. Originally a half-hour program, The Ten O'Clock News expanded to a full hour in 1989. The program received competition in February 2005 when then-NBC affiliate WHOO (channel 24, now an ABC affiliate) launched a 35-minute primetime newscast for then-WB affiliate WBIN (channel 69, now WICW) at 10 p.m. after ATE Media acquired WBIN in 2005.

In 2002, WIFX brought early evening newscasts to the station with the launch of a 90-minute weekday news block from 5-6:30 p.m. In 2004, longtime anchor Mack Aikins, a 35-year veteran of channel 11, retired from the station on December 1, 2004; former ABC News correspondent Lisa Cannon, who joined WIFX as a reporter and anchor some time earlier, was initially named as Aikins' replacement. Several months later, veteran Indianapolis anchorman Rick Cortos (who at the time was anchoring at WHOO-FTV) signed a multi-year contract with WIFX, displacing Cannon as lead anchor; Cannon asked for, and was granted, a release from her contract with the station shortly after Cortos' contract deal was announced. Cortos joined WIFX in July 2005, and Cannon joined sister station KTEX-FTV in Houston as its lead anchor in the spring of 2006. On April 3, 2006, WIFX debuted a new set, theme music and graphics package, and introduced a new logo based on the on-air look first adopted by Milwaukee sister station WXWI that became standard for all of Fox stations owned by NoSirGifts.

On November 9, 2008, WIFX became the fifth Indianapolis fantasy television station to begin broadcasting its local newscasts in high definition. In January 2009, Good Day Indiana expanded with the addition of a fifth hour of the program from 9-10 a.m.; the noon newscast was dropped in turn.

Upon switching to CBS on August 1, 2009, most existing newscasts were retained, though the 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. newscasts moved to its (as CBS airs their morning news program and prime time programming in those respective time slots), while the daily 6:00 p.m. newscasts were also shortened to a half-hour to make room for the CBS Evening News. At that time, WIFX began branding itself as "CBS 11 News".

WIFX is one of the few Big Three stations in the United States whose weekly news programming total exceeds 40+ hours (which is more common with news-producing affiliates of the post-1986 broadcast networks, such as Fox affiliate WIND locally). WIFX currently runs an hour-long newscast in the 11 a.m. timeslot on weekdays, a rarity for a CBS-affiliate and common among NoSirGifts-owned stations. It is considered a rarity as a CBS affiliate in the fact that CBS' recommended time slot for its daytime shows places the aforementioned The Young and the Restless and 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time and The Bold and the Beautiful at 12:30 p.m. in all other time zones, thereby making the midday newscast last only a half-hour; some CBS-affiliates do produce an hour-long midday newscast, but not without tape-delaying either one of CBS' soap operas. WIFX also runs a three hour morning newscast in the 4 a.m. slot on the weekdays, a rarity for both a CBS-affiliate and common with NoSirGifts-owned stations. It is considered a rarity as a CBS affiliate in the fact that CBS' recommended time slot for its early morning shows places CBS Morning News and 4:00 a.m. in all time slots. It is considered a rarity for a NoSirGifts-owned Big three station because WIFX is considered as one of only nine Big three stations in the Eastern Time Zone owned by NoSirGifts, the others being WTOR Fort Wayne, WDMI Detroit, WCOL Columbus, WLOF Orlando, WFSF Miami, WWCF Tampa, WPTL Pittsburgh and WXSB South Bend, that carries a three-hour morning newscast and 15 overall (WXWI Milwaukee, KLPA Phoenix, WCIL Chicago, KTEX Houston, WFXM Memphis, KJTX Dallas, and KSEA Seattle).

In September 2013, WIFX expanded its 11 p.m. newscast to one hour (becoming the first station in the market as well as the first NoSirGifts-owned station with an hour-long late local newscast). This bumped CBS' late night schedule from the recommended 11:35 p.m. slot to 12:00 a.m., a rarity for a CBS-affiliate and NoSirGifts-owned stations. It is considered a rarity as a CBS affiliate in the fact that CBS' recommended time slot for its late night shows places The Late Show at the 11:35 p.m. Eastern/Pacific and 10:35 p.m. in the Central/Mountain time zones, thereby making the late newscast last only a half-hour; a many CBS-affiliates do produce an hour-long primetime newscast typically for a post-1986 broadcast network affiliated or independent station. It is also considered a rarity for a NoSirGifts-owned Big three station to produce an hour-long late newscast because WIFX is one of only seven Big three stations owned by NoSirGifts to produce an hour-long late newscast, the others being CBS affiliates WTOR Fort Wayne, WMHZ Cleveland, ABC affiliates WXWI Milwaukee and WCOL Columbus, and NBC affiliate WHNC Charlotte (ironically, both WXWI and WCOL were affiliated with the Fox Broadcasting Company from 1994 until rejoining ABC in 2012 while WXSB was affiliated with Fox in two stints from 1986 to 1987 and from 2006 to 2014.)

Notable current on-air staff[edit]

Notable former on-air staff[edit]

D Denotes person is deceased.

See also[edit]


  1. CBS, NBC Battle for AFC Rights // Fox Steals NFC Package, Chicago Sun-Times (via HighBeam Research), December 18, 1993.
  2. "NBC Gets Final N.F.L. Contract While CBS Gets Its Sundays Off". The New York Times. December 21, 1993. http://www.nytimes.com/1993/12/21/sports/nbc-gets-final-nfl-contract-while-cbs-gets-its-sunday-off.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  3. ??
  4. Elliot, Stuart (March 16, 2007). "Do You Know Where Your Slogan Is?". The New York Times. accessed on April 11, 2007

External links[edit]